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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


Mercedes’ New SLK for 2012

The third generation of Mercedes-Benz’s compact roadster is on the way, and so far I like what I see.

Gone are the first generations’ under-detailed soft looks and the second gen’s SLR inspired front hood which just didn’t work on the smaller car. Now we have what I feel is an appropriately Mercedes design aesthetic...A solid, non-whimpy presence with some sportiness thrown in to fit the character of the car.

While arguably not class-leading, the SLK can now hold its own in performance conversations with Porsche’s Boxster and BMW’s Z4, and an improved interior makes for a nice place to enjoy those new found driving dynamics. Power will initially come from a 3.5 liter V-6 with 302 horsepower in the SLK 350. The Benz folks claim a 0-60 sprint of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. Early next year the SLK 250 will be available with a more sedate 201 horsepower four cylinder engine. We also expect a hi-po V-8 powered AMG version which would surely add to your speeding ticket tally.

And now for the SLK’s bit of techno-wizardry coolness…

Magic Sky Control

An option on the SLK, Magic Sky Control replaces the top metal panel on the folding hard-top with glass. But this is not just any old glass roof. Using electricity and a technology similar to LCD, the glass panel will change from clear to opaque with the touch of a button..! Very slick…

All-in-all Mercedes Benz did an excellent job with the SLK redux. If you are in the market for a two-seat roadster, this is definitely one to put on the test-drive list..!


Perrier-Jouet Celebrates 200 Years

Residing in the Épernay region of Champagne, the house of Perrier-Jouët is celebrating 200 years of production!

That’s a lot of champagne..!

While not the oldest – Roederer and Moët-Chandon preceded – Perrier-Jouët is certainly regarded in the same category of top flight champagne producers.

The story began in 1811 when newlyweds Pierre Nicolas Perrier and Rose Adélaïde Jouët put forth their first bottle unto the bubbly-swilling public. Two centuries hence, production is in the range of 3,000,000 bottles per anum.

How should you celebrate 200 years of champagne production?

The folks at Perrier-Jouet are producing 200 special magnums of course. But that’s too simple, isn’t it? 100 champagne lovers will be able to purchase two-bottle lots, which will be contained in a white Daniel Arsham sculpture with a design reflecting the flowers from the label of the Perrier-Jouet flagship cuvee Belle Epoque. A green plaque commemorating the occasion resides on each sculpture.

The idea behind two bottles is that the purchaser will enjoy one and the second will be passed down for generations.

An appropriately grand idea, providing somebody doesn’t get too thirsty and drink bottle number two prematurely..!



BMW Goes Green with “i”

They’re coming..!

German manufacturer BMW will be bringing their electric and hybrid vehicles to market under the i-cars brand. I realize that “electric” and “BMW” just don’t seem to go together but… as the world turns…

The first model to arrive looks to be the i3, also referred to as the Megacity vehicle. To keep weight to an absolute minimum in the name of efficiency, construction will consist of an aluminum chassis and a passenger cell made of carbon fiber. This diminutive all-electric car should come to market sometime in 2013 as a 2014 model. Production estimates are currently set at 30,000 units per year.

Arriving shortly after the i3 will be a vehicle at the other end of the price and performance spectrum, the i8. Based on the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept vehicle, this buggy will be a high performance hybrid coupe. Power will come from electricity as well as what now appears to be a gasoline engine, originally thought to be a diesel unit. Final power and performance specifications have as yet to be released.

Camouflaged prototypes for both vehicles have been seen in testing recently. I will keep you posted as things progress for the “i”…


Lamborghini Aventador

The new bull has arrived..!

Lamborghini’s long-awaited replacement for the ageing Murciélago is now coming to market! Meet the latest raging bull, the Aventador.

Named after a “particularly courageous” bull from the Spanish Corrida, the new Aventador LP700-4 boasts multiple improvements over its predecessor…

I’ll start with the engine. Coming in 40 lbs lighter than the V-12 from the Murciélago, the new powerplant produces 700 horsepower and 509 lb-ft of torque with a 20 percent gain in fuel economy. Power goes to the pavement via a 7-speed automated manual gearbox and all-wheel drive courtesy of Haldex. Standard carbon-ceramic binders keep all that power under control.

Overall the Aventador weighs almost 200 lbs lighter than the previous car. The power to weight ratio promotes truly extreme performance, with a company stated 0-62 mph time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 217 mph. And that’s no bull..!

The jet plane-esque interior centers around a large LCD screen instrument panel. Another LCD on the center console handles the compulsory navigation and audio functions. The look of the cockpit is highly customizable with mono or dual-tone leather combinations along with available contrasting stitching…pretty much anything your heart desires. All I ask is that you keep your tackiness under control…

With an expected on sale date of late summer, pricing for the latest halo car from Lamborghini figures to start at $380,000. Cutting-edge technology and in your face design – this is truly a statement car if there ever was one!


Apple’s iPad 2 Arrives..!

Well folks…it’s official. Your first generation iPad is now obsolete…

Shipping on March 11th, the second generation iPad 2 is here!

With the emerging competition of tablets in all shapes and sizes including the Motorola XOOM with the Android OS, Apple was sure to update the iPad quickly and aggressively in an attempt to maintain market share.

What will an upgrade to gen 2 net..? Let’s start with more power, of course. A new dual-core A5 processor provides up to 9 times the graphics processing speed while holding the line on power consumption. Dual front and rear cameras are onboard to allow for video conferencing or “Skyping” or however you want to refer to it. Even ergonomics are somewhat improved with weight dropping from 1.5 lbs down to 1.3 and a case that is 1/3 thinner than the 1st generation. In fact, the folks at Apple will proudly note the new iPad is even thinner than the iPhone 4..!

Are there any new accessories? A slick feature is the available HDMI cable to connect to an HDTV and display a mirror image of the iPad display. There is also the new “smart cover” (shown above) which magnetically covers the screen and then can fold back and be used as a display stand. Several colors are available… Speaking of colors, you can now have your iPad in either black or white, to suit your aesthetic.

Models include the Wi-Fi or the Wi-Fi + 3G. Available memory options are 16GB, 32GB or 64GB and pricing should hold the line for the entry level model.


Luxury Hotel for your Pooch

This one is for the dog lovers out there…For those of you that like to pamper your pet to over the top levels.

After all, they are family members, are they not?

Off we go to Munich, Germany, where the Canis Resort is here to spoil your pet as you see fit.

Billed as “the worldwide first exclusive luxury hotel chain for dogs”, Canis is staffed with professional dog sitters tending to your family member 24 hours a day. Individual training and activities are available as well as customized dietary plans. Full grooming and coat-care services are also at hand.

The canine guests are housed in temperature controlled “lodges”, with a total of 5 dogs per lodge. Check-in and check-out can be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to fit your schedule.


Bonhams Space History Auction

Wouldn’t you like to have a little space..?

No, I’m not talking about a bigger flat in New York City. I’m referring to outer space…away from the big blue marble.

Bonhams’ New York location will be auctioning several items from both the American and Russian space programs in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the historic missions of Alan Shepard and Yuri Gagarin. Items to be auctioned include emblems and medallions, lunar surface equipment, charts, photographs and various hardware items.

This is actually the third installment of the Bonhams Space History auction. The first taking place in July of 2009 included the sale of Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man” inscription on a flight plan (shown above), netting $152,000.

The bulk of the items featured are from the Forbes collection, as well as the estate of James E. Webb, an administrator with NASA during the 1960s.

Take a look… Now is your chance to own a piece of the final frontier..!