After 25 years as a restaurant owner, consultant and wine educator, Micheline Ouimet’s latest venture has seen her dedication to good service translate into finding good deals on wine.
The Colwood oeniphile’s website, thewinedetective.ca, pulls current local deals and sales on wines into one place for West Shore residents to peruse.
“You can find when your favourite wine is on sale,” Ouimet said. “Or maybe you’re going out to a party and want to bring a bottle, and you check the local store to see what’s good and what’s on sale.”
The site, which went live in July and is free to use, is growing in popularity and grew out of a newsletter Ouimet used to send out with her wine courses that, among other things, listed local wine deals.
“Technically there was rebates and coupons for everything online except wine,” she said.
The wine expert decided to put it together online in an easily accessible place and thewinedetective.ca was born.
Ouimet stressed that just because a wine might be on sale doesn’t mean it’s an inferior vintage. “Sale prices have a lot more to do with storage than quality. Most countries are producing more wine than they can sell and there isn’t enough storage, so the bottles have to sell.”
Ouimet, who teaches bartending at Camosun College, wine education courses and a new mobile cocktail class, says wine must fit the occasion. When deciding which bottle to get, for example, an evening of relaxing at home will differ from pulling the cork for a special occasion.
“It depends on if I’m going to eat something or not, too. That makes a huge difference,” she said.
Regardless of what the moment calls for, it’s always a treat to find the perfect wine, especially for a few dollars off, Ouimet said. “My motto is drink well for less.”