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Reviews Written by
Junior Hornet "hornet123" (Devon, UK)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Santa Rita Secret Reserve White Blend 2013 (Case of 3)
Santa Rita Secret Reserve White Blend 2013 (Case of 3)
Price: £33.99

4.0 out of 5 stars More complex than usual from Chile, 30 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First of all, let me say that this is not a big, bold, "in your face" fruity type of wine that is often associated with Chile - and there's nothing wrong with that style by the way. Rather this is a more subtle, light, refreshing blend.

The 76% Riesling is definitely to the fore. It dominates the aroma with the petrolly smell usually associated with Aussie Rieslings, though not as fully. This may be a little off putting to the newcomer but give it a chance and more complex smells develop.

Upon tasting, there is certainly plenty of fruit in there but it is quite subtle. The other grapes provide the qualities for which they are known. The viognier gives it earthiness, the chardonnay body and the sauvignon helps to make it refreshing. So no surprises there. I am surprised that the alcohol content is as high as 13.3% though. They have managed to give the wine punch without overpowering the flavours.

This is definitely a wine for warmer weather. Save your big bold Chilean chardonnays for the winter. They have done a fairly good job with the blend and it is a pleasant wine to drink although maybe not at the current asking price of eleven quid a bottle.


Mudder Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm Detector Sensor - Home Security Systems - Fire Tester Alert Warning
Mudder Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm Detector Sensor - Home Security Systems - Fire Tester Alert Warning

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to install. Loud Alarm, 29 Aug. 2015
This smoke and CO alarm arrived in plain, no nonsense packaging (a refreshing change from all the overpackaged products that are often sold). Battery and fixing screws are provided, as are good, clear instructions. Installation is simplicity itself.

Obviously it is not possible to test the Carbon Monoxide sensor without serious risk to my health. However, the test button worked as expected and the alarm was sufficiently loud to be heard throughout the house. In addition, I managed to unintentionally and successfully test the smoke sensor through a bit of overcooking of food.

I have been offered the opportunity to test this product in exchange for an honest review. I will criticise and mark a product down if it is not up to standard but in this case I genuinely feel that there is nothing to criticise.


AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - Black
AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - Black

5.0 out of 5 stars Works Well, 27 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This cable fits current and recent models of iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. As a cable, it works as well as the official Apple product.

The length is quite handy as the cable supplied by Apple is not really long enough to be able to effectively use an iPad when charging but the 6 foot length of this cable means that you can plug it into a nearby socket and have the iPad on your lap.

As regards the Amazon Basics label, don't be fooled into thinking it is cheap and nasty. I have used several Amazon Basics products and have found them to be of good quality at a reasonable price.


The Knowledge Red Wine
The Knowledge Red Wine
by Peter Grogan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Wine, 27 Aug. 2015
This review is from: The Knowledge Red Wine (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This slim volume provides a good introduction to Red Wine. The ideal audience would be people who have recently started to enjoy wine and want to know a bit more.

After the introduction, there are chapters describing the main grape varieties, explaining old and new world wines, the wines of the main wine producing countries and buying, storing and serving wine.

It doesn't give any in depth detail. This is probably a good thing in such a volume as the introductory style will encourage further reading of any areas of interest.

In my opinion it is worth a read if you are a relative newcomer to red wine.


Sound Blaster E5 Portable Headphone Amplifier
Sound Blaster E5 Portable Headphone Amplifier
Price: £164.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does improve sound, 24 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
So far, I have tried this with a smartphone using MP3s and an iPad using Apple Music via a pair of cheapish Sony headphones and have been pleasantly surprised by the clarity of the sound that it produces. I compared it with having the headphones connected directly and there really is a marked improvement in sound quality. This with MP3s. I haven't got any FLAC files to hand to try these and have been unable to test CDs through the bluetooth connection as my player only accepts Bluetooth signals rather than transmitting them.

It is small enough to carry around and has a built in rechargeable battery so will be ideal for listening to music on the move. Great for whiling away a long train or coach journey. The availability of the downloadable Sound Blaster Central app (which you are prompted to download when you first connect it to a device) makes fine tuning a breeze.

I do find that MP3 files played through a phone or tablet often sound muffled. The Sound Blaster E5 goes a long way to improve clarity, meaning that for except the most discerning of audiophiles will benefit from not having to install the much larger FLAC files.


J & M Virtual Reality Kit @ 45mm Focal Length 3D Google Cardboard - Brown version with NFC and Head-strap
J & M Virtual Reality Kit @ 45mm Focal Length 3D Google Cardboard - Brown version with NFC and Head-strap
Offered by J&M IMPORTS
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable introduction to VR, 22 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Despite the lack of instructions, the unit was easy enough to put together. Just match up the numbered tabs to the slots. The biggest problem I had was the magnet is too small for the hole and keeps falling out. A little bit of blu tack gave a temporary workaround.

In use, the magnet worked well for moving the image about, although you need to have a compatible phone. I tried it on one with compatibility and one without and for it to work properly, you really do need the phone to be compatible. Also, I found that if you have the phone in a protective case, you need to take it out.

I found that the system, simple though it is, worked surprisingly well. The quality of what you see very much depends on the software and there are plenty of demos and games available that use the system. Many of these are free and available in Google Play.

This product acts purely as an introduction to VR. It isn't going to last a lifetime or anywhere near and the price reflects this. However, if you just want to see what all the fuss is about, this is a good way to find out without spending masses of money on professional kit.

I was given the opportunity to review this item in return for an honest and objective feedback.


Flexable 1500 mg Sustained Release Glucosamine Tablets - Pack of 3
Flexable 1500 mg Sustained Release Glucosamine Tablets - Pack of 3
Offered by PharmEthicals Ltd
Price: £47.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Happy With These, 22 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I can only really review these on the basis of how easy they are to swallow and whether, as an existing taker of glucosamine, I notice any difference.

I was initially surprised at how big the tablets were, even compared to my current 1000mg tablets which in themselves are quite big. However, due to the shape and the smooth coating, I found them very easy to swallow.

I haven't noticed any immediate improvements nor any deterioration in my comfort after replacing my existing tablets with these. After all, the active ingredient is the same albeit in a larger dose. The makeup of the tablets allows for a slow release so I assume that the higher quantity allows a similar benefit over a longer period. I cannot really make judgement as I don't have a problem with the benefits of the 1000mg tablets that I usually take wearing out after a few hours. If this does cause you a problem, then these ones might help.

These tablets certainly work well enough. At the current price, they work out about the same as you can buy 1000mg tablets in supermarkets although you can get cheaper on line and mail order. Whether they are worth it may depend on whether your current tablets become less effective as the day goes on. If so, they could be worth trying.

If you are using glucosamine for the first time though, it should be noted that it may take a few weeks for the benefits to be really noticeable.


The Dust that Falls from Dreams
The Dust that Falls from Dreams
by Louis de Bernieres
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.91

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyed It, 15 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first Louis de Bernieres book I have read so I will not be making comparisons to Captain Corelli's Mandolin or any of his others. I get the feeling it was written with a female audience in mind but as a chap I have to say that I enjoyed it very much.

It is quite an easy book to read. There are no convoluted plots, rather it is a chronology of a family and their friends and lovers, told from the perspective of the eldest daughter, through the first half of the twentieth century. I found that the characterisations and descriptions of events to be very believable. The First World War scenes in particular are strongly written and very moving. He doesn't hold back on the horror and gore experienced by soldiers and civilians alike. I am presuming, by the dedication at the front of the book, that the story is based on the author's own family history, though how loosely I don't know.

I was sorry to reach the end of the book, despite its length, and am hoping that a sequel is forthcoming, which is feasible given the open ended nature of the story.


Omron MIT Quick Check Three Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron MIT Quick Check Three Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
Price: £48.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Effective and easy to use, 4 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This blood pressure monitor fits neatly onto the wrist and gives a speedy blood pressure reading. It says to allow 2 and a half minutes but in practice it only took about 1 minute. I have quite a slim wrist and the main attachment fits snugly. There is however plenty of give in the velcro strap so it should fit most people without any trouble. The unit gives an error message if it is not attached correctly. This facilitates an accurate reading every time.

Good instructions are paramount when using medical equipment such as this. It is important to be in the correct position and not to take a reading soon after vigorous exercise or drinking alcohol. Fortunately the instructions are clear and concise and, with the use of words and illustrations, show the correct positioning of the arm.

It is also important not to rush to conclusions if you have one high reading. To this end, the unit stores up to 60 readings. This particular model only does this for one person but other models are available in the same range that store readings for more than one person.

The build is of solid, sturdy plastic and has a high quality feel to it.

This is a useful gadget to have about the house but it is important to remember that is not a replacement for professional healthcare advice. It could be handy to show the readings to the doctor if you have any worries.


Slim Sonic Toothbrush - Silver
Slim Sonic Toothbrush - Silver
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy for going away with, 1 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is not an electric toothbrush as such as it does not have the power of the larger rechargeables. Rather the sonic pulses complement the manual brushing action. In this respect, it is comparable to the Oral B Pulsar toothbrush that many supermarkets and chemists sell.

The brush head is towards the softer side of medium and is not a standard size (at least it does not fit my Philips Sonicare). However a spare head is supplied as is an alkaline battery so well done to the manufacturers for that.

It is very versatile in that the lower half of the travel case also acts as the toothbrush handle. It will fit nicely inside a washbag and the sturdy case will protect it and keep it clean. Also, because it only uses 1 AAA battery, it is easy to keep a spare handy. I would recommend this to anyone who travels regularly who would like to use an electric brush but doesn't want to carry around the complete recharging kit, just as long as you don't mind doing a bit of manual brushing as well.


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