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Welcome to Connoisseur Corner - Luxe Consulting and Executive Services

Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…

Marty can be contacted at: 916.952.9529 Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com

9/29/08

Chimichurri Sauce

“Chimichurri”

No, that wasn’t a sneeze. It’s the name of an amazing sauce…

Originating in Argentina, chimichurri sauce is thought to have its genesis during the 19th century. Most stories involve an English speaking colonist with a name along the lines of Jimmy McCurry that was hanging out in Argentina. Supposedly he made the sauce for some troops during the Argentine Independence and it was named in his honor.

Whether this is fact, remains to be seen…

What is known for certain is that this is one good sauce. Commonly served over grilled meats, chimichurri can also be used as a marinade before grilling.

One problem I found regarding chimichurri – there seems to be an endless variety of recipes. Of course I took it upon myself to find what I believe to be the definitive recipe…the target…simply the best! Enjoy…

Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce

· 1 cup chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
· 3 – 5 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
· ½ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
· 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
· 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
· ¾ cup olive oil
· 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
· 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Serve with grilled steaks…

Keep in mind that this is really a guideline recipe. Adjust it as your palette requires. I use an entire small shallot and a bit more red pepper flakes and oregano, but the final ratios are up to you. Spoon this over some steaks fresh off the grill, serve with grilled potatoes and a glass of Malbec and you will have a smile on your face…

Newest Lamborghini Has 2 Doors...Twice


The teaser photo you see above was recently released by Lamborghini in regards to a model that will debut at the Paris Auto Show. Is this their next supercar, or just a new version of an existing model?

As it turns out, the answer appears to be “neither”…

The Lamborghini Estoque, as it is to be called, looks to be yet another in the parade of high end, sporting sedans to arrive on the scene along with Porsche’s Panamera among others.

Early details speak of a front-engine car, breaking with Lamborghini’s current model line of mid-engine vehicles. Other apparent departures include the engine itself, said to be a V8 with two turbochargers as opposed to a gas guzzling 10 or 12 cylinder unit. 4 wheel-drive also appears to be available, if not standard.

At least the folks at Lamborghini did maintain their naming convention standards of bullfighting related nomenclature. An Estoque is a sword used by bullfighters for the kill.

Automobili Lamborghini is expecting to sell 3,000 of these 4-doors per year, which would effectively double their overall output. Pricing has not been released.

9/24/08

Vancouver 2010 Olympics – Get Your Tickets!


The upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver are many moons away…

Or are they..?

If you happen to be caught in the debate of attending these Olympics, you’d better come to a decision soon, as the first phase of event ticket purchase occurs October 3rd.

The official ticket agent for the United States, as licensed by the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC), is a company called CoSport. (They also handled the Beijing games.) For the above mentioned “first phase”, CoSport will begin taking online ticket requests for individual events. The requests are then compiled and, if they exceed availability for a certain event, a lottery is held to award the tickets. A second phase will occur in the spring of 2009 with the remaining event tickets being released on a first come-first served basis.

CoSport can also act as a sort of travel agent and handle any accommodations or hospitality packages as needed. Think of them as your one-stop Olympic shop.

A few points to keep in mind…

CoSport is a broker. The ticket prices will be higher than what the Canadians pay for them, as residents of the host country can purchase directly from the Olympic Committee. If you have any friends up in the Great White North, have them hook you up and save some money.

Also, if you change your mind about attending an event, CoSport will not offer a refund. You are permitted to resell them at face value only - CoSport will cancel the tickets if they find out that they are being sold for profit.

And last but not least, remember to dress warm..!

9/23/08

Avoiding Airport Delays

I think it is a safe assumption that most of us love to travel. It’s also probably safe to assume that we dislike the actual act of “getting there”. In today’s world this can be a major stress generator for many of us.

Sure, these issues are generally beyond our control, but there are a few steps we can take to minimize the travel damage. Coming from Peter Greenberg, NBC’s Today Show Travel Editor, here are a few suggestions for avoiding those pesky airport delays…

· Book the early morning flights. This generally means the aircraft was at the airport over night and it and the crew will be ready to go without delay.

· Carry-on your luggage to avoid losing it. The airlines are notorious for the disappearing luggage trick. If you can’t carry the luggage with you, consider a door-to-door courier as provided by UPS, FedEx, and DHL among others.

· If you have connecting flights, make sure you have a minimum of two hours between flights. The airlines oftentimes will set you up with minimal time, which almost guarantees maximum trouble!

· Try flying from alternate airports. You know – the smaller, less busy variety that are nearby.

· Be sure to get a PNR (passenger name record) from your booking agent. This is a specific six-character (letters and/or digits) confirmation code for your flight.

· Here’s a handy one…Did you know that you can text Google (466453) for flight information? Type in the two letter airline code and flight number and then Google will send you back the status of your flight.

Now that you are armed with delay avoidance tips, be prepared and have a great vacation..!

9/22/08

Absolut Los Angeles


Swedish vodka producer Absolut has released the second in a series of limited edition city-themed vodkas…

Inspired by the healthy lifestyle and eating habits of the LA fitness culture, Absolut Los Angeles is flavored with all-natural blueberry, acai berry, acerola cherry and pomegranate.

Our tasting notes indicate powerful aromas of fruit previewing rich flavors on the palate but finishing in a rather delicate manner. This vodka works well over ice, but would certainly have possibilities for mixed drinks as well.

Absolut Los Angeles follows up the release in 2007 of Absolut New Orleans, which mixed infusions of mango and black pepper. A great majority of the proceeds from the sales of these vodkas will go to charities from each municipality.

Votes are currently being accepted for nomination of the third city, so be sure to go online and submit your choice, all the while sipping from a glass of LA on the rocks..!

Pinel & Pinel Does iPod


Luxury European trunkmaker Pinel & Pinel has come up with what may be the most over-the-top iPod accessory on the market…

The I-Case

I know what you’re thinking. There are dozens of iPod carry cases on the market. Well, this isn’t your garden variety accessory.

Based in Paris, Pinel & Pinel has taken the idea of the classic steamer trunks from the 30s and added a modern twist. Everything from quality-built luggage based trunks up to more eccentric items such as trunks with built in home theaters, computers and folding bicycles. And of course, the iPod…

How does leather covered wood with nickeled brass hardware sound? How about 51 available colors? The built-in dock connects to a pair of Altec Lansing speakers for your listening pleasure, regardless of where your travels take you. There is even a pair of leather pouches for the storage of your headphones or various other goodies.

Your iPod will never have had it so good..!

9/19/08

Forbes 400 – The Winner Is..?

Since 1982, every September Forbes Magazine has published a list of the wealthiest 400 Americans based on net worth.

So what does this have to do with Jerry Seinfeld..?

Well…nothing, other than that his new best buddy (if you believe the latest commercials) has regained his place atop the list.

Yes, Bill Gates is back at the top after being briefly overtaken by Warren Buffett. Buffett actually dropped $12 billion to a total net worth of $50 billion courtesy of the drop in Berkshire Hathaway stock. Gates is at $57 billion.

Other big losers this year were casino moguls Sheldon Adelson and Kirk Kerkorian, out $13 billion and $6.8 billion respectively. Both are still firmly on the list, but 33 members fell off this year with declining fortunes.

On the upside, PatrĂ³n tequila founder John Paul DeJoria was among the big gainers this year, but that list was topped by New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg. He jumped from $12 billion to $20 billion, placing him at No. 8 overall on the list.

If you want to join this esteemed group, you’d better get to work now. The minimum net worth at the bottom is $1.3 billion..!

9/16/08

Panamera: The Porsche Sedan

With the success of such high-end sporting 4-doors such as the Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes CLS and the upcoming Aston Martin Rapide, Porsche has been readying its own entry into this fast-growing field.

Panamera

Due for a full reveal in March 2009 at the Geneva Auto show, Porsche has launched a teaser microsite on the internet.

Specifications are also trickling out of Germany, albeit at a snail’s pace. The entry-level powertrain will be a 3.6 liter six-cylinder with 300 horsepower. A step up gets you a V8 motor with 450 horsepower and of course the V8 twin turbo will be available at 520 ponies. There are also rumors that the Carrera GT’s V10 is being considered, depending on demand.

Unfortunately the term “entry-level” being used for the smaller six-cylinder engine does not carry over to the pricing strategy. Edmunds is reporting a base price of $127,000 for this model, with the other trim levels going up the scale from there. Porsche is actually expecting to sell 20,000 Panameras annually. We think the pricing strategy may prevent this.

The other concern we have: Looks

Spy shots of the Panamera appear to show what may not be the most visually appealing sedan we have ever seen. The above mentioned competitors look to have it beat in the style department, but in all fairness, we will withhold judgment until the final car is revealed in full. We do, however, have no doubt that this will be one fine driving 4-door!

9/11/08

Drink Your BLT

Let’s just say that today’s topic is sort of the anti-Connoisseur…

A story was stumbled upon while browsing the internet regarding, of all things, bacon-flavored vodka.

Ugh..!

Hey, I love bacon as much as the next person. As famed chef Emeril Lagasse is so fond of saying, “pork fat rules”. But sometimes you have to draw the line, and this may be one of those moments.

Turns out that a gentleman by the name of Don Yovicsin, owner of Jake’s Dixie Roadhouse in Waltham, Massachusetts, had a lightbulb moment regarding bacon and vodka. Acting on that inspiration, he fried some Niman Ranch applewood-smoked bacon and added it to an infuser jar with some vodka. After four weeks the bacon was filtered out and the vodka chilled. The congealed bacon fat was then filtered as well, leaving a smoky, bacon flavored liquor.

Hmmm…

The Roadhouse now serves several beverages using the vodka, the most popular being the Bacon Bloody Mary, done with the vodka, Bloody Mary mix, barbecue rub on the rim and garnished with a Slim Jim and lime wedge.

Guess you could say you haven’t lived until you had one of these concoctions. It’s rather like drinking your BLT…

Porsche Design Is At It Again


German automaker Porsche’s Design Team keeps itself busy. Sure, they work on cars and SUVs, but the team has a long history of collaboration on projects outside the company. Here are a couple of the most recent examples: one for the kitchen and one for the bathtub…er, ocean.

A venture with electronics giant Siemens has yielded, of all things, a toaster. An efficient quartz heating element, automatic bread slice adjustments, cool-wall technology and a spaceship design aesthetic are all present and accounted for in what is certainly the…”Porsche of toasters”.

And now for the ocean: How does a 135 foot catamaran sound? In partnership with Royal Falcon Fleet, Porsche Design has crafted the RFF 135, one sharp looking yacht! RFF’s website states: “Her unique, space-aged, contemporary design makes her unmistakably a piece of modern architecture. The design's main focus is to indulge the customer with unmatched performance, comfort, space and luxury that suits a high-end lifestyle.” We couldn’t agree more.

The 135 is in final engineering phase at present, with construction to begin in the near future. We can’t wait to see one on the water…

9/10/08

Big Dollar Champagne at the Ritz

The Ritz-Carlton in Moscow has added a little something to their beverage list that may catch your eye…and put a dent in your wallet.

How does $275,000 for a bottle of champagne sound?

And now for a little back-story…

In 1916 during the First World War, a Swedish cargo vessel was en route to St. Petersburg with a cargo including 17 barrels of Burgundy wine, 10,000 gallons of Cognac and 3,000 bottles of champagne when a German submarine sent her to the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

Move forward a few years to 1997 when a Swedish search team located the sunken vessel. A year later she was raised to the surface along with her cargo. Unlike the wine, 21 barrels of the Cognac survived along with much of the bubbly, courtesy of excellent packing in wood crates, favorable water temperatures and enough water pressure to keep the corks firmly in place. In all, over 2000 bottles of Heidsieck & Co Monopole “Gout Americain” 1907 were reclaimed from the depths.

A quantity of this champagne, which apparently tastes quite remarkable, has relocated to the above-mentioned Ritz-Carlton where it now proudly resides on the beverage list as the most expensive bottle of Champagne in the world..!