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ZD 2017 Chardonnay - $42

When Norman deLeuze and Gino Zepponi first pooled their limited financial resources to obtain a winery permit in Sonoma County, their objective was to create wines that would emulate those of the famed Burgundy region of France. Since those halcyon days 50 years ago, the winery has not only reached that goal, but exceeded it, producing exceptional wines that not only possess sophistication and elegance, but reflect style and terroir that is uniquely Californian. ZD Such an example is their new release, 2017 Chardonnay ($42). A blend of Chardonnay grapes from four coastal regions, Santa Maria Valley, Arroyo Secco and the famous Carneros district that straddles both Napa and Sonoma Counties, the wine literally dances with flavor.

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Wine of the Week – By OTT Cotes de Provence Rose $19.99

Rose is hot for spring. BY.OTT Cotes de Provence Rose 2018 ($19.99) is not your Aunt Rosie's Rose. It is elegant, racy and full of flavor. Food friendly and capable of pairing with everything imaginable at your next buffet, garden party or Sunday brunch it could easily become your 'go to' wine for the season. . Even the most finicky wine drinkers who normally turn their noses up at Rose will be surprised by its sophistication. BY.OTT Rose is prepared with the same discriminating care that has been the hallmark of their wines since its founding in 1896. Domaine Ott has been pioneering rose wines since 1912. A blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 6% Syrah and 4% Mouvedre, the grapes are sourced from the estate's legendary Chateau de Selle and Clos Mireille vineyards that are organically grown.

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Glory: A life among Legends, gives high praise to former Joliet native, dancer Katherine Dunham

Glory: A Life Among Legends, a Memoir by Dr. Glory Van Scott is a breezily written account of a life that witnessed some of the great moments of the recent past. It is also a deeply personal account of an unusual life, someone who was born to a very normal, middle class life in one of the nation's great cities, who went on to not only rub shoulders with the guiding lights of her day, but to make her own mark, in her own unique way. It particularly bears witness to those heroes and heroines who shaped the black cultural and political dynamic of the formative middle years of the past century. Born and raised on Chicago's south side, Dr. Glory Van Scott went on to mingle among a heady milieux of trailblazers who created events and institutions that became the bedrock of the Black cultural ethos. Raised by a father who was a prominent doctor and a mother who was a socialite as one of six children, she was exposed early on to the arts. Studying at the Abraham Lincoln Center on Oakwood Boulevard, which remains today a foundation for many aspiring young artists, she was exposed to drama, speech, creative writing, classical music, and, what would become her lifelong passion, dance. The book recounts how her music teacher, John Green, instilled in her and her fellow students a love of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Bach and Chopin. One day, Mr. Green brought his good friend, Mr. Paul Robeson, the towering singing, stage and film star and political activist to Abraham Lincoln Center. Imagine the impact of being serenaded by the great Paul Robeson at just six years old! Dr. Van Scott's activism was further shaped by the horrifying genocide of Emmett Till, who was her cousin. His brutal murder not only rocked the world and galvanized the Civil Rights Movement, but it forged a fire within her soul. A revealing family portrait of Till, never before seen, says everything there is to say about this heart-rending tragedy. It is Dr. Van Scott's own poetic words that immortalize his young spirit and give voice to her resolve: "I want Jesus, to turn His face to the sun, where beauty and love and humanity abound, so that He can see I did not succumb to the depths of despair and hatred because of Emmett's death....my success in life is my refusal to spew hatred, and that my challenge continues to be to eradicate racial and religious prejudice."

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Great vineyard makes great wine in Montalcino Tuscany

Luce started as a daring project over 20 years ago to create, first of all, exceptional vineyards in Montalcino, that resulted in great wines. It was Luce where the Sangiovese grapes for Luce Brunello was born. It is a wine that is a tribute to the excellent wines created in Montalcino in the second half of the 19th century. Theirs was the first wine to achieve the now coveted DOCG (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita rating, the highest of all quality and among Italy's first Super Tuscans! Lucente is the second wine of Luce, most commonly called by those in the trade as “second label." Don't let that designation deceive you. This is a wine that struts its stuff in contemporary style, with a respectful nod to its elder sibling. This is an authentic interpretation of Montalcino and the Luce estate in particular. Owned by the Marchesi de' Frescobaldi family of Florence and the Robert Mondavi family of Napa Valley, the two joined forced to create Lucente. The wine is made with the utmost care. It is a powerful expression of both Italy's native grape Sangiovese and the International mainstay Merlot. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for 12 days before undergoing an additional 22 days of maceration or contact on the skin to add richness and depth to the wine before aging for a year in a combination of new and re-issued small wooden barrels.

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Wine of the Week – Dry Creek Vineyards 2013 Meritage - $30

Winemaker David Stare of Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley was the first California winemaker to use the term "Meritage" on a label. The name connotes a unique style of Bordeaux been that combines the merit of the grapes used with the heritage of the vine, thus the term "Meritage."

Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize “SWEAT” Ignites Goodman Theatre Albert Stage

Lynn Nottage's 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat runs now through April 14 on the Albert stage of the Goodman Theatre in downtown Chicago. Directed by Ron OJ Parson, the play is a must-see dissection of the race and class drama that is currently being played out in the blue-collar "Red" states among the MAGA-hat wearing workers who voted the current administration in the White House. Ironically, the play opened on the night before President Trump visited Ohio, trying to play catch up in a state in the throes of quickly joining the list of places where local factories and industries are shutting down and fleeing to foreign climes where start up costs and labor are cheaper. The story behind Sweat takes place in the Rust Belt town of Reading, PA between the years 2000 and 2008, between the economic foothold of NAFTA and the great recession. Nottage developed the play after filtering the perspectives she gained through scores of interviews with residents and former factory workers. The artist is further developing her research as a performance piece to be performed in downtown Reading. Welcome to the no-named linoleum floored bar located near the mythical Olstead's steel tubing plant (based on Reading's real-life Hoffman Industries), with its mix-matched bar stools and equally odd assemblage of misfits, whose fates are intertwined by the impending dislocation of their jobs at the downsizing plant.

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TRANSIT

Movie Review – now at the Music Box Theatre, Chicago thru March 28

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The words are those of George Santayana (b. Madrid d. Rome1952), a Spanish American essayist and philosopher who was educated at both Harvard and Cambridge and was a philosophy professor at Harvard before retiring to Italy, where he died. The words are particularly applicable in the time-shifting suspense drama TRANSIT, written and directed by German filmmaker Christian Petzold. Beautifully filmed by cinematographer Hans Fromm (Phoenix 2014, Barbara 2012, Dreileben-Beats Being Dead2011, Jerichow2008), with an appropriately haunting film score by Fromm's frequent collaborator and long-time German and American TV film and TV series cinematographer Stefan Will. TRANSIT is the Casablanca of our time. A film that already has the earmarks of a cinematic classic, it folds back time in Einstein Emc2 fashion to portray a Kafka-esque world where a mysterious neo-Nazis Facist force occupies France, resulting in a tapestry of interweaving stories of exile, abandonment and escape. German refugee Georg (the superb German actor and dancer Franz Rogowski (Shooting Star German Film Award-Best Leading Actor), suddenly finds himself bereft and alone in Marseille, having assumed the identity of a famous German author, a recent victim of suicide, who has also inadvertently obtained his all important identification papers and vital letters of transit on the next available ship out to Mexico. A healthy cache of money and freedom awaits but, as Georg awaits transit, fate, and his heart tug him in an altogether different direction.

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Wine of the Week: Dry Creek DCV Estate Chardonnay 2015 - $34

Dry Creek is one of the premiere family owned wineries in Sonoma County and its estate grown wines are among top-rated vintages according to all of the major wine publications. Founded by David Stare 46 years ago, the winery is now led by the family's second generation. As president, his daughter, Kim Stare Wallace and her husband Don, have led the way for sustainable vineyard practices, resulting in wines of unparalleled quality and taste. Dry Creek DCV Estate 2015 Chardonnay ($34) is a shining example of Sonoma County Chardonnay. Grown within the winery's 185 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards, the wine is the beneficiary of ideal growing conditions. With healthy, volcanic soils and cool, damp night and morning temperatures brought on by breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean and warm, sunny days that promote ripening and the development of complex sugars, there is no better example of Chardonnay since the grape departed its original home in Burgundy France.

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Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, Marquee Presentation; Stanley Nelson Director, Documentary Achievement Award, Florida Premiere

Director Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) casts a filmmaker's Kleigl light on one of the most enigmatic and enduring musical figures of the last century in Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, which had its Florida Premiere at the Miami Film Festival. With numerous never-before-seen video and still images of the 'Picasso of Modern Jazz" interlaced with revealing interviews by entimes such as long-time wife and muse Francis Taylor Davis, who at 80, offered the most illuminating insights into his prismatic character, the French chanteuse Juliette Greco, an early flame during his life-changing matriculation in Paris, to musical historian Stanley Crouch, jazz impresario George Wein and fellow musical compatriots and collaborators Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, among others. The film is a vivid portrait of an artist who defies category, yet remains one of the most significant cultural signposts of modern times. Miles Davis has won more Grammy Awards than any jazz musician in history. With 23 nominations, he has won 16 Grammys, including 7 Grammy Hall of Fame awards and two Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards. Only the great Duke Ellington comes even close.

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Wine of the Week - Fantini Farnese Montepulciano D’ABRUZZO – 2106 -$15

This is one of the best Italian wines that you will find for under $20. I bet if you venture to your local wine store that carry it, you can find it for as low as $9 or $10. In either case, this is a bold, fruity wine you should load up on. The coming spring brings all types of fresh food options, and this unbaked, robust red wine from Southern Italy is more than capable of holding its own. Coming in at a whopping 13% alcohol content some silky tannins and nicely balanced flavors, it goes great with barbecued ribs or flank steak or a slow-simmered Marinara or Bolognese pasta or your grandmother's favorite Lasagna recipe.

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