Weekly Wine – Alta Pinot

17 May

Fuzion Alta Torrontes Pinot Grigio
2016
Argentina
750ml
12.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

This is a more expensive cheap wine.
Is it good?
Yes, it is good. A little acidic and a little fruity. Quite dry and a little tart. There is a little bite to it that makes you take notice. There are no off flavours. There is nasty after taste. Yeah… it is good.
Does it sing?
It is very nicely balanced. I’m drinking this in the dead of winter here but I can feel the summer in Argentina. Upon further tasting I can taste peach and banana – and I am not a big fan of banana flavoured stuff. But I like this wine and I want to sing. So yes to that.
Does it make you want to order a case?
This kind of wine does not age well so unless you are consuming vast quantities…
But this would be a great table wine for a wedding or other reception. I have been to some and the wine was atrocious. There are a few wines that cost less than this but why would you ever order undrinkable wine to save a dollar, if that much, a bottle.

Note: since I bought this wine, drank it and reviewed it, this wine has shot up in price to a lofty $11.00.

Grand openings

15 May

There have been a few openings of new retail outlets in Toronto in the past few years. They have been enhanced with great promotion and fanfare.
There have been pop-up retail places that appear and disappear – also to great media hubbub.
I ignore all of this because it does not interest me.
There have also been some notable closings of major retail here, but that is not part of this story.
I inadvertently attended a grand opening a week or so ago. It was packed. It was a mad-house. It was a feeding frenzy. It was a Value Village … a big-box thrift store.
It was rather depressing come to think of it.
I was there because this place opened in the same retail plaza as the grocery store I was shopping at. I was shocked at the people`s attitude to this opening. It was astounding. This was used stuff after all. I remember pitching a story to a financial magazine a few years back with the idea that buying used clothing and household items was not a trend derived from an environmental perspective – it was the way the middle class gets buy now. The Goodwills in Toronto have all been closed. There are a few SallyAnns – but not in our neighborhood. I guess our middle-class neighborhood needs this type of outlet and the people responded.
I like frequenting these types of stores but the shopping frenzy put me off and I bought nothing.

Cats and Fish

14 May


Every blog needs pictures of cats.
This is as fact that is written somewhere.
I don’t have cats.
But there are cats at the pet store near me.
They were looking to buy some fish.

Weekly Vinyl – Mancini

12 May

Theme From “Z” and other film music
Henry Mancini and his orchestra
(1970)

This is a strange album. As the title suggests, it is film music.
It is unmistakable film music. My wife heard the album and asked what film soundtrack I’m listening to.
It is cliché film music.
I remember seeing a book called “How to score film music.” I guess this is the album that should accompany that book.
Clever quips aside – there are a few problems with this disk.
The main is that the songs are quite indistinguishable in their blasé pastiche. It is schmaltz thinly spread on white bread (not toasted). The only song that stands out is Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head and I can’t get it out of my head now.
The other main problem is that the music is not credited – did Henry Mancini compose all this? Did someone else? It does say that he arranged all the music – so who is the original composer?
It is a well-produced recording that could be used effectively to stop teenagers congregating in certain places. Put this on a loop and you’ll have everybody fleeing the area.

Weekly Wine – Dragani

10 May

Dragani Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Doc
2015
Italy
750ml
12.5% ABV
$7.95 (LCBO)

I think I reviewed this wine last year. But it was a 2013 vintage and it cost a whopping 20 cents more.
Things don’t usually get cheaper – do they?
Imported wine usually does not get cheaper as the years roll by – does it?
Well this one, if it is the same and I think it is, did get cheaper – less expensive – more affordable.
I liked the 2013 vintage so is the 2015 up to snuff?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, indeed.
This is a very nicely balanced wine. There are no off flavours here just some nice indescribable fruit flavours – you get a bit of grape and cherry but you need to concentrate to pull these flavours out. It is quite pleasant and has a nice medium body that is perfectly dry.
At under eight bucks this is a fantastic value.

 

 

Tools and Stuff

8 May

Frequently, when starting a project, I look at the tools I have and the tools I allegedly need.
These are usually pretty hefty lists – sometimes in terms of volume and sometimes in terms of price. I tend to think this is to make my projects better or my tasks easier.
The desire to add to the tool collection is strong and irrational. One can say that there are few things better than a new implement to create project. But there are many better things and that is what stops me from purchasing tools willy-nilly.
One has to balance between want and need.
Do I need a chop saw to cut metal lengths? I use a grinder with a cut off disk now and it works OK. So, do I need this or want this?
Do I need a belt/disk sander to sand wood and metal bits to final size. I use a grinder, bench and hand. I use my Dremel or Foredom rotary tools. Do I need this? It would be convenient but can I justify it?
It is quite easy to justify new tools and equipment. Too easy.
And these are just the wood working and metal working tools. Let’s not talk about computer gadgets, other electronic gadgets, kitchen gadgets, car gadgets, gardening gadgets … and so on.

Camoflauged car

7 May


I am of two minds about this paint scheme on this car. I kinda like the camoflauge pattern, but it is quite a silly look for this and any car.