Real Wealth Society

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I’ve been thinking about wine By Fred Cederholm

Column for on/after Mar. 11th

I’ve been thinking about wine. Actually I’ve been thinking about Rouge Cellar and Gifts, Creston, uniqueness, Kishwaukee College, and the importance of continuing education. Learning is an ongoing process. There are so many opportunities in our area to expand our horizons by taking advantage of the knowledge and expertise of those from within our communities. While the choice is clearly up to us to make, so often we look elsewhere even when there are excellent options open to us closer to home - literally in our own backyard.

You see, Rouge Wine Cellar and Gifts has been one of Creston’s retailing establishments since Labor Day Weekend of 2005. If you haven’t experienced it thus far, you have really missed out on something special - and a real treat. Once you enter the location at 105B South Main Street in Creston you are literally taken aback. The “custom-made” island wine racks, the black granite-topped wine tasting bar, the arched brick wine niches along the north wall, and the displays of unique gifts and wine accessories throughout the shop would be equally impressive if found on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, on Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive, and yes, even on Paris’s Champs-Elysées.

Rouge owner Eric Da Costa is very knowledgeable (and ever-so-helpful) about suggesting the perfect wine for that special occasion, or to complement the great steaks, chops, and other “incredible edibles” available next door at Headon’s Fine Meats and Catering. Rouge features over 250 wines from 15 different countries – a majority of which are priced between $ 8 and $ 14.

Anyone familiar with my weekly columns either in print (or on-line) knows that I am both a Creston fixture and a BIG Creston Booster. We have a very special community here – of which we are justly proud. Creston may be a little town of approximately 600 people (for now), but we have a lot of uniqueness to offer customers and visitors to our business district. In addition to Rouge and Headon’s, we have Reba D’s (Unique Gifts and Stuff), Anna Walters’ Leaded Glass Studio, Ollie’s Parrot Perch, and Roadhouse Antiques to offer as well. Those will more than likely be subjects of future columns.

Since its opening, Rouge has held numerous special wine tastings/ promotions, as well as a very special Bastille Day observance. These were so much fun, and if you haven’t participated in any of them, you really missed out. (This now brings me to the real point of this column.) Eric is going to be teaching a three-session wine appreciation class at Rouge through Kishwaukee College starting on March 22nd, 2007 from 7:00 PM to 9:00PM. The first session, Wine 101, will cover the basics of wine and provide an essential foundation for understanding and appreciating it. Session two will focus on the Old World with a sampling of wines from France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Session three will focus on the New World - sampling some wines from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.

Kishwaukee College in Malta has offered an exceptional (and diverse) collection of classes since it registered its first student (Heather Marks of Rochelle) in1968. This is a new offering in the “personal enrichment” category. While I have known numerous family members, friends, and neighbors who have taken advantage of various “Kish” classes over the years (and thoroughly enjoying every one of them), this will be the first for me, and I am really looking forward to it. The registration deadline for Eric’s Wine Appreciation classes at Rouge in Creston (ref # 9486) is Monday, March 19th. The registration fee is $ 69, and this covers the costs of the “samplings” as well. Participants MUST be 21 years of age.

If you would like to reserve a space for what should be a thoroughly enjoyable learning experience; contact Kishwaukee College at 1-815-825-2306 ext. 204 from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM. If you have any questions about this particular Community Education offering or would like more information about it, you are free to contact Eric Da Costa at Rouge 1-815-384-3403. Director(s) of Community Education - Lisa March and Kris Stefani - or their staff would also be more than happy to field your questions regarding this, or any of the Community Education classes offered by Kishwaukee College at various locations in our area – again, just call 1-815-825-2306 ext. 204.

Learning is an ongoing process. It is a part of our growth as human beings. The knowledge and learning experiences which we share with others help to define us in so many ways and also serve to make us more interesting to those around us. I hope you choose to join me/ us in this truly unique educational opportunity right here in Creston. Learning can not only be fun, it can also prove mighty tasty. Bon Apertif! I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Copyright 2007 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Media's focus narrowing, report warns

Splintering audiences in the online age are driving risky trends like 'hyper-local ism,' the Project for Excellence in Journalism says. James Rainey, Times Staff Writer

March 12, 2007

News organizations confronted with declining revenue and increased competition are entering an era of more limited ambition in which they will drop a broad worldview for more narrowly focused reporting, according to an annual review of the news business being released today by a watchdog group....

The growth rate in online advertising is projected to slow and could drop into the single digits before the decade ends, according to the online research firm EMarketer. The report says growth online is therefore "not enough to clarify the future."

The economic challenges facing news outlets have prompted debate about the most effective modes of ownership, particularly in newspaper companies. That discussion came to a head in 2006 at the Los Angeles Times, after the paper's publisher and editor were forced out after protesting staff reductions by the paper's parent, Tribune Co.

Today's report says that the loss of about 4,000 newspaper journalists since 2000, combined with the smaller number of pages devoted to news, "suggest that American newspapers have reduced their ambitions."

Newspapers have traditionally served a "complete diet" of news to the public and alerted television, radio and other media to stories, the report found, suggesting that more study is needed to determine "what is lost and what is left uncovered."...


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