Audio/Video

Audiophile Sound Systems, Home Theater, Computer Audio - Purchasing and Upgrades.

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Purchasing, Storage, Detailing, Aftermarket.

Wine and Spirits

Wine Tastings and Tours, Cellaring, Collecting, Purchases.

Travel and Leisure

Resorts, Hotels, Restaurants, Destinations.

Kitchen, Cooking and Food

Design, Appliances, Knives, Entertaining.

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

2/26/10

Skype Your Samsung Television


Internet voice and video phone company Skype is joining forces with electronics giant Samsung as the convergence of computers/internet with home entertainment continues…

What does this all mean? How about making video calls from your television?

As for the specifics, Samsung’s new LED 7000 and 8000 series of LCD televisions will include the Skype software embedded in their Internet @ TV feature. Simply connect the TV to the Internet, connect a Freetalk TV Camera (from the Skype Shop) and you will be able to vid-call other Skype users for free and any standard land or cell line for a minimum charge.

The televisions, shipping now to other parts of the world, should be available in the United States by June of this year.

“Honey, the TV is ringing…!”

2/24/10

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui


Koh Samui, an island off the east coast of Thailand in the Gulf of Siam, seems to have the perfect blend of easy accessibility and get-away-from-it-all vibe. A 45 minute flight from Bangkok followed by a 30 minute drive from the airport and you have arrived at one of my favorites:

Surrounded by coconut and mango trees you will feel you have arrived at your own luxurious secret hideaway. Built on a hillside rising up from its own private beach, the scenery and atmosphere at this resort is guaranteed to remove any of life’s burdens from your thought center.

Accommodations consist of 60 one-bedroom villas, each with al fresco living spaces and a private infinity pool overlooking the bay. If your require a larger accommodation, there are 14 one to five bedroom residence villas available as well.

Two stunning restaurants and a bar at the beach will handle any culinary whims you may have. And if for some reason you are just not relaxed enough, visit the spa for an outdoor treatment. Of course the requisite fitness facilities, tennis courts and resort pool are all available as well as nearby golf, scuba, hiking, elephant treks and more. Top it all off with that famed Four Seasons service and...

Sound good? I agree… Book that trip and prepare for the ultimate getaway relaxation.

Butch Bakery – Cupcakes for Men


The Jackhammer, the Beer Run, the B-52…

All are on the cupcake menu at Butch Bakery in New York.

In an answer to the question “What does a Wall Street securities attorney do when he loses his job to the recession?” Start a bakery, of course. Founder David Arrick put the idea together and business has very quickly gone through the roof. The company is currently expanding operations to meet the exponential increase in demand.

I like to think of it as ingenuity at its finest! One of those “only in America” stories that remind us of what can be accomplished. The idea of course stems from the pink frosting and sprinkles stereotype, thus creating a whole new market.

So, what exactly is a Beer Run cupcake? How about some chocolate beer cake with beer-infused buttercream topped with crushed pretzels. More of a rum and coke fan? Butch Bakery has you covered, with their version consisting of rum-soaked Madagascar vanilla cake filled with cola Bavarian cream. Nice..!

Of course the Connoisseur will sample a few and let you know the results. The taste buds can hardly wait..!

2/23/10

Superman Comic Earns $1 Million


Superman is now super expensive…

Well, at least the original.

By original I refer to a 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, the first comic book featuring the Man of Steel and showing him lifting a car on the cover.

10 cents…the cost of this comic book back in the day.

Action comics No.1 is widely considered the pinnacle of comic book collecting, and there are approximately 100 copies in existence. This particular example was in stellar shape, topping the quality level of another example that sold last year for $317,000.

Although not confirmed, the buyer is thought to be one John Dolmayan, drummer for the rock band System of a Down, and purchaser of last year’s copy. The auction was held by ComicConnect.com and co-owner Stephen Fishler.

That’s one super deal..!

Sine Qua Non – Ultimate Cult Wine?




“SQN” for the verbally challenged among us…

Cult wines are born when the right combination of high quality and small production creates huge consumer demand. The wines from Sine Qua Non and owner/winemaker Manfred Krankl fit that bill to a “T”.

SQN was born in 1994 when Manfred began producing wines for a restaurant that he was involved in. Two years later his production was up to 2,000 cases and the wine legend was off and running. Today Manfred specializes in Rhone reds – Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre – as well as blended whites using Roussanne, Viognier and Chardonnay. Various sweet wines have also been made throughout the years along with a Pinot Noir that ended production in 2005.

Current production hovers around 3,500 cases, of which the majority is distributed to mailing list members and a few select restaurants and wine shops. The waiting list is unfortunately rather long, fed by annual glowing reviews from the likes of Robert Parker and the folks at Wine Spectator. If you stumble across a bottle you are likely looking at a healthy sum for procurement.

Another interesting note regarding the SQN wines…each year the various vintages have unique labels and names, as Manfred feels they are distinct wines and deserve such. Fanciful monikers such as Poker Face, Papa, Just For The Love Of It and Atlantis Fe 203 1B have adorned Syrah bottlings over the years.

Sine Qua Non… roughly translated to “something that cannot be done without”. Truly the king of the cult wines…

2/20/10

Crack Pie – Latest Dessert Craze


Yes folks, it is truly called Crack Pie..!

And it is truly addicting. (thus the “crack” reference) Everyone from Martha Stewart to Anderson Cooper is raving about this dessert, not to mention dropping $44/per pie..!

Here’s the deal… Sold by Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City, Crack Pie is the brainchild of pastry chef Christina Tosi. It’s a clever redux on an old-school dessert known as Chess Pie. Chef Tosi’s treatment of the crust is what makes this a truly special tastebud overload.

Crack Pie has become so popular that the folks at Momofuku are now selling them online! Shipped via Fedex you can sample one in your very own home.

Or if you are the adventurous sort, the LA Times has published the recipe here. Let the pastry chef in you give it a try.

Enjoy!

Barbera…The New Hot Wine?


There is a growing cadre of Barbera fans among wine drinkers lately. To be honest, I am not exactly sure why. There was no movie made about it…no hit song…no international news story.

Regardless, let’s take a look at this wonderful Italian varietal…

The earliest record of Barbera dates back to documents in the 1200s. The Piedmont province in the Northwestern corner of Italy tends to be Barbera’s most famous home and is the regions most widely planted grape. In fact, depending on whom you believe, Barbera is currently the 2nd or 3rd most widely planted grape in all of Italy. Over the years Barbera vines have found their way to Australia, Argentina and California where fine examples can be found. The grape itself is relatively easy to grow with high yields and excellent soil adaptability.

And now a few notes on the wine itself. Generally you will find a medium-bodied wine with a deep ruby color, mild tannins and pronounced acidity. Hints of raspberry and blackberry tend to be present in the flavor profile along with vanilla and spice notes if the wine was oaked. Barberas made in older “neutral” wine barrels may display more cherry flavors and aromas.

As far as food pairings, I will point you to anything with tomato sauce (of course), grilled meats and vegetables and stews. The bottom line here is that Barbera is generally very food friendly and there isn’t too much out there you can’t pair it with.

Now it’s time to open a bottle and sample for yourself. Pick up a nice bottle o’ Barbera and let me know what you think. Need a recommendation to try? You know who to contact…

Lamborghini Preps New Supercar


At storied Italian automaker Lamborghini, work appears to be well underway for the replacement of their top-of-the-line Murciélago supercar. Spy shots from the folks at Carpix show a disguised test vehicle in cold weather testing with development apparently far along.

Early information points to a V12 with direct fuel injection producing in the neighborhood of 700 horsepower. Weight savings appears to be a priority as well, with the vehicle switching to an aluminum space frame from the current car’s steel. Also look for aluminum in the doors and roof as well as extensive carbon fiber throughout. A new all-wheel drive system will be present also, putting all that power to the ground.

Design cues will refer to the recent Reventón and Estoque vehicles, maintaining that distinctly Lambo flair. A good preview of the final look might be designer Mauro Lecchi’s Levo concept, pictured above.

As for what the new flagship from Lamborghini will be called, I am betting on a name from Lamborghini’s past… Jota.

2/2/10

A Few Notes on the 2010 Grammys

Let me just get this minor rant out of the way first. This years’ Grammy Awards continued the long-running trend of being primarily a popularity contest. Are Beyoncé and Taylor Swift producing the best music out there..? Really..? Every once in a while the voters get it right, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

As for the performances, most of them were pretty well done. It sure helps when you have the stage show and lighting as they did this year. A big bucks production…

The Black Eyed Peas were their usual infectious selves. Hard to keep the toe from tapping when you hear these guys. Lady Gaga along with Elton delivered pretty much what one expected…over the top entertainment with a bit of talent hidden beneath the insanity. As for Beyoncé, does anyone else notice that her performances feel very contrived? She comes off as a bad actress up on stage – the emotions aren’t real. The Zac Brown band – those boys can “sang”! Awesome harmonies… Bridge Over Troubled Water with Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli – nicely done..!

As for my favorite performance of the night… Pink! A mesmerizing performance both visually and aurally. She clearly worked hard on the unique stage presentation, but the girl has actual soul and emotion in her voice – Beyoncé should take note.

Agree? Disagree? Send me your thoughts and let me know…