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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


Diver’s Paradise: Wreck Week 2011

Let’s journey to the Caribbean and head east of Puerto Rico to the British Virgin Islands, otherwise known as the BVI. With over 50 islands and cays, 15 of which are inhabited, the BVI are known for their beautiful white sand beaches, world renowned sailing, and the subject of today’s tome, diving.

Renowned diving firm Dive BVI is hosting their third annual Wreck Week.

Don’t worry folks, you’re not going to be involved in a wreck… just viewing the remnants of wrecks from days gone by… underwater, of course.

Your itinerary for the week is chock full of underwater exploration including 10 morning dives, 2 afternoon dives and 2 more at night with depths ranging from 35 to 95 feet. Wrecks you’ll visit include the 246-ft Chikuzen and its population of rays, spadefish, barracuda and a 600-lb Grouper! And then there is the 310-ft RMS Rhone, a British ship lost in a hurricane in 1867 and now home to various octopi, eel and an amazing variety of fish.

Your week of wreck investigation includes a daily pre-departure breakfast along with all lunches and a Welcome Dinner Party and Farewell Beach BBQ. Accommodation choices at Virgin Gorda include the condo setting of Virgin Gorda Village, cottages at Guavaberry Spring Bay or the luxurious Little Dix Bay Resort.

Diver’s Paradise indeed! Wreck Week is guaranteed to be a week you won’t soon forget…


Sharp Goes Jumbo with 70-inch LCD TV

Ginormous! Or as the Sharp website proclaims: “Spectacularge”..!

Sharp Electronics is debuting their top of the heap LCD wall-covering monster, the Aquos Quattron LC-70LE732U. With a 69.5” diagonal screen, The TV provides over 60% more screen real estate than a 55” television. If you value that home theater experience, this may be just the ticket.

The picture should be a dandy, with several Sharp technologies coming to play. Quattron Quad Pixel Technology applies a four-color filter, adding yellow to the standard red, blue and green for what is claimed to be better color reproduction and improved light level control. A full LED backlight and 120Hz Fine Motion Enhancement are also present.

What about internet connectivity..?

The jumbo Sharp has it in spades, with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. You can access all the necessary apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr as well as on-demand movies from VUDU and Netflix. Standard connections are covered as well with four HDMI inputs and even IP Control, which provides an interface to outboard control panels or computers.

…and 3D?

Ah, there is the missing link. The 732 series LCD sets do not have that third dimension. This will be remedied shortly however with the upcoming 835 Series, so if it is a must-have feature, this will be the way to go.

These monsters are available now and priced at $3,799.99 msrp. Expect a street price a few hundred dollars less.

Get the popcorn ready and enjoy..!


A Day of Food and wine at Sense Yountville

Foodies and Wine Fiends alike, have I got an event for you..!

That quaint little burg just north of Napa on highway 29 known as Yountville wants to show off, and you’re invited. With a proliferation of world class restaurants and wine producers, your taste buds are sure to lapse into heavenly bliss.

Here’s how it works: The date is Saturday May 7th and the event runs from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at The Pavillion at Vintage Estate. Attendance is limited to 350 people to keep lines short and crowds thin, assuring you can sample everything on your to-do list. Principals from each vendor – I’m talking owners, winemakers and chefs – will be on hand to meet and greet and provide samples of their craft.

For a who’s who of the event, let me start on the food side of the ledger. Cyndi Pawlcyn from Mustard’s, Dave Cruz from Ad Hoc, Phillipe Jeanty from Bistro Jeanty and Michael Chiarello of Bottega Ristorante are but a few of the participants.

Taste buds awake yet?

And now for the grape… Participating wineries include Gemstone, Kapcsandy, TOR, Keever, Dominus, Ghost Block and many more. Several futures sales will be available along with rare and large format bottlings.

To top this all off, there will be a Kentucky Derby party from 3:00 – 4:00 pm held at the Grozeinger Estate House. Nice..!

Tickets are $150 per person, an excellent value considering the premiere wine and food tastings at the event. They may be purchased at V Wine Cellar in Yountville or online here.

Hmmm… I tell you what. Let me ratchet it up a bit… If you enter the discount code CCorner when ordering, you will get a 10% discount on your tickets, courtesy of The Connoisseur and the good folks at Sense Yountville.



VO Vapen for One-of-a-Kind Rifles

Based out of Sweden, VO Vapen is known for their heirloom quality hunting rifles.

Founder and master gunsmith Viggo Olsson and son Ulf have been handcrafting these beauties under the VO Vapen moniker since 1977. We are talking low production/high quality rifles, thought by many to be the most exclusive in the world.

Along with the gorgeous 4-year air dried walnut root that is used for the stock, you will find exquisite engraving adorning each gun. Top this off with an ingenious patented takedown system which allows several different calibers to be used with the same rifle and you have something truly amazing!

Let’s kick it up a step further with VO’s new “One of One” category.

A few times each year, Viggo will select a client looking to build something really special. The gun will be thoroughly customized per the customer’s wishes with engraving inspired by a family member, or maybe an event or location. A duplicate piece will never be made…truly one of a kind!


BMW’s Concept M5 Goes Live!

First things first…this is NOT a “concept” car!

Ah yes, the speed-freak engineers at BMW’s M-division are showing us a preview of their next asphalt-eater…

Meet the new M5..!

Disguised prototypes of the F10 5-series in M trim have been spied for quite some time now, accompanied by the usual facts, figures and conjecture. Here now is what we know from the official press release…

I’ll start with the single most important item when it comes to all things M – the engine. As per the recent trend departing from the naturally aspirated high-revving engines of the past (discussed here), the new M5 utilizes a turbocharged V8 for propulsion. The as of yet unreleased horsepower and torque figures should be in the stratosphere, expected in the high 500 range! All this while producing an estimated 25% gain in fuel efficiency over the previous generation car.

The transmission will be BMWs slick 7-speed M DCT and a newly developed Active M Differential will aid high-speed stability. The wheels are 20-inchers all around in an M-specific split 5-spoke design.

External styling cues are a bit more restrained than M-cars of the past. The aggressive front and rear apron treatments are maintained as well as the signature side vents. Gone however, is the hood power bulge seen on previous M rockets. Overall the design should provide the road presence a car of this performance envelope deserves.

Engineered by M…tuned on the Nürburgring…the new M5 may prove to be the most capable 4-door on the planet..!


E.T. Buys a Boat

Uh… luxury yacht would be a more accurate term.

Über-successful Hollywood mogul Steven Spielberg took delivery this past November of a new toy. The 282 foot floating palace known as Seven Seas was completed by Dutch builder Oceanco, in collaboration with design firm Nuvolari & Lenard.

With a crew of 23, this superyacht has deluxe accommodations for 14 with a private owner’s deck and stateroom, 2 VIP suites and 4 guest suites. Amenities include an infinity pool with an outdoor movie screen, a spa and massage room, fully equipped gym facilities and of course an indoor cinema. Living and entertaining areas make copious use of teak, rosewood and walnut for a warm and tasteful atmosphere.

With a pair of 4,680 horsepower engines, the Seven Seas is capable of 20 knots on the open seas. Word has it time will be split between locations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. And to answer the obvious question... the reported cost: $200 million..!

E.T. may never go home…