Bursting with the flavors of spring; sweet cherries and luscious ripe strawberries, Anna de Codorniu Brut Rose ($12.95) is the perfect Spanish Cava to welcome spring. With its composition of mostly Pinto Noir (70%), with the rest Chardonnay (30%), the flavor balance is perfect.
Oregon's Willamette Valley, at 150 miles, is the longest valley in the Pacific Northwest region, and that state's largest wine producing region. Its rich alluvial soils, caused by Ice Age flooding, produce some of the most luscious grapes imaginable. Chief among them is the delicate Pinot Noir grape. Finicky and hard to grow in most environs, the grape is right at home here in the cool, mineral rich terroir of the Willamette Valley.
Spring is finally here! Its a terrific time to take a spontaneous weekend trip to the Big Apple to stroll its brownstone lined streets, enjoy a cup of cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe, spend a weekend at a lovely boutique hotel and dine in a fine continental restaurant. There are just as many blossoming trees to be viewed while meandering through many of the city's charming neighborhoods as there are in Georgetown. Contrary to stereotype, there are a number of quiet, cozy areas of the city ticked away along the side streets, where you can find a lovely English-styled hotel with complimentary buffet breakfast and a delightful complimentary evening cocktail with an intimate library and expansive views of the charming surroundings.
Volcanic Wines are heating up around the globe!
The announcement that the "Mother of South Africa"--Winnie Mandela--has died at age 81 comes just weeks after her legacy was honored with the release of the Sundance Best Director Award winning documentary "Winnie" across the country.
The announcement that the "Mother of South Africa." Winnie Mandela has died at 81 comes just weeks after her legacy was honored with the release of the Sundance Best Director Award winning documentary "Winnie" across the country. "The U.S. was given a very sanitized version of the transition of power to Nelson Mandela," French director Pascale Lamche said of the film, " and a rather confusing and conflicted portrait of Winnie Mandela, which either presented her as a saint or drug her down to the level of sinner in the days after the fall of apartheid," Instead, the film gives a rather complex and nuanced portrayal of the actual events that surrounded Nelson Mandela's incarceration, and the concurrent movement, led by Winnie Mandela, that kept her husband's memory, legacy and cause alive and which led to the firestorm that swept him into power. Her thanks was a humiliating public trial for sedition, which was played out in cringe-inducing detail in the film. Chief among those who betrayed her was her closest friend, Bishop Desmond Tutu, an act which elicited both tears and the subsequent ire of Winnie Mandela. The vicious attacks led by her enemies and the subterfuge of the ANC are all explored in depth in the film.
One of Napa Valley's most famous winemakers, Mike Grgich, founder of Grgich Hills Estate and credited with creating the wine that won the Paris Competition in 1974, which put California wine on the map, has reached back to his cultural roots to create an outstanding portfolio of wines from Croatia. Not a great deal is known about Croatian wine, but the country has been producing wine for two thousand years, after grapes were introduced by the Phoenicians and Ancient Greeks. Located just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy on the Dalmatian Coast, the region has ideal climate and soil conditions for growing wine grapes. Much of the white wine is made from the native Posip grape or the dry Grasevina grape and reds from Malvasia of Piavac Mali.
Bordeaux, France, the world capitol of fine wine, is one of the most progressive regions in the world in terms of its commitment to creating sustainable wines.
Vinexpo brought a host of new and old wine favorites including a selection of Champagne from the house of Henriot, which was founded by a woman. The House of Henriot was officially founded by Apoline Henriot in 1808.
The recent Food Network South Beach Food and Wine Festival was a showcase for some of the world's greatest wines and an opportunity for members of the public to taste the newest wines to come to their favorite wine shop this spring and summer.
The much anticipated Simply Italian Great Wines Americas Tour 2018 descended on Downtown Miami's architecturally stunning Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts to present a symphony of wine aromas and flavors from Italy's great winemakers, who were on hand in person to pour their wines, and tastes from a collection of Miami's most outstanding Italian chefs and restaurants.
The palatial Gold Ballroom of Chicago's historic Drake Hotel was the setting for Benvenuto Brunello, the first tasting of the 2013 Brunellos for 2018.
Despite an enthusiastic sellout audience in JALCs acoustically challenged Rose Theatre, Dianne Reeve's highly anticipated Valentine's Weekend concert amounted to nothing more than a truncated exercise in lackluster vocalese. Backed by a stellar roster of musicians, including pianist and Music Director Peter Martin, the sole standout of the evening, the esteemed bassist and heir-apoarent to the great Ray Brown, Reginald Veal, drummer Terreon Gully, who was allowed little more than time keeping duties and Brazilian acoustic guitar master Romero Lubambo, the entire program lacked focus and Reeve's customary energy. Save for "The Twelfth of Never" and perhaps one other tune, there was a marked paucity of love songs for what had been billed as a Valentine's Weekend concert, Even a tepid rendition of Richard Roger's musical anthem "My Funny Valentine" would have been more welcome than Reeve's meaningless vocal meanderings, Wayne Shorter's jazz classic "Infant Eyes" should have been stricken from the program entirely as it maintained intonation problems throughout and was devoid of any real momentum. Perhaps the announcement that the evening's performance would proceed without intermission should have been a warning as Reeves seemed to falter at times and struggle to gain solid vocal footing in the barely one hour prrformance.
The nation's oldest and largest auto show, the Chicago Auto Show, is now underway at McCormick Place now through Feb. 19. Featuring a healthy list of debuts, concept cars and high-performance vehicles, the show has a dazzling array of debuts that will fit every need and desire. This year's cars do everything but drive themselves, with innovations in performance and handling. There are even opportunities to experience the thrill of performance driving with indoor tracks featuring the Camry Thrill Ride and Camp Jeep indoor performance track. Ironically, this 110th edition of the show mirrors the main attraction of the very first show held at the old Chicago Coliseum back in 1901 with the aforementioned performance track as the centerpiece of what was then a 10 car display. This this year hundreds of vehicles are on display, spanning McCormick Place's massive North and South Halls.
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. It's a perfect opportunity to select a wine that perfectly complements a romantic evening.
The Union Des Grand Crus De Bordeaux presented a spectacular collection of wines from this French capital of winemaking during a national tour that included Chicago, New York, Denver and San Francisco.
From Israel's Golan Heights in the northernmost region known as the best wine-growing area in the country, comes this beautifully crafted white wine that is perfect for drinking for all occasions and with a wide variety of foods.
Bervini 1955 Rose Extra Dry 2017 ($18.99) is one of the best tasting and most complex and elegant sparkling Rose wines you could imaging.
Director Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim, Pan's Labyrinth) has struck genre-laden gold with his latest film, The Shape of Water, currently in theaters, which was nominated for a Golden Globe in seven categories. The film was presented as the Closing Night Presentation in the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival, with Red Orchid Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre alum, Joseph Jefferson Award winner and Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, who plays the film's government issue bad guy, in attendance. Nominated for both Best Motion Picture Drama and Best Screenplay (Guillermo del Torro, Vanessa Taylor), the film is also nominated for Best Original Score (Alexandre Despla)t, Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Best Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), and Best Director (Guillermo del Toro). The film is a genre cross-breed, somewhere between the horror suspence of Creature From The Black Lagoon and the romance of Beauty and the Beast. There's even a small song and dance number thrown in to lighten things up with a campy feel. The story takes place in a drab Baltimore government laboratory during the Cold War. A human-like sea monster is transported from the Amazon rain forest and kept in a tank. The creator is subjected to all varieties of inhumane torture and probing, not the least of which is a cattle prod (evoking the Bull Connor antics of Civil Rights era), wielded liberally by the square headed lab supervisor Richard Strickland (played by Shannon). Richard Jenkiins plays the gay neighbor Giles who, along with Zelda, the lab assistant, played by Octavia Spencer, form a circle of sympathy with lab assistant Elisa (Sally Hawkins), who bonds with the creature and eventually falls in love with it.
Step into 2018 with a new wine attitude! Try a brilliantly elegant Dry Rose from Murrieta's Well from California's Livermore Valley.
One of the world's oldest alcoholic beverages takes a dramatic new form in the New Year of 2018. HEAVENSAKE, the first Franco-Japanese sake brand of its kind will come to the US. This innovative marriage combines the Champagne making expertise of Regis Camus, one of the grand masters of France's world famous Champagne region, with the art of sake as practiced by the House of Dassai in Japan.
The Mondavi name is legendary in the world of wine. It follows that what wine the Mondavi family will share around the holiday table is a subject of keen interest.
It's not everyday that you find this special a sparkling wine for such an unbelievable price, Mionetto is offering one of the finest bone dry Proseccos to come out of the Valdobbiadene this year in its 130th Anniversario Brut Nature.
From the Veneto of northern Italy comes a dry, yet fruity delight of a sparkling wine that can only be described in one word-culpable. Bervini 1955 Millesimato Prosecco DOC 2016 has that dry yet fruity flavor that has you wanting to drink more.
Forget the ugly reindeer sweaters and gifted boxed sox and matching shirt and tie sets this year and buy everyone you know a ticket to see Irving Berlin's White Christmas, The Musical from Broadway In Chicago, now through Dec. 3 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph. This holiday classic, based on the 1954 film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney is completely reworked into a brand new production produced by Work Light Productions with a book by David Ives (author-All In The Timing, Is He Dead?-adapted from Mark Twain) and Paul Blake (Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Sunset Boulevard revival with Glen Close), seamless direction and pulsating choreography by Randy Skinner (nominations for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire Awards for Dames at Sea and 42nd Street), Christmas candy colored Original Set Designs by Anna Louizos (three Tony nominations for In The Heights, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and High Fidelity), and eye-popping costumes by Carrie Robbins (30 plus Broadway credits, including Class Act and Grease with John Travolta) with scenic supervision and adaptation by Kenneth Foy, lighting design by Ken Bellington and sound design by Peter Fitzgerald and Eric Bechtel. The national tour is produced by R and H Theatricals with Imagem Company.
Goodman Theatre celebrated its 40th Anniversary production of its beloved Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with an onstage finale featuring more than 40 cast alumni, including Bill Norris, who originated the part for t he Goodman in 1978. This year's production is, as in years past, a carefully crafted Christmas card to the City of Chicago and to the more than 1.5 million theatre goers who have delighted in its charms. Starring veteran Goodman thespian Larry Yando, who marks his 10th year as Scrooge and directed by Goodman Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper, Ron Rains returns for his 11th appearance in the show as the beleaguered Bob Cratchit. The production also features young Paris Strickland in her Goodman debut as the theater's first female Tiny Tim. In another casting gender-switch, Ali Burch, as Frida, the wife of Scrooge's nephew Fred, initiates the original confrontation over Scrooge's Bah Humbug denial of the Christmas Spirit, rather than nephew Fred, as in the original script. Goodman pioneered the concept of color-blind casting and it is practiced liberally here, with 15 year old Cameron Goode, a young African American actor with impressive theatrical credits across the city, as a young Scrooge, 9 year old Kei, in his professional stage debut as Kei Cratchi and the Turkey Boy ("The one as big as me!!" Scrooge lovingly intones in the play's denouement), a dazzling Penelope Walker as Mrs. Fezziwig and the explosive Lisa Gaye Dixon as Ghost of Christmas Present.
If you're planning the menu for an upcoming party or the Holiday feast, the type of wines to serve can often leave you in a quandary, especially with the myriad variety of foods and flavors that will wind up on the buffet or dinner table.
Broadway In Chicago's Escape to Margaritaville, at the Oriental Theatre now through Dec. 2, is exactly as the title implies, the perfect escape from Chicago's infamous "Hawk" and the winter chill and all of the holiday shopping madness of State Street and the Magnificent Mile. Based on the beloved slacker-inspired song classics of Jimmy Buffet, who made a surprise appearance to reprise the musical's title song during the curtain calls, its a lighter than froth on a Ramos Fizz musical comedy tropical retrreat. Set in a mythical, tropical paradise with a dormant volcano, the musical brings together a Gilligan's Island grouping of misfits and world-weary escapees from society's humdrum in search of their inner drunk. With cartoonish sets and a likeable roster of life-sized cutout characters and a breezy score dominated by Buffet's beloved classics (the titled Wastin' Away in Margaitaville, Come Monday, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Volcano, and more), the evening goes down easy like a well-crafted umbrella drink at the swamp bar.
Beaujolais Nouveau 2017
You almost don't want this delightful, upbeat musical to go away, its so perfect for a family-friendly fun night of theatre. Especially when audiences are about to be flooded with Holiday treacle for the foreseeable future, its a Godsend that Broadway In Chicago's School of Rock breezed into the Cadillac Palace through Nov. 19. Irving Berlin's classic White Christmas takes over the stage from Nov. 21 through Dec. 3. For information visit BroadwayInChicago.com.
Murrieta’s Well Estate, The Spur 2014 - $30
The smell of fall leaves burning in the distance might inspire one last foray on the backyard grill, with Hickory Smoked Ribs in a hot/sweet Texas Chili Sauce, Rosemary Lamb, Sausage Pizza or Jumbo Quail marinated in Ghost Peppers and allowed to smoke slowly on the side of the grill away from the coals making perfect companions for the newest addition to the Line39 wine portfolio, Excursion Red Blend 2016 ($14.99).
Award winning actress Alfre Woodard received the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival's Career Achievement Award at its Black Perspectives Tribute. The event was hosted by TVs Robin Robinson and featured a conversation with Woodard with award-winning playwright, actress and director Regina Taylor.
A documentary by Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgen-playing Monday, Oct. 23, 6:30pm and Tues. Nov. 245, 3pm. Chicago International Film Festival
If you do nothing else this week, you owe it to yourself to see the documentary Jane, playing at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival. Directed by Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture, Chicago, Kurt Cobain:Montage of Heck). the footage had been thought lost in the archives of National Geographic, but was discovered after 50 years. Morgen combed through 140 hours of footage to create a thoroughly comprehensive cinematic portraits of one of the most enduring figures and true superheroes of the conservation front, primatologist Jane Goodall. At 83 years old, she remains a tireless fighter for the conservation of wildlfe and criss-crosses the globe 300 days a year lecturing and raising money for her cause. In the film, much of it lovingly captured buy her late husband, Baron Hugo van Lawick, the famed National Geographic photographer, we see a ravishingly beautiful young Jane Goodall take her first tentative steps in the remote jungles of Gombe, camera in hand, eager to capture her first glimpse of the illusive chimpanzee. A disciple of pfamed primatologist and archeologist Louis Seymour Leakey,, Goodall set out to prove his theory that the study of primates in their natural habitat held the key to understanding the development of early man and human evolution.
Director Cory Bowles of Canada presents the searing World Cinema competition entry Black Cop which has its next screenings Saturday, October 21 at 12:30pm and Monday, October 23 at 2pm, all at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illnois St., Chicago. Visit chicagofilmfestival.com for ttickets and information. Black Cop is a dark satire on what it means to be a black cop in modern society. Although shot in Nova Scotia, the film could have occurred anywhere; Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson, you get the idea. Only in director Bowles deft hands, the topic takes a darker and more sinister approach, 'what if a black policeman, completely conscious and aware of the burdens placed upon him by both the community and society is pushed over the edge to the point where his sense of duty not only endangers the lives of his own people, but society at large? We see him take a Charles Bronson, vigilante stance against every type of situation, no matter how big or small. It is the 'broken windows' policy of law enforcement taken to the absurd.
On October 22, 1963 more than 200,000 Chicago public school students, their parents and residents led the largest single protest and boycott ever of a public school system. The march and ongoing protest is credited as the prelude to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s arrival in Chicago as his bellwether assault on housing segregation in the north a few years later. The film, by documentarian Gordon Quinn (Golub) and Chicago-based Kartemquin Films (the critically acclaimed and award-wiinning Hoop Dreams) is paired with Laura Checkoway's Edith and Eddie, the story of America's oldest interracial newlyweds, whose union was threatened by the effects of racism and a family feud. Among those featured in '63, is Timuel Black, a long-time historian and Black Labor activist,legendary political consultant Don Rose, who was deeply involved in the movement to elect Chicago's first and only black mayor Harold Washington, Bob Lucas, an influential southside Chicago activist, and Rosie Simpson,,the parent and organizer of young mothers and community activists who literally threw themselves in front of bulldozers to prevent the construction of make-shift prefab classroom trailers, dubbed "Willis Wagons," after then Chicago public schools superintendent Benjamin Willis and his racist school policies.
"I'm Black, Puerto Rican and a Jew. Man, when I move into a neighborhood, I wipe it out!" The begins the documentary Sammy Davis Jr.:I Gotta Be Me. Award winning director Sam Pollard delivers one of the most heart-felt and thorough documentaries of the festival, profiling one of the entertainment world's most complicated subjects, Sammy Davis Jr., who was both celebrated and reviled with equal vigor over a more than 60 year career that spanned the world's of black-faced minstrel vaudeville, to the Golden Age of Television, Las Vegas and the film industry. " The film had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and is presented as part of Black Perspectives; Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival Friday, October 20 at 5:30pm. Sammy Davis Jr. was a meteor that burned much too quickly," were the words of writer Todd Boyd, one of the interview subjects and chronicler of Davis' controversial career near the end of the film. Fellow comedians Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Jerry Lewis weigh in among a raft of song and lyric collaborators, producers, historians and just plain folk, who were all touched by the lives of this at once pathetic and heroic figure in American entertainment history.
Much has been written about comparisons between French Champagne and Spanish Cavas, their word for sparkling wines.
On June 13, 1967, when President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall as the 96th Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he said, "it was the right thing to do."
One of the current best values in Spanish red wines is the fabulous 2014 Crianza from Bodegas Prado Rey.
From a 600–year-old Benedictine estate near the Lagoon of Venice in the Veneto wine growing region of northeastern Italy comes a rare organic Prosecco that rivals any sparkling wine from France.
ummer seems to be lingering into fall. Its terrific to have a refreshing French wine from the Rhone Valley, in both Red and White incarnations, made from organic grapes that is both flavorful and affordable.
Warm summer weather is lingering well into the early days of fall.
Goodman Theatre of Chicago opened its 2017 season with the Arthur Miller classic, A View From The Bridge.
A terrific wine for under $20 that is an expression of everything that the indigenous grapes of central Italy are all about. Niro Pecorino 2014 is made from the Pecorino grape; an ancient, native grape that is so named because it is the first to ripen and attracts the attention of grazing sheep, called Pecora in Italian. This wine is made in a region that has been famous for winemaking since the time of the Romans, and the current winemakers take advantage of both traditional and modern techniques to create a stunning wine that is full of tropical fruit and herb flavors. Think pineapple, white grapefruit, hints of Meyer lemon and touches of fresh sage or wild oregano, with a hint of the rich mineral soil in which the grapes are grown, and you have the complete flavor profile of Niro Pecorino.
Labor Day 2017 is just a few days away (Monday, Sept. 4). It's a great opportunity to both toast the end of summer and great your best friends and family members to a real treat; Valdo Prosecco Superiore ()$21.49), straight from the birthplace of Prosecco, the Valdobbiadene located near the city of Treviso, in the Veneto wine growing region, located in the Alpine-Dolomite mountain range. If you were to fly there, you'd probably land in Venice and get there by train or car through some of the most beautiful mountainside vineyards imaginable. The sparkling wine is made from %100 Glrea grapes, the white wine variety that is native to the region. Once called the prosecco grape, it was changed back to its original name Glera, to avoid all confusion. So many countries were claiming the name prosecco and using any number of local and international grape varieties in the process, that government officials in the Italian region decided to clarify things once and for all. Prosecco is from northern Italy and the true processo grape is the Glera grape.
Donnafugata SURSUR 2016 ($20) is a spirited, delicious way to celebrate the final, waning days of summer and toast the Solar Eclipse. SURSUR is a youthful, fruity wine, called Grillo. It has the smell of a bouquet of elderflowers and has the taste of a basket of ripe peaches and a hint of rosemary. Grillo is an ancient Sicilian grape variety. The name also is the nickname for the cricket, a cute little animal that is supposed to bring good luck. The name SURSUR also means cricket in the classical Arabic language that was once spoken in Sicily when the early North African settlers inhabited the land as the first winemakers.
Summer vacation time is here and if, for some reason, you've had to opt for a staycation instead of jetting off to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean or booking a week at that timeshare you've owned for years, but never had time to visit, why not treat yourself to a liquid vacation retreat. Ferrari Rose Trento DOC NV-$28.
What wine do I serve with barbecue and grilled meats and other grilled foods? It turns out two wines from very different regions of Italy have solved the riddle.
Look no further than California's famed Napa Valley and Miner Family Winery for some terrific summer barbecue wines that are sure to set your garden party head and shoulders above all others. The wines are complex, but designed to please with lush fruit flavors, a nice balance of natural acidity and intense concentration that allows the flavors to really shine through and complement just about everything that comes off the grill. Grilled meat dishes, such as grass fed beef burgers with blue cheese or grilled bison steak brushed with olive oil and rosemary are the perfect pairings with 2014 Miner Winery Emily's Cabernet Sauvignon ($50). This decidedly Bordeaux-style red combines 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot in a highly expressive and elegant blend that honors the wine's muse, Miner Family Winery co-founder Emily Miner. Founded in 1998 by Dave and Emily Miner along the eastern hills of Oakville appellation in the heart of Napa Valley, Miner crafts reserve-style wines using only fruit sourced from the Napa Valley.