Surprise! Off again on a pop-up junket. Destination: New York, Stockholm, Budapest, Prague, Madrid.

We're off again on a surprise pop-up junket whose origins are much of the reason we've gone the longest period in Wine:Thirty Flight's history without a proper blog post. This swing has us passing through our well-trod territory in Spain and Sweden, but adding stops in Hungary and the Czech Republic, as well as a bite to eat in the American Airlines Flagship Lounge dining room at New York JFK airport, and a quick hello at Chimichurri Grill (one of our very favorite restaurants).

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How and why to get started building your own wine collection

Wine is always a good thing to keep on hand at your house. If you’re anything like Andrew, Meghan, and me then you probably always have a house wine on hand. You might also have some nice bottles you’d like to save for special occasions or maybe even let age for a bit. But how do you turn having a few bottles on hand into a full-blown wine collection? To answer that question, we have a few tips and tricks for starting your own collection.

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Our October wine picks are a volcanic white, a stunning Virginia red, a tried and true Rioja

Casual wine drinkers, aficionados, and beginners alike: Each month we expose you to new things, educating and diversifying your palate with a lineup of our monthly wine picks. We're sharing some of the best we've tried in the last month so that you can seek them out and bring them to dinner this month. You must forgive us from being just returned from Spain, a trip whose experience shows in our picks this month. We're changing things a bit this month, going from our usual five recommendations down to three. We want to be a bit more choosy. Cheers!

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Three wines for you to try from Ribera del Duero, one of Spain's finest wine regions

I've been carrying around recommendations for three Ribera del Duero wines we've tried in restaurants throughout Spain over the last year. A pair of them have surfaced through other posts, but as none were part of a lineup or a winery visit, I've not had cause to share them in a lineup. Funny, though, we've seen them all again in places other than where we first tried them, and have found them all to be worthy bottles from one of our very favorite of the world's great wine regions. Give them a look.

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How I beat jet lag on big timezone changes to hit the ground running at my destination

With Wine:Thirty Flight's next oversees trip just two weeks away, today I found myself preparing to beat seven timezone's worth of jet lag by scheduling sleeping hours on my calendar over several days leading to our departure. Such is my particular technique for getting the most out of my travel time from the moment I land: Adjust your sleep schedule incrementally, an hour each day, until you get as close as possible to syncing with your new timezone the day you depart. Here's how it works.

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Weekend guide to Stockholm: Sweden's charming, historic, regal capital on the Baltic Sea

Situated on Sweden's east coast, Stockholm is a city of islands perforated and interconnected by canals that ultimately flow to the Baltic Sea. Its maritime informs its aesthetic, a city whose urban geography reflects its national flag: brightly colored buildings atop a sea of beautiful blue. It's a gem of a European capital, ever as charming, historic, and regal as those to the south; cool in May, and connected to the sea as few others are. This is our weekend guide.

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Transition to autumn wine drinking with our Top Five wine tasting lineup for September

Casual wine drinkers, aficionados, and beginners alike: Each month we expose you to new things, educating and diversifying your palate with a lineup of our monthly wine picks. We're sharing some of the best we've tried in the last month so that you can seek them out and bring them to dinner this month. It's 64 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 18 degrees to you much more worldly Celsius-loving folk) outside on Cape Cod as I write this, a far cry from the summer months that brought us but one red (a Tempranillo from Texas) out of fifteen bottles shared in our June, July, and August tastings. Yes, like Pinot Noir grown far enough north (or south) to "cross the cranberry line", our September lineup has us looking to autumn and the cooler temperatures ahead. Cheers!

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Advice for frequent business and pleasure travelers that I wish I'd been given years ago

I'm looking towards next week, the eleventh (and final) straight week during which I will have flown somewhere for either business or pleasure. It's actually been a great run, at the end of which I find myself reflecting on the lessons I've learned since a new job served as my first foray into the world of frequent travel about ten years ago. I've traveled often since I was a kid, but in recent years I've picked up five notions that help me to still keep travel fun. This is the advice I'd give to adventure seekers and business travelers taking to the skies on a more regular basis.

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Three fabulous restaurants for your journey through Spain's Toro, Ribera del Duero, and Rioja

The chef sat at our table and asked us if we had brought the wine. We had just walked through the door into what appeared to be a small local place fronting a charming yet luxurious dining room in the back. Yes, we had the wine; a blessing, for the meal that was to come had been paired specially not just for any bottle, but for this bottle. Our host grinned. So at El Chivo, in the tiny Spanish village of Morales de Toro, began the one of the most spectacular three days' of lunches that Meghan or I have ever experienced.

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I drink, and I know things. Actually reviewing the Game of Thrones Paso Robles red wine blend.

With an average of 10.1 million viewers each week and 38 Primetime Emmy Awards, Game of Thrones is one of the most successful TV series ever. Anyone who has watched the show has seen the copious amounts of wine drinking, leading to such lines as Tyrion’s “That’s what I do: I drink and I know things.” It’s also led to the creation of branded wines designed “to match the strength of the characters and the terrain of their kingdoms.”

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A vacation ruined before it began: Lessons on getting too creative with your travel itinerary

The popular travel blog One Mile at a Time published this piece last month, I’m Not Sure What To Make Of This Travel Horror Story, that recounted a sad incident in which a couple was turned back to check-in, missing their entire vacation due to "travel document" issues. Let's seize this moment to highlight the perils of getting too creative with your travel itinerary. This is particularly relevant to those of us who frequent off the beaten path places such as (ahem) wine country...

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Our August top five lineup of rosé and white wines could not be more refreshing

Casual wine drinkers, aficionados, and beginners alike: Each month we expose you to new things, educating and diversifying your palate with a lineup of our monthly wine picks. We're sharing some of the best we've tried in the last month so that you can seek them out and bring them to dinner this month. We're celebrating our last gasp of the high summer season with a lineup of five bottles that gush refreshing (two rosé and three white), a worthy followup to our all-white June lineup and our red, white, blue, sparkling, and rosé July lineup. Cheers!

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Earn Delta SkyMiles for your upcoming journey via Airbnb stays and Lyft rides

Creative point and mile-earning partnerships have been a neat development in travel the last several years. Delta Airlines has quietly given new ways to earn to those of us looking for that next flight to our favorite city or wine region. I've been really happy to pick up some extra miles with Delta via their newish partnerships with Lyft and Airbnb. Spend a dollar, earn a mile. Here's how to do it.

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