Simply the Easiest and Safest way to open all Sparkling Wines.

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WORKS WITH ALL CORKS, STOPPERS & CAPS      Our Champagne Popper safely and easily open all domestic and imported sparkling wines no matter what kind of top  -  wood corks, plastic stoppers or the newer twist-off caps. Please read the instructions when getting your new opener . . . it works differently for each type.

  • LEVERAGED LIFT     A gentle squeeze of our Cork Puller extracts even the most stubborn plastic stopper with a powerful leveraged pull.  No more sore hands or broken fingernails.
  • EASY HANDLE GRIP     With a powerful gripping action even tight corks or twist-offs are easily removed with our patented Champagne Opener.  No longer will weak or arthritis hands be a problem.
  • PROTECTIVE HOOD     Using our Champagne Bottle Opener corks will never again detach retinas or break overhead lights by shooting unexpectedly and dangerously into the air. "A flying cork can travel up to 50 MPH with enough force to cause permanent eye damage" – American Academy of Ophthamology, reported in USA Today.
  • DISHWASHER SAFE    Our Champagne Bottle Opener is made from fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate this kitchen tool won’t bend or break when put in the dishwasher even if placed near the heating coil.
  • 100% U.S.A.     Invented, designed and completely manufactured in picturesque Monrovia, California since 1986.  Our unique Sparkling Wine Opener carries 3 United States Patents.

We loved this affordable, easy to use device. Now it is as easy to open a bottle of Champagne as opening a screw top bottle.

  • Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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Chilean Miracle Wines

A BRIGHT NEW STAR FROM CHILE: ALTAÏRSideral Botella y Caja

The Chilean Grand Cru touched by heaven and earth

Wine On Line Rating: SIDERAL 2002 & Altaïr 2002, “A+”

A new star rises on the wine world’s horizon with the launch of Altaïr, the ultra-premium Chilean wine with a Grand Cru pedigree. Bridging two hemispheres, Laurent Dassault, executive manager of Saint-Émilion’s Grand Cru Classé Château Dassault, has joined forces with Guillermo Luksic, chairman of Quiñenco, the holding company controlling Viña San Pedro, Chile’s second-largest winery. Together, they have created Altaïr Vineyards & Winery, an enterprise born with one purpose—to craft the ultimate Chilean Grand Cru.

“In 2000, I met Guillermo Luksic on a business trip to Chile,” says Dassault. “We rapidly made the decision to unite our respective competences and to create together a great Chilean wine.” By June 2001, a 50/50 partnership was in place between Château Dassault and Viña San Pedro, bringing together the Bordeaux winemaking tradition of Dassault with Luksic’s knowledge of the Chilean wine industry and Chile’s terroir, and Viña San Pedro’s international distribution network. “This agreement represents the shared vision of two families joined by our passion for wine and our fervent desire to create a fine wine that represents the virtues of both our countries in the demanding international markets,” says Luksic.

Continuing the North/South collaboration, Dassault and Luksic engaged noted Bordeaux oenologist Pascal Chatonnet and Chilean oenologist Ana-Maria Cumsille to bring the best of their two worlds together.

Inspired by the heavens

Altaïr is named for a star in Aguila, the Eagle Constellation. This distinctive star has a light so pure and intense—ten times more luminous than the sun—that it can be seen in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Soaring in the night sky, it is also the apex of the famed Summer Triangle, with Vega and Deneb comprising the other two points. From the Arabic “Al Nasr al Tair” (which means “flying eagle”), awareness of the star Altaïr and its constellation can be traced back 8,000 years to the Sumerians, who used it in navigation.

The Greeks had an eye on the Eagle as well: Greek mythology holds that Zeus, disguised as an Eagle, swept up the Trojan Prince Ganymede to be cup-bearer to the gods on Mount Olympus—a sort of Olympian sommelier, pouring out the “nectar of the gods.” To celebrate this occasion, Zeus created the Eagle Constellation, with Ganymede honored nearby as the constellation Aquarius, the Water-Bearer.

Rooted in the earth

To craft Altaïr, a wine that embodies both the excellence of French winemaking techniques and the best Chilean terroir, Dassault and Luksic built a spectacular, state-of-the-art winery tucked into the foothills of the Andes mountains in the Totihue Valley, a small area located in Requínoa county in the larger DO of Alto Valle de Cachapoal. Here, vines up to 15 years old cling to previously uncultivated, hilly slopes of gravely soil pitched up to a 35º angle. The 70 hectares (144 acres) of vines are planted at a density of 4,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare, depending on slope and exposure, at an altitude of 600–800 meters (2,000–2,600 feet) above sea level. The Andean influence—sunny days followed by cool breezes that glide down the mountains in late afternoon—allows the grapes to ripen slowly, giving them both fine, ripe tannins and fresh acidity. Yields are kept low at less than one kilogram (2.2 lbs) of grapes per plant.

The winery itself has its roots in the earth. Designed by Chilean architect Samuel Claro to complement and integrate with the surrounding landscape, the discreetly low-profile building is nestled into the hillside, with half of the structure underground. Together with stone walls and a massive roof, this allows near-perfect natural temperature control in the cellar. The uneven terrain made it possible to design the winery around gravity flow, with the harvest unloaded a full 4 meters (13 feet) above the cellar floor, allowing the grapes to fall naturally into small bins that are transferred to the tanks. All operations at the winery, which has a maximum capacity of 600,000 liters (158,500 gallons), are carried out using gravity to assure the gentlest handling of grapes and must. The winery incorporates the modern—gleaming stainless steel tanks, gravity-flow design, meticulous temperature control—with the traditional, utilizing classic French oak barriques and featuring walls of local Chacabuco stone (moss stone).

This graceful melding of the new and the traditional is echoed in the winery’s serene and spacious interior, which was decorated by Paula Gutiérrez. Contemporary furnishings play against natural materials such as leather, raffia, wood, and slate to create a harmonious environment, equally suited to observing activities in the high-tech cellars or looking out at the breathtaking mountain scenery.

The 2002 vintage of Altaïr—the new winery’s flagship wine, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carmenère—displays an intense, deep red color. Chatonnet describes it as beautifully concentrated on the nose, with warm notes of forest underbrush and black currant preserves. Swirling releases powerful but subtle notes of toasted pine, tobacco and cedar wrapped in red fruit evoking raspberry and black currant liqueur. The palate is rich and balanced, with elegant tannins and a long, silky finish. Altaïr is a powerful wine, with great cellaring potential.

A sister to Altaïr, but very much its own individual, is Sideral, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carmenère plus Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Named for the concept of sidereal time, which expresses the movements of stars and planets in the universe, Sideral 2002 has a dense, purplish color. On the nose, Chatonnet finds smoky notes, hints of spice, and black raisins. With swirling, the wine displays fruity aromas of compote and red currant over a base of vanilla and cigar box. The mouthfeel is rich and full, yet with an agreeable freshness and minerality that carry into the finish. Sideral is accessible and open, easier to taste and enjoy while young, yet with the ability to develop over time.

The first commercial vintages of Altaïr and Sideral were launched in the US market in March 2005. Suggested retail prices WERE $55 for Altair and $25 for Sideral.

SIDERAL 2002

Excellent Value & Food Friendly

Technical Notes: The 2002 vintage of Sideral is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and a 10% blend of Carmenère, Syrah, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot. This wine is made from vines up to 10 years old, planted on hilly, gravely soils. Density ranges from 4,000 to 10,000 plants per hectare, with yields kept to slightly more than one kilogram (2.2 lbs) of grapes per plant.

The grapes were hand harvested in early morning, then the berries were selected and sorted at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks, with a long, traditional maceration. The wine aged in 100% French oak casks for a total of 12 months with barrel-to-barrel racking; it was bottled in December 2003; and 2,500 cases were exported to the US.. DO: Rapel Valley. ABV: 14%.

The Vintage: The 2002 vintage was difficult for producers in the southern regions of Chile such as Curicó, Maule and Bió-Bió, which saw rains at harvest time. However, the more northern regions such as Casablanca, Maipo, and Cachapoal—where Altaïr’s vineyards are—had mild, dry weather that allowed gradual ripening, improving freshness, acidity and concentration over the hotter 2001 vintage.

Tasting Notes: Sideral 2002 has a dense, purplish color. On the nose, it shows smoky notes, with hints of spice and black raisins. With swirling, the wine displays fruity aromas of compote and red currant over a base of vanilla and cigar box. The mouthfeel is rich and full, yet with an agreeable freshness and minerality that carry into the finish. Sideral is accessible and open, easier to taste and enjoy while young, yet with the ability to develop over time.

Serving Suggestions: Sideral is exceptionally food-friendly and will enhance the enjoyment of everything from a juicy burger or simple goat cheeses to wild boar, roast chicken with thyme, or prime rib.

(RELEASE) Suggested Retail Price: $25

Altaïr 2002

If you have never tasted a $200 wine, here’s your chance to enjoy one of equal quality at about ¼ of the price.

Technical Notes: The 2002 vintage of Altaïr, the flagship wine of Altaïr Vineyards & Winery, is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Carmenère, and 7% Merlot. This wine is made from vines up to 15 years old, planted on gravely soils with inclines up to 35 degrees. Density ranges from 4,000 to 10,000 plants per hectare, but yields are kept to less than one kilogram (2.2 lbs) of grapes per plant.

The grapes were hand harvested in the early morning, then brought to the winery in small bins. At sorting tables, a preliminary hand sorting removed leaves and any undesirable grapes. After destemming, a two-part table allowed any undersize grapes to fall out and workers to remove any remaining stems or flawed grapes. The grapes were lightly crushed, then a small, mobile hanging tank moved the must into a larger tank below for fermentation. Four to five days of cold maceration was followed by a cool, traditional fermentation in wooden tanks, with pigeage. Malolactic fermentation was 100% completed in barrel. The wine received gentle, barrel-to-barrel racking as it aged in 100% French oak barrels for 15-18 months. Altaïr 2002 was bottled in January 2004; and 700 cases were exported to the US. DO: Cachapoal Valley; ABV: 14%.

The Vintage: The 2002 vintage was difficult for producers in the southern regions of Chile such as Curicó, Maule and Bió-Bió, which saw rains at harvest time. However, the more northern regions such as Casablanca, Maipo, and Cachapoal—where Altaïr’s vineyards are—had mild, dry weather that allowed gradual ripening, improving freshness, acidity and concentration over the hotter 2001 vintage.

Tasting Notes: Altaïr 2002 displays an intense, deep red color. It is beautifully concentrated on the nose, with warm notes of forest underbrush and black currant preserves. Swirling releases powerful but subtle notes of toasted pine, tobacco and cedar wrapped in red fruit evoking raspberry and black currant liqueur. The palate is rich and balanced, with elegant tannins and a long, silky finish. This is a powerful wine, with great cellaring potential.

Serving Suggestions: Serve at cellar temperature. Decanting of 45 minutes is recommended. This complex wine pairs beautifully with rich meats such as leg of lamb, grilled steak, or venison; it is also a match for duck prepared with savory or red fruit sauces, or roasted game birds with herbed brown sauces. Or try it with strong cheeses such as aged cheddar, Asiago and Huntsman.

Suggested Retail Price: (PREVIOUSLY) $55

The URL is:  www.altairwines.com.

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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HOWARD MC GILLIN MAKES OAK ROOM DEBUT IN “ISN’T IT ROMANTIC” WITH CHARM AND CONGENIALITY

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Best known for his record-setting performances as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Howard McGillin has enjoyed a varied career on both Broadway and London stages. Mr. McGillin, has a winning way with his audience and a lovely and cultured tenor voice that has made him the quintessential leading man in theatre.

At his eagerly awaited Oak Room debut, (From September 13-24),  McGillin presented an evening of love songs that aptly answered the question, “Isn’t It Romantic?” Howard offers a program, with appealing patter, that explores a variety of romantic experiences, highlighted by a rendition of “All The Things You Are,” (Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II) that was simple and without embellishments, proving that a great song needs nothing more than to be sung with sensitivity to make its point.

A combined arrangement of “A Foggy Day IN LONDON TOWN” (George and Ira Gershwin) and the lovely “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” (Eric Maschwitz; Manning Sherwin; Jack Strachey)  gives Howard the opportunity to fill us in on his adventures, when living in London, and a neat duo pairing, a rollicking “SHE LOVES ME” (Sheldon Harnick; Jerry Bock) with a subtle version of “Dear Friend” (Sheldon Harnick; Jerry Bock) from the same show, allows Mr. McGillin to demonstrate his dramatic range and vocal finesse.

The high point of the evening was a stunning rendering of “Putting It Together” (Stephen Sondheim) that was eclipsed by the beyond-beautiful “Good Thing Going” (Stephen Sondheim), demonstrating that some of the best theater songs come from shows that are less than memorable.

“Time” (Barry Kleinbort; Joseph Thalken), offered an appealing contemporary touch, while “Two For The Road” (Henry Mancini; Leslie Bricusse) was the perfect encore.

Beautifully accompanied by Joseph Thalken at the piano and Richard Sarpola on bass, Howard McGillin is easy to like, easy to listen to and brings a thoroughly pleasant evening of entertainment to the Algonquin’s legendary Oak Room.  

Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 pm and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11 pm. There is a $50 cover charge plus either a $60 dinner at 7 or $30 food and beverage minimum. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com.

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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EMILY BERGL OPENS OAK ROOM SEASON WITH A BANG IN “KIDDING ON THE SQUARE”

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In her Oak Room debut August 30,  brilliant young actress singer Emily Bergl, star of Broadway (Nora Ephron’s "Love, Loss and What I Wore,"), film (“The Rage: Carrie 2”) and TV’s Royal Pains and Desperate Housewives, roars into the Oak Room with more gusto than Hurricane Irene in the her exhilarating act: ”Kidding on the Square.”

A theatrical cabaret-act that transports the audience on a fast-paced ride through love, heartbreak and everything in between, ”Kidding on the Square” is told from the perspective of a modern girl and the eccentric characters she inhabits,

Something old (the Boswell Sisters “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye”; something new (Peter Brown & Robert Rans “Material Girl" by way of Madonna); something borrowed ( "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" as an evolving Judy Garland); and something blue (as in Bergl’s deliciously compelling version of “Billy Barnes jazz classic Something Cool,”); the show features a rich array of songs that include Roy Orbison’s “Cryin’,” Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” a poignant characterization of Rodgers & Hart’s “Ten Cents a Dance as a down-and-out hostess,” Dietz & Schwartz’ Confession” and an unexpected opening number, interpreting Noel Coward’s “Mad About the Boy”  with a serious bent: the lady gets truly angry.

In ”Kidding on the Square,” Bergl does what she does best, which in the case of this hour and fifteen minutes appears to be everything. It comes as no surprise that her acting, where, comedic, dramatic or character is a paragon of perfection, but she looks terrific is a slinky gray “pull apart” gown, that becomes a sexy dress and finally morphs into leotards and tights. Her movement is as controlled as possible in these small quarters. But the big kicker is the voice: A luscious lyric soprano that can go into a metallic chest, when the material demands, as in an hilarious rendition of the vintage Andrews Sisters“Bei Mir Bist Du Schön” that is worth the price of admission.

High points test Ms. Bergl’s. comedic, dramatic and vocal abilities, which she passes with grade “A” marks. Memorable Moments: Pink Martini’s song "Sympathique" from the 1997 album Sympathique,  and you needn’t speak French to get the nuanced meaning.”

Kidding on the Square”  is beautifully directed by Sarna Lapine with G. Scott Lacy as musical director and receives outstanding backup from pianist Jonathan Mastro (Musical director of the hit revival of "Our Town,)" with the talented Ritt Henn on bass and ukulele.

After a fun closing (“Dream a Little Dream of Me,”) Ms. Bergl encores with a heart-wrenching version of the Peggy Lee hit “Is That All There Is.“ And indeed, this is one of the few times in recent memory, we felt that way too about a cabaret act: Absolutely electrifying and not to be missed. Reserve now! The show will run through Saturday September 10th.

Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11 pm.   The cover charge is $50 per person plus either a $30 food and beverage minimum or a $60 prix fixe dinner.  Reservations:  212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com

 

Note: The new menu features an amazingly tender and moist Berkshire pork chop that is in step with making the Algonquin kitchen on a par with the atmosphere, entertainment and service one encounters in this truly great New York institution.

Click Here To Visit Emily Bergl’s Official Website

Click Here To Visit Website of Oak Room Supper Club

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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Pierre Loti Restaurant Expands on W. 15th Street: Double in Size but Intimate as Ever

Photos: Noah Fecks

Pierre Loti Chelsea is following up on its very recent physical expansion with an expansion of the palate. Owner Orhan Cakir announces new food & cocktails menus, featuring a broader selection of Mediterranean inspired fare and crafty cocktail creations.

The new food menu comes from Chef de Cuisine Habip Kargin, who worked as Sous Chef at popular Turks and Frogs restaurant and has experience at Pera Mediterranean Brasserie. Start with an arugula and beets salad, topped with creamy goat cheese and a splash of fruity pomegranate vinaigrette. Lamb chops are strewn across a verdant pea puree, while orange-tinged chanterelles add an extra pop of color and meaty flavor. Oven roasted quail comes stuffed with spiced rice and receives a delicate chew and crunch from sweet raisins and pine nuts.

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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Maid Service for a Year? Microtel Hotels Giving Away Guests’ Favorite Amenities

Travelers across the United States are getting a chance to bring home a slew of their favorite hotel amenities—from flat screen televisions and free Internet access to maid service and more—thanks to the Microtel Inns & Suites® hotel brand and its “A better place to stay® Sweepstakes.

Launched in celebration of the brand’s recent 10th consecutive ranking as “Highest in Guest Satisfaction among Economy/Budget Hotel Chains” by global marketing information services company J.D. Power and Associates, the sweepstakes offers entrants the chance to win one of 10 prize packs, each consisting of 10 items that represent amenities that make Microtel Inns & Suites hotels a better place to stay.
Each prize pack includes:
• One Year Free Cable TV and Internet Service
• One Year Free Home Phone Service
• One Year Free Breakfast
• One Year Free Home Maid Service
• One Year Free Gym Membership
• 42” Flat-Screen Plasma Television
• 7” Touch Screen Tablet Computer
• Queen-Size Mattress
• Microtel’s Signature DreamWellTM Bedding
• 10,000 Wyndham Rewards® Points

To enter, travelers should visit www.microtelinn.com and click on the sweepstakes banner. When they do, they’ll be able to create and submit a top 10 list of their favorite Microtel Inns & Suites amenities, which will then enter them into the sweepstakes. Travelers can enter until midnight ET on November 10, plus they’ll have the opportunity to invite up to three friends to enter for the opportunity to earn up to three additional entries. Terms and conditions apply. For more information and the terms and conditions, please visit www.microtelinn.com.
“Microtel Inns & Suites hotels have always been known for delivering outstanding service and high-quality accommodations at affordable prices,” said Rui Barros, Microtel Inns & Suites brand senior vice president. “A decade of the brand ranking highest in its segment certainly demonstrates that. To celebrate, we’re giving travelers a chance to take home just a few of the many things they love about Microtel hotels.”

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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