Become a Champagne Connoisseur . . .

Champagnes and sparkling wines

To set the record straight, the Italians call their versions of champagne spumante or prosecco, while Spaniards refer to the heavenly syrup as cava (which, as you can infer means “cellar” in the northwest Catalan region, where the bulk of it is produced).

Understanding the label

The labels on bottles of bubbly explain the following attributes of whatever’s inside:

  • the sweetness of the wine
  • the age of the wine
  • the grapes used to make the wine

As with anything else, the lingo really counts here. So here are some buzzwords that you should be on top of. Let’s start with the words that describe the sweetness of the champagne.

Brut

In this context, “brut” is not what your lovely woman calls you after you fail to clean up after your friends on New Year’s Day. The more “brut” a wine, the drier it is. If you are asking yourself how much of a brut you are, think of what kind of white wine you prefer: crisp and dry to go with fish, or a fruity and sweet one to have as a predrink or along with dessert. If you care to try a good example of brut champagne, get your hands on a Medot Champagne Brut from France.

Demi-sec

Demi-sec does not mean “half-dry” as the name implies. Rather it means that the wine is actually sweet. Logical, no? So if someone asks you to bring something to drink along with dessert, bring a demi-sec. Try a Laurent Perrier Demi-Sec.

Want to know more?

Top 10 Tech Hotels

NO 10


Pod Hotel, New York City

230 East 51st St., NYC, NY 10022, US
Tel: 1-212-355-0300
ThePodHotel.com

Targeted at the younger traveler, New York’s Pod Hotel combines comfort with a funky and modern design that fits the Big Apple perfectly. The proprietors have come up with the neat idea of an in-house Pod Community Blog, open to those with reservations at the hotel. It allows guests and guests-to-be to interact, ask questions and exchange information. The blog also includes a Survival Guide, which is essentially an up-to-date list of affordable and fun things to do in the Big Apple. The hotel itself is sure to satisfy the tech-hungry budget traveler with its free Wi-Fi, LCD flat screen TVs and iPod docking stations.

NO 9

Element Hotels, nationwide (U.S.)

Starwoodhotels.com/element/

There’s a growing trend in the hotel industry toward incorporating environmentally friendly tech to the list of amenities. Indeed, Element Hotels is committed to gaining LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council through the careful design and operation of its buildings. Rooms at Element Hotels feature ambient lighting made possible with energy efficient light bulbs, as well as specially designed, cutting-edge low flow rain showers that minimize water wastage. All rooms have state of the art kitchens too, equipped with modern, energy-efficient appliances. Soon, guests will be supplied with a Nintendo DS console loaded with Personal Trainer: Cooking software which will have even the most cooking-challenged whipping up sophisticated dishes in no time in the eco-friendly kitchen.

NO 8

Montage, Beverly Hills, California

225 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Tel: 1-310-860-7800
MontageBeverlyHills.com

Let’s start with a real practical feature for the guys: a fog-free shaving mirror in all bathrooms. The Montage is a luxuriously elegant establishment that this year became one of the first hotels in the world to receive Gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for its use of, for example, energy efficient heating, lighting and air conditioning systems. Even the Otis Gen2 Elevators use 50% less energy compared to conventional types. And don’t worry, you’ve still got all the great tech stuff you’d expect in your room, including that fog-free shaving mirror.

WANT TO SEE THE REST?

Cant wait for the 2010 foreigners to arrive!

Actual questions posted on the 2010 website!! (dont think the answers are real though :)

Q: Does it ever get windy in South Africa ? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? ( UK )
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends how much youve been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town – can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, its only two thousand kilometres take lots of water…
Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa ? ( Sweden )
A: So its true what they say about Swedes…
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa ? Can you send me a list of them in JHB, Cape Town , Knysna and Jeffreys Bay ? ( UK )
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not…oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is north in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and well send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa ? ( UK )
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is…oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Hillbrow, come naked.
Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa ? ( France )
A: No, WE don t stink.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in South Africa ? ( USA )
A: Anywhere where a significant number of Americans gather
Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? ( Italy )
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa ? ( Germany )
A: Not yet, but for you, we ‘ ll import them.
Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round?
A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can di spense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you will probably still have to pay her by the hour.
Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.

Q: Does it ever get windy in South Africa ? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? ( UK )

A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? ( USA )

A: Depends how much youve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town – can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )

A: Sure, its only two thousand kilometres take lots of water…

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa ? ( Sweden )

A: So its true what they say about Swedes…

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa ? Can you send me a list of them in JHB, Cape Town , Knysna and Jeffreys Bay ? ( UK )

A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa ? ( USA )

A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not…oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in South Africa ? ( USA )

A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and well send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa ? ( UK )

A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys Choir schedule? ( USA )

A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is…oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Hillbrow, come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa ? ( France )

A: No, WE don t stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in South Africa ? ( USA )

A: Anywhere where a significant number of Americans gather

Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? ( Italy )

A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa ? ( France )

A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa ? ( Germany )

A: Not yet, but for you, we ‘ ll import them.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round?

A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can di spense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )

A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? ( USA )

A: Yes, but you will probably still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? ( USA )

A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.

Sand drawing is the new art: BRILLIANT!

There is talent then there is art – then there is genius. To be able to tell a story of the Great War in all its pain and suffering through the medium of sand art is truly genius! This woman has the most amazing talent i have ever seen – you must watch this!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOhf3OvRXKg

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIOsIbqpR5s&feature=related

If you ski – you know how cool this is!

Eyes On The Road: Recon Instruments Show Off Heads-Up Goggles

Keeping your eyes on the road is of the utmost importance no matter what kind of vehicle you are piloting. To that end, automakers all over the world have experimented with heads-up displays that show such vital information as your speed and navigation directions right on the windshield in front of the driver.

Now, a company called
Recon Instruments is extending similar technology to the two-wheeled world with a new technology that flashes the same kind of information right on a pair of goggles. The goggles were originally designed for ski, snowboard and snowmobile applications, but Recon envisions its technology being used in all kinds of sports, from mountain biking and motorcycle touring to kite surfing and scuba diving.

Recon expects to begin shipping its goggles in the Fall of 2010 for between $350 and $450 and is now accepting preorders.