Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
My wife and I have never really taken to chardonnay. The buttery, rich, vanilla flavours created by being in oak barrels, has never appealed to us, so we do not tend to buy chardonnay.
Unoaked chardonnay, fermented in stainless steel tanks, no oak, results in a wine that appears to me to be lighter, cleaner, more refreshing. We recently discovered this style aligns more with our palate preference. Since then we have been on the lookout for good unoaked values.
Anakena produces a great quality unoaked chardonnay for only $9.99 at major NSLC outlets. Aside from the unattractive smell (wet dog rolls in spilled fruit juice?) this chardonnay is pretty good. It has a pleasant mouthfeel, zesty melon and grapefruity flavours, has a crisp acidity and is nicely balanced.
On a side note we visited Anakena in 2008. Anakena is a lovely winery in Chile, in the Rapel Valley, in the foothill of the Andes. We enjoyed a nice tasting on the lawn and had a pleasant stroll through the vineyard as the sun set.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
There are a ton of camera apps for the iPhone. Most apps replicate the functions of the built-in camera app or add in a few additional functions such as adjustments, special filters and so on.
The Hipstamatic app takes a much different approach, turning your fancy iphone into a retro toy camera. From the moment you launch the app to viewing your first 'print' you soon realize that this app is much different than other phone apps, and a hundred times more fun.
The interface of the app is quite interesting, mimicking the back of an actual camera. The display requires you to rotate your camera to landscape mode, and suddenly your iPhone is a toy camera, complete with viewfinder.
The entire iPhone display is made to look like the back of a camera, with a variety of virtual options for lens, film and flash. The app comes with several film and lens presets and additional options can be purchased.
Once you have taken a picture the app 'prints' your photo and saves it to your photo roll. The image itself becomes heavily altered, most taking on a heavy cyan cast with serious curve adjustment baked in. An old style frame is added to a square format, which I find is the most attractive feature, giving the images the signature artsy retro look.
After work I dropped into several places that I have frequented during my daily photo project. I must say it was tremendously fun. An entirely new perspective opens up, very much like getting a brand new camera or lens. Not bad for a $1.99 app.
The app is certainly not perfect. There is no focus ability, at least that I could find (the flower shot below was pure luck to get in focus). And the viewfinder is not full frame, making framing and visualization a trial and error process.
Lastly, I wish there was a way to make a 'hipstamatic' image from an existing image in my photo library. But in terms of 'fun for the dollar' you are hard pressed to find a more enjoyable iphone camera app on the market today.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
On Friday we attended an Italian wine tasting at Bishop's Cellar. In my view Bishop's Cellar offers the best valued wine tastings in Halifax. Typically held each Friday, with prices normally in the $10-$30 range (depending on the wines served), you can always count on sampling 8-10 very high quality wines in a casual environment. I encourage anyone with an interest in wines to check out their newsletter and attend a tasting. Pictured is Retail Manager Alanna McIntyre pouring a decanted 2005 Paulo Scavino 'Carobic' Barolo.