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About Diane Nelson:

Diane Nelson is a long-time journalist and former Sun staffer who really likes wine. A lot. Chat with her online at

  • 'Tis the season to be … bubbly!

    While I’ve often said sparkling wine is appropriate any time, there’s just something about festive occasions that seem to beg for bubbly. And since that season is upon us — holiday parties are now in full swing (I have two to attend this weekend — yay!) — it seems a perfect time to offer details about some of the new bubblies on the market.
  • Favourites from the Westman Wine Festival

    There are always a few. Well, thankfully, I suppose, there are always a lot!
  • Bonterra Chard and Cab are great wines

    I made a new friend a few weeks ago. And not surprisingly, the relationship began over a glass of wine. I was seated at one of the three Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries tables at the Rotary Westman Wine Festival Gala Dinner. The witty, brilliant and oh-so-charming Peter Wilk, retail sales event co-ordinator for MBLL, was the host at our otherwise all-female table, which was peopled by wine representatives and two ladies from the community who just happened to be seated in our company.
  • Wine festival dinner a culinary coup

    It was, in a word, exceptional. The pairings were positively perfect. The meal was marvellously magnificent. The wine was whimsically wonderful.
  • Etiquette should be top of mind at wine festivals

    I’m excited! Tonight is the annual Rotary Westman Wine Festival at the Victoria Inn. And it’s always such a delight to taste a variety of wines brought to us to enjoy here in the comfort of our own home (town). The festival has grown both in size and popularity over the years, and I expect fun will reign supreme this evening as it always does at these events.
  • Brazos de los Andes blends a pleasant change of pace

    I’m a creature of habit. I’d like to think I’m not — that I can be spontaneous and open to anything that presents itself, ready to go with the flow whatever comes along, whenever it does.
  • Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay a stunning wine

    It was while searching for information about a wine I was about to try that I stumbled, quite by accident, upon the name of another from the same vintner that made my heart beat a little faster than usual. I’d been looking up the Errazuriz line from Chile, knowing I was going to be tasting one of its Carmeneres — a single vineyard Carmenere, which usually means a great-tasting wine (and it was — spicy and chocolaty and wonderfully peppery, with the typical, albeit even better than usual, bell pepper notes topped off by black fruit and tobacco — a beaut, and what you’d expect for $23.99) — when I spied another listing in the Errazuriz line.
  • Royal de Neuville bubbly rosé a perfect food companion

    I always enjoy rediscovering and retrying a wine I’d forgotten about. Especially if it’s a wine I really like. And while I know that bubbly is not everybody’s cup of tea (as it were), that and the fact that this particular wine is pink, and medium-dry, which means it’s semi-sweet, might have some folks turning up their noses before they’ve even given it a try.
  • Westman Wine Festival is only four weeks away

    It’s that time of year again. The Westman Wine Festival is just around the corner.
  • These bargain wines over-deliver for the price

    I’m not really sure where I got it. But wherever it came from, I’m just glad it did!
  • Whiplash Zinfandel is a slightly sweet treat

    Never has the name of a wine so accurately portrayed my initial reaction to it. But before we go there, I must say this: I love Zinfandel. Period. Regardless of the brand, it goes well with everything.
  • Expensive experiment reveals marvellous money-saving Malbec

    I couldn’t believe I was doing it. I can’t believe I did it!
  • Espolon Tequila Reposado a giant step above the ordinary

    For many people — dare I suggest most people? — long weekends are something special. An extra day to do what you want to do, rather than what someone else or work obligations dictate. Sure, chores can be accomplished, but that bonus 24 hours surely allows time for a bit of fun. And should you be among those fortunate enough to be able to dedicate the long weekend completely to having a good time, I say more power to you!
  • Elegant Appleton rums please particular party-goers

    I frequently say to my husband, “I was a much cheaper date when I used to drink rum and Coke.” And it’s true. I was! Of course, now that I drink wine almost exclusively, I buy my own, because my husband’s tastes aren’t quite as particular as mine.
  • One good Ravenswood wine prompts trying another

    Brand loyalty. It’s something most of us usually adhere to.
  • Rosé a great summertime sipper

    Many people are advocates of rosé wine. And you can count me among them. Because I like it — I really do. It’s great on a hot day — nicely chilled, it’s refreshing, it’s delightful, and it just seems like the embodiment of summer. Even though it’s a great beverage all year ’round, rosé just seems to work best in warm weather.
  • Portugal's Altano Douro over-delivers for the price

    Surprises are wonderful things. Well, I should qualify that. Good surprises are wonderful things. Good, as in, “Oh, wow! This is really great!” as opposed to “Oh, no! This is really terrible!”
  • Bubbly wine a great summertime choice

    Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. Sauvignon Blanc. Rosé. These are considered by many to be the quintessential wines of summer.
  • Pinot Gris and Grigio and a cool Canadian blend

    It’s always nice when someone else echoes your thoughts, or feels the same way about something as you do. At least it is for me. And that was certainly the case a couple of weeks ago when I was reading my colleague Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson’s wine column in the Brandon Sun’s sister paper, the Winnipeg Free Press. The headline read, “This Summer, Why Not Punt The Pinot?”
  • Rodney Strong never fails to impress

    Oh, Rodney! Ever since we first met, you’ve been my favourite. I mean, there are others I really enjoy, but you — all of you — warm my heart. When I arrive home at the end of the day, and my lips embrace you, I’m transported. I’m never bored, always enchanted and thoroughly satisfied.
  • Revisiting an old Italian friend, and finding a new Aussie one

    Have you ever had a friend that you really loved, who you hung out with all the time, and then, as life intervened, you started to see him or her slightly less often, then eventually, sadly, not at all? That was the scenario that came to mind last weekend when I tasted a wine that I’d adored for years, and had never gotten tired of, but had sort of, well, to be honest, forgotten about.
  • 'A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rose instead'

    It was like drinking liquid velvet. The creaminess of the 2013 Michel Picard Vouvray is almost magical. Named after a French Region of the Loire Valley, this off-dry Chenin Blanc is fresh and delicate and yet lush at the same time (I think that impression has to do with its oh-so-smooth texture).
  • White before night? Red before bed? Really?

    “White before night, and red before bed.” That self-created “rule” is how a close friend determines when he’s going to drink what colour of wine.
  • Meiomi chardonnay will take your breath away

    Wow. That was it.
  • If it costs twice as much, it should be twice as good

    I think it’s only logical that if one product costs twice as much as another product, it should be twice as good. If you agree with that statement, then does it follow through for you that if something costs four times as much, it should be four times better?

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