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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

1/31/09

Official Cocktails for the Oscars

As promised in an earlier blog, here they are..!

The official adult beverages listed on the web site for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

These are all champagne based cocktails. Somehow that seems fitting of the Hollywood glitterati. Here we go…

The Red Carpet Fizz

· ½ oz Pomegranate Juice
· 1/3 oz Orange Liquor
· Fresh Raspberries
· Top off with Champagne


The Ultimate Accolade

· ½ oz Orange Vodka
· 1/3 oz Orange Juice
· Top off with Champagne


The Golden Rush

· 1/3 oz Orange Vodka
· 1/3 oz Simple Syrup
· 2 Dashes Fresh Lemon Juice
· Top off with Champagne

Three thirst-quenching beverages sure to impress. Give them a try and let us know what you think.

1/28/09

A Party for Oscar

With the 81st Academy Awards on the horizon, it’s time to begin planning that Oscar viewing party.

Some folks like to keep it mellow and sit at home with a pizza and bottle of wine and watch the proceedings. Others tend to go all out, rolling out their own version of the red carpet and inviting large quantities of revelers over for the event.

For those with the actual party in mind, you now have some official help. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wants you to celebrate…

Seriously..!

The folks at the Academy have put together the Oscar Party Kit. (The phrase “brilliant marketing” comes to mind here)

Everything you need for a knock-down drag-out Oscar brawl is here. Appetizer, entrée and dessert recipes from Wolfgang Puck get things rolling. Official Oscar cocktail recipes (more on this in an upcoming blog) are here for the bartender to conjure. Party planning ideas from Cheryl Cecchetto include a shopping list and demonstration video. Games including Oscar Bingo and Trivia can be downloaded to play, along with the requisite Oscar ballots for predicting the winners.

There you have it – instant Oscar-fest.! Enjoy..!

Zoombak GPS Locator for the Paranoid


…or distrustful…or whatever.

Just kidding folks! You don’t have to be the owner of mental issues to want one of these slick little devices.

The Zoombak is a diminutive (about the size of a box of matches) GPS locator that can be monitored real-time via your computer or cell phone. It can even send emails or text messages when it arrives at a pre-determined location.

Want to monitor your teenager in their driving years? How about keeping an eye on the family dog? Maybe a bicycle or briefcase needs a watchful (electronic) eye. Anything you can think of is fair game.
Three models are currently available from Zoombak:

Car and Family locator – You guessed it! Designed specifically for vehicle monitoring, this kit includes a car charger as well as wall charger, 12 volt charger and installation kit. $249.99 plus monthly fee

Dog locator – Rover will never be lost again. Complete with the requisite wall charger and a pouch collar attachment. $199.99 plus monthly fee

Universal locator – This one fits the “anything you can think of” category. Car and wall chargers are included. $199.99 plus monthly fee

Not only is technology fun, but it can be useful as well. These GPS units are a great little product. Connoisseur Recommended!

1/15/09

Palm Pre – Best of CES

The 2009 version of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has now left the building, so to speak. As with other shows of this nature, the economy cast a pall on the vibe throughout. The quantity of new product was down as was the degree of innovation.

There were however, a few bright spots. The brightest of these sun flares was, by consensus, the Palm Pre.

The iPhone is dead…

Well, we won’t go quite that far, but Palm’s new smartphone is the first competitor to truly take the concept a step further with enough teeth to take a bite out of Apple’s phone. The Palm Pre matches everything in the iPhone’s feature set and then adds a little frosting on top.

Can you say “full keyboard”..? Some folks simply consider this tactile feature a must have, and the Pre supplies it. And that 320 x 480 (half VGA) screen is crisp, clear and displays brilliant color. Even the user interface has been thoroughly thought-out and works seamlessly.

We like this phone.

So, Palm is back on the map of relevancy overnight, but there a couple of very basic questions remaining. How much is this little gem going to cost? No clue was given, but Palm and initial release partner Sprint had better be careful with this one. As far as a release date, we are told the first half of the year. And for the non-Sprint fans out there, is there any hope in the future for other carriers? We will just have to wait that one out, unfortunately.

Until then, from what we have seen, the Palm Pre will get an initial Connoisseur Recommended rating, provided Palm doesn’t stumble out of the gate.

1/14/09

2009 Detroit Auto Show


Let’s face it, the days of the fun and over-the-top crazy car shows are gone… for the time being.

Unfortunately for the reeling auto industry, I firmly believe this will feed their misery. People that are excited about cars are more likely to purchase, and show cars tend to rev up the public and generate interest. Now that most manufacturers are cutting back on their display vehicles, the exhilaration is certainly at a lower level these days and prospective clients may fade into the woodwork – something they cannot afford.

Enough of the mini-rant…

As one might have speculated, green was prevalent at the Detroit Auto Show this year. Whether it was high mileage, hybrid or full electric vehicles, they were all on display. However there was still some old school Detroit influence at the show as well. Here now are a few of our picks for “best of”…

Fisker Karma S (pictured above) – A droptop version of the Fisker Karma, the “S” is billed as the “World’s First Hybrid Convertible”. Keep an eye on Henrik Fisker and his company..!

Lexus HS 250h – The world’s first “luxury hybrid”..? We like that this car removes some of the hybrid-ness of other designs.

BMW Z4 – Best production car debut. Now a hardtop convertible, the Z4 gains size, power and a more muscular design – climbing a few rungs up the ladder on the prestige scale.

Volvo S60 Concept – A radical departure for Volvo’s styling department. We hope this one makes it to production without a serious overhaul.

Cadillac Converj – Maybe it’s just a redone Volt, but it has been redone very well..!

1/13/09

Slumdog Millionaire Rules the Golden Globes

After a two year hiatus courtesy of last year’s writer’s strike, Hollywood’s glitzy drink-fest otherwise known as the Golden Globes returned with a few surprises.

In the weeks leading up to the award ceremony, the majority of the buzz seemed to center around The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as well as Frost/Nixon.

Then came the little film that could…

The Bollywood story of an orphan boy rising from hardship on the streets of Mumbai via a gameshow, Slumdog Millionaire has captured audiences and critics alike. Enough so that four awards were sent in its direction: Best Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Musical Score.

As the Golden Globes are often a barometer for the Oscars, we will see if this momentum carries over to the Academy Awards ceremony in February. We think it will certainly be the odds-on favorite.

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to do so before the Oscars – get your ticket now!