Read, Drink, Listen: February 2017


Be Frank With Me

After bestselling author, M.M. “Mimi” Banning, loses her fortune to a Ponzi scheme she agrees to write a second book. Mimi’s editor sends her a large advance, and his trusted assistant, Alice, to Los Angeles. While Mimi writes, Alice takes care of nine-year-old Frank, the novelist’s son. Frank dresses like the Hollywood idols of old, in a miniature form. His energy is manic and his memory phenomenal. In her debut novel, Be Frank With Me, Julia Claiborne Johnson captures the angst of parenting a gifted child with a poignant style, and a graceful humor, in a winning combination. Available at a Barnes and Noble.

Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.


2014 ‘Breaking Ground’ Pinot Noir

There is truly nothing more connective in the wine world than knowing where and by whom your wine was grown. Although larger conglomerates now own much of the wine business worldwide, my job as a sommelier and wine educator is to continually remind wine lovers of the mass of ‘little people’ that make up the real heart and soul of our industry. Through my international travels, I have always been so impressed by the winery families that have worked generations to uphold their family’s history of wine production. Among them, it is those small American families that I have grown to love after many years of working together. Please take note of one family in particular, the Adelsheims. Willamette Valley pioneer, David Adelsheim, alongside his family, planted some of his first vines in Oregon in 1971. Today, the winery creates some of the Pacific Northwest’s most stunning Pinot Noirs. One of my current portfolio favorites includes the 2014 Adelsheim ‘Breaking Ground’ Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir with notes of cocoa nibs, toasted anise seed and black cherry. A wine you’ll love and a family you’ll love to support. Approx $50 at France 44.

— Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusee.


Ask A Woman Who Knows

Ahhh..the month of hearts and romance is here. Love Natalie Cole? Do you love it when she sings with a full orchestra? If so, then you are in for a treat. On her 2002 release, Ask A Woman Who Knows, Natalie Cole sings songs made famous by artists like Nina Simone (“My Baby Just Cares”), her father, Nat “King” Cole (“It’s Crazy”), and Twin Cities own Jevetta Steele (“Calling You”).  There’s also a saucy song written by Michael Franks called “Tell Me All About It,” and Cole delivers the lyrics with her soulful edge. Backed by the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, this CD glides you through a listening experience, filling your life with beautiful harmonies, and Natalie Cole’s incredible voice singing messages of love.

CD available at, iTunes and on the Natalie Cole website.

— Patty Peterson is an award winning vocalist and Jazz 88 KBEM radio host.