Exploring wines of Romania, Slovenia, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Croatia for "Global Drink Wine Day"

February 18 is National Drink Wine Day, dubbed "Global Drink Wine Day" by our friend Casey at Travelling Corkscrew in Australia. Hers is branding we can get behind. We'll be drinking wine in Madrid, Spain the day of (this Sunday), and in further celebration of this as a global event, we've decided to take a look at wines from countries that are a bit off the beaten path for the typical wine drinker. Romania, Slovenia, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Croatia each get a look here.

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Philadelphia's great new AMEX Centurion Lounge makes the airport my new favorite layover

I used to dread Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Now it has become one of my favorite layovers on the east coast. Yes, you read that right... I am actually enjoying my connections at PHL thanks to last autumn's opening of the American Express Centurion Lounge in Terminal A. Its combination of bright modern spaces, excellent cuisine designed by local-Philadelphia award winning Israeli Chef Michael Solomonov, thoughtful wine and cocktail lists, and always warm hospitality makes it one of my favorite airport lounge experiences in the United States.

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Best of February, recommending five Champagnes to toast Valentine's Day and the year beyond

Ask anyone who has ever put proverbial pen to paper writing about wine here, and you'll be vociferously encouraged to drink more Champagne. It's celebratory, to be sure, but it's also quite well suited to adding texture before, during or after a meal, or to drink on its own. We're celebrating Wine:Thirty Flight's third Valentine's Day with our best wines of February - five bottles of Champagne to pop open with the love of your life, or whoever you find yourself sipping with this fourteenth of February. 

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Vinarna Bokovka is the very best of Prague's excellent wine scene

Enter through a quietly cloistered courtyard whose cobblestones reflect the light that shines from above, through arches and columns both stately, yet sooted by time. A soft bronze glow of filament bulbs and candles gently twinkling through the phalanx of glasses and bottles cast merry shadows on the vaulted walls of a place that one might think dilapidated if you didn't know it was a wine cellar. We're inside of Vinarna Bokovka, an absolutely exquisite wine bar we discovered in the heart of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.

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Why the world needs wine in 2018, more than ever

"Wine is made great by its ability to expose the curious drinker to different things that he or she didn't know existed, to take us to other lands and climates, to teach us history, and to enrich our knowledge of the world." I wrote those words last April, and they are as plain a confession of my love for wine as any I can dream up nine months later. Let me tell you a story. 

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Renaissance is in the air at Washington Dulles International Airport

Don't look now, but Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) -- the DC area's third largest in terms of passenger traffic since being overtaken by nearby Reagan National (DCA) in 2015 -- is taxiing towards the runway of a veritable renaissance. This could be a big year here, and we could not be more excited for the principle international airport serving our home city.

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Best of January: Explore great wines to drink when the weather gets cold

On the heels of our piece last month -- Like a string of Christmas lights, our top December wine recommendations are all sparkling -- we've decided to focus our monthly wine tasting on a theme with some recommendations, rather than the other way around. Our hunch is that focusing on themes will be more useful than focusing on specific bottles that may or may not be available in your local market. For January, we ask, which wines are best to drink when the weather is cold?

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Recalling the best wine and sites of 2017 with our personal "Best Nine" choices

Earlier this week we shared our 2017 Best Nine, the nine most liked photos from @wine30flight on Instagram in 2017, but we were interested that many of our favorites weren't actually the ones that had attracted the most likes. In fact, only a single photo -- from Vinarna Bokovka wine bar in Prague -- overlapped. No matter. This #ThrowbackThursday we're sharing our picks for Best Nine. They took us to Sweden, Hungary, Czechia, Spain, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC. Each tells a different story.

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2017 Best Nine @wine30flight ... stories in wine from Portugal, Spain, Czechia, and across the U.S.

We're bidding adieu to the past year with our 2017 Best Nine, that is, the nine most liked photos from @wine30flight on Instagram in 2017 (follow us!). Our Best Nine took us abroad to Portugal, Spain, Czechia, and around the United States to Massachusetts, Texas, Tennessee, and home to Arlington, Virginia. Each tells a different story in wine. Read for yourself.

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Our top ten wines of 2017: Powerfully good bottles that tell richly compelling stories

We conceptualize our favorite wines in three dimensions, asking ourselves which bottles we'd characterize as having a special blend of being powerfully good, telling a richly compelling story, and transporting us (and you) to interesting places. So it is that as we look back on 2017 -- or any year -- we're thinking about our top 10 bottles a bit differently than simply making a list of the ten conventionally highest point earners we reviewed this year. Rather, we're sharing the ten bottles that most dominated our wine consciousness, that kept us talking and remembering every peculiar scent and taste, and that opened our eyes to histories and landscapes we may have not previously known.

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How to pick great wine to give as a gift during the holidays and throughout the year

Wine makes a great gift during the winter holidays, or for birthdays and special occasions year round. It has the advantage of being easily getable yet also encompassing a lot of diversity to satisfy the eclectic tastes of both the gift giver and recipient. But it's not as easy to give a good gift as it is to find just any bottle; too run of the mill and you come off as unthoughtful, but too exotic takes you into risky territory. These five tips will help.

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Review: Economy class Madrid to JFK aboard Iberia's A340 is a flight we'd definitely fly again

Iberia -- Spain's main airline with its hub in Madrid -- operates a trans-Atlantic joint venture arrangement with its partners British Airways (the two are actually the same company), American Airlines, and FinnAir. We have crossed the ocean on both American and British at least once this year, so were happy to add Iberia's economy class service from Madrid to New York (JFK) aboard an Airbus A340 to our experience. This is our review, for anyone considering a similar trip.

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Like a string of Christmas lights, our top December wine recommendations are all sparkling

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. The occasion thirsts for an all-sparkling lineup to celebrate the holidays. If you find yourself hard up for some red wine options, though, do check out last month's wine list, where we recommended three outstanding bottles to serve with your Thanksgiving, err, December holiday dinner.

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Our favorite holiday gifts for travelers and wine lovers, 2017 edition

Two trends are on our mind as we share our top holiday gift picks for travelers and wine lovers. First are the new airline-imposed bans on smart luggage -- suitcases featuring non-removable batteries, plugs, GPS tracking, bluetooth, or motors (yes, there is actually a motorized suitcase you can ride) -- that have us thinking "Wow, we're happy we never jumped on that bandwagon". The second is more philosophical: Travel makes me a minimalist. If I don't need it on the road, I probably don't need it at all.

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Celebrate Cabernet Franc, profoundly intriguing father to one of the world's biggest personalities

One of the world's truly sublime red wines -- lighter red and dominated by notes of pepper, smoke, earth, and red stone fruit -- Cabernet Franc, a genetic parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, occupies of a place of intrigue throughout the world. It is often regarded as a blending partner to other varietals, such as in Bordeaux, where it holds esteem as one of that region's principal varietals. Meanwhile, it reigns on high in Virginia, producing some of that region's most stunning mono-varietal red wines. Today, the fourth of December, we join a growing group of winemakers, aficionados, writers, and fans in celebrating Cabernet Franc Day.

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Review: Never thought I'd say this, but Iberia's Euro-style business class is worth it (sometimes).

I never thought I'd say this, but I've determined that Iberia's European-style business class is worth a few extra euros on a flight -- we'll say -- longer than two hours. I actually flew the service twice this fall, once from Arrecife (on Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands) to Madrid, and then about a month later from Madrid to Stockholm, Sweden. The service was consistent between both flights, though my discussion here focuses on the first.

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Our November wine list features three outstanding bottles to serve with your Thanksgiving dinner

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 focused on wines perfect for the typical American Thanksgiving dinner this month, as we're just days away from cracking open several of these to share with our own families. Go find them yourselves, and let us know what you recommend!

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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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