Dwight Casimere

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Wine of the Week - Moscato d’Asti

From the land of chocolate and hazelnuts, come some exquisite sparkling wines that you can enjoy throughout the Holiday Season. Everyone knows Asti Spumante, but few know of its origin and wide variety. A recent trip to Piedmont in northwestern Italy, bordering France and Switzerland is the home of the Consortium for the protection of Typical Moscato d'Asti Spumante, and Asti Spumante wines. Its trademark is the patron Saint of Asti, Saint Secundus, shown on horseback, a symbol of the Consortium work to protect the name of the designation and prevent counterfeiting and to maintain control of the over all aspects of production from the field to the bottle. Obviously, the Consortium is doing its job because Moscasta d'Asti is a sparkling wine without parallel in terms of its distinctive tastes of ripe peaches and gentle aromas of orange blossoms and white flowers, its relatively low acidity and low alcohol content, which makes it perfect to drink almost any time of day and with a variety of foods, including savory, sweet and spicy.

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Wine of The Week: Prosecco with Villa Deli Olmi - $12

wine@thetimesweekly.com As the Holidays approach, there are myriad celebrations great and small in the offing. Almost any time of day offers an opportunity to celebrate with family, friends and co-workers. Special considerations abound such as lunch with the boss, a short cocktail celebration at the office and a celebratory cocktail or buffet dinner after work. All of these situations call for something light, economical and versatile. In a word, Prosecco is the perfect solution and as far as the Holidays are concerned, its always Prosecco O'Clock! Let's take a few office scenarios such as lunch with the boss. Office culture has changed so its perfectly acceptable to have a glass or two of wine in the middle of the day. A glass of Prosecco, at an average of 11% alcohol, is light enough so that you won't get typsy and nap through the rest of the workday. It may also relax tensions and lead to some productive and congenial conversation. After work with co-workers; the Italians like to relax with a light, bittersweet Prosecco cocktail called the Aperol Spritz. It’s a beautiful sunset colored drink that visually symbolizes the end of the workday. (Recipe to follow this article). It can be enjoyed with a mixed bag of appetizers, such as various cured meats and a variety of cheeses or light bites and finger foods such as mac n'cheese cups, chicken fingers and pizza squares.

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Goodman Theatre A Christmas Carol now thru Dec. 30

If the recent snow blizzard ended your Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend with a thud, the easy antidote to the winter blahs for the entire family is a trip to Chicago's Goodman Theatre to see A Christmas Carol in the Albert Theatre now through Dec. 30. A Chicago tradition, the production is now returning for the 41st year with veteran actor Larry Yando as the beloved curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge for the 11th time. Speaking of time, timing is everything in this year's edition of 'Carol.' Witness Yando's impeccable delivery of his sharp retorts with laser-like accuracy as he unleashes verbal barbs at anyone within range. Each 'Bah Humbug!" sounds as fresh as the very first time it was uttered more than 41 years ago. Once gain, Goodman is to be commended for its trailblazing policy of color-blind casting, which is utilized in this production more than space will permit. Most notably, Penelope Walker as a ravishing and energetic Mrs. Fezziwig and Lily Mojekwu as a feisty Mrs. Cratchit. Eleven year old Paris Strickland, a childhood cancer survivor, reprises her role as a heart melting Tiny Tim.

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Wine of the Week: For your Thanksgiving table serve the European Wines of the Year

Fontanafredda, the largest certified organic producer in Piedmont, presented its Barolo DOCG wines to a distinguished gathering of wine professionals in Italy's La Scuola (the school). Fontanafredda was awarded the title of European Winery of the Year 2017 during the Wine Star Awards in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The award is considered the "Oscars of the wine industry." It recognizes innovators in the wine industry, who, through their vision, have a major impact through their significant achievements.

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Wine of the Week: Panthera 2016 Russian river Valley Chardonnay - $36.99

RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, Sonoma County, CA--The Russian River Valley is one of the unique growing regions of Northern California. With its rich volcanic soil and proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the area is one of the best places in the world to grow terrific wine grapes. With cool morning breezes blowing through the Petaluma Gap giving way to bright sunny days, the grapes are allowed to develop slowly and build in intensity. The result is a grape harvest, which produces wines of unusual complexity. This is ground zero for the great Chardonnay grapes that comprise 2016 Panthera Russian River Valley Chardonnay from The Hess Collection.

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"We are taking on the giants!" was both the rallying cry of the subjects in PATRIMONO, the superb documentary by Emmy Award-winning(HBO, PBS, BBC, A and E) filmmakers Lisa F. Jackson and Sarah Teale and the plot summary of the film which has its New York Premiere at the 2018 DOC NYC Film Festival Tues. and Weds., Nov. 13 and 14. The film will also be available on all digital platforms and on DVD March 2019. When the filmmakers set out to film the documentary PATRIMONIO, it started out as a project that got very personal from the beginning. According to filmmaker Sarah Teale, some Colorado developers and their Mexican partners set out to create a luxury community in the tiny beachside community of Todos Santas, Baja Sur, California. Teale's husband's family had owned a house in the community for decades. When she noticed a huge retaining wall going up around the Punta Lobos beach where fishermen launched their boats to make a living, it set off alarms in her head. When she got in touch with her fellow filmmaker friend Lisa F. Jackson, the wheels started turning on a documentary project. The proposed Tres Santos project was described to the locals and the project's investors as an idyllic community that would be an ecologically conscious haven for its primarily American upper class resident. On the surface, what seemed like a local problem had much larger implications. Its indicative of a much larger global problem; big developers are coming into communities like this sleepy beachside community, disrupting the local economy and destroying the ecology.

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Mainstreet 2018 Wine and Food Gateway to the Holidays

"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tension and more tolerance."-Mainstreet Wines and Spirits staff

Countryside, IL.--Mainistreet's 2018 Wine and Food Gala was a virtual cornucopia of Holiday delights with over 200 wines poured and copious bites from nearly a dozen local restaurants and catering companies. VIP Tasting participants had the opportunity to preview many new wine releases from the 2015 vintage considered to be one of the most exciting in many years. Perfect growing conditions produced outstanding wines around the world, including some record-setting 100-point Bordeaux wines, 92-96 point wines from Washington State, and 90 plus wines from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Austria. California may have produced fewer grapes for harvesting, but the resulting wines were outstanding.

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Wide world of wine: Simply Italian great wines US Tour 2018 – Majestic wines of Italy

The largest trade tasting of the vast variety of Italian wines in North America has just completed it US tour. More than 80 wines were presented by the leaders of that country's most renowned consortiums, who were personally on hand to lead guided tastings and seminars about their exquisite wines. The Simply Italian Great Wines U.S. Tour featured a series of Guided Tastings and Wine Pairings from some of the great wine regions of Italy. The Consortiums represented included Chianti, Federdoc, Friuli Grave, Prosecco, Venezie, Romagna, Lambrusco, and Montepulciano, among many others.

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The New York Philharmonic's inaugural Saturday Matinee proved a real treat for the audience. One of the new initiatives of Music Director Jaap van Zweden in his inaugural season, the concerts are an opportunity to greater familiarize concert-goers with orchestra members and provide them with a forum to ask questions in an interactive discussion post-concert. Saturday's program featured the Mendelssohn String Quintet in B-flat major, featuring Members of the New York Philharmonic Michelle Kim and QianQian Li on Violins, Rebecca Young and Cong Wu on Violas and Eileen Moon-Meyers on Cello. Mendelssohn's Quintet is exuberant. The lead violin leads the ensemble members in an energetic opening theme romps through a series of athletic themes. The accompanying instruments then evolve through a series of structural and harmonic processes that coalesce at the end. Its an exciting musical adventure that really showed the prowess of the orchestra's individual members to an appreciative audience.

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Met Opera U.S., Premiere "Marnie"-A New Opera Classic is Born-In Movie Theatres Live HD Sat. Nov. 10, 1pm

Spectacular singing, superb cinematic sets, brilliant costumes and a sweeping score make the North American premiere of the new opera Marnie the crown jewel of the Metropolitan Opera's 2018-19 season. An original Met commission by composer Nico Muhly, with a snappy libretto by Nicholas Wright, also in his Met debut, it is sure to become a Met Opera staple in seasons to come. The opera will be transmitted Live in HD in movie theaters around the world during the Saturday, Nov. 10 matinee at 1pmET. For tickets and information, visit metopera.org or fathomevents.com. Marnie is based on William Graham's sensational 1961 novel and also inspired Alfred Hitchcock's cult classic film Marnie in 1964. The Met pulled out all the stops, enlisting a world-class team and audiences love it. The composer, Nico Muhly is widely known for his scope of original works for the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet and Paris Opera. Nicholas Wright, who wrote the snappy libretto, was the first director of London's Theatre Upstairs and has served as co-artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre and at London's National Theatre. Michael Mayer, who directs Marnie for the Met, won a Tony for Broadway's Spring Awakening.

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