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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 www.vinelines.ca

  • Wine Lines -- Two fabulous whites to toast a warm weekend

    At the time of this writing, the forecast was calling for a glorious weekend temperature-wise — about 29 degrees or so. While it doesn’t have to be warm outside to enjoy white wine — I drink it all year long regardless of the season — it just seems extra-pleasant, or extra-perfect, to sip a glass of chilled white on a hot summer day.
  • VINE LINES: Old World beauties for bottom-barrel prices

    I think it’s safe to say everybody likes a bargain. But not just something cheap. And certainly not something for nothing, because as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for!
  • VINE LINES -- Goodness hallmark of these bargain Chards

    Is good good enough? It’s a weird question, I know. But I think good has its place. And good is certainly better than bad, and a step above OK.
  • Vine Lines -- Pop cork on Canuck bubbly to cheer Canada 150

    Celebration is in the air! It has been for months now, and the big day is just around the corner. In fact, it’s tomorrow! And for those who would like to be extremely patriotic as we mark 150 years of nationhood, there’s nothing better than supporting some of the many fine winemakers we have in Canada by purchasing and consuming their beverages in honour of this very important birthday.
  • Vine Lines -- Top-notch wine producer has Manitoba roots

    Would you be surprised to learn that the co-founder of one of Canada’s largest wineries was born and raised in southwestern Manitoba? I certainly was!
  • Vine Lines -- A few dollars more and twice the wine

    It isn’t always true that the amount you pay for wine is a reflection of its quality. But most of the time, it really is.
  • Zuccardi Q Tempranillo great alone or with barbecue

    Sometimes, wine can be pure magic. You open a bottle and the aroma takes your breath away. In addition to rich and luscious notes of blackberry and fruits, herbs and woods, or flinty minerals and juicy tropical fruits, the sniff of a memorable wine can remind you of people and places, of good times shared, of occasions made all the more special because of that particular wine’s place in them.
  • Canadian wines delight at Winnipeg Wine Festival

    So many wines, so little time. That, in a nutshell, is what people feel at most wine festivals, and definitely applies to me and to the Winnipeg Wine Festival, which was held May 4 and 5 at the Convention Centre in the provincial capital.
  • Beautiful bargain boxos — and a bonus — for holiday weekend

    Convenient and economical wine. That’s what a lot of people are looking for a lot of the time. And I’m certainly one of them.
  • Slightly sweet wines for super-sweet moms

    Last weekend’s Winnipeg Wine Festival was an incredible treat in so very many ways. Reconnecting with old friends in the industry, meeting lots of new people who could become friends, and sharing opinions, thoughts and suggestions about what we tried and tasted and loved — I mean, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
  • Merlot is back from 'Sideways' blow and better than ever

    “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking any f---ing Merlot!” That one line, uttered by the lead character in the hit 2004 movie “Sideways,” had a tremendous — tremendously bad — effect on the sale of that particular varietal. According to Wikipedia, a 2009 study by Sonoma State University determined that the film substantially slowed sales of Merlot and caused its price to fall, and a 2014 study by Vineyard Financial Associates estimated that “Sideways” cost Merlot farmers more than $400 million in lost revenue.
  • Pour, don't store, gift wine

    Etiquette. It’s a word that’s bandied around quite a bit, and for good reason. There’s no easier way to tick people off than behaving like a boor, or at least inelegantly.
  • Goats or Côtes is a tough call for wine lovers

    Two wines. Two countries. Two different “Worlds.” I’ve wanted to do a comparison between this duo of wines for ages and I finally got around to it a few weeks ago.
  • Choices abound for Easter meals -- and wine pairings

    Ham, lamb, turkey or spam? I sort of feel like I’m parroting (ha!) one of Monty Python’s most well-known routines with that last option. But trust me — it isn’t a joke. Well, mostly not.
  • Spring rosés bloom

    A bottle of white, a bottle of red … Perhaps a bottle of rosé instead. With credit to Billy Joel for my parroting of his lyrics from “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” there’s something about spring that always has me thinking rosé.
  • Beer a pleasant change of taste for this wino

    It was with a great deal of trepidation that I approached the subject matter for today’s column. Don’t get me wrong — Cody Lobreau is a nice guy and I was looking forward to learning what I could from our resident beer expert. And I’m all for cool little change-ups — tomorrow is April Fools’ Day, so we thought we’d have some fun and pull a little switcheroo on you unsuspecting readers by exchanging our regular areas of focus for a one-day-only gag.
  • WestJet's latest complimentary wine offering delicious

    Free wine. It’s rare for me to ever turn down an offer like that. Because if I don’t like it, I don’t feel compelled to finish it. And while I can be picky — well, let’s be honest here, I’m very picky — there still aren’t too many wines I’ve ever found that were undrinkable. There have been a few, but not a bunch.
  • Toast the occasion with Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Timing, as they say, is everything, and while I’ve struggled for 10 years to come up with appropriate subject matter for St. Paddy’s Day, Ireland is not exactly known for its wine. One could add a tiny drop of green food colouring to a glass or bottle of white wine to play along, I suppose, but that’s not really terribly authentic.
  • Big, beautiful reds worth the investment

    It’s always great to try new-to-you, or in this case, new-to-me, wines that end up being particular treats. I’ve confessed before that I usually find my favourites, keep buying them and don’t seek out anything else. But happily, and luckily, I often have the chance to try certain wines without committing to the cost of a bottle.
  • Examining labels a must when it comes to wine

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — read those labels! And you know who should be taking this advice?
  • Wines to make every day worth celebrating

    It’s a bit frustrating, really. Although I guess it should be the opposite. The very day the Valentine’s Day installment of Vine Lines appeared in The Brandon Sun, I found three additional wines that were more than worthy of inclusion.
  • Share a fine wine with your Valentine

    Ah, Valentine’s Day. A time for love, romance, flowers, chocolate, special food, and for many of us, fine wine. This is the annual Vine Lines Valen-Wines column, where I recount and recommend some stunning wines that should warm the heart of your beloved, or turn the head of someone you might be interested in getting to know better.
  • Three superb Spanish wines to sip and savour

    Just one. Out of six samples, that was all I liked.
  • Revisiting Frei Brothers Cabernet good move

    A change is a good as a rest. Or a rest is as good as a change!
  • Young adults seeking quality wine a great thing

    The texts started flying back and forth between here and Saskatoon at 7:25 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 30. “Di, I need your help,” began the exchange. “Two different bottles. Whites or Blush. It’s for drinking with my girl tonight. Help!”
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