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BC Politics

Please Advise! How Can We Win the Wine War?

Fear not, counsels the doctor, victory is just a Merlot away.

Steve Burgess 9 Feb

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a Ph.D in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.

Dear Dr. Steve,

War has come to our land at last. Years of uneasy peace between neighbours has finally shattered. Premier John Horgan wants further study of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and is ready for a court battle to stop it. Premier Rachel Notley has responded with a ban on B.C. wine imports. We do not seek conflict, yet neither do we shrink from a righteous fight. Tell us, Doctor and Oracle, what does the future hold for this epic conflict?


BC Warrior

Dear Warrior,

To the battlements, comrades! Prepare the vats of boiling Cabernet!

Some possible B.C. battle plans:

Wine Tech

“You go to war with the army you have,” said Donald Rumsfeld. They have oil; we have wine. So job one will be inventing the Merlot-powered tank. For civilian use, we will develop the Pinot Pinto and a VSOP SUV. We don’t need no stinking oil.

War is cruel and past conflicts have seen the use of carpet bombing. Bombing the carpets of Alberta with a deep, rich Pinot Noir will leave stains will never come out. It will serve them right for buying that tacky white shag.

Also, if we could find a way to fire grapes from a really, really powerful slingshot I bet they would hurt a lot.

Wine Pairings

As patriotic British Columbians it will be incumbent upon all of us to consume as much wine as possible. A glass with dinner or even a couple of bottles on a weekend outing will not suffice. The Alberta foe stands before us — it is time to get all French on their asses. Some suggestions:

Riesling — Excellent with seafood, chicken, or on breakfast cereal. Orange juice is so expensive; this alternative will help you face the day with a smile.

Rosé — Light, refreshing, and perfect for baby formula. This is the “French babysitter,” a little knockout potion that will help both you and Baby sleep soundly through the night and perhaps the afternoon as well.

Cabernet Sauvignon — Rich and full-bodied, so full-bodied that it doesn’t need to pair with anything, really. It’s a meal in itself. Have seconds! And maybe a nice ice wine for dessert?

Pinot Noir — Pairs well with beefs, and beefing. You want some of this, Premier Notley?

Merlot — For a British Columbian a bottle of merlot is like a can of spinach for Popeye. Chug ’er down and boom, you are ready to take on an entire Stampede of Molson-fuelled cowboys. Remember to save the bottle — they'll have cases of beer and those things hurt.


Mountains are mountains are mountains. How many times have newly arrived tourists pointed at Cypress, Grouse and Seymour and asked, “Are those the Rockies?” We just have to start saying, “Yes. Welcome to Banff. Have a snow globe.”


Frankly this move could backfire on us. Who would secede from whom? We might be better off trying to boot Alberta out of Confederation rather than leaving it ourselves. But if it came down to a choice between keeping B.C. or Alberta, who would the rest of Canada choose — obnoxious hipsters or loudmouth cowhands? Who do they hate the least? And which is more important to eastern Canadians, getting drunk on a good Chardonnay or driving to the liquor store with an internal combustion engine?

Then there are the geographical issues. Alberta has the inside position on us and breaking with them could make travel to Saskatchewan difficult. On second thought, never mind.

Still, war is cruel. No one wins, except on Hogan’s Heroes. We will pay a price for this fight. Our proposed Penticton-to-Red Deer ice wine pipeline is certain to be a casualty. Alberta sommeliers are going to get tired of adding red food colouring to Budweiser. Let us hope that peace may yet prevail. A proposal to send a unified B.C.-Alberta hockey team to the Olympics is a positive sign. The stakes are high my friends — if we can’t settle this thing soon, the next national NDP convention is going to be a bloodbath.  [Tyee]

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