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COVER sTORY

From FBI agent to wine connoisseur, an intimate interview with Sullivan Stapleton

Luxury lifestyle for men

Lincoln Continental

A timeless classic meets modern day luxury

Preferred Fashion

Sexy shoot to heat things up this winter

Travel

Explore the pink sandy beaches of Eleuthera, BahamaS

Girfalco Azkarra

Driving the future of electric cars


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THE ONLY SOUND YOU WILL HEAR IS THE POUNDING in your chest.

When these huge and graceful ghosts glide towards you over alien terrain, you’ll know you are a stranger in a strange land. You’re calm. For now. But make no mistake: you are in the Polar Bear Capital of the World and these are the kings of this arctic jungle. A close encounter with them stays with you long after the adrenaline is gone.

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VOLUME 6 Issue 4 WINTER 2016

PUBLISHER

Preferred Magazine

Carlo Greco

146 Thirtieth Street, Suite 203,

carlo@preferredmagazine.ca

Toronto ON, M8W 3C4 Tel: 416-722-3876

EDITOR Taneil Currie taneil@preferredmagazine.ca

Subscribe to Preferred Magazine www.preferredmagazine.ca/subscription/

MARKETING & GRAPHIC DESIGN AFC Communications Inc.

www.preferredmagazine.ca

alain@preferredmagazine.ca SALES & ADVERTISING Tyler Saik, V.P. of Sales tyler@preferredmagazine.ca 289-270-0906

ON THE COVER Sullivan Stapleton Photo Credit: 2016 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

SENIOR WRITERS Orion Armstrong, Monique Simpson, Alex Jackson, Gerald Glavota, Tony Curcio, Eric Marle ISSUE CONTRIBUTORS Jackie Saik, Melissa McAvoy, James Chittenden, Celine Bryan, Joao M. Rodrigues, Tomasz A. Krzyzanowski

PHOTOGRAPHERS Lindsay Anne Delaney, Franco Oriot

PUBLISHED BY Preferred Communications Inc. Printed in Canada

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER WINTER 2016 Winter has returned to Canada, but that is fine. That means hockey and our other great winter pastimes, and it is time for the holidays. We have some exciting stories to close out 2016 and to usher in a new year. Preferred continues to grow and expand, and we are grateful to you and to our other sophisticated readers for being part of our story. Australian actor and producer Sullivan Stapleton paid us a visit, and you will enjoy the interview. He is charismatic and interesting, and was a real pleasure to work with. We will also take you to one of the premier resorts in the Bahamas. The Cove in Eleuthera is a charming resort with no shortage of things to do. There is no place like it, and while there is no substitute for visiting it yourself, you will enjoy our story. You will take a ride in the newest Lincoln Continental. We spared few details in our effort to present this very special luxury car, the most up-to-date version of a timeless classic. If you haven’t been in one lately, prepare to have a renewed appreciation for it. There is nothing like truffles. They are certainly hard to find and are a delicacy in so many cultures. They come in different colours and there are many ways to cook them, and many wines that pair well with them. Chef Eric Marle, the noted and award-winning food and wine commentator who appears regularly on CBC Radio gives us the story. You will also go with us to “Scotch Camp”, and experience distilleries in Scotland and Canada. We describe these finds for you, and alert you to surprisingly good deals on a wide variety of scotch whiskies. We also have Port wine from Portugal. There is always a story and history behind these wines, and Port goes back centuries. These are just some of the highlights. As always, we have plenty of gadgets, stories, events, cars and other offerings of interest to gentlemen of taste and substance like yourself. From our families to yours, we at Preferred hope that you enjoy this issue and wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Best Regards Carlo

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OFFICE OWNERSHIP YOU CAN BANK ON OFFICE LEASING IN TORONTO: YOUR LONG TERM EQUITY

OFFICE OWNERSHIP AT 130 QQE: YOUR LONG TERM EQUITY

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Exclusive Listing: City Life Realty Ltd. Brokerage. Brokers Protected. Illustrations are artist’s concept. Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. E. & O.E. All brand names, logos, images, text and graphics are the copyright of the owners, The Daniels Corporation. Reproduction in any form, without prior written permission of The Daniels Corporation, is strictly prohibited.


CONTRIBUTORS Orion Armstrong - Orion is first and foremost a true cigar lover, collector and aficionado. As well as being a successful entrepreneur and commercial real estate developer. Arguably one of a handful of aficionado’s, who embrace the art of vintage cigar preservation while actively educating people about the vintage cigar experience. Skillfully tasting cigars for over 26 years, Orion insists on smoking only the highest grades of tobaccos. As an extension of his enthusiasm for vintage cigars, he has always had a passion for quality and a keen eye for cut, shape, form and most of all taste. He is lucky enough to have smoked cigars in some of the best lounges in the world, and counts owners of some of the finest tobacco fields in the world as friends.

Gerald Glavota - Gerald certainly has a refined palette for fine Whisky and other sprits and willingly shares his abundance of knowledge and resources to all who have the fondness of these timely beverages as he does. In addition to him frequenting whisky affairs, Gerald can also be found attending start/up technology, investment and lifestyle. Find out more on g2whisky.com and on Twitter@g2whisky.

Monique Simpson - Monique never sought out the wine industry; the wine industry found her. A graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce and Law (honours) degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, Monique travelled throughout Europe post undergrad for nine months enjoying the experiences and exposure to different cultures, great food, and fine wines. Monique’s passion for food and wine and her personal development while overseas led to a significant career change from law to the wine industry. With her enthusiasm to further her knowledge about the finer points of wine, Monique completed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma. Today, Monique remains actively involved in the wine industry and is commencing her third year in the IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition ex London) Associate Judging Program.

Eric Marle - Born in France, raised in Montreal and schooled in the U.S.A., Eric was raised in the restaurant industry as most of his family is of the trade. Currently the Executive Sous-Chef of the National Club on Bay street, he is also a Gourmet food and wine commentator on Ici Radio Canada, the French CBC in Toronto and has had recipes published in Lynne Faubert’s A LA BONNE FRANQUETTE , Editions Transcontinental 2012. Eric is a great ambassador and strong believer in the use of fresh seasonal and regional ingredients reflecting the beautiful province and country we live in. Winner of the Laurentian Gold Table Award and two Grand prix of Tourism Awards, He is passionate about wine and wine pairings, has a affinity with wines from Burgundy, the Languedoc, and is a strong advocate of Canadian wines.

James Chittenden - James is a sought-after consultant for entrepreneurs who want a strong and orderly start to their business, and to business owners looking for ways to reach new levels of success. He is a former stockbroker, business banker and U.S. Marine Corps officer who is an accomplished entrepreneur himself. James started and owns a public relations firm called Triumph Business Communications and Triumph Business Services, an online business incorporation service and resource for startups. He authored a book called The Public Triumph-Public Relations for the Strong...and Those Who Want to Be. A bona-fide masochist and glutton for punishment, James is an amateur boxer as well as a professional boxing and MMA official in his spare time.

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A S EC R ET R EVE ALE D.

The pure bliss of a secluded out-island Bahamas retreat. The unspoiled magnificence of white sand coves. And the satisfaction of knowing paradise does indeed exist. With nonstop flights to Eleuthera from Atlanta, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Nassau, your escape is imminent.

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FEATURES AND CONTENTS

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it’s about time we introduce the VINTAGE BR GT a Vintage cigar adventure

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cash bigger cheques with john marchione

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jarret kennedy shows off some stylish threads

This one time... at scotch camp

Dive into luxury at the cove, Eleuthera

p.14 why owning your office space makes good business $ense

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single vintage quinta port performance & beauty that turns heads

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calm, cool, continental

truffles. truffles. truffles.

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p.32 wines worth exploring

q & A with blinspot’s leading man all HE wants for chrtismas

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TRAVEL

CHURCHIL L

M A N I T O B A, C A N A D A

Photo: Alexis McEwen

Take a trip to another world travel manitoba.com

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TRAVEL

There is a place in the northern region of Manitoba that will make you feel like you’re on another planet. Exploring the foreign tundra brings you face to face with this area’s most famous attraction, the mighty polar bear. Known as the polar bear capital of the world, Churchill is located 1,100 km from Winnipeg. Watch Manitoba’s landscape shift from prairie, to parkland, to boreal forest to tundra on a train ride north. Or take in incredible arial views of Manitoba’s coastline along the Hudson Bay on descent after a short flight to Churchill. Dubbed “Lords of the Arctic,” polar bears are the world’s largest land carnivores. They have no natural enemies. Consequently, they have no fear. There is nothing like feeling your heart pounding in your chest as a polar bear strides silently along the snow mere metres away. Churchill is one of the few human settlements where polar bears can be observed in the wild, and often very close. Unique tundra vehicles, designed to move easily over snow and ice, provide protection while getting you in the perfect position to watch and photograph these majestic bears. Or, you can walk amongst polar bears – an adventure fueled by adreneline.

As summer rolls around, bears and their cubs can be seen frolicking on the tundra, against a backdrop of colourful wildflowers. But bears aren’t the only animals who come out to play during the summer months. In July and August, as many as 3,000 beluga whales bring their young to splash in the Churchill River estuary. They break the surface to fill their lungs with air, and at the same time, fill you with wonder. Curious by nature, they circle your kayak and swim alongside – a welcoming party you will never forget. High above it all, the northern lights dance amid the stars as Churchill is known as one of the top three places in the world to see this dazzling lightshow. And be on the lookout for an endless supply of wildlife, including woodland caribou, arctic fox and hundreds of species of birds. The people here are as welcoming as the wildlife. The locals love sharing their culture and stories. To them, each traveller is another welcome guest. And, in the authentic northern logdes, the food and friends are a hearty as home. Here is a world far from yours, and one that you’ll never want to leave. Welcome to Churchill.

Prime viewing times are October and November, when the bears move from their summer habitat on the tundra to the shores of Hudson Bay. There they wait for the ice to form, giving them access to their winter hunting grounds, stocked with seals. preferredmagazine.ca

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Real Estate

From the NY Towers at Bayview and Sheppard to Festival and Cinema Towers in the Entertainment District and the 69-acre revitalization of Regent Park in Toronto’s downtown east, The Daniels Corporation is known for creating iconic, master-planned, mixed use communities and the introduction of Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts is no exception. As this innovative community starts to take shape at Lower Jarvis and Queens Quay East, the two mid-rise office condominiums at 130 Queens Quay East (130 QQE) are already rising above grade. The East building proved so successful that Daniels introduced the West building earlier this year – and office suites are selling briskly. The community will include 1.32M square feet of retail, office, residential and cultural space connected by The Yard (an outdoor courtyard with shopping and dining) and Sugar Beach North (a tree-lined public amenity space). If you’ve been searching for the best office space for your business, 130 QQE is where you’ll find it. Daniels’ newest waterfront commercial tower offers something for businesses big or small!

DISCOVER WHY OWNING YOUR OFFICE SPACE MAKES GOOD BUSINESS SENSE Appreciation, equity build-up, long-term office cost stability and an outstanding waterfront location are just some of the benefits yielded from owning your office space at 130 QQE. BUILD EQUITY Owning an office condominium gives your business the ability to gain control over occupancy costs and insulate yourself from the ever-rising expense of office leasing in Toronto. The benefits from an investment perspective include the ability to profit from long-term capital appreciation of your asset. LOWER AND PREDICTABLE COSTS If you’re currently leasing, you’ll likely be faced with the decision to either renew your lease at a higher lease rate or, move to a location where you’ll not only pay a higher lease rate, but will pay for tenant improvement costs as well (which will remain the property of the landlord after you move out). Instead, office ownership helps you control and stabilize your occupancy costs and provides an increase in value based on the capital appreciation of your investment. TAX ADVANTAGES Office ownership provides an opportunity to deduct depreciation and mortgage interest costs.*

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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE 130 QQE has space to suit your business needs, with suites ranging from 800 sq. ft. to nearly 20,000 sq. ft., if desired. Not to mention there is ample parking for employees and the building is surrounded by other like-minded professionals. DESIGN CONTROL Office owners control their own space with the flexibility to design an office that works for their business. The investment a suite owner makes in outfitting costs is theirs to keep. Investments in improvements under an office lease would be lost by the tenant at lease expiration. Daniels works with you to outfit your space before you move in, ensuring your turnkey office is open for business from day one! IMPRESSIVE OFFICE AMENITIES Condominium-inspired amenities begin with the grand, gallery-like lobby, with professional concierge services available at the beck and call of business owners and clients. Oozing exclusivity, the 9th floor will be home to outstanding spaces for gathering with colleagues and clients: The Hub communal lounge and kitchenette, two technologically-advanced boardrooms, and the 4,900 square foot terrace, decked out with barbecues, flexible seating areas, Wi-Fi, and breathtaking lake views, an ideal location for hosting team meetings or client appreciation events. OUTSTANDING WATERFRONT LOCATION Overlooking Lake Ontario and Canada’s Sugar Beach, 130 QQE at Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts gives forward-looking businesses a world-class ownership opportunity in a prime waterfront location. Connected to the City Core, steps to Union Station and Billy Bishop Airport, and easily accessible off of the Gardiner Expressway or by rapid transit, 130 QQE will be a landmark and destination at the gateway to Toronto’s emerging waterfront and booming corporate landscape. THE WORD IS OUT Several leading organizations and independent businesses are already calling 130 QQE home. Among them are Artscape, The Remix Project, Manifesto, OCAD University, mortgage brokers, lawyers, accountants, an RBC local branch and more – even Daniels themselves! The Daniels Corporation (danielshomes.ca) is one of Canada’s preeminent builders/developers, building more than 26,000 new home communities across the Greater Toronto Area for over 34 years. 130 QQE offers an extraordinary opportunity to own office space in a setting unmatched in Toronto’s commercial landscape. Find out more by calling 416 221 3939 or visiting us online at OWNMYOFFICE.COM

Exclusive Listing: City Life Realty Ltd. Brokerage. Brokers Protected. Illustrations are artist’s concept. Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. E. & O.E. All brand names, logos, images, text and graphics are the copyright of the owners, The Daniels Corporation. Reproduction in any form, without prior written permission of The Daniels Corporation, is strictly prohibited. *Always speak to your Accountant or Financial Advisor before making any tax decisions.


Real Estate

The Terrace – 4,900 sq. ft. terrace overlooking Lake Ontario

The Hub – a communal lounge and kitchenette, ideal for networking

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AUTOMOBILE

Calm, cool, continental

The 2017 Lincoln Continental, replete with luxury and performance-enhancing options, is set to make a comeback! Written by: Tony Curcio

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AUTOMOBILE

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AUTOMOBILE

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AUTOMOBILE

Where do we begin? Perhaps it’s with the Continental’s pampering interior comfort that features 30 adjustable seating positions? Maybe you consider its luxurious leather seats that can be cooled and heated as they massage you, as essentials? Could it be the sedan’s Revel Ultima audio system, with no less than 19 strategically placed speakers? And what about its range of powerful V-6 engine options? Regardless of your power preferences and creature comforts, the new 2017 Lincoln Continental is undoubtedly ready to seduce you on several driving levels. Move over Bentley In many respects, the 2017 Lincoln Continental is reminiscent of the renowned Bentley show car. It’s the most recent in a series of new or redesigned Lincoln models and has been characterized by the automaker as its “flagship” sedan and “the most significant advancement thus far.” Most notably, its architecture has been significantly modified. Its wheelbase and front and rear track have been enlarged, and its front structure was redesigned to create a longer dash-to-axle ratio to achieve more rear-drive proportions. This front-wheel-drive/all-wheel drive sedan’s power is an exclusive new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V-6 engine with 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. A 3.7-litre V-6 engine rounds out the line-up. Both the 3.0, 3.7 and a 2.7 turbo will be offered with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic takes care of the shifting, while drive modes of Normal, Sport and Comfort will make steering smooth and effortless. Distinctive exterior, luxurious interior, easy driving Its subtle yet elegant exterior design features production-friendly headlamps, and a grille with a mesh pattern that reflects the Lincoln trademark while complementing its distinctive look. But it’s the bumper that’s changed the most, replacing slender air vents in favour of larger openings. Lincoln also removed the chrome stripe from the apron to obtain a more homogeneous appearance. Even its doors are unique. The power-cinching doors have unique handles with chrome beltline molding that curves out to form a handle with an electronic latch. Each E-latch door handle has a small button that, when given a simple touch, unlatches the door electronically – allowing it to be opened in a single smooth motion while the handle position ensures that the Continental’s long, flowing lines remain intact.

Inside, the available Perfect Position Seat in the Continental is relaxing and fully customizable. No less than 50 patents and 30 available adjustments (including independent thigh extenders) support the driver’s right and left thighs. The 2017 Continental seats five and, as mentioned earlier, both rear-seat positions offer heating, cooling, rzeclining and massaging. In many ways, this is a luxurious, pampering spa on wheels. Available trims include Reserve, Select, Premiere and Black Label. The Black Label version includes Thoroughbred (tans and browns reminiscent of racehorses), Rhapsody (with deep blues and chromes), and Chalet (creams and whites that reflect winter’s beauty). Driver amenities abound – including adaptive cruise control with optional stop-and-go. Adaptive cruise control marries camera and radar, enabling the sedan to sense the pace of nearby cars and react accordingly. You can select Comfort, Normal or Sport driving modes and its continuously controlled damping (CCD) will tune the chassis accordingly. You’ll also appreciate its forward-collision warning with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, parallel and perpendicular assisted parking, and a second-generation 360-degree camera. The Continental’s four exterior camera views combine to provide a seamless representation of your surroundings in low-speed situations. Its standard SYNC 3 voice-activated hands-free technology means drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and concentrate on the road ahead. With 19 expertly placed speakers in its Revel Ultima Audio System (not to mention three different listening modes), the Continental lets you hear your music in breathtaking depth and clarity. Its precision-milled speaker covers seamlessly integrate into the doors to maintain the Continental’s interior elegance. All in all, the new 2017 Lincoln Continental intends to separate itself from the competition by remaining “calm, cool and decidedly continental” in a crowded market that, for the foreseeable future, has fallen in love with high-tech gadgetry. Oh, there are indeed high-tech amenities in the new 2017 Lincoln Continental, but certainly not at the expense of elegance or creature comforts. preferredmagazine.ca

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Introducing John Marchione – Canada’s (big) cheque writer! YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHAT AN ENGAGING FINANCIAL SERVICES PROFESSIONAL JOHN MARCHIONE IS ON A PERSONAL LEVEL. BUT HE’S LIKELY THE BEST FRIEND ANY SMALL OR MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESS – AND ITS KEY SUPPLIERS – WILL EVER HAVE! HERE’S WHY. So you want to grow your business much faster. You also want to take advantage of early-payment discounts from key suppliers. Finally, you want to maintain and even improve your credit rating. If this is you, then John Marchione, CPA CGA is definitely your man. A veteran of the financial services sector, John has vast experience in global funding, business development and sales/financial management, to name just a few. But his real expertise lies in improving a company’s cash flow. Cash flow today is key Just as location, location, location is paramount in the real estate industry, for just about every small and mediumsized business in Canada, it’s all about cash flow, cash flow, cash flow, said Marchione. Headquartered, in Hamilton, Bermuda with an office on Bay Street in the heart of the financial district in downtown Toronto, Marchione is Head of Global Funding and President of the Acquisition Division of Anaplans Funds LLC. The business basically involves purchasing invoices from a company’s key suppliers, and paying them off quickly for a nominal fee. Now while this may sound like a rather basic business strategy, many small and medium-sized firms are not always able to pay their bills on a regular basis or in a timely manner. This is what Marchione refers to “maximizing your cash flow through Supplier Credit Financing. Anaplans believes in small business and understands the demands on cash flow and working capital as you grow your business. We want to make it easier for companies to get funding and grow their business.” he added. But rest assured, the bottom-line benefits of this program are huuuuuge! In the commerce arena, this process is referred to as Supplier Credit Financing- ‘banking preferred product’ designed to compliment existing commercial banking lines of credit. The solution provides funds to credit-approved companies for purchase of products or services from their major suppliers. This unique approach allows a company up to 150 days to pay – instead of the traditional Net 30 days or COD. This frees up much-needed working capital and provides enormous benefits that are not always considered or evident. These include immediate access to cash, improved cash flow, the ability to take advantage of a

supplier’s early-payment discounts, no adverse effects on a user’s existing credit lines (and in many cases an improved credit rating), a lower cost for goods sold – even a lower balance-sheet debt. How Anaplans works “The process is surprisingly easy,” said Marchione. “The customer completes an application form, provides all necessary documentation, and requests a credit limit. Next, we establish a credit-insured limit. When approved, you simply sign the required papers and we write you a cheque. Applying normally takes just a few minutes and we’ll walk you through the entire process. There are no additional fees, costs are transparent and terms are clearly explained. The entire approval process generally takes 3 to 5 days. Credit limits usually range from $150,000 to $2 million,” he added. Anaplans also works with its customers to manage the growth of their businesses while providing ongoing financial consultation as a trusted partner. It provides credit insurance to approve debtors before its clients provide goods or services. The company also offers short-term contracts with low set-up fees to make it easier for smaller businesses to open an account. For more information, please e-mail John Marchione at jpm@anaplans.com, call him at (416) 300-6302 or toll-free at 1-866-270-7992.

“There are no additional fees, costs are transparent and terms are clearly explained. The entire approval process generally takes 3 to 5 days. Credit limits usually range from $150,000 to $2 million.”

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TRAVEL

Dive into luxury at The Cove, Eleuthera Written by: Taneil Currie

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TRAVEL

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TRAVEL

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TRAVEL

Spanning nearly 110 miles long and just a mile wide, the island of Eleuthera resides on the serene side of the Bahamas and often remains a mystery to even the most cultivated travelers. Upon arrival to The Cove, Eleuthera – an intimate 57-room resort located on the north shore of the island – travelers are greeted by swaying palms, turquoise water, pristine white sand beaches, and the gracious hotel staff that instantly makes an individual connection and lasting impression on their guests. The resort is bound by two private entry beaches that provide beautiful stretches of immaculate white sand and a true respite for the soul. Experiential adventure and underwater exploration are the keys to an unforgettable stay at The Cove, Eleuthera, where they provide access to everything from stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling, to conch shell diving and bone fishing. The options are seemingly endless. Explore the island by bike with a visit to the nearby famous Glass Window Bridge, one of Eleuthera’s most popular attractions, or set out on an aquatic adventure with one of the resort’s easily accessible kayaks, snorkel equipment, or stand up paddleboards. Guests have the option of signing up for a guided snorkel tour to learn about the aquatic life in the area with a marine life experts, or

simply grab the equipment and set out on an individual adventure. The Cove also offers introductory lessons and guided tours for a kayaking excursion to explore the calm turquoise waters in the resort’s very own backyard. For a more active pursuit, visitors can test their skills with surfing lessons, learn how to scuba dive, or experience the island by horseback. Unique to The Cove, Eleuthera, the resort offers an exclusive Conch Shell Diving experience, allowing guests to explore the resort’s aquatic backyard in search of fresh conch – a local shellfish and Bahamian culinary favorite. Under the expert guidance of the resort staff, the 4-hour excursion allows guests to embark on a private charter to spot and dive for conch and snorkel the crystal clear blue waters. After the diving adventure, they are escorted to one of the private beaches where they will turn their freshly caught seafood into a delicious Conch Shell Ceviche, making for the ultimate seato-salad experience. Whichever adventure you choose to pursue during your time on the island, The Cove, Eleuthera offers countless activities to fulfill your every desire and create a specially curated Caribbean experience like no other.

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Scotch whisky

A hearty Scotch Camp and a few additional whiskies to share Written by: Gerald Glavota

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Scotch whisky

What a year it’s been! I’ve travelled across Canada, New York City and visited Scotland. Two years ago, I wrote my first article here in Scotland; so an invitation to Scotch Camp, sounded interesting and we would be after all tasting whisky from the “Last Great Malts of Scotland.” Two buses took us out to Caledon where we were welcomed at a modern house with a small private lake. Our journey, rather than being in Scotland, would actually take place in the woodland around the lake with five different locations representing the five different malts we would be tasting. After all, we couldn’t fly to Scotland for the day but we could pretend we were out in the countryside. Although, there were no sheep, a few dogs but no sheep. Onto our five stations where we tasted the first whisky listed but the others were available at the end for tasting at our leisure. I should also note that prior to the event I was able to speak to Gabe Cardarella, North American Brand Ambassador for Dewar’s Whisky. Aberfeldy is the prime whisky for blending and the distillery where you find the visitor center. Sitting not far from where John Dewar was born, where the water source which is a stream called the Pitille Burn runs beside the distillery. Aberfeldy is called the golden dram because the water source is famous for being a gold panning site. This is the only distillery built by the Dewars, so the whisky bottles represent a little about the history. The whisky is made with 100% Scottish barley with a “longer” fermentation time of 72 hours. Tall thin stills are used for distillation and sherry casks may be used, most of the Aberfeldy you’ll drink is predominately aged in American Oak ex Bourbon casks . The whisky is married in partially filled Bourbon casks. You’ll taste a hint of vanilla and sweet heather. The three Aberfeldy whiskies are as follows: Aberfeldy 12 (LCBO $59.95) is described as having a nose that is fragrant with notes of incense, nutmeg, heather and scented honey with fruity softness. Redolent of cherry, pineapple, toast and raspberry jam. Very light smokiness and a touch of sherry; palate as medium-bodied, rounded and syrupy. Lively fresh fruit flavours, fudge, cocoa powder and the slightest whisper of peat and a finish described as full and smooth, long fruity glow of Seville oranges in a slowly dry finish. Aberfeldy 16 (LCBO $99.95) is described as having a nose of Alba’s rare alchemy, exhaling honey, citrus and spicy cloves; palate as Sherried and full like fruitcake, then dabs of dark chocolate; and a finish described as a soothing Scotch elixir for a favourite couthie corner. Aberfeldy 21 (LCBO $194.80) is described as having a nose of Alluring medium sweet aromas of heather honey and macadamia followed by a fruity orange softness with hints of beeswax and vanilla.; palate as full-flavoured and mediumbodied with touches of Seville orange, honey, oak and a trace of peat; and a finish described as long, spicy and elegantly drying with a whiff of smoke. preferredmagazine.ca

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Scotch whisky

Aultmore sits within the Bermuda triangle of illicit distilling called the foggy moss due to the morning and evening fog that hides the stills. The stills were hidden in the burns along the water source and along the 9 mile stretch of road in Keith called the Buckie Road. Now if you find yourself in a pub along this stretch of road and wish to order a dram of Aultmore, do not ask for it by name since you’ll be called a tourist. Locals on the other hand ask for a nip of the Buckie Road. The distillery had a storied past with various closings during and after the war but having had various upgrades it also uses Scottish barley, has tall thin stills with a whisky that is delicate, grassy in character, and hence a whisky that has a Class A rating from blenders because of its ability to lend itself to blends. However, it is one of the few Dewar malts that’s allocated in terms of availability due to it’s highly sought nature by blenders – especially when annual production is 4.5 million litres.

tube condensing. In addition, it has uneven stills: three wash and two spirit stills not only are condensers using vertical, two of the condensers are horizontal to get more time for the spirit to make contact with copper resulting in the sweeter whisky. The Deveron is a new proprietary bottling and interestingly enough it is the principal malt used in the William Lawsons blend, which is the fastest growing blend in Russia.

The two Aultmore whiskies are as follows:

Royal Brackla was established in 1812 and 1833 saw King Willam IV granted it the first ever Royal Warrant status for a whisky and making it known as the King’s own whisky. It was closed during the war, the land was used for supplying guns. It has the best barley fields, tall onion stills, 80 hours of fermentation and finally aged in American oak casks and finished for 3-4 months in first filled Oloroso sherry casks. It has a big colour and at 12 years you don’t expect the wood smoke and then sweetness comes through.

Aultmore 12 (LCBO $79.95) is described as born of fod, bog and brimming wee burns, a verdant nose of dewy moss and delicate flora, sweet liquid tracking a secluded path, gliding through green grass and fresh wild herbs. Aultmore 18 (LCBO $179.95) is described as stravaigin’ through misty, untamed terrain, bananas and pears hidden in the haze; amble on to some old local howff, where this satiny, sweet-and-spicy drop is finally disclosed. Craigellachie distillery was built by Peter Mackie who was hard to work for and demanded utmost quality for the production. For his employees, I was told that he built a bread making machine under the boardroom, calling it brain, bone and muscle. The distillery workers had to eat a piece of the bread every single day before they went to work. Today you’ll find Craigellachie sits right in the heart of Speyside, using a warm tub and condensers. A unique feature of the distillery is that it uses an oil fire kilm and steam that is sulfury to dry the barley resulting in a taste of a struck match. A unique feature of the bottles below is that the ages are all prime numbers. Craigellachie 13 (LCBO $79.95) is described as flames. Flared Light. Fireworks. Breath in Bonfire Nigth. Clove-studded baked apples. Sulphury cordite. Hefty, malty, mazy in mouth. Bonnie Sweet, but with fire in its belly. Craigellachie 17 (LCBO $153.95) is described as a caustic candy store. Vanilla, exotic fruits. Sweet treats. Then the sucker punch; a jab of aromatic liquorice and a smooth, smouldering end. A nippy sweetie of a nip. Craigellachie 23 (LCBO $454.95) is described as a malty tang. Oil. Grit and grist. Summons the mill house of old. Then cinnamon and a menthol dunt. Pigheaded, big flavoured. Sweet-and-sulphur with each mouthful. A muckle meaty dram. Deveron is made in the MacDduff Distillery, the most easterly distillery lying on the River Deveron. The greenish-blue glass represents the sea glass that you’ll find on sea shores just south of the north sea. A fishing village where Deveron was a modern distillery at the time, built in the 1960s, and marked the modern age. Most whisky was matured in sherry casks at that time but were moving towards the cheaper bourbon casks resulting in the character of Scottish whisky changign. If you look at Dewars from the 1960s and 70s you’ll try the white label which is amber but today it’s different; nice, but different. It was the first to use shell and

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The two Deveron whiskies are as follows: Deveron 12 (LCBO $64.95) is described as toasted grain and apples, seaborne spice, calm from the storm. Deveron 18 (LCBO $139.95) is described as a delve in fruity depths where nutty notes are stowed, a dram for blether and fireside cheer.

The three Royal Brackla’s are as follows: Royal Brackla 12 (LCBO $99.95) is described as salute a superior Scotch: almonds, vine fruits, opulent spices; stepped in sherried richness. Ennobled nectar, fit for a King. Royal Brackla 16 (LCBO $149.95) is described as a royal flush of flavour: vanilla, soft caramel, ripe apricots; replete with sherry tones. Hold court with a monarch of the glens. Royal Brackla 21 (LCBO $349.95) is described as all hail a highborn spirit: summer berries, dark chocolate, star anise; infused with sherry sweetness. A member of the malt aristocracy. A few other interesting whiskies The Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Reserve (LCBO $79.95) is a tasty dram that is aged in European Oak sherry casks using the Solera Vat system. In addition to being a tasty 15 year old whisky, Glenfiddich donates $2 from the sale of each of these bottles sold in Canada to the Wounded Warriors Canada Can Praxis Equine Therapy Program. If you would like to learn more about the wounded warriors you can visit their website www.woundedwarriors.ca The tasting notes describe the nose as being an intriguingly complex aroma. Sweet heather honey and vanilla fudge combined with rich dark fruits; taste of Silky smooth, revealing layers of sherry oak, marzipan, cinnamon and ginger. Full-bodied and bursting with flavour; and a finish that is Satisfyingly rich with lingering sweetness. Lagavulin 8 Year Old Limited Edition, one-time only bottling (LCBO $99.95) was released to celebrate the distilleries 200 year anniversary by revisiting the late 1880s where it is described by Alfred Barnard who was the first ever whisky writer who sampled an Eight year old Lagavulin and raved about it! I love the sweetness that’s mixed in with the peat but the official tasting notes, which I’ve condensed, describe the nose as being immediately quite soft with clean, fresh notes, hints of


Scotch whisky

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Scotch whisky

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Scotch whisky

milk chocolate, lemon and the developing fragrant tea-scented smoke alongside nose-drying, maritime aromas, with subtle cereal; with a palate that is sweet, smoky and warming , with a growing, smoky pungency, then dry, with more smoke. Charred, with minty, dark chocolate; the finish is lovely, clean, very long and smoky. Smoothly, subtle minted smoke surrounds chocolate tannins, leaving a late drying note to emerge in time. Japanese whisky fans will be happy to know that the Hibiki Harmony (LCB0 $99.95) is back in stock, you can look at the write up from last year to learn more about this whisky. A new release that may interest you is the Toki (LCBO $59.95) which is described as having a clear gold color with a nose containing basil, green apple and honey; a palate of grapefruit, green grapes, peppermint, thyme; and a finish that is described as subtly sweet and spicy finish with a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger.

WHISKEY INSPIRED COCKTAIL RECIPES

If you’re looking for Canadian whisky side previously reviewed Canadian Club 100% Rye (LCBO $39.95) and the Jim Murray favourite (name Whisky of the Year 2016 and Canadian Whisky 2017 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (LCBO $34.95).

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well and strain into a martini or coupette glass.

I would also recommend the Crown Royal Cornerstone Blend (LCBO $69.95), the first limited release from the Crown Royal Noble Collection. It is described as having a nose that is Ripe fallen apple, malted grain, toffee, vanilla extract; a palate that is Sweet Caramel and rich toasted grains, subtle oak character with orchard and tropical fruit essences and a finish that is Fruity tartness fades into a gentle woody spice. Dream Dram The Macallan in lalique – Exceptional Oak Cask, 50 years old - There were 470 bottles produced of this rare set. I thought it was time to go big with a dream dram, why not, most will not try this. I will probably be in this group but how much do you think it would cost you to purchase this bottle now? I’ve looked it up and saw it selling for just under 100,000USD, This was the first decanter in the series so we know it is not a current release but it looks like it has some appreciation for collectors who purchased it. Note that I’m looking to expand beyond dream dram and look into the dynamics of collecting and price appreciation amongst the various distilleries. Let me know what you thing at gerald@g2whisky.com. So lets learn a bit more about this truly luxury whisky. The original outcome of this partnership is a series of Lalique crystal decanters, each celebrating The Macallan’s Six Pillars, and holding some of the oldest and rarest whiskies ever released by the distillery. Spiritual Home; Easter Elchies House, built in 1700, lies at the heart of The Macallan estate / Curiously Small Stills; contribute to the distinctively rich, fruity ‘new make’ spirit of The Macallan / Finest Cut; we take only 16% of the final distillation from the spirit stills to fill into our oak casks. This is the best of the best / Exceptional Oak Casks; The Macallan spends more on sourcing, building, seasoning and caring for its casks than any other single malt whisky / Natural Colour; the rich range of colours in The Macallan whiskies is drawn only from the wood of our exceptional oak casks / The Macallan itself; the peerless spirit - one of the world’s greatest whiskies. The tasting notes are describe as Colour: Burnished Gold Aroma: Heady top notes of cumin, cardamom and darkest maraschino. Taste: All encompassing and aromatic with dark prunes and plain chocolate. Finish: Very long finish with a Spanish sherry oak signature and a hint of peatsmoke. ABV: 46%

Glenfiddich Cider For those chilly evenings • 2 oz. Glenfiddich 12 Year Old • 6 oz. Hot Apple Cider Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve. Sidecar • 50 cl Courvoisier VSOP • 2 cl of Triple Sec • 2 cl of fresh lemon juice

Midnight in Paris • 2.5 cl Courvoisier VSOP • Ginger ale • Half an orange slice Fill a highball glass with ice, pour the cognac, top-up. The Old Fashioned • 5 oz. Bulleit Bourbon • piece(s) sugar cube(s) • 3 dash(es) bitters • 2 slice(s) lemon(s) • 2 slice(s) orange(s) Muddle sugar and bitters in a rocks glass. Add bourbon and large ice cube. Twist slices of lemon and orange peels over the drink and drop slices. Bulleit Manhattan • 1 oz Bulleit Bourbon • ¼ oz Sweet Vermouth • ¼ oz Dry Vermouth Stir over ice in a rocks glass. Serve with a lemon twist. New Amsterdam Mule • 1½ oz New Amsterdam Vodka • 3 oz ginger beer • ½ oz simple syrup • ½ oz fresh lime juice • Sprig of mint Pour New Amsterdam Vodka over ice. Add simple syrup and lime juice. Top with ginger beer and stir. Add mint sprig as a garnish and serve.

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‘‘

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The Passion in our Hearts The Experience in our Hands

Angelo Pittaro

FOUNDER PITARS WINERY

Exclusive Distributors – 905.997.2542 – Sales: 416.910.7266 – www.vdfwines.com

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“Wines Worth Exploring� www.pitars.it

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FOOD

TRUFFLES 101 Written by: Eric Marle

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FOOD

There are mushrooms and then there are mushrooms! A guilty pleasure to most chefs «the Black Diamond» has gained much popularity among foodies and home cooks in recent years. Now more than ever, you can find truffles in various shapes and sizes (yes size matters!) and a couple of shades of color. Once considered a cultural ingredient available only in French and Italian cultures, the celebrated truffle is now a worldwide phenomenon. From Great Britain to Poland to Australia, more than a dozen countries now cultivate their own with China leading the pack with an astounding 5,150.00 MT. Unfortunately worldwide availability has not made truffles a cheaper item. Contrary to the supply and demand, truffles are «bankable» as they retain their value very nicely. The world’s largest white truffle unearthed in 2014 in the Umbrian region of Italy, sold at auction for $61,250..!! This White Alba Truffle weighed 4.16 pounds. Truffles are essentially a type of fungi and are therefore usually found in close association with the roots of trees. Among the more common matches, are oak, birch, and beech. Truffles form a relationship with the roots of these species. As far as soil is concerned, they prefer mineral soils containing calcium and lime and that are well drained. Depending on the species, truffles produce throughout the year, and are generally buried between the fallen / dead leaves and the soil. A little history… In the nineteenth century it was discovered by Joseph Talon that by transplanting seedlings he could reproduce the natural conditions to cultivate truffles. In the late 19th century, an outbreak of phylloxera (microscopic, pale yellow sapsucking insects) destroyed most of the vineyards in southern France making the fields of mulberry trees useless. Thus, large lots of land were freed for the cultivation of truffles. Thousands of truffle-producing trees were planted, and production reached peaks of hundreds of tons at the end of the 19th century.

Comparing… Black truffle Black Périgord Truffle, the second-most valuable type are named after the Périgord region in France and are harvested in late autumn and winter. White truffle The white truffle is found mainly in the countryside Piedmont region in northern Italy around the cities of Alba. It can also be found in Tuscany The flesh is pale cream or brown with white marbling. White truffles are very highly esteemed and are the most valuable on the market. The white truffle market in Alba is busiest in the fall months of October and November when the local truffle fair takes place.

Four legged Hunters «fall» for truffles! The natural seeking talent of the sow (female pig) along with the fact that she is a glutton for truffles ( who isn’t ?) is the result of the presence of a substance similar to that of androstenol. The sex pheromone of boar to which she is attracted. The use of the pig to locate truffles has been forbidden in Italy since 1985 because of the harm caused to the Shiro (vegetative part of the fungus) during the digging that reduced the production of that area for several years. In the latter years Dogs are now groomed to take over from the pigs as their sense of smell is as precise, they won’t eat the < prize> and are easily trained. A few tips … Truffles can be found unadulterated or preserved in a brine. White truffles are generally served raw, and shaved over pasta and salads. Store them in a refrigerated airtight container on raw rice. It will perfume the rice Meats, fowl, foie gras, sauces, pâtés, truffle salt and truffle honey constitute the usage of Black truffles. The flavor of black truffles is far less pungent and more refined than that of white truffles. Truffle oil is often used as a low cost substitute for truffles. Most “truffle oil”, however, does not contain any truffles as olive oil is flavored with 2, 4-dithiapentane. Simple Truffle Butter Recipe: 100g black truffles 454g unsalted butter, room temperature Fleur de sel In a bowl, clean and grate the truffles into the butter. Combine the truffle and butter as evenly as possible. Season with salt to taste. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap, spread the mixture and form into a cylinder, about 3 cm thick. Wrap the log tightly and Let the flavors infuse for several hours. Serve at room temperature on a grilled steak or fish, or wonderful poultry. Eggs are also a wonderful alternative.

In the 20th century, the new Farming industrialization of France resulted in a migration of many country habitants towards the cities, many of these unattended truffle fields were left to abandon. The loss of over 20% of the male countryside workforce due to the First World War did not help matters either as cultivation techniques and knowledge was also lost. To make matters worse, the truffle patches planted in the 19th century stopped being productive because the life cycle of a truffle-producing tree is 30 years. Consequently, after 1945, the production of truffles dropped, and the prices have risen drastically.

Wine Pairings. Truffles have a wild, musky, earthy depth that pair well with aromas and flavours of game, spice notes, earth, dried fruits. Black truffles and old Burgundy is classic but safe as is white truffles and old Barolo. It will obviously depend on the type of dish/sauce you are preparing.

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WINE

SINGLE VINTAGE QUINTA PORT: PORTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SECOND COMING Written by: Monique Simpson

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WINE

When the word Port is mentioned it often paints a picture along the lines of Granddad rummaging in the far reaches of the liquor cabinet at the end of a celebratory evening in search of a night cap, revealing a dowdy looking bottle plush with dust and accompanied by a rather elaborate explanation regarding how it must be a great drop as it was a very expensive Christmas gift from some generous soul. For the Port producer, and indeed fortified wine producers, images such as these are the elephant in the room forcing producers to re think their entire strategy to rejuvenate Ports’ image and appeal and engage the next generation of port drinkers. Everything from the development of innovative, aspirational, high end offerings, to modern labelling, and even the shape of the bottle is on the cards to give the category a face lift, and for those embracing the challenge, it’s starting to pay dividends. Port is not the name of a grape or place, but rather a fortified wine produced in the demarcated area of the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal. What differentiates Port from regular table wine is early termination of the fermentation process with the addition of high proof grape brandy leaving behind generous amounts of residual sugar, typically resulting in a red wine that is medium sweet and high in alcohol. One of the most exciting trends in the Port category in the last decade is the explosion of Single Quinta Vintage Ports which continue to tie up more space on retailers’ shelves. A Single Quinta Vintage Port is produced entirely from the Port House’s top estate or vineyard from a single vintage uniquely delivering drinkers a true sense of terroir in contrast to Vintage Port which is a blend of the very best wines produced from several Quinta’s grown in a specific year in which the top vineyard provides the blends structural backbone and continuity of style. The trends towards Single Quinta Vintage Ports has led to larger numbers of grape growers producing Ports under the name of their wine estate (or Quinta in Portuguese) versus selling their best grapes to the larger Port companies interestingly paralleling the increase of grower Champagnes in recent years. But it’s not just small growers that are jumping on this trend. Large Port houses are increasing production of Single Quinta Vintage Ports to fill demand for Vintage Port whilst protecting the prestige and scarcity of their classic Vintage Port. With increasing interest in Single Quinta Vintage Ports and the growing consumer perception that individual estate and single vineyard wines are more prestigious, indeed this category could one day be more esteemed than Vintage Port.

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WINE

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As a general rule of thumb, large Port Houses only produce a Single-Quinta Vintage Port in years where they are not confident declaring a ‘vintage’ year (due to the wines lack of intensity and concentration, or limited inventory of top wines), whilst in exceptional years preferring to use grapes from their finest Quinta in their Vintage Port blend as opposed to bottling the grapes in their own right. An intriguing phenomenon also exists whereby some Port houses are actually single estates, thus, when the House produces a Vintage port, it is both a Vintage port and a Single Quinta Vintage Port. Single-Quinta houses, therefore, can produce a Single Quinta Vintage Port whenever they have enough quality grapes to bottle from a single harvest irrespective of an official declared year. Consequently, it is not unheard of to see Single Quinta Vintage Ports produced in consecutive vintages. Single Quinta Vintage Ports are made in much the same way as Vintage Port. They are generally produced from grapes from the Port Houses best single vineyard, aged in oak for two to three years and bottled without filtration so that they throw a thick sediment requiring decanting before serving. However, there are several noteworthy differences. Unlike full Vintage ports which require some 20 plus years of cellaring and unrelenting patience for the wine to reach its full potential, Port Houses will often age their Single-Quinta ports in bottle for up to 10 years after harvest releasing the wine to the public only when the wine is considered ‘ready to drink’. And when it comes to style, Single-Quinta Vintage Ports

Felton Quinta De Vargellas 2008: Taylor Fladgate owned Vargellas vineyard is widely regarded as one of the Douro Valleys finest vineyards producing wines with complex fruit character, distinctive aromatics and well integrated chewy tannins. The wine is deep purple in colour with intense aromas blackberry, blackcurrant, rose and herbs. On the palate, firm acidity is balanced with well integrated, sinuous tannins, and complex black fruit flavours, overlain with liquorice and a touch of spice. Delightful, peppery finish.

tend to be more approachable, faster maturing and more affordable compared to Vintage Port, whilst still delivering the richness, intensity and complexity of flavor associated with their multi-vineyard rivals. That said, there are always top quality exceptions such as Quinta do Noval Nacional – a Vintage Port from a single vineyard – which is produced in declared ‘vintage’ years and widely regarded as one of the greatest Ports in the world rivalling their more famed multi-vineyard Vintage Ports. So next time a dinner party is on the cards, try capping off the dessert and wine with a fine glass of Single-Quinta Vintage Port and see what all the fuss is about!

Quinta Do Noval Silval 1997: Silval is the famed Quinta do Noval’s second label of Vintage Port produced since 1999. Very traditional style of Port. Grapes are largely sourced from the Quinta do Noval vineyard, trodden by foot to obtain the must, then during fermentation are pressed in lagares (traditional stone vats) and aged 18 months in oak. Ruby red core revealing aromas of spice, black fruit, dried herbs and violet. Wine is full bodied with firm acidity, well integrated silky tannins and warming alcohol and bright red fruit, chocolate, molasses and spicy oak flavours.

Quinta Do Vesuvio 2011: Symington owned Vesuvio vineyard flagship style of ‘velvetelegance’ has developed this Quinta’s reputation as one of the greatest producers of Vintage Port in the Douro. The wine is deep purple in colour with intensely aromatic black fruit, liquorice and white flowers on the nose. On the palate, the wine is full bodied underpinned by taut acidity, powerful tannins and concentrated flavours of kirsch, dark cherry, blackberry and blueberry. Long, decadent, spicy finish. Not for the impatient with immense potential to continue to develop over the next 15-20 years.

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CIGARS

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CIGARS

A Vintage Cigar Adventure in the Heart of CubA Written by: Orion Armstrong Photograhy by: Franco Oriot

In a time of chaos I found myself venturing off to Cuba for a number of business related projects. It was a busier time than usual and I was on the verge of closing multiple major business deals. Outside of the usual cell phone and Internet limitations I knew I would face, I was motivated to take a trip to Havana because of a fear it would rapidly change and become ever more commercialized.

The first stop on my journey was what has been long regarded as one of cubaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest cigar shops, La Casa del Habano in Miramar often referred to as Quinta Avenida. Currently managed by two knowledgeable cigar experts, Osmany Rios and Carlos Robaina. Carlos is the son of legendary Cuban cigar producer Alejandro Robaina. This is simply one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier cigar and smoking experiences. This store is revered by collectors and has experienced staff with a renowned reputation of selling fine cigars. You can find several smoking rooms and cigar-friendly dining areas where people often stop to smoke a sample of what they have purchased. La Casa del Habano is unique and rich in character. During my recent visit I was fortunate enough to stay at a beautiful private villa that was by far the best I could find in Miramar. It was equipped with great staff that knew how to cook well, a nice pool and lest I forget, comfortable beds, imagine that. I guess things are starting to change for the better in some respects. My next cigar destination was at the Milia Habana Hotel. Again it is a Le Casa del Habanos shop and I was truly impressed at how well this was put together. The lounge areas were confortable, they had an impressive collection of humidors and their walk in humidor was filled with about ten percent being vintage or from the Anejado production.

Cuba has always been a cigar destination of choice. However, finding vintage cigars or collections has always been limited to major events such as The Festival Del Habano held annually at the beginning of the year and also the less publicized Partagas Festival held in the Fall. During these high profile events one often sees incredible collections auctioned off to those who can afford it. These prized collections you simply will not see anywhere else and they fetch top dollar across the board. If the truth be told, vintage cigars are almost impossible to procure by flying to Cuba and driving to the various cigar stores.

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CIGARS

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The staff were amazing and I found myself making several trips, a definite cigar oasis. After great conversation with Alejandro (Alex) Gonzales Arias who worked in the factories as a roller for four years. I was able to put on a little show and demonstrate my cigar rolling abilities and it drew a brief crowd. I only rolled two sticks, but they smoked well and everyone was impressed. Even though it was not my first time rolling a Cigar, all eyes were on me and the pressure was on. Needless to say it was a pleasant added touch to the journey. After much consideration I chose to review the Hoyo de Monterrey Anejado Hermosos No. 4 as it was one of the boxes I purchased at their store. As the night started to fade I drove out to the commercial area in old Havana as it had many picturesque corners that I felt would make a great backdrop for this review. The wrapper maintained its oils and was constructed nicely with little veins to speak of.

age under the right conditions. If you don’t have the appetite to age your own Cuban cigars yet, I would recommend trying the Anejado lines. Anejados which translates to “aged” is part of a program recently rolled out from Habanos to retailers around the world. These cigars are aged for anywhere from five to eight years. I am confident you will grow to appreciate the maturing process especially if you are familiar with the cigars you select. You can qualify this by the stamp found on the bottom of your box of cigars. There is a limited amount of lines that have been released, but the nice thing is they are available in most fine tobacconists where Cuban cigars are sold. This stick specifically has matured in a pleasant and desirable fashion and I would have no difficulty in recommending this to anyone wishing to embark on a vintage experience. I am giving this a solid preferred rating of 92.

The draw was smooth and it burned consistently from beginning to the nub. The flavor grew at a steady pace from good to very satisfying. I tasted notes of almond and walnut, while the cigar left sweetness in my mouth. It had elements of wood not overpowering, simply just enough to add some complexity to the cigar. It was smooth and Medium bodied and still managed to leave me satisfied for a considerable amount of time afterwards. Even at the onset I enjoyed the flavor and was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of this smoke. I tend to lean more toward a full-bodied cigar, but this smoke was still enjoyable which is impressive considering the size. There has been a significant amount of reviews around this cigar and you will see a great divide between ‘It was amazing’ to ‘not impressed’. I can tell you most of these are not referring specifically to the Anejado line and all decent or good Cuban cigars improve with preferredmagazine.ca

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COVER STORY

Sullivan Stapleton Adventure’s In Life And Wine With Blindspot’s Leading Man Written by: Melissa McAvoy Photo Credit BY: NBC Entertainment Publicity

Getting Candid with Armand Assante

AUSTRALIAN ACTOR AND STAR OF THE HIT NBC MYSTERY THRILLER, BLINDSPOT, BUT PERHAPS BEST KNOWN FOR PLAYING THE LEAD ROLE IN WARNER BROS. AND LEGENDARY PICTURES’ “300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE,” THE SECOND FILM IN ZACK SNYDER’S FRANCHISE. STAPLETON STARRED AS GREEK GENERAL THEMISTOKLES, WHO BATTLED AN INVADING ARMY OF PERSIANS. THE ACTOR ALSO STARRED IN THE CINEMAX SERIES “STRIKE BACK.” NEXT UP, STAPLETON STARS IN “THE LAKE,” WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY LUC BESSON, ABOUT A GROUP OF NAVY SEALS ATTEMPTING TO UNCOVER AN IMMENSE TREASURE HIDDEN IN A LAKE IN WAR-TORN SERBIA. THE FILM IS SCHEDULED TO HIT THEATERS IN LATE JANUARY 2017.

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COVER STORY

In 2010, Stapleton garnered international recognition for his role as Craig Cody in David Michod’s “Animal Kingdom.” The film won the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival that year and went on to receive numerous awards and accolades.

widening web of conspiracy and corruption is revealed, as is the truth behind Jane Doe’s real identity and the identity of the people who sent her to the FBI in the first place. The hit show takes many twists and turns, leaving viewers questioning each character and the role they play in the series. I had the opportunity to sit down with Sully as we’ll call him now and learn more about the man behind the edgy action persona. With an infectious laugh and great sense of humor, we talked work, life and most importantly wine. To my surprise, Sully has quite the palate and has an amazing range of knowledge with wines from around the world. Its time to learn a bit more about Sully and the difficult task at hand, to pick his top wines… You have played some strong characters in your latest roles with 300: Rise of an Empire, Strike Back and Blind Spot. Which role would you say was the most challenging? 300: Rise of an Empire was the most challenging since the role was so physically demanding and training to create the body for the role was a job in itself. Being cast in a lead role like this came with an equal amount of hard work to follow up the original movie, but I was up for the challenge. With your latest hit show Blind Spot, what’s it been like playing Kurt Weller?

Stapleton has a seasoned career with past films including Ruben Flesicher’s “Gangster Squad,” alongside Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone; Kriv Stender’s “Kill Me Three Times”; Tony Ayres’ “Cut Snake”; and Rod Hardy’s “December Boys.” Born and raised in Melbourne, Stapleton was honored in 2013 with a Breakthrough Award by the exclusive Australians in Film. He has already given fans a wide range of work from early on in his rising career. Currently Stapleton can be seen playing FBI Agent Kurt Weller, who is trying to follow the clues on a beautiful woman that is found naked in Times Square, her memory erased and body covered in a series of coded tattoos. Weller and the rest of the FBI team who discovered her work to decipher, investigate and solve the complex treasure map of her body. An ever48

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I have had so much fun developing this character, having an amazing cast and crew to work with, and filming in NYC. What an experience, fight scenes and explosions in Manhattan and just seeing where each character’s role will develop. It’s exciting, fun and most importantly thrilling as an actor and being a part of Blindspot. There are lots of physical scenes in the show, did you have to beef up your training for this role? We train as we go honestly. With the hectic schedule, we train whenever we can fit it in, but do train for specific scenes. It is a crazy schedule as you can imagine.


COVER STORY

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With the season coming to an end, what can we expect for your character in season three? I can’t wait to find out myself. I haven’t asked the writers as I don’t want to know what’s going to happen too far in the future. The writers do such an amazing job, I love getting the next script and diving in, finding out what’s in store and that I’m still in the script. What separates Sullivan Stapleton as an actor from others? You seem very private and focused on the craft, what keeps you from soaking in the “celebrity side” of being a star on a hit show? I’m not that kind of an actor, I love what I do and it’s a job that I take very seriously. I work very hard, but have a lot of fun as well. I am able to have a lot of fun with friends and family without being that kind of celebrity. What has been the best advice you have been given, when it comes to acting and staying focused on roles you go for? A director once told me early in my career not to go to drama school. What I have learnt over the years is to be as honest and natural in each role I play and hopefully that makes them believable. Teamwork is key as well, working with an amazing cast and crew as a unit is what is most important when collaborating to bring the script to life.

something that wine does and creates each time I enjoy a great bottle that leaves a mark. Some of the best wines I have experienced, I can tell you the story behind the glass, which with me is always a good one. SULLIVAN’S TOP WINE PICKS Les Obriers De La Peira 2011 This wine has fabulous richness and depth, with full bodied, cassis, dried earth, ground herbs and licorice-styled aromas and flavors. De Toren Z 2010 A perfected red blend shows alluring aromas of black tea and flows with concentrated flavors of dark plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit. A lingering finish shows off the blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Voyage Estate Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot Blend 2003 A deep, intense wine with a medium to full-bodied rich, wellrounded, blackcurrant fruit, showing full tannins and quality oak. All of which bring volumes throughout the wine. Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz, Australia Dark color, ripe and a seductive array of black fruits with licorice notes on display. The palate is concentrated with black fruit and simplistic tannins. The finish lingers and tells a story of past vintages from the vineyards.

Offset, what do you do to kick back? Ah, well I work very hard, but have to admit I play harder. Since we’re filming in NYC, I love to explore the city, the restaurants and the people. But, as much as I love to be out and about, I do love to relax at home and cook with a great bottle of wine and watch a good movie when I get the chance. Before we dive into your favorite wines, what made you fall in love with wine? Being social darling, sitting with friends and family enjoying a great dinner that’s married with an amazing wine. There’s a social aspect to wine that creates its own story in each bottle and fills me up and makes Sully a very happy boy. There’s

Penfolds Grange Shiraz 2010, Australia Dramatic in color, this is classic Grange - amongst the finest produced - replete with fresh, vibrant and young black fruit notes of blueberry. Classic Penfolds hint of the slightest floral notes and oak that boosts the famed Shiraz nose. Stag’s Leap Artemis 2012, California A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 2% Malbec, sings rich notes of the amazing terroir. The dusty earth notes on the nose give notes of plums and blackberry fruits. A beautiful, well-rounded and supple taste on the palate, gives delicate tannins and a mouth-watering berry finish.

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GROOMIING

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Changing the Way Toronto Buys Cars DOWNTOWN AUTOMOTIVE GROUP

Downtown Automotive Group Autoplex – rendering

At Downtown Automotive Group, our goal is simple; take care of you, our guests, and all your automotive needs.

You told us that you want choices. So we built a multi-brand, multi-purpose blended automotive-residential complex.

You told us that you want the process of buying a car to be simple and straightforward. So we’ve implemented a new way of doing business that puts all the information you need right at your fingertips.

Our Autoplex pioneers forward-thinking technology like water reclamation systems to repurpose run-off and rainwater, a green roof to offset heating and cooling energy needs, and community spaces for our charitable partners. We built what we believe to be the most advanced automotive facility, and we built it for you, our customers.

You told us that your time is valuable and you want efficiency. So we’ve adopted valet service, drive through check in, and online appointment booking, as part of our offering. You told us that you care about your city. So we continue to support our small and large community partners, including our longstanding relationship with the YWCA Women’s Shelters.

DAG.cars

We are Downtown Automotive Group. And we are changing the way Toronto buys cars.


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AUTOMOBILE

PERFORMANCE & BEAUTY THAT TURNS HEADS GIRFALCO AZKARRA Written by: James Chittenden

Who among us doesn’t enjoy the thrill of control over a finely engineered, high performance, powerful machine? And who among us doesn’t like the feeling of driving a car of such novel beauty that it leaves turned heads on every block?

Girfalco, based in Boucherville, Québec is led by Simon Luc Bouchard, Girfalco’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Bouchard set out to design a vehicle that rivals the most beautiful vehicles on the road today. The Azkarra is classic, yet modern and outperforms its peers, which include the world’s finest sports cars.

Should you be so fortunate to drive or own a Girfalco Azkarra, you will experience these thrills.

Why three wheels? This design combines the benefits of a car and motorcycle. The package is maneuverable and light like a motorcycle, but has protection benefits and the seating of a car. The “teardropstyle”, triangular configuration featuring two wheels up front and one in the rear provides improved aerodynamics.

STRAP YOURSELF IN Atelier Girfalco Limitée has unveiled its first electric three-wheel sports vehicle. The Azkarra delivers sports performances similar to much more expensive vehicles.

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AUTOMOBILE

in a high-end vehicle. It has a radio and great attention has been given to speaker positioning, so that it can provide an exceptional sound experience in a no-roof vehicle. It also features Bluetooth, adjustable leatherette seats, full LCD instrumentation, and three driving modes. What are those driving modes? They are Eco, which maximizes driving range, Normal, and Sportiva, which maximizes the vehicle’s sportiveness. TWO VERSIONS The Azkarra is the base model equipped with one electric motor, while the Azkarra S is the sportier version, equipped with three motors with three-wheel drive, and torque vectoring capabilities, a world premiere in the three-wheel industry. But don’t be fooled by the fact that the Azkarra is the base model – It is a sports vehicle capable of holding its own against most sports car on the market today. It offers the same performance level and is within the same price category as the new Porsche Boxster 718. AZKARRA OWNERS ENJOY THEIR OWN UNIQUE AND EXCLUSIVE PRODUCT Girfalco offers a customizable vehicle to each client. You can choose the color scheme, wheels, the seat colors, and an array of options to make your vehicle your own. The Azkarra is currently limited at 100 vehicles and Girfalco’s current production objective for 2017 is 25 vehicles, subject to change if higher demand warrants, but the production run is guaranteed to be limited to 100. Your Azkarra will not be a vehicle that people will see at every corner. It WILL turn heads as much as much higher priced vehicles might. Additionally, Girfalco offers unique editions. Clients are able to choose from a selection of national racing colors-inspired vehicles and exclusive options. Each vehicle is authentically unique. Whether you choose an Azkarra or an Azkarra S as the basis for your unique edition, no other Azkarra will be in the same color combination as yours. HIGH PERFORMANCE! The Azkarra is undoubtedly a sports vehicle with touches of comfort. The ride is fun and enjoyable with the vehicle being equipped with optimized suspension, a precise steering system, a high performance braking system, and powerful electric motors. The driver can truly be one with the highly responsive Azkarra, which will obey his every command, whether a quick acceleration, a quick turn or an abrupt braking.

Girfalco is at this point guaranteeing a minimum range of 200 km, which is enough for every day usage; users will be able to recharge their Azkarra at 80% in around 30 minutes with a level 3 charger. 200 km may not seem like a lot, but it is more than enough to go on a long week-end adventure driving to destinations involving exciting activities, picture-perfect scenery and local products discoveries. AFFORDABLE PERFORMANCE Relatively speaking, the Girfalco Azkarra and Azkarra S are quite affordable for their performances. Estimated MSRP are C$67,500 and C$97,500 for the Azkarra and Azkarra S, respectively. Similarly priced vehicles in the same category do not offer the same combination of excitement, performances and exclusivity. Various options are available to Azkarra buyers, and your Azkarra or Azkarra S becomes a unique edition for an additional C$10,000. Pre-ordering for this very special vehicle is open in mid-January 2017, subject to a refundable deposit. www.girfalco.com

Based on conservative simulations, the Azkarra can accelerate 0-100 kph in 4.5 seconds, while the Azkarra S will be able to achieve the same speed in 2.5 seconds. That makes the “S” version the fastest vehicle in its category and highly competitive with four-wheel vehicles, even those dubbed supercars and hypercars. Maximum speed is electronically limited to 240 kph for the Azkarra S, while the base Azkarra will be limited to 200 kph.

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Let us envelope you in our magnificent haven of serenity. Let us celebrate your well-deserved time-out together. Let us help you unwind in our green tea infused vitality tub. Let us turn a weekend of pampering into a lasting memory.

Experience Travel + Leisure’s Number One Hotel Spa in the World, Spa My Blend by Clarins at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. To reserve a luxurious spa treatment, call 416-572-8000 or visit spamyblendtoronto.com.

© 2016 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC

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All he wants for Christmas

Written by: Taneil Currie

Most people want to find a “forever someone” to share the rest of their life with. People are hardwired with a need to connect with other people. It’s a perfectly healthy to want to share your life with someone. However; for many people, finding true love has turned into serial dating, broken hearts and disappointment. According to a recent survey from a premium dating site EliteSingles, Canadian men hate being single at Christmas and are far more likely than women to view it as a romantic holiday.
 So if you’re wanting to unwrap the gift of love this holiday season and are caught up in the vicious cycle of one failed relationship after another; here are three pieces of advice that can help you find a happy, healthy and lasting relationship, 1. Stop looking for a relationship. Yes, you read that right. Whether you’re going from relationship to relationship or constantly dating someone new in hopes of finding someone, sometimes the best thing to do is to stop looking. When we focus too much on something, we can overlook the obvious and get stuck in a vicious repetitive cycle. Clear your head from the mantra “I need to be in a relationship”. This gives our brains a chance to see things differently and gain a new perspective. You don’t need to give up on looking for love. On the contrary! Sometimes we simply need a break from our current pattern so we can learn to look for love in a different way. 2. Learn to love the single life. We live in a society where people determine their worth and others by their relationship status. Here’s the thing - you’re not a ‘status’. You’re worth has nothing to do with whether or not you’re in a relationship. People devalue themselves when they rely on their relationship status to determine their worth.

By learning to love the single life, you not only remove the anxiety from the expectation of having a relationship, you build your confidence and self-worth. This raises the standard, not only for others but for you as well. When you learn to love the single life, you learn to love yourself. If you want to find true love, fall in love with yourself first! When you love yourself, you won’t settle for a relationship that’s less than. 3. Learn to have realistic expectations. Everyone looking for love wants to find that perfect person and build that perfect relationship. The problem is that perfect people and perfect relationships don’t exist. Those who seek perfection tend to be more stressed, tense, depressed, easily angered, and disappointed in the end. This can lead to venturing into a toxic and volatile relationship. This is not to say that you should lower your expectations for what you want and need from a person. In fact, it’s quite the opposite since lowering expectations has led to many unhappy and failed relationships. You should have high expectations when it comes to finding a person to spend your life with. You should never expect everything to be perfect. Even the happiest of couples have bumps they go over and hills they climb. They just learn to work through their differences and support each other when things are less than perfect. Healthy relationships happen because two people who are secure in themselves work to make it happen. Not looking for a relationship, loving being single and being realistic in your expectations go hand in hand. It’s all a matter of perspective. If you want to find a happy and healthy relationship with someone, then stop looking for just anyone. Love yourself and be okay with being single and when you find someone you want to share your life with, don’t expect everything to be perfect!

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WATCH

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Time for Life in the FasT Lane BELL & ROSS VINTAGE BR GT WRITTEN by: JAMES CHITTENDEN

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We can all appreciate a highly accurate, finely crafted instrument that we can rely on in a pinch. It could be the avionics in a high performance aircraft or even a spacecraft. It could be your gauges while in a deep ocean dive, or it could be the instrumentation you rely on while pushing a powerful sports car to its limits.

Do you count on the accuracy of these instruments in extreme situations? If so, you will as always appreciate Bell & Ross watches from Switzerland. The latest offering from Bell & Ross are two Vintage BR GT models that are reminiscent of race watches and instruments from the 1970s. You will find the design to be understated and modern with satin and steel finishes. In Bell & Ross tradition, the visual indicators are very clear such as the indicators found on aircraft instrument panels. The dial is pitch black and contrasts well with the steel tone of the auxiliary counters and indices. The crystal of the Vintage BR GT watches are sapphire, ultra-curved high dome with two layers of anti-reflective coating. This enhances resistance and durability as well as legibility. In 1970s style, the bezel ring is satin-finished, elegant and quite striking. The bezel also features 60-minute gradations on the three-hand version and a tachymeter scale on the chronograph version. This prioritizes the measurement of short time periods. This enables performance and speed to be read immediately. No batteries are needed. The Vintage BR GT watches are powered by two Swiss self-winding mechanical movements. They are water resistant to 100 meters. Both models are made with a black, micro perforated strap with a special suede-like touch that was used in car upholstery in the 1970s. The straps are lined with stitched leather and fitted with a satin-finished steel folding buckle. You will find these watches to be both elegant and sporty, fit for a modern man in search of authenticity. The watches can be worn in nearly all circumstances, whether in jeans, a three piece suit or tuxedo. Of course, they also completely appropriate behind the wheel of a fine car.

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BELL & ROSS BR 126 GT

Movement: Automatic mechanical Calibre BR-CAL.301 Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock Date. Chronograph: 30-min timer at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds Tachymeter scale on the bezel Case: 42 mm in diameter Satin-finished steel Graduated fixed bezel Dial: Black Metal appliqué numerals and indices Minute track on metal surround Metal skeleton Superluminova®-filled hour and minute hands Crystal: Ultra-curved high-dome sapphire crystal with antireflective coating Water resistance: 100 m Strap: Black Alcantara® or satin-finished steel Buckle: Folding Satin-finished steel

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Honored To Be Named

AMERICAN WINERY OF THE YEAR 2016

WINE STAR AWARDS LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR BEES AND OUR WINES AT: bonterra.com

PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY

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12 EXCLUSIVE COURTYARD TOWNHOMES BLOOMING at YONGE & EGLINTON

.CA

So near to everything. S o f a r f ro m o rd i n a r y. TIMELESS.

ICONIC.

U N F ORG E T TA B L E .

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Cover - Sullivan Stapleton (Adventure's In Life And Wine With Blindspot's Leading Man)

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