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The Good Life

Made For You, October 2019

A benchmark workbench; genuine Kobe beef; cigar art for the man cave; a sweet retreat at the airport; a club for all seasons; and a really cold Martini.
By CA Editors | From Nick Jonas, September/October 2019
Made For You, October 2019

In a world of fast food and one-size-fits-all sensibilities, how often does something feel made especially for you? The “Made for You” section celebrates those items that are created with such high quality of hand workmanship and degree of customization that they become individual to you. In each issue, our editors will endeavor to bring you special things from anywhere on the globe, choosing them solely on the basis of outstanding quality. Our goal is to give you guidance on the best of everything.

THE BENCHMARK—AMERICAN WORKBENCH

The Catch-22 of starting a woodworking hobby is that it helps to have a wooden workbench to start with. When the former hotelier John Zirpola ran into that frustration, a lightbulb turned on and he started making benches for woodworkers and hobbyists who otherwise made due with “bricks and an old door for a bench.” Now, he offers sturdy, easy-to-assemble benches, like the Paul Revere and the Minuteman, with custom engraving and lettering available. americanworkbench.com

SMOKING BARRELS—WING & BARREL RANCH

The mark of an outstanding club is that it can bring your favorite pursuits together in one place. And if you’re a certain type of guy—someone who appreciates great cigars, fine wine, gourmet food and sporting clays, Wing & Barrel Ranch in Sonoma, California, is that place. The amenities include an exclusive cigar program, wine events, a menu designed by the chef Charlie Palmer and a world-class clay-shooting course outfitted by shotgun makers Beretta and Purdey. But it doesn’t end there: the club provides dog training and boarding. wingandbarrelranch.com

REAL deal KOBE—HOLY GRAIL

Forget the Kobe sliders at your local brewhouse: Kobe beef is dearly priced, exceptionally rare and nearly as counterfeited as Cohibas. To find the real product, look to Holy Grail Steak Co., which sells all manner of high-end steaks, including grade A5 Kobe beef from Japan. The beef is more white than red, its signature fat a spider web of flavor. The meat melts in the pan and has the richness of foie gras, quite unlike traditional beef. Expect to pay $300 for 15 ounces. holygrailsteak.com

HAVE A SUITE FLIGHT—PRIVATE SUITE

Today’s equivalent of the hurry-up-and-wait drill is the typical airport experience. You arrive early and stand in line before walking half a mile to a gate, only to sit and watch the news on mute because the plane’s delayed. But Los Angeles passengers can bypass that agony with Private Suite, a service that puts up fliers in a private room in a private terminal at LAX with its own TSA screening. The suites have a daybed, seating area, food service pantry and private bathroom and television. When takeoff is imminent, a BMW takes you to your plane. theprivatesuite.com/the-experience 

STEEL GLASSES—CORK POPs

The shaken or stirred Martini debate is sure to go on as long as gin meets vermouth in a cocktail glass. But one dig against the classic stirred version (it doesn’t tend to chill as well in a pitcher as it does in a shaker) is rendered moot by the Stainless Steel Martini Glass from Cork Pops. You freeze the double-walled vessel and a gel sandwiched between the metal surfaces keeps your Martini cold even as you clutch it in your hot little hands. The food-grade metal comes in a choice of steel or copper finish. corkpops.com

MAN CAVE GALLERY—JBM FINE ART

When does a man cave become more than just a place to smoke? When you put art on the walls. For that, look to JBM Fine Art and its moody, black-and-white photographs of smoking scenes. The artist, Jillian Biehl Morrison, says, “My series is meant to illuminate and showcase the beauty of cigars as the luxury art form they are.” She does this through an interplay of light and shadow as well as provocative titles like “First Kiss” (a match to cigar) and “Phoenix”(smoke rising from the ashes). jillianbiehlmorrison.com

Made For You

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