Thursday, September 24, 2009

Top 10 Wines Under $10

Finding a great wine can be an arduous task given the amount of different brands / types that are out there. When you are on a tight budget, this task can be even more difficult. There are, however, a lot of great wines out there that are still highly affordable. Below are the top 10 wines for under $10.

1. JM Fonseca Twin Vines - JM Fonseca Twin Vines is a white wine that is extremely refreshing and light (on both the palate and the wallet). This wine is a perfect compliment to any chicken or pasta dish as well.
Price: $9.99

2. Chauteau August - This merlot (the best for under $10) has a smooth taste and goes well with red meat and sharp cheeses.
Price: $8

3.Ravenswood Zinfadel - A fairly dry wine, but one of the best you can get for under $10. Extremely smooth with lots of flavor.
Price: $8.99

4. Twin Fin Pinot Noir - Has a slight "alcoholy" taste, but is very rich. Goes great with pizza, steak, or pasta with red sauce.
Price: $7.99

5. Voga Quattro - An interesting (and great tasting) blend of merlot, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, and pinot noir.
Price: $8.99

6. D'Arenberg the Stump Jump - Has the smell and taste of dark berries. A very good red wine for under $10.
Price: $9.99

7. Veramonte Merlot Reserva - A mixture of blackberry and cherry aromas. This red wine has a great flavor.
Price: $8.95

8. HRM Rex Goliath Zinfandel - A California wine with a lot of blackberry and cherry flavors.
Price: $9

9. Banrock Station Riesling - A South Australian white wine with a hint of lemon flavor.
Price: $6.99

10. Domaine Houchart - A great summer wine that has hints of strawberry and watermelon.
Price: $9.97

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

10 Best Albums from the 90's

A while back we did a blog post entitled "10 Best Albums from the 90's". It is only fitting that a post dedicated to the best albums from the 90's is created as well. The 90's music scene shifted from the New Wave era into the grunge / post grunge era as bands like Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and Bush ruled the radio. While the ten albums below might not all fall under your top 10 list, there is no arguing their popularity and their influence on modern music.

10. Live - Throwing Copper: Throwing Copper was the best "Nirvana influenced" album of the 90's. When listening to the current (horrible) albums that Live has released, it is surprising that they ever put a great album like this. Nevertheless, Throwing Copper is a great record that doesn't include a filler track.

Best Track: Lightning Crashes

9. Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory: I've listened to "Definitely Maybe" nearly as much as this album and I think the Morning Glory is the better album tune for tune. Oasis is hardly originial or innovative, but they take the music of their influences (primarily The Beatles) and turn it into a flawless pop album. Every track on this album is ridiculously catchy from the opener "Hello" all the way to the closer "Champagne Supernova".

Best Track: Champagne Supernova

8. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik: The first four releases from the RHCP were all very good (with the exception of maybe their debut), but they really came into their own on Blood Sugar Sex Magik. This album might be very long, but it is always enjoyable throughout. No other band was playing music like the Chili Peppers at the time and Blood Sugar Sex Magik illustrates why they were one of the best of the 90's.

Best Track: Under the Bridge

7. Pearl Jam - Ten: There is no question that this is a great album, but what makes Ten even more impressive is that it was a debut album. Eddie Vedder did work on other projects prior to Pearl Jam (Temple of the Dog), but that doesn't take away from the fact that this album is incredibly impressive for a debut (or any album for that matter). Pearl Jam did release other great albums during their still ongoing career (Vitalogy, Vs, Yield), but none have come close to the nearly perfect Ten.

Best Track: Black

6. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream: I almost put "Mellon Collie" here instead. Even though "Mellon Collie" has some of my favorite Smashing Pumpkins tunes, the double album has too much filler to make the list. Siamese Dream, on the otherhand, is nearly a flawless album. Even though this piggy backed off of the success of Nirvana's Nevermind, it still had a huge influence on the post-grunce music scene.

Best Track: Today

5. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity: This is where all my credibility goes out the window right? For people who first heard Jimmy Eat World from the song "The Middle" (or future hits), you really need to give this release a listen. Clarity is completely different from the band's other releases. It is, without question, the best emo album of all time.

Best Track: Lucky Denver Mint

4. Sublime - Sublime: What's frustrating to me about this album (Sublime's best release) is that lead singer Bradley Nowell died shortly before it's release; never, in my opinion, reaching his peak as a songwriter. Nevertheless, this album is truly one of the best ones released during the 90s. No other band had mixed reggae, rock, pop, and alternative music nearly as well as Sublime did. This album (along with 40oz to Freedom to a lesser extent) helped to influence modern bands such as Pepper and Slightly Stoopid.

Best Track: April 29, 1992

3. Nirvana - Nevermind: Nevermind completely changed the face of music. Nobody was making music like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Lithium" and if they were, it certainly wasn't ruling the radiospace like Nirvana's tunes were. This album is hyped a lot due to Kurt Cobain's death, the fact that it was "different" than other music at the time, and because of how many bands this album influenced. This album is one of the rare ones that is just as good as the hype and even after 18 years (can't believe it's been out this long), it still continues to have an impact on newer generations from their very first listen.

Best Track: Smells Like Teen Spirit

2. Radiohead - Ok Computer: Even with the brilliance of "The Bends", nobody anticipated a release quite like this from Radiohead. Every single track on this album (with maybe the exception of "Fitter Happier") illustrates why this band is in a league of their own. This album almost always appears in people's top 3 for best 90's albums and rightfully so.

Best Track: Paranoid Android

1. Green Day - Dookie: Many would argue that while this is certainly worthy of the "top 10", it should not be in the number 1 spot. Green Day's Dookie, however, has had just as much impact on modern music as Nirvana's Nevermind and Radiohead's Ok Computer. This album, in my opinion, is not only one of the best albums from the 90's, but also one of the best of all time. Every song on here is an instant punk classic. Bands throughout the 90's and the new millenium tried to replicate the success of Dookie, but none have even come close. Green Day continues to make great music, but none of their future releases could compare to that of Dookie.

Best Track: Longview

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Last Minute Rosh Hashanah Gift Ideas

Choosing the perfect gift is always an arduous task, but when it comes to last minute gift purchases this becomes even more difficult. Rosh Hashanah is only three days away which means that if you haven't purchased a gift yet your options are somewhat limited. However, there are still a lot of great Rosh Hashanah gifts that you can buy in time for the holiday. Below is a list of the top five Rosh Hashanah gifts that you can purchase at the last minute.

1. Rosh Hashanah Cookie Arrangement - Instead of cake, why not celebrate the New Year with a Rosh Hashanah Cookie Arrangement courtesy of Clever Cookie. Not only are these cookies Kosher (and dairy free), you can get your own personalized message incorporated onto a cookie. Same day shipping available for individuals within the New York area and next day shipping available for people outside the New York region. This unique gift idea is bound to be a success at any Rosh Hashanah gathering.


2. Bagels from Bagel Boss - When it comes to bagels, nobody does it better than New York. Sure you can get a bagel anywhere, but New York bagels are known for being the best (from my experience I can definitely tell you that this is true). My favorite bagel place has to be Bagel Boss (Egg bagel with lox cream cheese specifically). What's great about Bagel Boss is that if you are not in the New York region you can get them shipped to you from anywhere in the United States the next day.

3. Jewish Recipes - For those of you with no Rosh Hashanah gift budget, you can preparea custom cookbook of Jewish recipes. JewishRecipes.com offers thousands of different Kosher recipe ideas for free. Why not put together a few of these recipes into one booklet and give it to the indiviudal hosting the Rosh Hashanah gathering. This idea is not only thoughtful, but won't require you to spend a dime.

4. Jewish Calendar - Since Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of the new year, a Jewish calendar makes perfect sense for a gift idea. TraditionsJewishGifts.com offers a selection of Jewish calendars that you can receive in two days after your purchase.

5. Stars of David Jewelry - Judaica Web Store offers over 100 jewelry items for sale that contain the Star of David. This gift idea is definitely for somebody with a more lucrative budget, if you have the money it makes for a great gift idea. Jewelry from Judaica Web Store can be sent within 2 days after purchase.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Most Anticipated Las Vegas Events of September 2009

Iron-pumping trade shoes, hilarious stand-up comics, Friday afternoon poolside parties and Labor Day Weekend extravaganzas, this up and coming month of September is sure to leave you wanting more.Clear your schedule, book your flight, pack your bag and get ready for the most anticipated Las Vegas events of September 2009.

Ditch Friday Daytime Pool Party at Palms Pool & Bungalows – Friday, September 11, 2009

Experience the ultimate poolside party presented by N9ne Group, Ditch Friday, at the Palms Pool & Bungalows on September 11. The most scintillating party on the Las Vegas strip takes place across three-acres of an adults-only playground complemented by three pools, a climate-controlled gaming area, four bars and two dramatic waterfalls. Partygoers can enjoy creative cocktails and mouth-watering cuisine while relaxing in a sexy and sophisticated setting filled with chic custom-designed furniture and d├ęcor. Each of the three two-story, poolside bungalows at the Palms has its own private bar, 42-inch plasma television, DVD player, stereo, LED lighted bathrooms, comfortable king beds and direct views of the poolside stage. The pool also features 27 amenity-packed VIP cabanas loaded with a stone table with a built-in ice chest, state-of-the-art sound system, 32-inch plasma television, house phone, lighted fan, refrigerator, digital safes and designer lounge furniture. Don’t miss this perfect excuse to skip work on Friday! Ticket prices range from $20 for pre-paid entry to 60$ for a VIP All Access Wristband. Log on to the N9ne Group Ticket Center for more information.

Ray Romano & Brad Garrett at the Mirage Resort and Casino Las Vegas – September 12 & 13, 2009

America’s favorite sarcastic brothers from the Emmy award-winning sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” are set to reminisce on hilarious old times on stage in the Terry Fator Theatre at the Mirage Resort and Casino. Fans of the sitcom should not expect to see “Robert Barone” (Garrett’s deep-voiced character from the show), but an unrestrained stand-up comic who leaves audiences laughing long after he has left the stage. Despite branching off from their television alter egos, Romano and Garrett still behave like brothers on stage, casually insulting each other one minute and then boosting the other’s spirit the next. The dynamic duo is sure to bring on some tears from uncontrollable laughter, and promises to be one of the most spectacular Las Vegas events of September. Ticket prices range from $99 to $119 with seating based upon availability. Doors open one hour prior to show time and children under the age of 16 are not permitted to attend. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and parental discretion is advised.

Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend 2009 at the Las Vegas Convention Center – September 24 – 27, 2009

The 2009 Olympia Weekend Expo kicks off its fifth straight year at the Las Vegas Convention Center on September 25, bringing the ultimate bodybuilding and fitness experience to fans and enthusiasts from all over the world. Join an expected guest list of over 30,000 fans, all free to sample and purchase new products from across the globe while meeting professional athletes, celebrities and industry icons along the way. Witness grueling, adrenaline-pumping competitions such as Olympia’s Strongest Man Challenge and the Women’s Battle of the Biceps, as well as exciting shows like Olympia’s Powerlifting Super Show. Olympia is also proud announce the return of FLEX Magazine’s Bikini Model Search, the NAGA Olympia World Grappling Championship, Superstar Training Camp, 202 Showdown and the world-famous Olympia Muscle Pit, where fans get the chance to pump iron with their favorite IFBB professionals. Tickets for the event cost $15 per person, where every fan will bring home tons of Olympia giveaways including supplements, protein bars, energy drinks, t-shirts, fitness magazines and more!