Tracy was at lunch today so we swapped rumors and lies about food.
If you are going to grind your own coffee and you are looking at a burr grinder, the "Rocky" at $300 is the cheapest one worth buying. Marc bought a different brand for something like $150 and it is not consistent. Sometimes the ground coffee is too coarse, and the water runs right through the grounds and barely picks up any flavor. Other times it is too fine and the grounds essentially form a plug and no water gets through at all. CoffeeGeek.com tells all.
Some people age vinegar, much like some people age wine. There is a store in downtown Portland than sells nothing but olive oil and vinegar. Tracy bought some 18 year old Balsamic vinegar and says there is a real difference in taste.
The olive oil you buy in the store is probably not olive oil. Back when olive oil got to be popular the Mafia got involved. Now what you get is canola oil colored with a little chlorophyll. You can tell the difference by putting it in the fridge. Real olive oil will coagulate, canola oil won't. There is an outfit in Australia that tests olive oil. They started up a few years ago and so far they have not found any real olive oil.
Two Buck Chuck (wine) has dropped their price from $2.95 a bottle to $2.50. They have added a premium line as well that sells for $3.50.
Update: Quick trick to picking out a bottle of wine: look for one with the highest alcohol content (excepting fortified wine like Mad Dog and Thunderbird). Most table wine is around 12% alcohol. To get any more than this requires mad wine making skills, so if a wine has 13% alcohol, it's probably pretty good.