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Italian Wine for Fall Nights!

Nothing is better than a nice glass of wine after a delicious meal. I personally prefer Italian wines and that’s why 18 Reason’s Italian Reds for Fall with Oliver McCrum caught my eye.

I spent much of my 20s and early 30s waiting tables in Italian restaurants so I definitely developed a knowledge of Italian wine making. Yet, despite years of attending wine tastings and classes I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of this complex and varied wine making region, which is one of the oldest in the world.

There are over 2000 indigenous grape varietals in Italy’s 20 wine making regions making it a dense topic to jump in to. Luckily, this tasting has narrowed it down to a seasonal theme, pairing only Italian wines that go great with Fall cuisine. Featured wines include: Petit Rouge and Fumin from the Vallee d’Aoste, a region located in the Northwestern part of Italy that shares borders with Switzerland and France; Lagrein from the Alto Adige, an autonomous region located in Northern Italy that speaks predominately German; Aglianico and Piedirosso/Tintore di Tramonti from Campania, a culturally rich region in Southern Italy that boasts Naples as its capital city and Nerello Mascalese/Nerello Capuccio and Frappato/Nero d’Avola from the island of Sicily. Your host for the evening will be Oliver McCrume of Oliver McCrume Wines, one of the predominate Italian wine importers in the Bay Area. So, you know you’ll be learning from someone that really knows his stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Beer/Wine, Food

 

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Bay Area: Scary Cow Film Festival at the Castro Theater Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, is the Scary Cow Film Festival in San Francisco. What is a Scary Cow Film Festival you ask? Well, it’s not a festival dedicated to horror films with bovine killers, although that does sound interesting. No, Scary Cow is a film co-op out of the Bay Area that helps aspiring film-makers produce their films. The members run Scary Cow and all revenue that Scary Cow receives goes back to the members in the form of screenings, budgets, classes and more. Since 2007, they’ve made over 150 films and have given out over $130,000 to their members.

Scary Cow has no restrictions on what kinds of films can be made, so a film-maker could, in theory, make a cow-slasher flick if he or she wanted. The film-makers own all the rights to their film, so if by some odd chance their low-budget, indie film takes off and becomes the next Blair Witch Project, then they keep all the profits. But even if their film goes nowhere, Scary Cow offers a valuable service by allowing aspiring film-makers to actually get out there and make it happen; to actually learn by doing. It’s a great way for aspiring film-makers to hone their craft and build their resumes while working and networking with other Bay Area film-makers. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Film

 

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Quidditch: Not Just for Witches and Wizards

Quidditch by John Morgan on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Ah, Quidditch. The old pastime of the sporting wizard or witch. Only recently has this magical sport come to our attention through J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series. Athletes take flight on their broomsticks, trying to launch the Quaffle (the main ball in gameplay) into their team’s goal, dodging Bludgers, enchanted balls designed to attack players. Meanwhile, one sharp individual from each team, the Seeker, tries to catch the tiny, gold Snitch, another enchanted ball, earning their team 150 points and ending the game.

Unfortunately, since we live in a non-magical world with no flying broomsticks or magical balls, we have had to resort to Muggle Quidditch. Quidditch was first adapted for muggles, i.e. non-magical folk, in 2005 at Middlebury College in Vermont, and began intercollegiate competition in 2007. Since then, over 100 teams from around the world have joined the International Quidditch Association, a league founded by those initial Middlebury players. Colleges from all over the world come together to compete, from our own Yale, Harvard and Occidental to University of Vaasa in Finland. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Sports

 

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Hot Tickets: Chicago

Every Wednesday at noon, CST, Brown Paper Tickets posts upcoming events happening in the Chicago area. Here are hot tickets for events coming up. Check back for stellar events that fit the interests of locals and tourists alike. Know of any other events happening in the Chicago area this week? Post them in the comments section.

Thursday, November 3 to Sunday, November 20All The Girls Love Bobby Kennedy  “All the Girls Love Bobby Kennedy” follows the story of college student Grace Bailey and her experience of the turmoil of the late 1960’s. At that time, for many people Bobby Kennedy was the embodiment of optimism. Here, Kennedy appears as the hopeful side of Grace’s conscience and just the thing she needs to break free of the status quo. While hope builds and life-changing choices are being considered, a war rages on the other side of the world, and one gun shot at a hotel in California is about to stun a generation.

Thursday, November 3Lincoln Square Fall Wine Stroll  Stroll through Lincoln Square as the neighborhood is transformed into “Wine Country” for the evening.  From 7:00pm to 9:00pm you will have the chance to sample great fall & winter vino from around the world, paired with delicious hors d’ oeuvres at several Lincoln Square establishments. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Hot Tickets

 

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BPT’s Featured Non-Profit: The Ladybug Project

Fresh out of school, with a dream to change the world, biologist Kim Reuter found herself on a plane to Equatorial Guinea; a country, according to Lonely Planet, “that is usually relegated to live under the staple in map books.”  After a brief three months as a field biologist studying monkeys in the rainforest, she realized her mission there was not complete.

She spent the last two weeks of her time in Equatorial Guinea in a small mountain town call Moka where she was welcomed into the local inhabitants homes and lives. “Every time I saw injustice or poverty, I also saw hope. I heard that the country’s high GDP is causing many aid organizations to re-allocate their funding elsewhere, despite the clear need for any and all help. It inspired me to get active. I started to realize that I was so incredibly fortunate; I have never, ever had to worry about health care, water, or education. So I decided that I would try to help others worry less as well.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Non-Profit

 

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Halloween In Your ‘Hood This Weekend!

Halloween is upon us! It’s on a Monday this year so there’s a bunch of events going on this weekend. Although, if you’re a true lover of Halloween, you’ll be out on Halloween proper.

Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain which means roughly, the end of summer. It’s also the name of Glenn Danzig‘s band after The Misfits, for all you lovers of horror-rock out there (see video below). Samhain usually lasted several days and had elements of other festivals’ for the dead. People and their livestock would walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual and cast the bones of slaughtered livestock into the flames. The first day of Samhain was October 31st and many of the traditions associated with Halloween come from both the secular Gaelic celebration of Samhain and the Catholic holiday All Saints Day. For example, trick-or-treating bears similarities to the medieval practice of souling, where peasants would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls’ Day (November 2). Similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. In Mexican tradition, the Day of the Dead or Dia De Los Muertos (November 1) also shares similarities to Samhain and All Saints Day. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Seasonal

 

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Hot Tickets: New York

Every Friday at noon, EST, Brown Paper Tickets posts upcoming events happening in the New York area. Here are hot tickets for events coming up. Check back for stellar events that fit the interests of locals and tourists alike.

Friday, October 28Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band @ Balkan Cafe Zlatne Uste will play for your dancing and listening pleasure! Balkan Cafe is a lovely intimate venue with a good sized dance floor and a rare opportunity to be part of a dance with multiple circles, in both the dance and social senses. Delicious Balkan-inspired gourmet food by MammaMila as well as thirst quenching drinks. Zlatne Uste Brass Band has been around for over a decade and has played with such icons as Saban Bajramovic, Esma Redzepova and many other legendary Roma musicians from Eastern Europe. The foremost presenters of traditional Balkan dance music in the US, Zlatne Uste’s repertoire spans the most important stops in the traditional music of the Balkans — Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Gypsy traditions. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Hot Tickets, New York

 

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