From the wine world, a Major effort

John Gushue
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Kevin Major is one of the literary stars in Newfoundland and Labrador, creating much-loved books for young readers and adults, novels and non-fiction and even a play along the way.

You can add “wine blogger” to that list of credentials, for his weekly posts on wine are the first stop on this survey of what to read and do online.

One Brilliant Bottle

I have to confess that I was unaware until last month that Kevin was even writing a blog, let alone one about wine. He told me about it during an event we both attended last month, and so I checked it out.

One Brilliant Bottle is not merely about wine, but about specific types of wine, particularly organic, natural or biodynamic wines, which — among other things — are wines that eschew additives and/or mechanical processes. That restricts things a fair bit, and you should not be surprised to see that a good few of the wines Kevin writes about in his weekly postings are not at the local NLC.

But wine lovers will take a shine to One Brilliant Bottle. Each piece has some research to back it up, and the photography makes everything seem even more delicious. Kevin set out to write a post each week this year; let’s hope he keeps it going past December.

Elsewhere this week

Charity Intelligence

I heard about this site this week in Michael Hlinka’s commentary on Radio Noon. It’s a fascinating project: a hard-nosed analysis of charities that measures effectiveness, costs and other factors, with the sort of vigour that’s usually applied to the equities market. The goal: to produce a list of charities that guarantee high (social) returns. There are no local charities on the list (although one, Eva’s Initiatives, has been involved with Choices for Youth here in St. John’s), but it’s a thought-provoking read.

Refudiate: Word of the Year

Sarah Palin continues to fascinate political watchers, and a word she inadvertently coined this year has put her in the history books — if not necessarily with an achievement she’ll use in her next inevitable campaign. Refudiate is a word that notoriously went out in her Twitter feed, a sort of amalgam of refute and repudiate; it’s the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year. Last year’s choice was “unfriend,” which has spread out from Facebook; it’s kind of fitting that this year’s choice is a clumsy (and snark-worthy) word from Twitter.

The Goldfish and Bob

You don’t have to read a novel, a story or even a poem to be moved or to have your perspective on the Big Things in Life challenged. This is a comic that Todd Webb created almost a decade ago; it takes only a few minutes to scroll through the panes and read the story of Bob, a lonely office type, and the lessons he learns about through his pet goldfish.

Wallet Pop

Many retailers do the lion’s share of their sales in the last three months of the year, particularly in the wind-up to Christmas.

Wallet Pop is a consumer-minded blog that features plenty of advice on making informed decisions, and getting more value from your cards.

Articles range from hot toys for Christmas to navigating sales to nasty things in the snacks we buy.

Meme from Yahoo

Just in case you don’t have enough social networks to call your own, here’s a whole other one to consider.

Meme takes its name from the online phenomenon in which something (a joke, a list, a task) gets passed from one person to another and eventually to many.

Thus, Meme helps users share content between themselves, from baby photos to links to … well, whatever it is that gets people in a sharing mood.

John Gushue is an online editor with CBC News

in St. John’s. Blog:

Organizations: NLC, Yahoo, CBC News

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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