Good Life Guide
Top country music star Brad Paisley puts passion into everything he does, be it writing songs, playing and collecting guitars, creating computer-animated cartoons or penning his banter with Carrie Underwood, his cohost on the Country Music Awards. Approaching 40, he dismisses the milestone and looks on to new goals, such as playing alongside the likes of his guitar idols Eric Clapton and Eddie Van Halen. His one indulgence? Cigars. They go on tour with him, and he once wrote them a humorous paean.
No longer a target of teasing, belly putters lose stigma and gain respect every time a pro wins a tournament with one. The long putters that anchor at a golfer’s stomach used to be last resorts for duffers with the yips. Now, young phenoms take advantage of the clubs’ steadiness to hole out on 20-foot putts. The only question left is whether golf’s powers that be will allow them to stay legal.
In 1966, when Caesars Palace opened in Las Vegas, it was the town’s first fantasy casino, a place of fountains, reflecting pools and dreams. And the rest of The Strip instantly paled by comparison—but not for long. Competition wised up and created their own flights of imagination. Now, Caesars conquers once more with a glittering refurbishing that brings top-drawer accommodations, celebrity chefs and A-list entertainers.
It used to be that luxury cars occupied a small niche in the automobile market. As our review of the best offerings of 2012 reveals, the high-line market segment has grown to include at least 10 subsections that span everything from entry-level cars to crossover vehicles to super sports to hatchbacks and convertibles. Even green machines are showing they can be posh. And luxury also means keeping up with the latest high-tech innovations.
As the next wave of television technology—3D—crashes over us, savvy consumers will make some important decisions in front of the current. First consider content. A wealth of Blu-ray movies is the big story, but cable, satellite and broadcast lag behind. Animation and video games take to it swimmingly, while sports seems drowned out. A new do-it-yourself world is also emerging as camera and video recorders offer 3D.
The wine and spirits czar of the global luxury giant LVMH tempers his high-pressure position with a love of cigars. Christophe Navarre manages Moët-Hennessy—in accordance with the wishes of his demanding boss Bernard Arnault—as if it were his own. While his penchant for Cuban cigars is quite understandable, his smoking order over the course of a day may run counter to common practice: he saves the best for first.
When the illustrious tobacco grower first opened for business in Nicaragua, insiders scratched their heads. What was newcomer Eduardo Fernandez up to, joining the business at the height of the cigar boom? Now, there is no mystery as Aganorsa has become one of the strongest tobacco concerns in the Central American country.
Our review of the ratings on Cuban cigars reveals that the darling of the tobacco world has reached new heights, with average scores higher than ever. Taste and quality are more consistent than they have been in years, leading to a number of prominent placements on our Top 25 of the Year list. Edward Sahakian, of London’s Davidoff store, lays the surge to longer fermenting and aging.