You owe it to yourself to put these bottles in the freezer, chill a glass or two or three, depending how willing you are to share, and take these drinks straight up, no chaser.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: There is a story, not apochryphal, of a vendor who insists on making his product, on offer to the public every morning save Sunday, in an immaculately clean machine, with the finest offerings of the cof fea arabica plant roasted and ground just so, and made with special water, the cleanest, softest available.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The Classic Champagne cocktail, the Red Rose martini, the Grand Cosmo, and more.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: David Foster is forever in blue jeans. It somehow speaks to his Canadian heritage, and perhaps to his musical tastes. His abilities as a producer are pretty much unassailable, but what most folks might not realize is how he recognizes emerging talent and brings it forward.

She has an impressive film resumé. She takes on roles that are varied and wide in scope. She is Naomi Watts.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The association between fine watches and the sporting world has been in place for a long time. Each and every year at Baselworld, something new and exciting comes to the forefront.

The steep-cliffed, narrow winding roads of the island of Capri can make you feel like you are riding along in the back seat of Cary Grant’s coupe, Grace Kelly fussing with the picnic basket beside him.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Pat Quinn knows the score. “It’s a profession where people lose their jobs on a regular basis. I’ve been very fortunate to be asked to do something new each time it happened to me.” He never seems to lose sight of this, with his assistants, with his players, with himself.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: It was at a wine festival, with over 700 wines being poured at various booths, and it was my job to taste through as many as possible in a planned, methodical manner. And survive to tell about it.

The annual Baselworld watch and jewellery show eventually, as it was bound to do, outgrew the available exhibition facilities in the Kleinbasel district of Basel, Switzerland, not so far from the picturesque bridge and river winding through the town.

John Michael MacNeil is executive chef at Calgary’s illustrious Teatro Ristorante. Some big names have been at the helm before him, but it is hard to argue that the place has ever been in better hands than it is now.

Alain Delamuraz is in high demand at Baselworld. As Blancpain’s vice president and head of marketing, his insights and knowledge are sought after, and he moves fairly quickly from one private showing room to another, pretty much all day long.

A brand that knows well how to keep its message unfettered and alive is Chanel. Its presence at Basel is an impressive one, a star among stars.

Baselworld is absolutely fascinating for its all-encompassing display of the watch industry’s hold on the world, and jewellery is a bigger part of Baselworld as each year goes by.

Chopard is widely known for its association with the Cannes Film Festival, as its jewellery adorns many a star, including most recently Cate Blanchett. Chopard, though, is a serious player in the watchmaking sphere too.

While the enormity of the enterprise at Baselworld is startling, shocking even, in terms of logistics alone, the exhibition shows an industry competitive as they come, nonetheless finding enough common ground to make this a must-visit.

At first glance, this is a sapphire and diamond sautoir, a long necklace displaying an ornament where the strands unite. It was created by Italian jeweller Bulgari in 1969, and given as a gift from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor.

It began, appropriately enough, over an impassioned discussion during a restaurant meal in which several great wines were poured. “Wouldn’t it be great,” someone mused out loud, “if we could make our own wines, right at home, and have them with beautiful dinners like this one?”

Jefferson Alvarez was 16 years old, and had already known for most of a decade that he wanted to be a professional cook, when he left his native Venezuela, with its pampas-fed beef, chickens scratching busily in pens, and vegetable gardens everywhere—all making for great, healthy eating.

The taking of a drink before dinner, usually called an “aperitif”, or “apero”, tends to have some ritualistic charm to it, which can make the drink itself in some ways secondary to the experience.

James Walt is, in ways beyond counting, in ways completely authentic and natural, the antithesis of a screaming, knife-throwing, plate-shattering, ire-laden celebrity chef. And as he sits at a corner table at his restaurant, Araxi, a few minutes before kitchen service begins to really ramp up for a busy evening, he is a model of aplomb and control.

Xavier Rudd strolls across the empty ballroom floor, watching two technicians set up his equipment on stage. One of them notes, “This takes 10 times longer than a normal five-piece rock and roll band.”

The flight into Porto, Portugal, from Frankfurt feels like riding in an air show, so many steep banks and turns are there. Still, it is not a bad feeling, especially after touchdown and entry into one of the airiest, cleanest, and brightest arrivals lounges in Europe.

On a high shelf spanning the entire length of a wall in the meeting room at Jean-Georges Management, which overlooks the bustling, teeming Prince Street in New York’s SoHo neighbourhood, are toasters. Two dozen, perhaps, dating from the 1920s to the 1950s. The chef looks at them and says, “There is nothing better than toast in the morning. A little butter, some marmalade—perfect.”

Enter from the sidewalk, pass under the awning at 60 East 65th Street in New York, and you immediately find a world unto itself, distinct from whatever in your life brought you to this sidewalk at this moment. People arrive early, and are seated in a small lounge area, the restaurant proper only a few steps beyond it.

Make your way along the Los Angeles Interstate web, a skein of ramps, exeunts in extremis; drivers overtaking you at the speed of sound; passing so many familiar names benignly posted on green highway signs, white lettering spelling out Dodger Stadium, Rose Bowl, the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Magazines tell stories in words and pictures. They are meant to tell you about their world—and by association, your world. NUVO continues to be, a mix of words and pictures of sophistication and chic for Canada’s smart set.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Born to dance, and living to act, Neve is an accomplished performer.

The age of sound bites, of entertainment masking political opinion-making, of beauty over substance, seems so entrenched now as to be moot. What James L. Brooks was alarmed about in Broadcast News, in which the ability to shed crocodile tears while taping an interview was more important by far than being up to date on any judicial inquiry, seems almost laughably mellow now.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The major champagne houses are justly famous, having laid the groundwork for export markets, taking a local agricultural product and developing it into an international brand that is synonymous with celebration, special occasions, and, to a degree, with luxury itself.

The plane touches down in the Nice Côte d’Azur airport, the approach having provided an almost leisurely look at the shimmering, bright-blue sea and the mountainous coastline. It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to understand why this is the hub of one of the most attractive pleasure destinations in the world.

Gracing one full side of Phillips Square in Montreal is the stately, elegant Birks flagship store, boasting coving and detail work that belies its 19th-century origins. It is today a lovely space to shop in, to browse among the products.

A crisp afternoon in the city, snow abundant, a few kids shooting hoops regardless in an otherwise empty lot, a CD player accompanying them, almost all stuff from the rap charts. On Nelly Furtado’s new record, more metaphorically than literally called Loose, there is a true musical affinity with this music, an understanding of it.

He is a music archaeology department all to himself, having played with and learned from the very best in the world. Be prepared to spend several hours if you invest at all in examining his discography, and even then, you’ll likely wind up seeing a few films, too.

Marco Caprai brings much more than wine to the table.

The world of Formula 1 racing is fast, on and off the track. Speeds these days top 300 kph, the activity in the pit is a controlled thrum of precision that threatens to but never reaches panic level, and everywhere the smells of oil, hot rubber, and money.

In the miasmic haze of music downloads, legal and otherwise, Michael Bublé’s grandfather, a figure important enough to the story that you can draw a parallel between him and Paul McCartney’s granddad in A Hard Day’s Night (“He’s a clean old man, then, isn’t he?”) would be a little unhappy.

There are many reasons to like John Sleeman, and to really like the company’s products. But, what exactly is the difference between a mass-produced beer of any description and a micro-brew, and a premium beer? Beer is at its quality peak just after brewing, when the foam has just settled on the keg.

Early afternoon, this deep New York autumn, there are minute-by-minute decisions to be made. A computer screen divided into quadrants shows four different versions of cable news from the four big American players in this business. Very often, two or three of them are doing the same story. But the fourth, a little different it seems, tends to bring forward more variety and spontaneity, though never, of course, at the expense of hard news, or breaking news.

It’s a long way from raucous high school gigs in Calgary to playing small venues in Montparnasse, from punk performance art to cabaret-infused treatments of original songs and wayward covers that would be out of place save for the fresh musical perspective that informs them.

Hotel Plaza Athénée opened in 1911, at 25 Avenue Montaigne, at the same time as its neighbour, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées. It was not long before the hotel, situated so perfectly, became a Parisian hot spot.

It is called the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, but only an on-site visit, or ideally, several, to see various performances, can do it justice. It is the world’s last operating double-decker theatre, designed by architect Thomas White Lamb for Marcus Loew and his theatre chain, back in the days of vaudeville.

Though many have had the privilege of eating his desserts and chocolates, should you have the chance to meet him, you would find Thomas Haas formidably funny, measurably modest. He made a reputation with the Four Seasons in Vancouver, but had grown up in the Black Forest of Germany, near Freiberg.

Armen Petrossian sits in his large office, in a modest building in the 17th, in Paris, where his father and his uncle first brought to the Western world a special product called caviar.

Hubert Hirner has a business card that reads “Technical Trainer”. Should you ever have the pleasure of meeting him at his office and workbench in the Vacheron Constantin building in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux, at the modern-day equivalent of a Renaissance cabinet, where watches were, and still are, made completely by hand, you would quickly realize what Hubert actually is. …

Rosanne Cash gets her voice back, and hits the mark with a new record that’s four years old.

This is not a story about tiaras. Not really. Yes, there was a stunningly extensive exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, a serious elaboration on an unanticipated runaway success show at Wartski’s in London. Yes, certain Crown Jewels were involved.

This is where the Harry Winston shop holds discreet sway as it has since 1947, and where the unphotographed but intensely real, and intensely articulate, Ronald Winston plies his many talents.

All that glitters is not gold. This was understood very well in ancient India, where the substance that scratches all others, is scratched by none, was first discovered and named: adamas, diamante, diamond.