Many casual wine drinkers think of Champagne (and sparkling wines) as special occasions reserved only for the holidays, such as Christmas and New Years. However, I enjoy these lovelies year around! Question: Is there a better time to celebrate life than a drab Tuesday in the middle of February (or whenever?). That’s when we need champagne the most!!!
Now, on to my review.
Today’s selection is way above and beyond my usual price point. I’m typically a world-class expert on wines at $20 or less. But a wonderful benefactor named Mickey Goldfine gifted me carte blanche on about a dozen exclusive wines, which means he paid for the privilege of letting me drink and write about wines (including champagnes) that I normally would not be able to afford. And so, I selected the Vauversin Champagne, which earns one of the highest demarcations of official approval — the Grand Cru.
I’d never tried the Vauversin before. Let me be clear. I love and will support the boutique vineyards, which are smaller, often family-run estates. They aren’t the big names (DO NOT BUY DOM PERIGNON OR CRISTAL, which are ripoffs….the small family-owned vineyards are better champagnes for much less the cost). Vauversin is one of many champagnes which produce perhaps 1 percent the volume of the Dom, and drink much better at only 1/3rd of the price…..fastest way to know a clueless wine dope is seeing some rich dork who buys Dom and Cristal…..oh, is it clear yet that I LOATH Dom Perignon and Cristal? if not, let me make that VERY clear.
Here’s some exclamation points…. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, now to the Vauversin…..
This bubbly cost $62 a bottle. That’s perfectly in line with Grand Cru Champagnes in this class.
First impression: A bit more acidity than expected. The Vauversin drinks a little sharper than other champagnes. I’d also read about hints of strawberry, but I didn’t get that. Instead, I give it a more metallic grade, which isn’t bad — just different. Unique characteristics, worth trying. But also not something that blows me away.
But you have to love the history behind this vintner. This vineyard knows what they are doing (one reason I wanted to try one). The Vauversin family have been making wine in the Grand Cru village of Oger since 1640!
“….sits on the chalky Côte des Blancs escarpment South of Epernay, an area renowned for its impressive Chardonnay Champagnes. The Laurent’s attitude and ethos towards winemaking is clear; be less intrusive, simpler and allow the full flavor and incredible subtlety of the Chardonnay grape assert itself.”
Final thoughts: Glad I tried it. Impressive. Enjoyable. But I wouldn’t pay $62 out of pocket as I think there are better comparables, and certainly as-good champagnes in the $35-50 range.
Again, thank you to Mickey Goldfine for making this experience and adventure possible.
Grade (100 point scale): 93 Value: (10 point scale): 4 Price: $62 Recommended: Yes, if cost is no issue. Otherwise, no.
Every wine tells a story and this little beauty is no different.
We were gifted this bottle as a Christmas gift by Robert B., who is one of my closest local friends. I’ve written about Robert B. in the past, as he was a Boeing Aircraft designer for 25 years and also served in Vietnam. In fact, Robert’s landing in-country was on the memorable night of January 30, 1968, and he was sent to a military outpost called — Da Nang. Just hours after arrival he was in the USAF barracks getting ready for bed, when everything went BOOM! — the Tet Offensive began. Good morning, Vietnam! As you can imagine, Robert B. has some incredible stories.
So, fast forward to now: We opened this for the first time on December 26th (yesterday) and it toasted the holiday quite nicely. I must admit, I was unprepared for the flavors of this bouquet, having been in a French wine-sparkling-Sauvignon Blanc phase for the last few months. It’s been at least a month since I’d opened a robust California red.
When you take a break from certain categories of wines, absence makes the heart grow much fonder. After being away from them for an extended period, the flavors of California hit me like a blast to the palate. My recommendation to all wine drinkers: Skip your favored wine for a while, and then come back to it. You will notice notes that might have been lost. Taste memory is a funny thing, and being away reawakens the senses. Try it.
The Silver Palms had a perfect balance. Not a fruit bomb, alc. at a relatively modest 13.5. But it drank nicely. From the wine notes at the official company website:
“….dark ruby in color, with aromas of blackberry and cassis. Flavors of black cherry, spice and oak with round firm tannins lead to a soft, silky, lingering finish. Cabernet was abundant and ripe flavors, soft tannins and complexity are the hallmarks of the vintage. Our Silver Palm Cabernet relies heavily on grapes grown in Mendocino County, which provides the soft, black cherry flavors to the wine. We used Sonoma County Merlot to add plushness to the palate and small amount of Cabernet Franc for spice and to round out the finish.”
I was a bit surprised by both the quality and originality of this bottle, given that it’s part of the Jackson Family Wines — one of the largest producers in California (recall the name Kendall-Jackson). Jackson owns 50,000 acres of production and offers 40 different brands. So, I presumed this might be a very pedestrian wine, with no unique characteristics.
To the contrary. Very enjoyable. Balanced. Refreshing. Not heavy. Suitable for any occasion.
Again, thank you to Robert B. for making this experience and adventure possible.
Grade (100 point scale): 90 Value: (10 point scale): 6 Price: $16 Recommended: Yes, for almost any occasion
Way too much work. Oh, sure. I’m going to keep on capping the games. And, I’ll keep betting on my own and with one syndicate I manage. But I’m finished writing and posting for the season.
Hence, this moment will officially mark SEVEN out of NINE winning seasons. Let that sink in. 2020: Finished 27 games over .500. Finished up 29 percent on bankroll for the season. All free picks. Always posted in advance. And that’s after being in the hole during the first part of the season.
Show me any gambling site anywhere with these numbers.
Even a handicapping paysite would salivate for these percentages. SIXTY percent winners on 161 plays? Find me a link that has this rate of return. Post the link. Share it, because I want to see it. Fact: No one has posted these numbers anywhere over this length of time.
I’ve watched the traffic here and NFL bettors don’t seem interested in honest results, as before. That’s fine. So, do your own thing. I got better ways to spend my afternoons.
Seems most bettors out there are far more interested in reading news stories about dumb rich guys making “whale” bets at sportsbooks (which mean absolutely nothing) or watching people on TV or YouTube that no one has ever heard of who fail to track their results and have zero histories as credible sports handicappers. That’s what sports handicapping on social media has turned into — a show and a circus. Well, go follow those people on Twitter. I’m not going to try and compete with that anymore.
Thanks to those of you who have been around and stuck it out with me, this season, and during the many years I’ve been doing this.
It’s been an outstanding run during the last four weeks. Thursday’s wagers went a perfect 4-0, which now puts me significantly ahead for the season.
I’m particularly proud of the turnaround because September and October were terrible months. Let’s face it. The NFL is tough enough to predict under “normal” circumstances, but add the unique challenges of the current pandemic and all the associated activities which are impacted, and randomness appears to be even more prevalent.
There remains a very long way to go until the end of the current football season. However, my shift away from sides and traditional analysis, largely based on motivation and situations to first-quarters, first-halves, second-halves, and team totals has produced some extraordinary results. With about 75 plays during the last three weeks, these picks have hit about 66 percent. Overall this 2020 season, all of my plays combined are hitting 57 percent. With 144 wagers recorded, thus far, that’s stellar. I’m also getting a little luckier than I should. But these results are very encouraging.
This leads me to work more on the reasons for success. Note that my biggest contribution to sports gambling and the science of football handicapping happened 20 years ago when I came up with SECOND HALF BETTING ANGLES, which were widely copied and posted and became a fixture in the sports wagering lexicon. I think I may have discovered something similar here in terms of potential. If these quarters’ wagers continue at the current success rate, I’ll try to data-mine more years of results and sometime in the future release a similar guide for FIRST QUARTER WAGERING. Excuse me for bragging, but I’ve put lots of work into this, and no one has any idea of all the angles that look good early and then fall apart (for every angle that works, 99 do not — and then win percentages usually fade as bettors catch on the numbers adjust). So, it’s a thrill to dig and dig and dig, and then (possibly) strike gold.
See Week #12 picks below, which are mostly a continuation of quarters, halves, and team totals. Also, note that I do post a few SECOND HALF plays onto my Facebook account, which are recorded (and easy to see in advance).
2020 NFL WAGERING RECORD
Wins — Losses — Pushes 82 — 62 — 2
Starting Bankroll: $10,000.
Current Bankroll: $11,841.
Best Bets: 5 — 7 — 0 (- $1,175.)
Last Week’s Results: + $1,340.
THIS WEEK’S WAGERS: 13 plays
(Sunday plays only)
No Best Bets this week, which are faring poorly. So, I’m now flat betting all the wagers.
San Francisco 49ers Team TotalOVER 8½ (-115) — First Half Risking $230.00 / to win $200.00
Las Vegas Raiders Team Total
1st Quarter o6½ (-130) Risking $260.00 to win $200.00
Atlanta Falcons Team Total 1st Quarter OVER 6½ (+102) Risking $200.00 to win $204.00
Arizona Cardinals/New England Patriots 1st Quarter OVER 9½ (-130) Risking $260.00 to win $200.00
Cincinnati Bengals Team Total 1st Quarter OVER ½ (-130) Risking $260.00 to win $200.00
Jacksonville Jaguars Team Total 1st Quarter OVER ½ (-140) Risking $280.00 to win $200.00
Cleveland Browns/Jacksonville Jaguars 1st Quarter OVER 9½ (-125) Risking $250.00 to win $200.00
New York Jets Team Total 1st Quarter OVER ½ (-125) Risking $250.00 to win $200.00
Miami Dolphins/New York Jets 1st Quarter OVER 7½ (-115) Risking $230.00 to win $200.00
San Francisco 49ers Team Total 1st Quarter OVER ½ (-120) Risking $240.00 to win $200.00
San Francisco 49ers/Los Angeles Rams 1st Quarter OVER 9½ (-125) Risking $250.00 to win $200.00
Chicago Bears Team Total 1st Quarter OVER ½ (-120) Risking $240.00 to win $200.00
Chicago Bears/Green Bay Packers 1st Quarter OVER 7½ (-110) Risking $220.00 to win $200.00
We live in a world wherein most of our time is occupied with work, business, travel, and even homemaking. At times, the space to breathe and relax becomes too steep and rigid. We look forward to the end of the day, where we can pack up and go back to our stillness, to a place where there is restful respite.
Our different home spaces, no matter what size, becomes the zone of comfort. And each corner will have its unique spot to offer a distinct sense of joy and calmness. The bedroom space dominantly becomes a haven to refuel. Let us take our curiosity in finding bedroom furniture that can traverse not only calmness to it but also transcend beauty.
Urban Shop Faux Fur Saucer Chair
The bedroom usually connotes a place to sleep, and one will always put to mind fixtures of the varied bed design. But utterly, the bedroom space as we call it is also a place to calm and unwind. It has also become a place of leisure. And most of us would love to read or write in our bedroom. Thus a piece of bedroom furniture like chairs would fancy the corners of it.
This Urban Shop faux fur saucer chair is made of a metal frame and is embellished in the color tone of micro mink fabric. The definition of beauty in simplicity is converged in the stylish design of this chair. Adding up to its versatile character is its folded feature, enabling users to store the item with less hassle of folding and assembling in mind.
Signature Design By Ashley Realyn Nightstand
Lush in a Victorian-inspired wood ensemble of nightstand from Ashley Realyn. This masterpiece of wood craftsmanship enchants that nightingale charm. Crafted not only with wood materials, but it also has veneers to highlight the furniture’s intricate details. It will give the spaces of a bedroom that elegant touch.
This nightstand may take on the vintage-inspired look, but behold its functionality to cater to the modern trend of times. The furniture is equipped with a USB charging station to cater to instant documentation demand from work or business while in a relaxed mode. Adding to its durability aside from that it is made of wood, the furniture also has a metal frame.
Sorbus Dresser With 5 Drawers
Is it worth it? A question that will always cross a buyer’s mind when purchasing furniture. The Sorbus dresser with five drawers can satisfy this relative doubt. Indeed a value of money because it does not only have a sturdy top area to hold heavy and breakable items; it also has a storage space feature to keep your bedroom items organized.
The dresser will aesthetically spice up the elegant ambiance of the room. It can have lamps, books, and crystal glasses from its wood top area to suit the feel that you want for a relaxing corner. Its sleek storage compartments are made of steel frames to ensure that it is durable. Plus, a soft and comfortable handle to usher in smooth handling of opening the dresser.
Vlush Free Standing Coat Rack
Are you worried about bedroom small spaces? Then this Vlush free standing coat rack can do the trick. The small size area will never be a hindrance to creating a fabulous look of the room. This coat rack in white tone is perfect in holding items to have a clutter-free space and embracing a sense of class from the type of design that this coat rack is made of.
The Vlush standing coat rack has eight super solid diagonal hooks. These hooks are fabricated well to withstand the weight of bulky items like winter coats. A standing dress and coat rack inside a bedroom does not only soothe the ambiance of styling, but it also ensures that things like scarves, caps, and purses are wrinkled free.
ZLOLIA Lighted Makeup Vanity Mirror Light
Our bedroom does not only cater to the need to sleep or leisurely relax. It is also a place of vanity. Most of the time, we allocate an area where we can set up a mirror and a table to entice in the routine of beauty. With ZLOLIA Lighted Makeup Vanity Mirror Light set up, it will give you that feel of a Hollywood star glam.
This furniture is composed of a sleek designed dressing table with LED bulbs that suffice an illumination that makes you shine like a star. Relish too in its functionality because the mirror cover can be removed. Once it is pulled out it can be maximized as a research table, console table, or composition table.
What better way to end a day is through a pampering calm that we get out of the corners in our bedroom. We get that joyous bliss of feeling recharged as we soothe along with our pure leisure time inside these spaces. With a perfect find of bedroom furniture, the bedroom is not only clean, but it is there to add color and lavish each corner with the radiance of beauty.
One realization brought by this pandemic is all about how valuable staying at home is. Thus, we can recognize that there is so much more than the work we had. Enjoying the company of your family while staying at home and learning new hobbies makes your stay worthwhile.
Having many collections can sometimes be a burden, knowing that you don’t know where it should be kept or leaving it behind, which leads to hazards not just for you but also for your entire family. Below are the best outdoor storage solutions for your clutter-free for your outdoor area.
Outdoor Rubbermaid tool rack
Most of the more comprehensive tools must be stored in a highly specialized tool rack. This Rubbermaid tool rack preserved the tool’s shape and form. It helps you quickly grab what you need since this is really made for extensive tools, and thanks to its wheels, this rack can easily be moved around. This is a really must-haveoutdoor tool storage that anyone could ask for.
This tool rack can organize up to 40 tools and is easy to assemble with no other tools needed. It has a grid pattern on its base to keep tools from sliding off that comes in a multicolor. This item is also lightweight, plus it has four casters that have two lockings for easy mobility. This is a must-have in your home.
Keter Eden storage bench deck box
This storage bench box has a large capacity of 70 gallons that has extra hidden storage underneath its seat. It’s made of all weather-resistant resin with an appealing wood-look texture with Weather-resistant polypropylene construction that prevents rusting, peeling, and denting. Having its stylish feature, this surely will fit your outdoor decor.
Having a 2-in-1 bench plus storage box is a must-have! Worry no more about having too many storage boxes when you can have a storage box and a bench, too. This storage bench box completes your outdoor look because of its elegant natural wood look. You can display it in your public resting area around your home.
JAXPETY Outdoor storage shed garden utility tool
Are you looking for a double purpose storage shed? Not just your typical storage shed, but also a whole workspace. This shed has a spacious workplace where you can also perfectly store your garden or backyard tools and other household items. It has a double pad-lockable sliding door for easy access to your tools.
This storage shed comes in a large size with a green color that camouflages your surroundings. It is made of lightweight steel, but a sturdy body that has a ventilation plate on its top. Because of its galvanized steel reinforcement, this prevents the shed from rusting, UV resistant, and moisture-proof, leaving you worry-free with its long-lasting look.
Keten Borneo Deck box organizer and storage
This cool box is made of all weather-resistant resin that has an appealing rattan-look texture. This cozy box has an ideal storage capacity of 110-gallon storage. It’s reliable and durable since it is made of weather-resistant polypropylene construction that, unlike real rattan, prevents rusting, peeling, and denting materials.
Its hydraulic pistons offer an easy lift, and this storage box is a child-friendly box, so you don’t need to worry about a smashed finger. The best feature of this box is it provides comfortable bench seating with a weight capacity of 484 lbs. This storage is so versatile that it’s best to place your outdoor tools, toys, and even pool accessories.
Broom Mop Holder Wall Mounted Metal Tool Rack
If you have massive wall space, this tool rack is for you! This tool rack is perfect for indoor or outdoor use. This helps you organize your household stuff and prevents them from damage; you can maximize your floor space for other use since this rack has its clasp mechanism that holds the tool safely.
Aside from the benefit of having a free floor space with this tool rack, this rack also offers no slide; imagine its hanger and hook can hold up to 30 pounds capacity. Having sturdy and foldable hooks, this completes this metal tool rack experience. This is totally worth the money you spent on it.
Learning to fix things, storing, and organizing around the house is one of the best hobbies that anyone could have. It is very satisfying to see the outcome of a very tidy and organized home. Besides having a clean house, you get to discover new things stored inside your storage that need to declutter. Though it’s not wrong to have many collections, if we don’t know where to place our things, that’s when things get bad. One of the most significant benefits of outdoor storage is its ability to keep all your belongings intact and organized in one space. Looking for outdoor storage that is worth your money, try to consider the featured items.
I’ve been posting my picks on public forums dating back to the days of Sports Fan Radio in 1995. Each season is different in the sense that rarely do things go according to expectation. Hence, I find myself constantly making adjustments. I’m rarely doing the same things in November and December that I did in September and October.
2020 is no different. In fact, it’s perhaps the most unusual season I’ve encountered. The reasons for this are obvious.
What’s not so clear is knowing what exactly to apply when handicapping. Are angles and trends really applicable in a season with no apparent home-field advantage? Are unders really playable when the average NFL team typically passes 50 times a game?
The biggest adjustment I’ve made this year is abandoning side wagers for the most part in favor of quarters and halves betting, which are faring well.
That will continue this week, as I have a slightly better than break-even mark overall (8 picks over the .500 mark), but remain in the red due to vig and making lots of plays (down -$399 for the season).
2020 NFL WAGERING RECORD
Wins — Losses — Pushes 63 — 55 — 2
Starting Bankroll: $10,000.
Current Bankroll: $9,601.
Best Bets: 4 — 5 — 0 (- $825.)
Last Week’s Results: + $1,730.
Three “best bets” this week, and 20 wagers, total.
THIS WEEK’S WAGERS: (20 plays)
Cincinnati Bengals +½ (-110) – 1st H $220.00 to win $200.00
BEST BET: Philadelphia Eagles/Cleveland Browns o9½ (-115) – 1st Q $230.00 to win $200.00
Philadelphia Eagles Team Total o½ (-180) – 1st Q $360.00 to win $200.00
Atlanta Falcons Team Total o½ (-170) – 1st Q $340.00 to win $200.00
Jacksonville Jaguars Team Total o½ (-120) – 1st Q $240.00 to win $200.00
I took last week off, which was a rare thing for me. The 2020 presidential election and aftermath was just too much of an overload to process, and adding NFL handicapping, I didn’t feel confident enough to post any picks.
However, that didn’t stop me from making 36 wagers over the course of Sunday and Monday. These were all last-minute wagers and half-time wagers, with no work involved, other than line shopping and betting based on gut instinct.
Well, wouldn’t you know it. I enjoyed my best (non-recorded) results in five years, going 27-9 against the spread. What’s astonishing is these were all $100 “shits and giggles” wagers. It ended up being about a $1,500 weekend.
For the purposes of recording, I posted only six of these — the Sunday night game and the Monday night game. I will only record what’s posted in advance, so that means I added MNF’s 3-0 result to the season tally. The big weekend was great financially but won’t win over any followers.
This week, I’m doing the EXACT SAME THING. Hey, why mess with success? I’ll make as many wagers as I can, all in the amount of $100 and will fire indiscriminately where I see line value or arbitrage (some cross bets with different lines and sites). The plays will be posted at Facebook. The reason I can’t post them in advance is — many of these plays are first-quarter bets, and the numbers on those don’t come out until a few hours before kickoff (NOTE: UPDATED — WAGERS ARE NOW POSTED BELOW).
However, I did make one advance play, based on weather reports. See below.
NOTE PLAYS ADDED BELOW………
2020 NFL WAGERING RECORD
Wins — Losses — Pushes 50 — 49 — 2
Starting Bankroll: $10,000.
Current Bankroll: $7,871.
Best Bets: 3 — 5 — 0 (- $1,325.)
Last Week’s Results: + $300.
THIS WEEK’S WAGERS: (16 +3 plays = 19 total)
Houston at Cleveland UNDER 45.5 — Risking $550 to win $500 (BEST BET)
Mild weather for Cleveland tomorrow, with temperatures close to 60 degrees at game time. But wind should be a huge factor and mixed with rain are expected to make things difficult for passing games (and kickers). Forecast calls for strong wind gusts. Total on this game plunged 5 points, but I don’t think that’s enough of an adjustment. So, I’m making this the Best Bet of the week.
Houston Texans/Cleveland Browns u45½ (-110)
Houston Texans/Cleveland Browns u45½ (-110)
Washington Redskins Team Total o½ (-140) – 1st Q
Jacksonville Jaguars Team Total o½ (-120) – 1st Q
Philadelphia Eagles/New York Giants o7½ (-105) – 1st Q
New York Giants Team Total o½ (-140) – 1st Q
Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Carolina Panthers o9½ (-130) – 1st Q
Carolina Panthers Team Total o½ (-160) – 1st Q
Washington Redskins/Detroit Lions o9½ (-105) – 1st Q
Los Angeles Chargers/Miami Dolphins o9½ (-130) – 1st Q
Buffalo Bills Team Total o3½ (-120) – 1st Q
Arizona Cardinals Team Total o6½ (-130) – 1st Q
Cincinnati Bengals Team Total o½ (-125) – 1st Q
San Francisco 49ers Team Total o½ (-120) – 1st Q
New Orleans Saints Team Total o6½ (-155) – 1st Q
Seattle Seahawks Team Total o3½ (-120) – 1st Q
Los Angeles Rams Team Total o6½ (-130) – 1st Q
SUNDAY NIGHT SHITS AND GIGGLES SPECIALS
Adding these three little honeys to cap off a fabulous NFL betting day, going 13-3. Each play is a $100 fun bet, and will be included in the NFL betting results, which I do each week at my site. This is my best two-week run in ten years the last two weeks, going 39-12.
Shit and giggles sandwiches, anyone? Enjoy the festa!