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Tag: review (page 3 of 3)

Review: Inniskillin Icewine

Inniskillin Ice Wine Sculpture

Inniskillin Icewine Gallery

If you’ve walked by the fantastic Ice Gate outside of Richmond City Hall on your way to the Richmond OZone, you’ve likely passed the Inniskillin Icewince Gallery providing tastings of three of their Icewines.

Established in 1975 (and being granted the first winery license in Ontario since prohibition), Inniskillin has vineyards in both the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley here in British Columbia. Furthermore, parent company Vincor is also the official supplier of wine for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Icewine Gallery is located at the main entrance to the Richmond OZone with Inniskillin having two 36′ bars serving tastings as well as a VIP lounge – all of which is designed to match the icy appeal of the Ice Gate across the way.

Now for anyone keeping score, I’m far from an expert when it comes to Icewine. In fact, I’d wager to say that I’d never tried Icewine prior to stopping by the Icewine Gallery. So after some discussion on twitter, I was offered a chance to try a small taste of each, not bad way to take the first step to becoming an Icewine connoisseur.


Inniskillin’s Vidal Icewine Commemorative Edition – courtesy of Inniskillin

Available to try in the Icewine gallery were the Inniskillin Vidal from Niagara, the Inniskillin Okanagan Riesling Icewine, and the Inniskillin Vidal Icewine Commemorative Edition from Niagara. Although I can’t remember the exact order I tried the first two in, I was blown away by the intense flavour each provided – it was like an explosion on my palate to tell you the truth. But my favourite, was the last of the three – the Commemorative Edition.

I can’t really begin to describe why I liked the Commemorative Edition over the other two. I just found the flavour to have the right intensity and the the Icewine itself just to go down nice – heck, I could see myself sticking a straw in the bottle it was that good. Not only did the selection taste great,the artwork on the bottle itself is awesome – work from Gordon Halloran, the creator of the Ice Gate itself. To me, I’d love to have a bottle (empty or full) simply out for display, the image is so neat. Furthermore, proceeds of each bottle sold go to the Canadian Olympic Team and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games so how can you not feel good about supporting our Canadian athletes?

Available throughout the 2010 Winter Games, the Inniskillin Icewine Gallary will be open from 3:00pm to 11:00pm on weeknights and noon to 11:00pm on weekends. The tastings cost $5 for each half oz. sample, but the best deal is $10 to try all three. Make sure you also follow them on twitter (@2010Wines) to keep abreast of news and events.

Disclosure: I received a half oz. tasting of all three icewines (value $10). I simply chose to review the tasting on my own afterwards – cmp.ly/1

Review: HP A646 Photosmart Printer

For the past three years, I’ve been using an HP A516 Photosmart printer to meet my photo printing needs. So when I saw that Raul was having a contest offering an HP A646 Photosmart Printer to those who left a comment, I figured I’d drop a line to let all those entering know how happy I was with mine. Now true I understood that by leaving a comment I was also entering the contest, but never in a million years did I figure I’d win.

HP Photosmart A646 Printer & Bag

HP Photosmart A646 Compact Photo Printer & Bag

Yet, that’s just what happened. So figuring that I now had this fancy dancy new printer in my hands, it made sense that I share my initial experience with all three of you that swing by.

Upon receiving the printer, the first thing that caught my eye was how eco-friendly it was compared to my “old skool” A516. Built from 32% recycled materials, the printer also includes a stylish carrying case which was made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s also important to note that it’s an Energy Star Qualified Product and uses less than a watt of energy while off. It also boasts a 3.45″ touchscreen to navigate through the many creative options and has ample means to acquire photos to print – whether plugging it direct into a computer, using a USB key, a number of memory cards, or via bluetooth from your phone.

Similar to the A516, the stylish A646 was a breeze to setup with my PC (I’m going to see about setting it up to my Macbook later tonight and figure the experience to be the same). I’m also happy to report that the pictures I printed using the included HP Advanced Photo Paper were phenomenal, but keep in mind that I’m no photophile – to a more technical saavy person the pictures may simply be acceptable.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the product. It’s done everything I’ve asked of it in the short time I’ve played with it and therefore I really don’t have anything to complain about. I do find it interesting that it comes with the tote, as it’s not necessarily something that’s all too portable considering it’s need of an electrical outlet to work (although a battery seems to be available, you still need to “plug” it in). It also prints slower than the 28 seconds as advertised, but I’ve got no need for speed so that doesn’t bother me too much. Lastly, it would have been nice if it was a WiFi enabled, but again not a large deal to me.

So if you’re in the market for a decent photo printer and the $189.99 pricepoint isn’t too scary (Best Buy – 17Nov), I’d recommend that you give the HP A646 Photosmart Printer a go.

I wrote this review after receiving the HP A646 Photosmart Printer via a contest (thanks again Raul of Hummingbird604.com & Linda of Hill and Knowlton). I was neither paid for this review nor asked to provide one and simply did of my own regard – so take what I say for what you figure it’s worth and read my disclosure statement. I’m always game to provide a review – feel free to contact me via this form so we can discuss the details.

LCBD Review: Twikini

As mentioned some time in the past, I am proud owner of an HTC Touch with an unlimited data plan. Not having much experience with a phone that could do so much, let alone one running Windows Mobile, I asked my fabulous group of twitter followers if they could recommend something and was pointed in the direction of Twikini.


Twikini in Action

Suffice to say, I have been pleased with my experience. Twikini is a slick app that gets the job done and I find has a far better user interface than other options I tried (Tiny Twitter and ceTwit being two). It allowed me to follow my personal timeline with ease, replying or DM’ing my followers without any trouble. Also, after using built-in support for Twitpic, I was publishing images off my Touch that would have likely never seen the light of day. Had it not been for the fact that the Beta version had moved into release and my 14 day trial ended, I’d likely still been using it. Really, the only drawback I found in it’s use was the auto-update feature not working like it should, but that could have simply been an I.D.10.T error on my part.

All in all, I would recommend anyone else looking for a Windows Mobile Twitter app to give Twikini a whirl.

Disclosure: This review was written for the “starving blogger” free license of Twikini.

Echoes of War

While I’m busy grooving out to “No Matter the Cost” from the Echoes of War soundtrack, I thought I would spend some time and provide a quick review.


Echoes of War – courtesy of Jemimus

Echoes of War is the orchestral remastering of tunage from the Blizzard library of games (Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, but no Lost Vikings) performed by the Eminence Orchestra. Although some of the tracks are not as familiar for someone who has never really paid much attention to the background muzak (outside of Halo), they all carry such emotion and energy that it’s hard not to find yourself keeping to the beat of the Terran tune “No Matter The Cost.” Or remembering when online play consisted of finding Wirt’s Leg to get to the Cow King when listening to “The Eternal Conflict.” Although the two discs contain only 15 tracks of audio, the cost on iTunes for both was under $20 so I can’t really complain.

For those that have followed me since lyteforce [dot] ca, you’ve probably seen that I have an eclectic taste for music. Whether it be university marching bands to Metallica, I don’t have any particular genre that I’m partial too. Therefore, I would recommend that someone not blindly follow my lead and pick up Echoes of War either from the site or through iTunes (where I did). But for those that wish to unleash their inner gamer nerd and can’t find their Horadric Cube, why not listen to some good music in the meantime? I hear that Deckard Cain gives the soundtrack a solid 3.5 out of 5.


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