A sample of Mari’s writing, published in print or online
BACK OFF, AUTOMAKERS. Hybrids are not just for cars. They also make excellent wines. Hybrids are the viticultural equivalent of Old World meets New World, or specifically, when the species Vitis vinifera meets Vitis riparia. Hybrid vines offer the best of both worlds: European style and distinction combined with North American tolerance and hardiness.
NATURAL WINE MAY SOUND like the hottest trend since the screwcap, but it’s actually the world’s oldest winemaking technique, rediscovered. Let organic or biodynamically grown grapes ferment in their own wild yeast, soak long in their skins, age in neutral oak, then bottle it with particulates included, and you’ve got yourself a natural wine just like the ancients drank.
I used to think that being a member of a wine club wasn’t my style. When I lived in Sonoma County, California, I had no use for a club since I was practically swimming in wine. But all those perceptions evaporated when my husband and I joined our first wine club in 2012.
When I first discovered the power of the hemp seed back in the mid-1990s, its shell had yet to be cracked, which meant eating hemp usually filled your teeth with green plant matter. Thanks to modern dehulling technology, the heart of the hemp seed has since been freed from its shell and now offers a plant-based source of protein worth getting excited about.
What do you get when Vacouverites mix community activism with democratic capitalism, add a pinch of soul food, and stir? You get Vancouver SOUP, a delicious way to crowdfund community projects on a full stomach.
A Taste of Gastown’s Past: A Vancouver Food Tour with a Side of History – Edible Vancouver, Fall 2016
In all the times I’ve passed through Vancouver’s Waterfront Station, I’d never noticed that half of the side pillars are flat. Nor did I know why: The Canadian Pacific Railway ran out of money for round pillars when they build the terminal back in 1914.
It’s hard to believe that the modern hemp industry is over 20 years old. When I started publishing the bimonthly newsletter, HempWorld — The International Hemp Journal, in 1994 there were only a couple dozen hemp companies in the nascent industry to write about.
When Zinfandel rolled into California in the mid-nineteenth century, its identity was as mysterious as Clint Eastwood’s in High Plains Drifter. The grape thrived in California’s warm climate and was often blended as a jug wine with the more tannic Petit Syrah to give it backbone. BC is now the third largest Zinfandel region behind California and Australia. But there are differences.
According to Lisa Molyneux, a small glass of cannabis wine is enough, and after consuming you should be prepared to sleep quite well. But don’t expect to see weed wine in stores anytime soon, unless it’s made in Washington State or Colorado, both of which have recreational use laws and abundant wine industries. Until then, you might want to settle for part two of this article, How to Pair Wine with Weed.
Growing More Than Grapes In The Vineyard: How working in wine saved Judy Kingston’s life – Wine Enthusiast, December 2014
Judy Kingston’s life changed in 1993, the morning her car slid on black ice on a Toronto highway and slammed into a fire truck. She woke from a coma with temporary amnesia, unable to remember the details of her life. Her head injury was so severe she had to relearn how to walk, climb stairs and cross the street.
We’re on the road to the Bay of Pigs in a “taxi” with Chuchy, a handsome, middle-aged Playa Larga driver who is chatting the whole way. Since my husband’s Spanish is better than mine, he sits in the front. He asks Chuchy about his memories of those fateful days in April, 1961 when a CIA-backed paramilitary group launched an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. Having grown up in the military, I am eager to take a trip through time to the United States’ worst military blunder ever.
A Romantic Holiday: Coming Home to the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort – Travel Thru History, February 2012
As we emerge from our van in front of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, I hear music. Outside, a Fijian guy is playing guitar and singing a welcome home song. Beside him, a Fijian woman is offering us colorful drinks with tiny umbrellas. I want to wave them away with an “aw garsh, ya shouldn’t have,” until I realize that every guest is serenaded upon arrival.
Working on any movie is a lot like camping, but being an extra in Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, with its secret remote location and total ban on electronic devices, made us feel like inmates in a prison camp.
The growing marijuana industry has led to a number of schools sprouting up in several states promising to teach skills in the cannabis business.
On a Saturday night in downtown Vancouver, scores of worshipful wine lovers descend on Christ Church Cathedral. There, they partake of barbecued soul food before meandering to the kitchen where fair church ladies have poured the fruit of Okanagan Valley, Canada, vines. Lo, there is the Dam Flood…
There are two pours of red wine in front of me, and I’ve been instructed to figure out if they are from Italy or France, as well as their vinicultural appellation and the varieties used. Oh, and if possible, the producers’ names….
Now I know how a fat cork fits into a skinny bottleneck. I never had seen the corking process so closely as when I bottled my own wine at a winemaking store in Vancouver, British Columbia. As I wrangled with the Portuguese Floor Corker, the proprietor offered guidance…