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Vine Lines

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

  • VINE LINES -- No matter what happens, my glass is always half full

    It’s said that all good things must come to an end. And it is with a heavy heart I tell you this is the last edition of Vine Lines in The Brandon Sun.
  • Another Okanagan winery tour slated for next May

    I’d been excited about this particular stop for months. Along with the other participants in Kemnay Travel’s Okanagan Winery Tour, I was finally going to visit Culmina Family Estate Winery.
  • Okanagan wine tour out-of-this-world experience

    It started out being all about the wine. But very quickly, it became all about the people.
  • Judging wine by its origins not always a good idea

    “I’m going home to Mexico to visit my parents,” my dear friend Malena said to me last summer. “And I’m going to bring you back some Mexican wine.” I plastered a smile on my face and tried to look delighted. But inwardly, I shuddered. Mexican wine? There was no doubt in my mind it would be awful.
  • VINE LINES: A bevy of beauties to try before you buy

    “Wine Station.” It sounds like a great name for a wine bar or a restaurant that boasts a superb wine list, doesn’t it?
  • Spanish wines offer plenty of bang for your buck

    I’ve been drinking a lot of Spanish wines lately. And that’s partly because I really like them and partly because there are a lot more available at Liquor Marts these days. The reason for the abundance of Spanish wines on the sales floor is that Spain is the featured country at this year’s Winnipeg Wine Festival, which takes place May 3-4 at the Convention Centre.
  • Columbia wines a pleasant surprise

    My friend Karen was over for supper recently and, not unexpectedly, brought some wine with her. But there was a surprise in store for me.
  • Winnipeg Whisky Fest superb sampling opportunity

    In a word, wow. And I do mean WOW!
  • Winnipeg Whisky Fest a spirit-ual opportunity

    I’ve been known to take a nip of whisky every now and then. My folks were both Scotch drinkers — my mom still has the occasional one — and when my dad was alive, he was always trying to get me to try Scotch. Back then, though, I was a dedicated rum and cola drinker, which he couldn’t understand because he couldn’t stand rum. And if there’s one regret I have (I guess there are many), it’s that I discovered the pleasures of a wee dram of Scotch not long after he died. I know he’d really have enjoyed sharing his favourite beverage with his not-so-little girl.
  • Okanagan wine tour planned for early May

    By Diane Nelson My phone rang while I was in Victoria for a family wedding this past October. I was perplexed.
  • A bounty of bubbly to ring in the New Year

    Like many of you, I presume, I was terribly spoiled this Christmas. And I loved every minute of it. The first gift of the day, although we’d agreed we weren’t going to exchange presents this year, came from my husband. (I had a couple of items for him too, but nothing as fabulous as what he gave me.)
  • Victoria wine and food suggestions for snowbirds

    A woman I absolutely adore told me at a party recently she’d really enjoyed the November columns I’d done about my October trip to Victoria and environs. She told me her son lives in B.C.’s provincial capital, and she and her husband often visit. So I said, “Well, have I got a column for you at the beginning of January!”
  • Wine suggestions for sharing or gifting

    So in just four more sleeps, the day many folks wait for all year long will be upon us once again. Youngsters will likely wake up early, eagerly springing to their stockings to see what secret somethings Santa has supplied for their enjoyment.
  • Versatile rosé a great choice no matter the season

    Rosé in the wintertime? Yes! Anytime!
  • Sweet wines are winning people over

    Every day, I discover more and more people who enjoy sweet wine. And admit to it proudly. I think that’s great. I mean, I prefer dry wines, and most of the people I regularly hang out with do, too. But people should always — always! — drink what they like, regardless of what those around them say or think or drink. That’s not to say they shouldn’t experiment — that they shouldn’t give something a try because it might not be what they think they like.
  • Vancouver Island boasts plethora of local wineries

    “We could check out some wineries while we’re there.” My head snapped up in surprise at this comment from my husband Ken. I hadn’t even considered doing such a thing, which, given my passion for the fermented fruit of the vine, seemed completely ridiculous. Especially since I’ve sought out Vancouver Island wines in Victoria’s many liquor stores several times over the years.
  • Chardonnay that will carry you away

    A friend said to me a few weeks ago, when most of the leaves had fallen from the trees and it truly felt like winter was imminent (not just coming soon, but perhaps that very day!) that she’d been thinking a lot more about Chardonnay lately. And by “thinking,” she meant she was moving into cold-weather mode, and while she’d usually drink lighter whites or rosés in the summer months, if she was going to drink white at this time of year, it had to be a heftier, fuller-bodied wine — a Chardonnay.
  • Westman Wine Festival offers delights for every palate

    Editor’s note: This column was originally slated to run on Oct. 12. It has been updated for today’s publication. We regret the error. What a treat we’re in for!
  • Perfect Pinot the bright spot in a disappointing dinner

    It’s fun to get together, share food and drink, swap stories, receive and provide advice, and generally just catch up on what’s been going on in our lives lately. That’s the fun part. But I have to confess, the preparation — and worse, the cleanup (although my husband, bless him, does most of that) — cause me to feel stressed, anxious, and generally out of sorts.
  • Rotary Westman Wine Festival is just around the corner

    It’s that time of year again. Already! I can never believe how quickly the weeks and months roll by until it’s time for the Rotary Westman Wine Festival. This year’s 16th annual instalment of the even is coming up Oct. 17 and 19, and since it’s usually a sell-out, getting tickets early is always advisable.
  • Higher-end homemade wine a real surprise

    “Ugh. No. Not again.” That’s what the voice inside my head said a couple of weeks ago when I was offered a glass of homemade wine by my good friend Dave Scott after a rehearsal for an upcoming gig. (He plays drums, I sing and attempt to play piano.)
  • Gran Sello Tempranillo Syrah a great bargain

    A guy named Bill from the Forrest area has emailed me a couple of times during the past year or so. His notes are brief and to the point, and I always enjoy hearing from him. He seems to like Vine Lines, he purchases some of the wines I suggest, and he occasionally comments on the points I’ve made in the column.
  • Kim Crawford South Island solves Pinot Noir problem

    They call Pinot Noir the heartbreak grape. And it’s been breaking my heart for all the wrong reasons lately.
  • Vine Lines -- Inniskillin Zinfandel a vibrant Canadian wine, but …

    “I really don’t like wine. I prefer tea.” So said a woman I’ve known for almost my entire life when we encountered each other last week. I mentioned it had been ages — decades, probably — since we’d seen each other, and she said she saw me every week in The Brandon Sun. And that’s when, almost apologetically, she said what she did.
  • VINE LINES -- Longshot whites astonishingly good for the price

    It doesn’t get any easier than this. Because writing a column about a pair of wines that are really inexpensive and over-deliver for what they cost is an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.

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