Audio/Video

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

Automotive

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

1/25/12

Laguiole Knives are Awesome…Sometimes!


Many of you are likely familiar with the name Laguiole, having seen it on cutlery at a fine restaurant, store or a residence. It has become synonymous with high quality handmade craftsmanship.

What many folks don’t realize is that the name Laguiole is NOT a brand or a company.

When these knives were first created in the early 1800s with their slim design and tapered blade, nobody thought to patent the name. The result is that cutlery with the Laguiole name and style can be manufactured anywhere in the world and unfortunately the quality varies greatly.

Should you want to procure the real deal, let me give you a few pointers…

There are several cutler makers in France, most located near Laguiole or Thiers, that follow the traditional Laguiole style and hand crafting techniques.

This is the good stuff!

Along with the Laguiole name you will find a name and/or logo of the maker on the knives. The product will also be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, listing the name and address of the producer. This is old-school artisan work. Some of these knives require over 200 steps in production to complete!

The real Laguiole cutlery is indeed…awesome!

1/11/12

TV Fun at CES 2012


The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas every January might be referred to as Mecca for geeks.

Yes… I am a geek! (I bet a lot of you are too!)

With that said, new television technology is always one of the highlights from the show. This year’s CES did not disappoint, and there were two TVs that caught my eye. It also happens that both were from the same company, LG.

Let me start with OLED technology and LG’s 55-inch OLED TV. Organic light-emitting diode is a different take on the LED technology that you are familiar with. I won’t get into those geeky details, other than to say OLED has better black levels and contrast ratios than LED while at the same time being thinner and lighter. The LG OLED television is only 4mm thick, which is thinner than most smartphones. On top of that, the picture is breathtaking.

For the next TV, we are going into the jumbo category and talking about LG’s 84-inch UD (ultra-definition) 4K TV. This monster LED set has what LG refers to as 4K resolution, a major step up from our current 1080p HiDef standard. The current HD sets run a resolution of 1920 x 1080. This set resolves at 3840 x 2160, allowing for finer detail on the screen and therefore a better picture.

This is just a quick take of the toys at CES, but for you videophiles out there, it should whet your appetite for new technology coming down the road…

1/10/12

Acura NSX Concept at Detroit Auto Show


Acura’s original NSX sent shock waves through the sportscar world when it hit the market in 1990. Combining Acura’s reliability with Ferrari-esque performance at about half the price, the NSX sent the Italians scrambling.

Ending production in 2005, we have since been teased by the folks at Acura with several concepts and hints of a new NSX. Introduced this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the latest NSX Concept appears to finally be approaching production form!

And now for some details…

The new NSX will continue the history of a mid-mounted V6 engine, but it will be augmented by three electric motors. Yes, this is going to be a hybrid supercar! Acura’s SH-AWD will be used in its latest incarnation along with the gasoline V6 to provide what Acura describes as “supercar acceleration” along with the efficiency of a hybrid. Handling should be stellar as Acura engineers are keeping overall weight to a minimum.

Look for the new NSX to get to market in the 2015 timeframe. I can’t wait..!

1/9/12

Sweet Sounds! Rockport Technologies’ new Avior


Those of you audiophile music geeks such as me have likely heard of Rockport Technologies, the renowned speaker manufacturer based in Rockport, Maine. For the non-geeks out there, let me make an introduction…

Andrew Payor, Founder and Designer for the company, burst onto the audiophile scene in the early 90s with highly acclaimed phonograph products. His next step was a move into speaker design, which he has done with tremendous results. Several speaker models over the years have garnered widespread acclaim from the audio press.

Payor’s latest speaker creation is the Avior, described as a three-way, four driver design. The single midrange and dual bass drivers have a new carbon-fiber fabric cone for high performance and ultra-low distortion levels. The speaker compliment is rounded out by an impressive beryllium-dome tweeter for the high frequencies. Frequency response is rated by Rockport at 25 Hz to 30 kHz, +/- 3dB.

Each speaker is 46.5” in height, 15” wide and 24.5” deep and weighs in at 220 pounds. Fit and finish is of heirloom quality.

As for the sound..? Paired with the proper electronics, you will be blown away by what you hear… simply amazing!

Pricing for the Avior is set at $29,500.00 per pair.

1/5/12

Ridley Scott Returns with Prometheus


I have a vivid recollection of the little critter bursting forth from this poor fellow’s chest..!


(More on this in a moment)

Ridley Scott, one of the better film directors around, is returning this June with his latest work…

Prometheus

You may know of Mr. Scott from some of his previous films. Science fiction classics Alien (the above reference) and Blade Runner, along with other genres such as Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, Black Hawk Down and American Gangster have all garnered acclaim from critics and the public alike. You may get the idea that this guy is pretty talented.

This latest movie tells of a team of explorers looking for clues to the origins of man. Thus the name, as in Greek mythology Prometheus played a pivotal role in the early days of mankind.

While there are some tie-ins with the Alien movie, this story apparently takes its own direction with a timeline prior to that film. With Ridley Scott at the helm, this has the makings of the next great Sci-fi epic!

Prometheus is due in theaters on June 8th. My calendar is already marked!

1/3/12

Sweet in Saint Lucia – Hotel Chocolat


I’m going to practice some chemistry today and combine two of my favorite things. The first ingredient is that wonderful tidbit of edible decadence otherwise known as chocolate. The second item is a location – a wonderful isle in the Caribbean called Saint Lucia.

Let me introduce you to The Hotel Chocolat.

This newly opened boutique resort is located on the Rabot Estate near Soufriere on the southwest side of the island. This chocolate producing estate has roots back to the mid-1700s and has been renovated by the new owners.

Accommodations on the estate consist of stand-alone cottages, my favorite being the larger Cocoa Pod Luxe with King-size beds, open sky forest showers and verandahs with spectacular views of the twin Pitons. All of the expected top-shelf amenities are present as well.

On the activity front, water-based fun such as sailing, diving, kayaking and swimming are all available. For those with an affinity for the land you can try hiking, island exploration or maybe a zip-line ride. If you are in the mood for relaxation, visit the nearby beach or hang at the resort for a spa treatment or a day of lounging at the infinity edge pool.

The highly rated Boucan Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner highlighting local ingredients. Don’t be surprised if you see some cacao on the ingredient list!

Relaxing and intimate with first-class service and amenities, the Hotel Chocolat adds up to one sweet vacation destination!