iKenosha Visits Betsy Ade and the Well Known Strangers

iKenosha Visits Betsy Ade and the Well Known Strangers

The celebrity room making up past and present stars that hail from Kenosha, Wisconsin just became more crowded with the addition of Los Angeles Dodger infielder Gavin Lux and the musically talented competitor of "The Voice," Betsy Ade. The room is getting smaller for Mark Ruffalo, Daniel Travanty, Orson Welles and Melvin Gordon. And that's a good thing for all of them and better for locals like us.
 
The Viz Tailor production crew of iKenosha had a chance to sit down and talk with Betsy Ade and her now not so unknown band mates, "The Well-known Strangers." Betsy and the band hopped on the Lincoln Park Live stage in July and we caught up with them before the show.
 
Here is that interview and a glimpse of The Unknown Strangers sharing three of their original tunes.
Remembering Mike Bjorn

Remembering Mike Bjorn

Mike Bjorn was a friend to me and to the Man About Town show. With the news of his passing, we're re-releasing the Mike Bjorn's episode in its fullness. When you watch it, you'll see that Mike loved art, music, and anything that was a bit different. Mike made an indelible mark on Downtown Kenosha, and we honor his memory.

Mike Bjorn's Fine Clothing

The term “haberdashery” seems to be experiencing a resurgence lately, so it’s very fitting that we stopped in to Mike Bjorn’s Men’s Clothing store – a true haberdashery by any standard. Mike Bjorn’s, smack dab in the middle of downtown Kenosha, has been selling men's’ clothing and accessories, as well as renting tuxedos, since 1982.

Mike Bjorn, founder of Mine Bjorn's Fine Clothing

Mike Bjorn, founder of Mine Bjorn's Fine Clothing

At Bjorn’s, you’ll find everything from formal to flamboyant, from the serious to the whimsical – the store itself leaning heavily toward the whimsical. What started out as a means for a young man and his wife to make ends meet while not having to work for “the man”, became a local institution.

That Mike Bjorn is an artist and musician at heart can be seen throughout the store. You can’t miss the walls covered with photos of musicians and celebrities from the past and present. But you have to look up...that’s where you see the truly fun stuff. Hanging, like mobiles, you’ll see fighter jets, horses, and vintage aviation.

Mike & Judy are now semi-retired, and their son Brett now runs the place. Brett has kept the fun atmosphere, and is expanding the inventory to satisfy the up and coming fashion appetites: hats, casual shirts, the largest selection of ties and cummerbunds you’ve ever seen, and socks...oh boy the socks...

While you’ll find plenty of amusing suits and jackets on the main floor, it’s the basement that holds the gems... From truly eccentric tuxedos, to vintage - and I mean “checkered, polyester, lapels-so-wide-that-they should-have-their-own-zip-code" vintage.

So yes, come to Mike Bjorn’s to buy that new suit for your interview, or to rent – or buy – that tuxedo you need for your wedding or prom. But, really, carve out some extra time to take a look around and have some fun.

Don’t be afraid of the Pink

Don’t be afraid of the Pink

Spring is trying to sprang but it hasn’t fully sprung yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help it along with a glass of a pink, fresh and lively rosé.
 
 
 
A true rosé is made from red grapes where the maceration (softening or breaking down of skins to add color, tannins and flavor) occurs for a shorter period of time than it would require to produce a red wine. Good quality rosés were around long before the “fake” white zinfandel versions and are making a comeback.
 
 
 
Recent discoveries of early wine-making technique show that rosés were the first wines ever made due to the time and effort it took to hand-macerate the red grapes. Today, red wines will ferment with their skins for up to 100 days while rosés will have a total skin soaking time of between 12 and 20 hours. Most white wines have little to no skin contact.
 
 
 
iKenosha’s Wine of the Day likes to prioritize “tongue and mouth contact” over technique, and this wine from France’s Louis Jadot performed well. This Gamay grape rosé is a year older than what pink wine snobs would consider fresh, but the nose and flavor holds up well. Fresh floral hints in the nose and a soft red wine structure in the mouth offer a pleasant combination of exactly what this wine should be.
 
 
 
Push the play button to follow Bob Mitchell as he describes the wine and the region of Burgundy, France. If you’re feeling spring-like and want a wine that drinks like a white with a bit of red structure, this blush wine may be the answer. One can wear pink proudly while saving some coin with this Louis Jadot value.
 
  
 
This French bargain rosé is only $5.50 per bottle. The 2017 Louis Jadot is just $10.99 for two bottles in the 2 for 1 section at Tenuta’s in Kenosha.  
Art and Facts and Cabernet Sauvignon

Art and Facts and Cabernet Sauvignon

For those that love wine for its deep-rooted history as well as its downright deliciousness, we’ve uncovered a gem that is not meant for a glass – but will hang nicely on a wall instead.

Kenosha artist John Gehring created a work of art that is both attractive and informational. His hand-painted print is simply called “Wine” and offers a myriad of wine-based facts that are interconnected with bursts of colorful images of wine and its history. There is not another wine book or chart available that is packed with as much information on a single page as this inventive piece.

It’s also a conversation piece. Robert Mitchell and Tom Oldani are inspired by Gehring’s work and discuss elements of the poster and let you know how you can get it.

The posters are available through Portraits Plus and come in three sizes, small (11”X17”), medium (16”X23”) and large (21”X30”). The wine posters will be shipped in a protective cardboard tube. There are currently no options for framing but John, Tom and Robert recommend that every size gets protected in a glass covered frame. There is a small shipping and handling fee and the posters sell for $8, $15 and $20.

Watch the 12-minute video to see John’s wine art, hear the conversation and get more information on how to order.

Casillero El Diablo Sauvignon Blanc

Casillero El Diablo Sauvignon Blanc

probably have even tasted the wine. While not a restaurant wine list staple, this wine producer and its entire family of grape varietals is a retail darling. Its everywhere. This wine can't be that special.

But like that friend that is always there, always doing something good, this label

Casillero sauvignon blanc bottle

Casillero el Diablo Ssauvignon Blanc

and the Sauvignon Blanc in particular from Casillero del Diablo shows up like clockwork and does the job. Every single time it is opened.

This Chilean wine falls under the Concha y Toro corporate umbrella which now divvies the Casillero del Diablo wine family into three tiers. The affordable white (and this Sauvignon Blanc) and premium black label categories has just expanded the tree with a middle price point red label. I'm here to tell you the white label is solid.

You'll taste the dark rock from the Andes foothills and understand how this lemony crisp white wine is built to be paired with the fresh caught fish on the Chilean coast. This is where that whole sea bass thing started you know. Now, after being over-fished, you can't find it. When the fish does appear on a menu it is either not the real thing or has a similar price tag to Wagu or Abalone. That is not the case for this Sauvignon Blanc though. It is delicious, affordable and abundant.

Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon

Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon

What if I told you that I know a guy who knows a guy that can get you a full-bodied Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for less than $20? You would say, "What's this guys racket?" or "It's not really from Napa."

This guy is legit and the Cab is awesome. I just tasted the 2014 Oberon Napa Valley Cabernet. I loved it. When I saw the price, I loved it even more.
This well-structured and even-keeled wine has bursting blackberry and blueberry fruit with hints of tea and tobacco. It's ready to drink now or even last a decade. Watch this 5-minute review and discover where you can find this bottle today - for only $15.99.
Whaaaaat?