Dwight Casimere

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Wine of the Week – La Crema Russian River Valley Brut Rose - $45

It's practically dessert in a bottle. Flavors of crisp Golden Apples, crushed wild straw, and hints of lemon meringue pie make up the flavor profile of La Crema Russian River Valley Brut Rose. An outright steal at $45 a bottle, this California sparkler is made in the traditional method, which means that the wine receives its secondary fermentation right in the bottle and is allowed to age to its moment of perfection before it is released. The result is a splendidly flavorful and refreshing sparkling wine that is perfect for a lazy afternoon brunch or a light aperitif before dinner.

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Lyric Opera Chicago opens with The Barber of Seville

“Outstandingly Funny and Entertaining”

Lyric Opera of Chicago opened its 2019-2020 season with a sure audience pleaser, Fioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Featuring an all-star cast of some of opera's current giants, the production with Revival Director Tara Faircloth and Conduct and Lyric Music Director Sir Andrew Davis at the helm, was everything that a comic opera should be and more.

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57th New York Film Festival opens with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman

More than 300 scenes, 108 days of shooting, 117 locations, and a decade of planning culminated in the multiple Oscar-worthy masterpiece, Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, in theaters in limited release Nov.1st then streaming on Netflix beginning Nov. 27. Produced by Scorsese with Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro and their TriBeCa productions, among others, this is a film that should not be missed. It is particularly so in light of events that are now unfolding in our nation's capitol. The Irishman speaks to the moral dilemma of our time. Clocking in at just under three and a half hours, the film's content is so absorbing that the time is of no matter. With a production budget of $159 million, it is one of the most expensive films of Scorsese's career. Cost and running time notwithstanding, this is a film that commands your full attention throughout.

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Wine of the Week - Montes Alpha Valle De Colchagua Alpha M 2016

Montes Alpha M Red Wine 2016 ($80) is rated 96 points by the prestigious wine arbiter James Suckling, who presented the wine as a part of his Wines of the Andes showcase recently at Chicago's City Winery. Winemaker Aurelio Montes was on hand to personally pour this exquisite blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Merlot (5%), and Petit Verdot (5%). Aged for 18 - month in French oak barrels, the wine is a premiere example of the terrific, value priced wines that come from Chile.

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Wine of The Week: CRIOS Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 -$14

From Mendoza, Argentina comes an elegant, well-balanced Cabernet that is perfect for a Chili night or Taco night party. Crios Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 ($14) is a flavorful red wine that can stand up to the fieriest of spicy dishes, yet it has the elegance to go nicely with some barbeque ribs or a nice char-grilled steak or chicken.

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Wine of the Week – Dry Creek Vineyards- The Mariner $32

Red Blends are among my favorites of all wines. Sometimes called Meritage, they are a blend of any number of red wine grapes from Cabernet to Petit Verdot, that create a wine that is akin to a musical ensemble, bringing out bright notes of fruit, backnotes of wildflowers, accents of baking spice and undercurrents of aged wood and smoke. One of my favorites is Dry Creek Vineyards The Mariner from Sonoma County.

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Naomi Osaka; a different kind of champion

"I just thought about what I wanted her to feel leaving the court. I wanted her to have her head high, not walk off the court sad. I wanted her to be aware that she's accomplished so much and she's still so young." That's how U.S. Open Defending Champion Naomi Osaka described her highly unusual emotional encounter with CoCo Gauff following her 6-3, 6-0 victory over 15r year old Cori "CoCo" Gauff in third round action on day six of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. It was an emotional ending to what had been a fairy tale year for Gauff who became the youngest woman to win two matches at Flushing Meadows since 1996. The magic carpet ride began in July at Wimbledon, when she attracted international attention by making it to the second week. "Last year I was preparing for juniors. I lost in the quarterfinals last year. Now I almost got to the second week," Gauff said, putting it all in perspective. "And last week, I got to the third round in my first main draw in the US Open. So, I'm pretty proud of myself."

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Wine of the Week - Colle Massari Poggio Lombrone Sangiovese Riserva $24

One of the great things about wine is that there's a new region to learn about almost daily. The most recent that comes to mind is Montecucco, a newly designated region in Southern Tuscany. It’s near the famed DOCG Brunello di Montalcino, but the wines are yet to have anywhere near the same notoriety. They certainly don't even come close as far as price, but the flavor and the quality are outstanding. That fact was brought home with extreme clarity during a recent US tour by some of the region's leaders. One of the wines tasted was Colle Massari Poggio Lombrone Sangiovese Riserva 2015 ($24). Colle Massari is the largest and most important estate in the region. Although new to the prestigious DOCG quality designation, the region has been producing wines since the time of the Etruscans in the 8th century and, more specifically, by the Cistercian Monks. Maria Iris Bertarelli and Claudio Tipa purchased the vineyard in 1998 and made it a showplace for both the winemaking and eno-tourism trades of the region. The Riserva comes from the Poggio Lombrone, which is the oldest Sangiovese vineyard on the estate. The winery's location in the foothills of the dormant volcano Monte Amiata gives it the unique advantage of mineral rich clay and sand soils and a microclimate that benefits from both sea breezes and the protective mantle of the mountain.

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US Open: Day one of Fan Week and Qualifying Tournament

Chicago's Taylor Townsend easily won her opening round Qualifying Match against Serbia's Natalija Kostic in Day One of the US Open Qualifying which also coincides with an expanded Fan Week, Aug. 19-25 at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. Fans get to come to the US Open free of charge and watch the 128 men and 128 women who are competing for slots in the Main Draw, which begins on Monday Aug. 26. Besides seeing the Qualifying Matches, fans get to see the world's top players up close and personal in featured practices. Rafael Nadal, Marin Cilic, Gael Monfils and Sloane Stephens are just a few of the stars that will blaze across the courts at Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadiums to the delight of their fans.

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Wine of the Week – Mont Verrier Beaujolais – Villages $24

Gamy is the famous grape of the Beaujolais in France. A variety of grape that offers fresh, red-fruit taste and hints of licorice and candied cherries, it delivers a delightful blend of concentrated fruit flavors without being heavy. That makes it perfect for lighter, summery foods and perfectly delicious served lightly chilled. In fact, its preferred that way. In France, Gamay's homeland is in the Beaujolais. Nowhere is it more beautifully expressed than at the Domaine Du Mont Verrier.

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