My Double Life – Pairing Wine with Muskie

By / Wine + Drinks / August 26th, 2013 / 3

Everybody should lead a double life.  I do.

My public persona is Travis Oke, wine blogger/restaurant reviewer. I have a modest wine cellar [admittedly an Ikea rack] and I have a favorite place to eat in Paris. I have a pair of red jeans and I own cufflinks. However, that persona is only part of the story.

Sometimes my alter ego takes hold. The family cabin in Northwestern Ontario is on the other end of the wine blogging/Paris loving spectrum.  To say that it’s rustic is a gross understatement. We have no running water.  We have no electricity. We have an outhouse. Yes, an outhouse.

I love that life too [well, nobody loves an outhouse].  Foraging for mushrooms in the wilderness makes me just as happy as eating coeurs de poulet and washing them down with a Morgon. Getting up early with my brother to catch my limit of fish is as satisfying as an early morning espresso overlooking the Jardin du Luxembourg.

So when I caught the largest fish of my life this week I was a little unsure of how to celebrate.  A 22 lb Muskie is not only scary, enormous, and 20 minutes of just good clean fun, it also deserves a bit of a celebratory beverage.

After a brief 30-minute drive to the closest LCBO [in NW Ontario anything under 2 hrs in considered brief] I found myself searching in vain for the Vintages section. No Premier Cru wines to be found.  Quelle dommage.

That’s when I realized that I had it all wrong. I needed a wine that suited the occasion – not one that suited fine dining.  I am a firm believer that wine always pairs best with the mood that you are in.  What is more rustic than catching an enormous, scary Musky? What’s more rustic than a magnum, 1500 mL, of inexpensive Sangiovese?

With apologies to Monsieur le Chef in Paris – for $12.50 this was the wine pairing of the season.

Farnese Sangiovese IGT 1500 mL bottle $ 12.50

Author’s note – no Muskie were injured in the writing of this blog post.  Monsieur Muskie swam away with vigour and we were both better “people” for the experience. I’m still lobbying to use the photo for this year’s Christmas card.

Photo Credit: Travis Oke


My wine blog - - has been running for 4 years and is carried in the online edition of the Guelph Mercury. I cover everything from wine to beer to espresso to whatever amuses me that week. I also review restaurants for the KW Record / Guelph Mercury and have an issue with taking photos of everything I cook using Instagram.

One response to “My Double Life – Pairing Wine with Muskie”

  1. […] true, large fish story. When asked to guest blog on Tidings Magazine‘s online edition I wanted to tell the world how I paired wine with a 22 lb […]

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