Wine 101: Beyond South America

In: Charge It, Nic

Last week I gave you an option for a great Malbec blend from Argentina. Although South America is very well known for this particular grape, Malbec, due to popularity, has been coming out of the woodworks from other countries. One country producing small but delicious quantities of Malbec is Australia.

The Potts family, out of the Langhorne Creek area in South Australia, have been making wine since the mid 19th century starting with Frank Potts. This makes Bleasdale the second oldest vineyard in Australia. Recently, Bleasdale Vineyards has been known for their sparkling Shiraz, a bubbly RED wine, that both reads like a true Shiraz, but is meant for chilling. Fortunately for us though, they’ve also planted and succeeded in cultivating and making great Malbec. Obviously Australia is quite hot year round, perfect for the growth of some varietals, but…

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A few days ago, I told you about the fact that Steve Jobs was taking a medical leave of absence from his role as CEO of Apple. In his absence Tim Cook (COO) is taking over, and in the event that Jobs’ extended leave turns permanent, 50 year old Tim Cook will replace him permanently. Oh yeah, and he’s gay, which now makes him the most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley. Up until this point, he had been described as a “lifelong bachelor” and “intensely private,” but Valleywag (division of Gawker) claims it has confirmed through “two well-placed sources” that he is gay.

He’s been with Apple since 1998 and has served as acting CEO of the company in Job’s absence before. He’s a hard worker, and keeps in good health and shape by hiking, cycling, and going to the gym. He’s an early riser, and starts sending emails at 4:30 a.m. He believes that intuition has guided his life’s choices and that preparation and hard work are necessary to execute.

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This is American Idol. Cue theme song. After much anticipation and fanfare, Season 10 of American Idol finally premiered last night. Based on first impression on the premiere episode, I have no doubt Idol is back on track. To sum it up briefly, it was awesome. There were no super stand-out performances, but you can tell Idol is back on track to finding a real music superstar.

Despite my trepidation of the addition of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, the changing of the guard went off more smoothly than I could’ve imagine. All I have to say is, Simon who??? I love the acerbic Brit, but his indifference and could-care-less who won attitude was off-putting last season. But enough about Simon, and let’s talk about the gem that was Steven Tyler. With Simon’s mean one-liners and Paula’s kooky blabbering long gone, I thought the days of Idol sound bites were long gone. Boy, did Tyler prove me wrong. That guy was amazing last night. He had more memorable lines than the entire panel combined last year. I also loved his lecherous come-ons to the attractive female contestants. His high-five to Randy regarding a girl’s apple bottom assets was awesome.

Steven Tyler’s Best Line: What’s with the jujubees on your oohoohbees? or We oughta let her in the door. Water that flower ’cause I think it’s gonna grow.

Jennifer Lopez on her part wasn’t bad either. She wasn’t as effective as Tyler, but I have no doubt she’ll find her footing and give the Aerosmith frontman a run for his money. How gorgeous did she look last night? Say what you will about her, but the girl is damn fine. It’s amazing (slash I’m old) to see the new contestants say they grew up idolizing Lopez. To them, Lopez is their Paula Abdul.

Jennifer Lopez’s Best Line: Why did I sign up for this?! I wanna go home!”

I should also mention the addition of Interscope chairman, Jimmy Iovine, is pure genius. He’s only going to add to Idol’s amazing season. Clive Davis is legendary, but Iovine is more current and his knowledge will really help this year’s winner become a strong candidate to hit it mainstream a la Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

As you can see, I won the enviable task of covering this season of American Idol. Normally, my recaps will be published sooner, but I wanted to think of a format for my posts during the audition rounds that I could sustain. I’m not a fan of talking about all the good and especially awful auditions. Check out the highlights of the New Jersey auditions below and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear all your feedback, good and bad. I want to make this season of Idol as much fun as possible for you and I.

check out my favorite auditions after the jump

I was just forwarded a shocking link to a petition to STOP “Corrective Rape” in, but not limited to, South Africa. You can read the short blurb on the website, or read what’s posted below.

‘Corrective rape’, the vicious practice of raping lesbians to ‘cure’ their sexuality, is a crisis in South Africa.

They need your help. In just a few weeks they’ve gotten 150,000 signatures. After 500,000 signatures, they will send it to South African activists. states:

Although persecution of gays and lesbians is on the increase, very few victims are prepared to speak publicly about the attacks because of the stigma surrounding the issue of homosexuality.

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Check Out The GLAAD Media Award Nominees

In: Totally GAY!, Tyrell

The 22nd Annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Awards have announced their nominees and the list includes some heavy hitters and some high flying networks. The awards show honors media for outstanding portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the issues they face. Here is what GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios had to say about this year’s nominees.

“This year’s nominees represent some of the images and stories at the root of the growing
acceptance of our community and support for our equality. They also have created a benchmark for inclusion of our community that other media outlets should look to. As GLAAD celebrates 25 years of working with the media, we are proud to recognize this year’s nominees and we challenge the industry to share more stories
that reflect the diversity of our community and the challenges that gay and transgender people

GLAAD announced 114 nominations in 23 English language categories and 33 Spanish language nominees in nine categories. Cable networks earned a total of 22 nods while broadcast networks gained 11 nods. Not bad.

Check out some of the nominees after the jump…

Bruno Mars Covers Perry’s “California Gurls”

In: Donovan, Music

If you weren’t aware of it, I have a major hard on for Bruno Mars. I’ve been playing his entire album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans“, on repeat for several months now. “Grenade” and “Just The Way You Are” are radio chart toppers, but there’s plenty of other tracks on the album that are fantastic. If you haven’t checked it out, you’re definitely missing out.

Since I can’t get enough of Bruno Mars, I’ve been wishing for some new material… and today I (sorta) got my wish. The singer-songwriter dropped by BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge and covered one of 2010′s most ubiquitous songs, Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”. It maybe a few months late (does anyone still listen to that song), but it’s so amazingly awesome, I don’t care. Picking “Teenage Dream” would’ve been an obvious choice, so I’m glad he thought outside the box and tackled this extremely sugary pop song.

listen to the awesome acoustic cover after the jump

Poor Sandra can’t catch a break! Not too long ago, Patrick showed us a picture of the sleezy Bombshell McGee licking a picture of Sandra Bullock while waiting to get her LASIK eye surgery. Now, another story has broke that is sure to make Sandra glad she left Jesse last year. After only a confirmed six months of dating, People magazine is reporting that tattoo artist Kat Von D and Cheater McCheaterson Jesse James are engaged.

Are you serious? I’m going on the record as saying Jesse really screwed up on this one. I have no problem with Kat Von D what-so-ever but you went from Sandra to Kat? Really? The rumors have been fueled by Kat wearing a diamond stunner on her ring finger at the Art of Elysium charity gala on Monday. On the weekend, Jesse tweeted his love for Kat. Check it out:

Baby? You make it so easy to do everything I can to show you how Amazing you are. I see it as clear as a bell. My other half.

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Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” Remix

In: Fashion, Music, Patrick

Yesterday, as promised Lady Gaga debuted a remixed version her “Born This Way” at the Mugler men’s fashion show in Paris. As you can expect, under the creative direction of Nicola Formichetti, the brains behind Gaga’s crazy outfits, nothing about the fashion show was “normal”.

Gaga’s new tune is featured in a short film directed by fashion photog Marino Vivanco. The video features clips from the actual runway show and of Formichetti’s Facebook find, Rick Genest, who has had his entire body tattooed to look like a skeleton. Formichetti’s described “Rico” and his skeleton look as follows:

“I want to look at fashion from within and outside the industry and collaborate with people from all walks of life. I suppose if you wanted to look at Rico’s role in this he’s like a literal, visual interpretation of what is under the skin as well as a celebration of what is covering it.”

You’re probably wondering, “What about Gaga’s song?” Well, I like it, but it’s so remixed it is impossible to figure out what the actual song will sound like. It’s even in German(otta) in some parts? Either way, I’m confident enough in what I heard that it’s going to be a hit. Check it out for yourself.

Listen to the new sounds of Gaga remixed after the jump…

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