8 minute read

Eats & Drinks

Innovation in agriculture paired with a passion for winemaking



Willows Christopher and Zach Isaacs were barely of legal drinking age when they decided to enter the liquor business.

And they’re proving that experience isn’t necessarily as crucial as you might think in the often-cutthroat sector.

The pair founded Shrugging Doctor Beverage Co. in 2017 when they were 18 years old and today they make a wide variety of products, including wine, cider, sangria, mead, spirits and other alcoholic beverages and they’re proud to use Manitoba-grown grapes in their recipes.

“We have weaponized our naivety and inexperience in the wine industry to create the most unique and innovative business in the category,” Christopher says.

Shrugging Doctor, which produces their liquor out of the same facility where their operate a retail space in St. James, has 15 products on its shelf and it has

differentiated itself from its competitors by making house calls. Shrugging Doctor will even ship across the country via its website, shrugdoc.com.

Their Wine Bar/Tasting Room is ready to re-open as soon as Covid restrictions allow - offering wine tasting flights, cocktails, charcuterie and more!

They believe that the liquor industry is trailing, well, everything else, in this era of instant gratification. Sure, some liquor and private wine stores offer limited delivery but Christopher and Isaacs believe customers should be able to get what they want almost immediately by pressing a few buttons on their phones. Since starting out four years ago, the good doctor has steadily expanded his capacity and is now producing about 3,000 cases annually, up from just 500 in its first year. (A case is 12 bottles.) More than half of the products, including sangria, raspberry wine and apple cider, are available at Liquor Marts across the province.


SANGRIA Bursting with fruit flavour, mixed and infused with real fruit juice with their already tasty cranberry wine. Light and super refreshing


Smooth & sweet, Uppsala is made from 100% Manitoba wine. Mead is a honey wine – honey and water fermented by yeast. It’s in a distinct category of it’s own, somewhere between beer and wine.

“We focus on unique and great tasting flavours. We have a lot of small batch seasonal products and usually have a new product every month or two,” Isaacs says.

Christopher and Isaacs maintain a vineyard in southern Manitoba where they grow wine grapes. The brand is based on travelling doctors from years gone by who would travel from town to town and sell their miracle remedies and other concoctions to the locals. 

Shrugging Doctor Beverage Co. 448b Brooklyn St. Winnipeg @ShrugDoc shrugdoc.com

3 ways to celebrate



We’ve been cooped up all winter, binging Netf lix like there is no tomorrow. Except there is a tomorrow, and it’s looking like a sunny forecast with pati os on the horizon. Let’s take the party outdoors with our 3 spring favorites!

Santa Margherita

While gett ing our backyards ready to hang out in this summer, a dry white wine with crisp green apple fl avor is the perfect way to compliment a cold pesto salad, lemon greek rotisserie chicken or cream sauce pasta. This pinot grigio is a medium to full bodied wine, bone dry and a bouquet of intense aromas and complimentary fl avors such as apple and citrus. A typical pinot grigio tends to be light and crisp however the Santa Margherita impresses with fl avours immediately hitt ing the senses while still maintaining the classic pinot grigio grape fl avors. A must have for summer barbeques, an aperitif, or a traditional souffl e.

Nau Mai Sauvignon Blanc Blush

Rosé wines are typically made from red grapes obtaining their color from a quick contact with the grape skins. This completely unique rosé is a sauvignon blanc grape made with a splash of merlot grape. With mineral notes off the first taste evolving into acidic and sweet tastes this wine will not disappoint. With flavors from raspberry to herbaceous notes it would be a delicious way to compliment some appetizers with friends such as bruschetta, souvlaki or a ham and brie croissant. The perfect way to “Rosé all day”!

AvantGarde Reisling

With notes of tree fruit and a hint of vanilla, this reisling will impress. The slight sweetness and medium bodied crisp flavor would pair well with any afternoon lunch featuring a pear and Brie salad. The complimentary flavors of tree fruit and smooth creaminess would bring out any vinaigrette as well as enhance a afternoon on the patio. 

The apple of your eye


I’ve thought a lot as we dig our feet deeper into Spring and how Summer will soon be on the horizon… in that things may feel stagnant in what our world still is going through, but focusing on how with the seasons, the weather changes, our moods shift and how our taste buds do the same.

I want to enjoy my food in a way that is refreshing and with added fun or SASS as I like to say. Making a meal feel like a party in your name.

We all deserve to feel elevated and like there is a playfulness in what we make at times.

While the sun shines in and we feel more vibrant, as we sit down for a meal with the windows open and a breeze flowing, or out on our decks, we get to feel excited for all the bonuses that this time of the year brings to our lives.

Let’s treat it like our own vacation... sip that drink a little slower, savour that bite a bit more and choose to soak up everything that comes to life in these beautiful months.

xox Shelby

Crispy Panko Pork Chops with Apple Arugula Salad


2 – 3 Pork loin chops 2-3 cups Panko crumbs 2 Eggs

Spice mix:

1 tbsp Paprika 1 tbsp Onion powder 1 tbsp Garlic powder 2 tsp each Salt & Pepper


Arugula ½ Granny Smith Apple Handful of Walnuts 2 slices of Havarti cheese, chopped into squares ½ Avocado- chopped into chunks

Home made dressing to drizzle:

2 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp Honey 2 tbsp Mayo 1 tbsp Olive oil Salt & Pepper

1. Cut off any fat and put a piece of cling wrap over top. If you don’t have a mallet, use a rolling pin. Pound out your pork chops. Flip to other side, and repeat until thin and it should double in size. 2. Mix together spice mix on a plate and then pat spice onto your pork on both sides. 3. Coat both sides of spice covered pork with whisked egg. 4. Coat both sides of pork with your panko crumbs. 5. Shallow fry in canola oil on medium heat flipping every couple minutes until golden brown, approximately 15-20 minutes.

For the Salad

1. Cover plate with Arugula 2. Chop apple into little chunks as well as your cheese, walnuts and avocado, and sprinkle over Arugula. 3. Place cooked pork chop on edge of salad & drizzle with dressing.

Whiskey Lemonade

3 oz whiskey 1 can frozen lemonade

1 Lemon

1 can Perrier Fresh mint Crushed Ice 1. In a pitcher, pour your frozen lemonade, do not add water. 2. Add one can Perrier. 3. Squeeze half of a fresh lemon 4. Add whiskey and mix. 5. Add ice and mint. 6. Garnish with a slice of lemon and enjoy.



For those who enjoy a well-made cocktail, it can be tough to recreate the drinks we are used to sipping in local restaurants at home. Whether it’s a refreshing gin & tonic or a bold gin fizz, we miss our favourite drinks – and you!

Luckily, Patent 5 Distillery is offering at-home cocktail kits with all of the ingredients you need to make a mean drink in your own kitchen.

Patent 5 London Dry gin & tonic kit provides the staples needed to make a top notch classic to enjoy on a warm summers day. Great gin, great tonic — just add plenty of ice and an orange slice. Better yet, they offer a selection of cocktail kits complete with recipe cards and all you’ll need to create bar quality drinks at home.

“We have an open door policy. Show up with Gin and we’ll let you in”

Want to try your hand at something a little more elaborate? A Gin Martini

is a great place to start. To make one you’ll need:

2oz Patent 5 London Dry Gin

0.5oz Spanish dry vermouth

Combine both ingredients in a cocktail tin or mixing glass and stir for at least 30 seconds — until icy cold! Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass and garnish with an orange zest.

You can find this recipe along with many others on their website at


Patent 5 Distillery 204-808-8614 www.patent5.ca