What to Drink This Week: Canadian Celebrity Wines


I’m the man  from the Christian Childrens’ Fund commercials that appear constantly on Sunday afternoon television, destroying your life with guilt when you’re just trying to watch a crappy movie while you’re on the treadmill.  Look at little Senorita here, she recognizes me, don’t you sweetheart?

Little girl:  My name is Emily, I TOLD you.  Can I have my iPod now?  You promised.

Poor Senorita here is so delirious with hunger, she would claim to be anyone right now, even a small child that I grabbed from the food court of an adjacent shopping mall.  But thanks to your generous donations, we’ve got this whole “poverty in Central America” thing pretty much beaten, which is why you don’t hear about it on the news any more.  So instead of showing you the usual footage of Senorita eating disgusting mush and learning math that you — for only pennies a day — were able to fund, here’s a really kickass shot of a great big cargo plane raking the area around her village with a supply bombing run drop.

But our work as good Christians is not done, everyone.  There are always others in need, and as generous spirits willing to give our utmost to alleviate suffering, we must continue to share wherever we can.  For even while there were those who have never known anything but a life of poverty, there are others who have had the best years of their lives taken away from them — and most upsetting of all, it’s happened to them here on our own doorstep.

I refer, of course, to the sad misfortunes of Canadian celebrities.

Yes, for every Neve Campbell and Mike Meyers, there are those Canadians whose lives are not a constant, shining success.  It is to them we must now lend a helping hand, to act outside of our normal habit out of charity, and to set aside our sense of value to keep these good people off the streets.

We must buy their wine.

WAIT!  Before you change the channel, consider:  Don’t I look kind of like Santa Claus?  A very sad, old Santa Claus who has seen too much of the world and needs your help to take his pain away, for only pennies a day?

Exactly, and that’s why you should take a look at these poor souls and their misfortunes, and then drink their generally okay, but mostly overpriced wines.  For example, meet little Wayne.

No. 99 Estates Winery

At one time, Wayne here was the greatest hockey player in history, breaking more records than Senorita knows how to count.  He parlayed his success in Edmonton to a comfortable life in California, where he played with the L.A. Kings and married a woman who was on the cover of Playboy.  If anyone could feel content to run around the world for the rest of his days, collecting high-fives and feeling great about himself, it’s Wayne.

But then, tragedy:  After only winning ONE gold medal as the head of the Canadian Olympic hockey program, Wayne descended into mediocre coaching career and invested in the Phoenix Coyotes, a team so unloved that it’s actually considered an upgrade to move it to Hamilton.  With nowhere else to turn for money beyond his numerous endorsements, Wayne has resorted to his family’s tragic history of home-brewing alcohol.

When Wayne Gretzky was a child, his grandfather — a Russian immigrant — used to make wine at home in Ontario. “He grew his own grapes, everything,” said Gretzky, who remembers trying it when he was younger.

His history of childhood alcohol abuse now only too apparent, Wayne needs your help.  Attempting to turn his family’s sullied history of bootlegging to a positive end, he now sells the wine he makes at home (or one of his homes, in the Niagara Peninsula) on the streets, mostly above the sixteen dollar price point.  The whites are the only ones below that, and while it may be that you wince after you sip one of them, try to remember:  He’s a retiree, and he needs the money.

Otherwise, Wayne will sell you any kind of wine you may imagine grows in Niagara, and he seems to do the best with icewines, which have started to win international recognition.  With your generous donation, these special vintages can be yours for only forty-five to one hundred and twenty-five dollars — the funds for which will help Wayne continue to adequately tip the beer cart girls when he’s on the golf course.

But there’s more than one Canadian athlete down on his luck!  Why, look at poor Mike here.

Mike Weir Wines

Is there any greater Canadian hero in recent memory than Mike Weir?  Having won more than 7 PGA tour events — his last just three years past, probably — his is a name that is permanently etched into the memory of his countrymen.  His nail-biting, single Master’s win only the better part of a decade ago is reason enough that he continues to appear in national sports columns, notwithstanding the laws that mandate a percentage of Canadian content.

And yet, despite that thrilling success, his commitment to his sport has left him crippled.  Just see what he had to say to this reporter from the Ottawa Citizen:

“It’s a tough sport at the best of times when you’re feeling good and it’s like taking a knife to you (right now),” Weir told reporters.

It has been a difficult year for the 40-year-old.

His frustrations seemed to boil over at the U.S. Open earlier this month when he said he had considered changing coaches.

“I can’t keep playing like this,” he said then. “I’ve got to

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

Yes, times have gotten so hard for poor Mike that even printed articles dismiss him mid-sentence.  But how can you help this fallen titan, this giant of golf whose press coverage just never seems to go away?

For just fifteen dollars, you must find it in your heart to drink his wines.  At the Mike Weir Wine website, you can choose from no fewer than FOUR varieties of Mike Weir wine — two whites and two reds, which is DOUBLE the choice you’d get if you were on a domestic commuter flight.  And while sure, the whites seem aggressively affordable in both price AND flavor, Mike gives you the chance to fund his recovery with some quite generous reds:  A triple-blend Cabernet-Sauvignon/Cabernet-Franc/Merlot/kitchen sink red at nineteen bucks, and a straight-ahead Pinot Noir at twenty-two.

Who says that Ontario wines are cheap?  Not Mike, and he’s willing to prove it to you for only the price of a cup of coffee a day.

But if for some reason you can’t find it within your heart to help Mike, then won’t you please think of Danny.

Dan Aykroyd Winery

Seriously, won’t SOMEONE think of Dan Aykroyd?  Because we’re starting to get a little worried here.

Once upon a time, he was one of the most successful alumni of Saturday Night Live, with a movie career that includes numerous classics and childhood favorites — not to mention a few cult hits in their own right.  He mastered a particular kind of sympathetic, fast-talking, neo-nerd comedy that many have aped but few have managed to duplicate, and he seemed as a comedian to be content to only infrequently touch on the nasty side he was capable of showing:

Instead, let us consider what depths to which Dan has now sunk.

I can’t say for certain why Dan went from being one of the more beloved comedians of his day to the voice of Yogi Bear, nor can we safely imply that his over-riding and passionate interest in the supernatural is among the reasons.  But it could be that when you discuss ghosts, and chat in all seriousness about aliens actively molesting cattle to collect their anuses, it might degrade your overall credibility in the entertainment business.

All of which is a pity, because as genuinely weird as Dan appears to be, he never seems to fail at being a genuine and approachable guy.  So it would be a shame if you haven’t yet tried the product that Dan produces out of the Lakeview Cellars Estate, all of which are exactly a dollar less than the least expensive wine offered by our other charity cases, and none of which are nearly as good.  But that’s okay, because even if his wine isn’t that great, Dan wants to earn your support through nothing short of SELLING LIQUOR IN CRYSTAL SKULLS.

For your generous gift of fifty Canadian dollars, you can give Dan all he could ever ask for:  Validation that someone out there truly believes a glass rendering of a human skull, filled with a vodka of reasonable quality, will help you to self-actualize and harness the power of the Universe.  And that’s kind of hilarious, let’s just admit it.

Our Canadian celebrities need your help, if they’re expected to continue in the lifestyle that lets us all pretend that Canadians have relevance on the world’s stage.  Give generously to these pretty good products, and you can make sure that nobody forgets how much our faded athletes and insane entertainers mean to us — and hopefully encourage them on to greater heights of modestly affordable beverages.

And, in the end, that’s really what matters, isn’t it Senorita?


Ha ha ha, of course it is. Here, have some more mush.