Dwight Casimere

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Wine of the Week: Apothic Sparkling Red - $12.99

For those die-hard fans of that well-known Italian sparkling red wine known as Lambrusco may find themselves falling in love with this new, limited edition red sparkler from California, Apothic Sparkling Red. At $12.99 it’s a surprisingly well-crafted wine for the price.

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Wide World of Wine: LuxeHome CHILL Wine and Food Holiday pairings

The sleek LuxeHome showrooms of the Merchandise Mart were the setting for the 13th Annual CHILL event presented in association with Wine Spectator Magazine. More than 50 of Chicago’s top chefs joined forces with the makers of more than 150 premium wines and spirits in the setting of premier design boutiques for home building and renovation spanning over 200,000 square feet..

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Wine of the Week for your Holiday Table: Champagne Perrier-Jouet Brut Blanc De Blancs $47

Champagne Perrier-Jouet Brut Blanc De Blancs ($47) is the quintessential Holiday Champagne. With its signature festive floral patterned bottle (and matching glass flutes in the gift box set), it is the essential guest at any celebration. With its tiny, persistent bubbles and captivating straw yellow color, it literally invites revelry.

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The Three Queens at Lyric Opera

Illinois’ own and Lyric Opera favorite Sondra Radvanovsky gave a working definition to the term bel canto (beautiful singing) in the semi-staged performance of final scenes from three of Gaetano Donizetti's tragic operas of England's Tudor period, Anna Bolena (1830), Maria Stuarda (1835) and Roberto Devereux (1838), all performed under the banner title of The Three Queens in early December.

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Wine of the Week Trivento White Orchid Reserve 2017-$14.99

Torrontes is Argentina’s signature grape. Its perfect for the Holiday table with its floral fragrance of white orchids and its explosion of tropical fruit and citrus flavors.

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Wine of the Week for your Holiday Table: Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir-$19.99

For the past 25 years, Gloria Ferrer has prided itself on its reputation for cultivating superior Pinot Noir in the Carneros district of Sonoma, California for its production of superior sparkling wine. Carefully hand-harvesting the grapes, and then leaving the resulting juice from the crush on the skins for 24 hours achieves its distinctive light pink blush color. The result is not only an appealing color, but also enhanced flavors of vibrant red berries and floral notes with hints of vanilla for a silky finish. Vin Gris is then added to achieve its characteristic creaminess.

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Wine of the Week: Bodegas El Tanino Syrah 2017-$14.99

Hearty red wines from Spain are some of the most value-priced of any in the world. They also have the distinction of having magnificent flavor and versatility. Take Bodegas El Tanino 100% Syrah 2017, a real steal for only $14.99. You can probably get it for a lot less at your local wine shop. Made from 100% estate grown Syrah grapes cultivated at very high elevation, the wine is grown in sustainable ecological conditions that are as close to organic as you can get. The higher altitudes account for a huge oscillation in climate conditions between day and night, with a marine influence. The result is a wine with intense fruit flavor and strong aromas. The wine has a beautiful black-cherry color with intense flavors of ripe red cherries, and the smell of fresh-cut violets.

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Wine of the Week-90 plus Cellars Bordeaux Classic Series 2016-$12.49

Bordeaux France is considered the greatest wine making region in the world. Prices can soar well into the hundreds and beyond per bottle. There are many wine regions that can stake a claim to the title, but few have the history and mystique. Bordeaux is huge, not just in reputation, but in geography as well. Three times the size of Burgundy, it produces 70 million cases of wine a year.

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Jazz At Lincoln Center Ogresse, Cecile McLorin Salvant

Multi Grammy Award winning musician and vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant's Ogresse presented in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theatre September 2019 was an expansive one-woman oratorio that explored the taboo scenario of the female artist as both predator and poet. The title ‘Ogresse’ refers to a concept in medieval lore of a female monster, which is barbarous, ugly and cruel and also feeds on human flesh. The image is echoed in the lore of Africa and the Caribbean. Salvant was involved with music since childhood. Born and raised in Miami of a Haitian father and French mother, she began classical piano studies at the age of 5 and soon developed an interest in classical voice. In 2007, Cecile moved to Aix-en-Provence, France to study law. She also studied classical and baroque voice at Darius Milhaud Conservatory. It was there that she began learning about jazz and sang with her first band.

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Sony Pictures Classics Pain and Glory is the eighth collaboration of Spanish filmmaking legend Pedro Almodovar and award-winning actor Antonio Banderas. This is the eighth collaboration for the two, albeit after nearly a decade-long hiatus. Time apart may benefited the two, for it gave them both time to encounter many of life’s challenges, in separate struggles, and to come together to share the lessons they have learned in a film that is eerily autobiographical for both. “In many ways, I was imitating him and he was imitating me,” Almodovar said in the Q. and A. following the 57th New York Film Festival press screening, prior to the film’s New York Premiere. “For example, there’s a scene that was quite crucial, where you see Antonio as Mallo (Almodovar) getting into and out of a cab. It was important that he do it in a certain way that showed the pain that I had suffered after some serious back surgeries. After about ten minutes of my showing it to him, he got it right away. We did those scenes in just one take.”

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