Wine can be so much more than just an enjoyable drink. It can link us to times, people, and places. A traditional concept for so-called anniversary wines is to celebrate a milestone, perhaps a birthday or wedding or even anniversary, with a fine bottle from the vintage of the birthyear or anniversary year in question. With that in mind, Ken Gargett shares a few suggestions.
Given GaryG’s musings on these pages about the relative roles of rarity and complication in driving the value of a watch, he thinks it appropriate to dedicate this “Behind the Lens” entry to a piece that is both complicated and limited in production: Patek Philippe’s Reference 5950A. What’s so special about this watch? Well, first of all it’s a split-seconds chronograph. What else?
Fans of Japanese whisky will be all too aware that the better offerings are extremely hard to find. Once a curiosity, then mainstream, and more recently highly awarded and much sought after (okay, now subject to a feeding frenzy), the stuff is as rare as an honest politician. So grab whatever you can whenever you can!
Out of all the “traditional” styles of hairsprings, the helical hairspring is Joshua Munchow’s favorite because it adds three-dimensionality to the watch. These oscillators are so rarely seen that if you are only aware of five watches with helical hairsprings you already know a significant portion of the modern watches using them. Here are Joshua’s favorite five.
‘The Watch Annual’ 2020 by Justin Hast and James Allen is a 172-page book featuring 72 watches from a large variety of price points and categories submitted by 40 contributors from 19 different countries. It is a book for watch lovers by watch lovers, coming from the so-called #watchfam. And it gives back. What’s not to like?
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the field on Monday morning (in Australia), February 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, Ken Gargett pulled out a Romeo y Julieta Churchill. The poor thing was a solo stick in a lonely humidor and the foot was very ratty, torn and tattered, but otherwise it appeared in good condition. And as it was a gift, who was he to complain. But it turned out to be a stellar cigar and the perfect accompaniment to a cracking game.
There are a plethora of places to see in Porto − the city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site − but one absolute must for wine aficionados is to spend a couple of hours across the river Douro in Vila Nova de Gaia visiting a Port house and tasting the wines. Follow me on such a journey . . . saude!
Japanese whisky distillery Mars Shinshu is still working to establish its house style. “Searching for its soul,” distillery manager Koki Takehira calls it, and he is off to a wonderful start. At this stage, the whiskies appear to be from the elegant and complex end of the spectrum, and there is a gentle sweetness, more so than found in most Japanese whiskies. Ken Gargett takes us through the history of Mars Shinshu and shares tasting notes of a few of the whiskies.
Michter’s aim is to make small-batch or single-barrel products so the distillery has restricted itself to a maximum of 20 barrels for any of its small-batch products. And, as Ken Gargett reports, the Kentucky-based company is making superb bourbon.
Nancy Olson highlights two fountain pens celebrating the Chinese Year of the Ox in 2021: Caran d’Ache’s Year of the Ox shows off the brand’s technical expertise in engraving and use of Chinese lacquer, while Montblanc’s Legend of Zodiacs: Celebrating the Year of the Ox is hand-engraved with engaging representations of an ox with corncobs.