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June 1 2016

Second Hand Booze Shops

In Japan there’s a big chain of shops called “Book OFF” which sells second hand books (and games, cds, dvds, etc). I use them a lot, books are around ¥108 upwards and you can get some great bargains in there. They will also “buy” from you (I put quotes as in a lot of cases they tell you it’s not worth any money but they’ll take it off your hands for free if you want…which is nice).
There’s another called “Hard OFF” which is a hardware (computers, tvs, etc) speciality second-hand shop.
I’ve just discovered there’s a shop in Kobe called “Bottle OFF” which, you guessed it, sells second-hand booze!
(Sealed bottles, cans and cartons only I assume).

Bottle OFF in Kobe

Bottle OFF in Kobe

I haven’t visited yet so not sure what kind of bargains you can get. The prices on the flyer seem to be how much they will buy the bottles off you for (for example a bottle of Beefeater gin is ¥300 – tax on alcohol is cheap in Japan, compared to the UK for example, so a bottle of gin is less than ¥1000 usually anyway – I wonder what kind of markup they put on it?).

Bottle OFF

Bottle OFF

April 6 2016

Vacuum Packer

I received some information from First Food Machinery the other day, about a Vacuum Packer for food products that might be of interest to my readers who are in the Food Production industry (and I know there are some of you out there).


Vacuum Packer

Food Machinery is one of the UK’s premium suppliers of vacuum packers to the food industry and even further afield. Food Machinery knows that vacuum packing extends the shelf life of food products such as raw meat, fish, cheese and even cooked food. A vacuum pack machine can ensure that food is kept in a safe condition and any potentially harmful effect to people’s health is extinguished.

Vacuum Packer

Vacuum Packer


A vacuum packer seals products in an airtight bag, and this function of extracting the remaining air has been extended to many additional areas of food preparation. For example, the sous-vide method of cooking, in which food is sealed then placed in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times to cook the item evenly, demonstrates the versatility of a vacuum food sealer.

Food Machinery’s table-top packer is ideally suited for this, ensuring that the inside of the food is properly cooked without overcooking the outside whilst retaining the product’s moisture.
When a vacuum packer extracts the air from around the product which has been placed in a suitable package (such as a vacuum bag or barrier pouch), oxygen is naturally extracted too. Aerobic micro-organisms in food that would usually spoil the product are therefore deprived of oxygen and so their effect is significantly reduced.

The principle of a vacuum packer itself is fairly straightforward – the vacuum bag that contains the product is positioned in the vacuum chamber, the open side of the bag lies over the sealing bar. Once the lid is closed, the vacuum pack machine automatically carries out the four phase vacuum process: extracting the air, injecting gas (optional), sealing and aerating with soft air. All of Food Machinery’s vacuum packers carry out their tasks with consummate ease, which is considered to be a sign of the quality of the machines they supply.

March 22 2016

Whiskey Around the World

Was sent this interesting infographic the other day.

Whiskey Around the World on Retale.com

March 9 2016

Watch meets Booze

Received some news in my inbox the other day about a rather cool but undoubtedly extremely expensive watch with some booze in it!

This is taken from the Wealth Solutions website.

Armin Strom’s Cognac Watch Contains drop of the WORLD’S OLDEST Cognac

Private ownership allows Swiss watch manufacturer Armin Strom the freedom to explore novel concepts and unusual projects. As a result of the cooperation between Armin Strom and its new partner – Wealth Solutions, a highly unusual wristwatch was created.
The movement of the Swiss mechanical timepiece features a liquor treasured in a capsule. Moreover, it is not just any liquor but a cognac from the year 1762- the oldest authenticated cognac sold at a public auction. This alcoholic beverage was the Wealth Solutions’ collection item purchased by the company in 2014.

Armin Strom chief horologist Claude Greisler devised a concept that protects the movement while incorporating the rare spirit. A sealed sapphire crystal disc positioned at 5 o’clock captures the rare Cognac. On the backside, a hand-engraved design of a bunch of grapes decorates the base plate. Manual wind with this anusual capsule will be produced in a limited edition of 40 pieces only, in stainless steel, 18k rose gold and titanium cases. The watch will be presented for the first time on March 20th, during Baselworld 2016.

Armin Strom Cognac Watch

Armin Strom Cognac Watch


1762 Gautier Cognac

1762 Gautier Cognac

February 18 2016

5 Exotic Wines Every Woman Needs to Try At least Once

f you are over the age of 21, chances are you will see many wine memes come across your social media pages. This is for a good reason. There are many types of wines to try, from simple to exotic. If you are interested in trying out different types of wines as a hobby, there are some exotic wines that you should try out.
Here are five exotic wines that you should give a try that won’t make you take out guarantor loans in order to try.

1. 40 Karat
While most wines are made out of grapes, there are also wines that are made from other berries. Even more exotic are wines that are made out of other vegetables. 40 karat wine is made out of carrots. Thought the wine is a vegetable wine, is a white wine that is just as savory as other wines. This wine tends to go well with foods that are spicy, so you can try it with your favorite exotic food.

2. Laxas Rias Baixas albariño
Wines that try different fruit flavors tend to turn out to be unique. Laxas Rias Baixas wine can be described as slightly creamy and light. This wine is made more like a soda, with the light fizz and bubbles. For people that are attempting to enter into the world of wine but do not like the taste of traditional reds and whites, this will help you to transition a little easier.

3. Arneis
If you like grape wine, you can try the white grape wine Arneis. This wine is created from pears and almonds. The wine is described to have a crispy taste. If you want a unique wine with an upper class feel and taste, this wine is one of the best forays into exotic wines.

4. Macadamia nut and honey wine
If you prefer your wine to have a theme, then a wine from Volcano Winery in is one of the best choices for a Hawaiian Wine. The white wine from this vineyard is called Macadamia nut and honey, and is made from both of these ingredients. The taste of this wine is perfectly suited for a luau meal or an upscale barbeque. Another exotic wine from this vineyard is called guava grape and is made from a tropical fruit blend for those who want something a little more sweet.

5. Mocha Coffee
If you have a love of coffee and you love wine, there is no reason why you can’t mix the two. A wine from Sweet Sunset vineyard, called Mocha coffee mixes coffee and wine. This is the perfect coffee and wine. This wine can be chilled and served on its own, or even be served mix into coffee in order to give it a bit of a kick. Coffee wine is exotic yet it may be more popular than other wines in the future, due to the love of fusion tastes.

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