My husband is originally from Chicago, which means we get to return to that Windy City quite often. This weekend we’re heading up to Chicago to take in our second showing of Spamalot with some friends. (We saw the original cast during the Chicago previews in 2004.) After the show, we’re having dinner at Bin 36. Bin 36 is an entertaining Chicago restaurant. It offers flights of wines, which is always a great idea, and has a fantastic wine selection. Each flight comes with information about each wine, which I find helpful and sorely lacking in most restaurants. Bin 36 also has a cheese bar that is incredible. There is nothing like a correlating flight of wine and cheese.
I’m sure we’ll have other food too, but beyond the wine and cheese, I tend to focus on dessert. I’ll take notes, as I so often do, and report back on our wine flights early next week. Have a great weekend!
Norma Jeane Mortenson (then Baker) was born on June 1, 1926. Had she lived, she would have been 80 years old today. As much as I hate that her light was extinguished so young, I also think that she couldn’t have survived. That maybe we would have had to watch her slowly fade. Instead, she left us in a way, and at a time, that left her an icon.
America has a love affair with Marilyn Monroe, as do I. I’ve always been fascinated by both her life and her myth, and try to remain cognizant that those are two separate things. Separating the life from the myth is part of what killed her, I think. In college, I needed a few hours to complete my graduation requirements. My favorite professor, who had a doctorate in English but a Master’s degree in American Pop Culture, created an independent study class for me – on Marilyn Monroe. The result of that class was one of the best research papers I ever wrote: Angel with a Crooked Halo: America’s Love Affair with Marilyn Monroe. I probably enjoyed creating that paper more than any other, and it introduced me to Norman Mailer, who wrote honestly, harshly, and with heart, when it came to Marilyn. Writing that paper also opened up a love-hate relationship that I have with the late Arthur Miller. I can’t decide, to this day, if I hate him for his emotional After the Fall or love him for The Crucible. He did pen The Misfits, which was one of Marilyn’s great films, and one of the saddest when taken in the context of her life.
Today I’ll be purchasing the 2004 Marilyn Merlot. I already have a 1999 Norma Jeane Merlot that is now valued at $105.00. Not a bad return on my $10 investment. I hope to purchase two of the Marilyn Merlots today – one to drink and one to save. I’m not cellaring my Marilyn wines. I’m collecting them. I’ve read, however, that the 2004 Marilyn is fruity and fun to drink, albeit the price tag also reflects the celebrity and not necessarily the quality. The 30 Second Wine Advisor has a rather nice write-up.
Happy Birthday Marilyn. While you left us too soon, you left us with memories that turned into legend and possibly a rather fun wine.
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