Thursday, December 20, 2007

Last Nano Second Gift Ideagrams

First off, I didn't find these all by myself. This list is comprised of leads from award winning wine writer, Jennifer Rosen, "The Cork Jester," and that other costumed cork popper, "The Wine Whisperer."

The Cork Jester has her own new party game out called, "Wine Teasers." Then there's the Aussie novelty wine bottle holder to create your own "Unchained Melody."

Elegantly simple, clean design with a jumble of Scrabble™ letters for a name: the MuNiMulA Wine Tray. Maybe they named it after it's molecular composition. Available in a variety of colors.

I've heard more than one person comment on the stemless "O" glasses who wondered about the warming of white wines since your toasty mitts are wrapped around the bowl with these glasses.

Then these floated across our radar: "Floating Glasses." The bowl "floats" within an outer cylinder of glass. Just listen to this intriguing description: Float red wine glasses by Todd MacAllen and Stephanie Forsythe of Molo Design are carefully handcrafted by master glassblowers in the Czech Republic using the highest quality German borosilicate glass.
The float red wine glasses can be used to serve hot or cold liquids.
The suspended bowl design at the bottom of the glasses serves to elevate condensation away from the table surface, making the use of a coaster unnecessary. When used for cold drinks, beads of moisture from condensation cling to the rounded underbelly of the glass, adding delicacy to the optical effect

This gives "snifter" a whole new meaning. In the words of Jimmy Durante, "The nose knows, hot cha cha!" Take a whiff of your favorite wine and get an honest snoot full. The inventor of the "Silhouette" glass accumulated over 25 years in hospitality service, spending time scrutinizing the way patrons drank wine. He observed that no matter how creatively a wine glass bowl and height are changed in order to suit the taste buds, no glass existed that could
direct the bouquet to the nose. He noted that either the last ounce of wine was left or patrons were forced to rudely tip their head backwards to swallow it. This also meant losing conversational eye contact. "There has to be a better solution," he thought. And here it is!

Strange Carafes that Look Like Abstract Giraffes. If you want to give me something for Christmas here's my pick. Click the link or the photos to see one being filled.... it's a lot more interesting than you might think.

Now, that's cold! For the literalist on your list how about a real ice bucket. It's bound to put a chill on your favorite sparkling wine or other beverage.
Shot glass molds are also available to drop your Lemon Drops below zero. Simply fill
mold with water, freeze, remove ice and chill. Dress it up by adding fruits, ornaments, flowers or food coloring. Not just for wine! Use for mineral water, other beverages or even as a candle votive. Kit includes plastic ice mold, bottle stand and a vessel that collects the melting ice. Comes gift boxed.

Want to make a real splash when you pop into your favorite New Year's bash? Check out this costume. You will make the evening sparkle in this get-up.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bye Bye Iron Chef, Hello Paper Chef

Imagine the possibilities: Hit "print" and you've got sushi! Soon we'll be ordering lunch online... and printing out a five course meal right at our desks. If you don't love it I'll eat my menu... hey this tastes great. Edible Christmas wrap for the kids.

Papercraft food printed with edible inks at Chicago's Moto restaurant

Homaro Cantu, the chef at Chicago's Moto restaurant, makes dishes by printing flavored inks onto edible sheets of "paper" and combining this papercraft food with elements cooked from the inside out with lasers. He also plans to levitate meals "using superconductors and handheld ion particle guns."
Perhaps Cantu's greatest innovation at Moto is a modified Canon i560 inkjet printer (which he calls the "food replicator" in homage to Star Trek) that prints flavoured images onto edible paper. The print cartridges are filled with food-based "inks", including juiced carrots, tomatoes and purple potatoes, and the paper tray contains sheets of soybean and potato starch. The printouts are flavoured by dipping them in a powder of dehydrated soy sauce, squash, sugar, vegetables or sour cream, and then they are frozen, baked or fried.

The most common printed dish at Moto is the menu. It can literally whet your appetite by providing a taste test of what's on the menu: tear off and eat a picture of a cow and it will taste like filet mignon. Once you are done with your sampling, the menu can be torn up and thrown into a bowl of soup - but only once you've ordered your two-dimensional sushi which consists of photos of maki rolls sprinkled on the back with soy and seaweed flavouring.

Link (via Oh Gizmo) (Image thumbnail taken from a larger picture on FirstScience, credited to Stephen Orlick and Homaro Cantu)

See also: When the Sous-Chef Is an Inkjet (NYT)

Update: Joel sez, "Here is a photo-essay of a 17-course menu at Moto, from LTHForum, The Chicago Culinary Chat site."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hey, Look What Imre Berecz Invented!

Wine to Walk the Plank in an Enneagon Shaped Barrel?

Don't ask me how to pronounce the inventor's name... there's no hints at the Patent Office. But I did find out that an "enneagon" is a nine-sided polygon.
This is pretty cool; good wine barrels without the expense of coopers (mini or otherwise).
Inventor Imre Berecz recently received a patent for a nine-sided rigid framed wine barrel with replaceable wood panels contained in a reusable steel frame.
The tongue-in-groove wood components can be toasted and are machined, so there's no need for the hand-fitting expertise required in constructing a traditional wine barrel--the result, much more affordable wine barrels. Neat idea, eh?
With patent in hand, Berecz is getting ready to share his invention with the industry and he can be reached at 949-858-1913.
Patent # 7,240,609 B 2. Story first spotted on Wine Business Insider, 10/8/07