Our definitive guide to the world class wine, food, history, and energy you'll find in Madrid, Spain

I make no secret of my love for cities, and less secret still of my particular love for the capital of Spain. I always seem to return to the first European city with which I fell in love on a visit years ago with my grandparents. Though I've written here and there about the city before, I've recently found myself responding by email to several friends seeking advice for their time there. Thus, this Wine:Thirty Flight Guide to Madrid is born.

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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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Stockholm's 19 Glas wine bar fuses brilliant dishes with inspired wine pairings in Sweden's capital

The buildings are each their own hue of yellow, orange, or red as we walk up the narrow stone streets into Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town on a small island in the heart of the Swedish capital. It is eight o'clock in the evening, but the rooftops throw shadows upon the ground from the nearly-midnight sun overhead in late May as we turn the corner down from the cathedral and step through the door at Stora Nygatan 19, the aptly named -- and quite delicious -- 19 Glas restaurant and wine bar.

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Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge, Washington-Dulles Airport (IAD) via Priority Pass is a true gem

I wrote last month about How to get and use Priority Pass lounges to find peace, quiet, (free) wine, and food at the airport, drawing on recent positive experiences in Göteborg, Lisbon, Boston, and London. Meghan and I recently spent a few hours in our absolute favorite of the Priority Pass lounges we've been to thus far, the Turkish Airlines lounge at Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD). In a sentence, "it was convenient, stylish, tasty, and popular".

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Revisiting Spain's excellent Elias Mora wines with our friends at Joselito in Washington, DC

Laughter and happy conversation fill this room of polished marbled tables and glasses, twinkling as the light of the long day's evening sun refracts through their sparkling contents. This is a party whose blend of elegance and warmly familiar charm could only have been the work of Javier and Christiana, proprietors at Washington, DC's Joselito - Casa de Comidas, our hosts for the evening. We've come to try a lineup of wine from Bodegas Elias Mora, a lovely winery that we visited in Spain's Toro region

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Delighted by Sweden's Vingården i Klagshamn wine found at Göteborg's Swedish Taste restaurant

Light shining through the windows from the long-setting sun twinkled upon a line of glasses through which the varied hues of white and rosé wine refracted, one glass after another in a row. Five wines from Vingården i Klagshamn, a winery in Sweden's southern Skåne region, awaited us at the splendid Swedish Taste restaurant in Göteborg, Sweden's second largest city.

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Celebrate Rosé Day with these four wines we tried at Slate Wine Bar in Washington, DC

With National Rosé Day just around the corner on Saturday, June 10, Wine:ThirtyFlight would just like to put it on the record that we were on the Rosé train way before it was trendy and became a fad. That said, despite some smugness about being the OGs of Rosé, I am still fully on board with a good trend and will gladly rock a Rosé All Day shirt while sipping on some Frosé down by the Georgetown Waterfront. For this year’s National Rosé Day we are going to take you back to Slate Wine Bar in Glover Park, where we recently tried these four wines with which we recommend you celebrate the day!

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Fine dining in Virginia Wine Country at Winchester's One Block West restaurant

It's springtime in the old town of Winchester, to which we've driven through the lush green in the heart of Virginia Wine Country, just north of that sparkling constellation on the map, stars formed by some of the Commonwealth's brightest wineries: Delaplane, RdV, Linden, Glen Manor. We've come looking for One Block West, the unassuming restaurant tucked away on South Indian Alley, (unsurprisingly) one block west of the main street that traverses the historic town.

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Our current picks for great food, wine, atmosphere in Madrid, Spain

I made the case just last week that Insanely great airfares make this the absolute right time to book your Europe trip for later in 2017, so am following up this week with our fourth and final (for now) installation of our Wine:Thirty Flight Guide to Madrid, Spain with what is arguably the most important piece of the series: Our favorite places for great wine, great food, and great dining atmosphere in one of my very favorite cities.

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Delicious pairings with Georg Albrecht Schneider wine at Washington, DC's Slate Wine Bar

Georg Albrecht Schneider, a family run winery located southwest of Frankfurt in Germany’s Rheinhessen, produces mostly Riesling on a bit more than 54 acres of land. Chef and Sommelier Danny Lledó of Slate Wine Bar in Washington, DC recently featured a beautiful four-course meal, each paired with a different wine from the Schneider Estate.

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Returning to Williamsburg, VA as we investigate the renovated and re-opened Green Leafe tavern

Winter break is over for many a college student across America. We'll mark the occasion by returning to the alma mater of two Wine:Thirty Flight writers, The College of William and Mary, to share thoughts on the renovated and re-opened-in-2016 Green Leafe Cafe and Pub in Williamsburg, home not only to a college, but to a history tourism industry that attracts many thousands of visitors and families each year. 

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Elegant and intimate, new Joselito Spanish restaurant is an instant best of Washington, DC

The great European cities -- and much of the American variety they inspired -- are marked by their great restaurants, places of elegance or intimacy that wrap you up inside, and treat you to an irresistible menu of food and drink. Step through the door of newly open Joselito: Casa de Comidas in Washington, DC's Eastern Market neighborhood on Capitol Hill, the essence of a classic city in a delightful restaurant serving all Spanish food and wine.

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New Chimichurri Grill on Upper East Side expands our favorite New York dining experience

Whether you seek irresistible steak, a delicious all-around menu, the warmest hospitality, or Argentine cuisine in particular... Chimichurri Grill's new location on 61st between Park and Lex in Manhattan is where you need to be. Same great menu as the original at 43rd and 9th, same warmly candlelit ambiance, but with much more space and a toasty fireplace!

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Mesónes near Plaza Mayor, and their not-to-be-missed food and sangría when in Madrid, Spain

Down the steps in the southwest corner of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, a sharp right back up the block of Calle Cava de San Miguel, and there you’ll find the wonderful Mesónes: Small intimate taverns filled with wooden tables and stools, truly warm people who have worked here for decades, delicious food and sangría, and filled with tourists and locals alike such that you know you've come to the right spot.

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Hunter's Head Tavern, an authentic English Pub, is an essential Virginia Wine Country stop

You'll find Hunter's Head Tavern in the sleepy village of Upperville, in the heart of the best of Virginia wine country. Step through the door and feel you've slipped into a long time past in an authentic English Pub -- a true tavern in a house built around 1750 -- that's laced top to bottom with rustic sophistication. Old plank floors, fireplaces, exposed beams, farmhouse tables, and wooden chairs of which no two seam to be alike convey a homey sense of somewhere far away.

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Lot 12 Public House restaurant: Big city quality and small town Berkeley Springs, West Virginia charm

Lot 12 Public House restaurant occupies the stately house ensconced in a garden nestled on the hillside that rises above natural spring and spa town Berkeley Springs, WV just two hours from Washington, DC. It is truly world class dining, a place we take friends from DC and New York so that we can see the look of delighted surprise on their face when they realize such places exist where they'd least expect.

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Escape the city to exquisite dining at Virginia Wine Country's Ashby Inn, an hour from Washington

We stopped at the Ashby Inn in Paris, an unincorporated village straight out of Americans' stereotypical vision of a small English town (or, the Hobbit). The setting is positively idyllic, the type of place at which you stop for lunch between wineries, and then realize hours later that you've sat in the garden until your next destination has closed. Situated about an hour outside of Washington, the Ashby Inn is an absolute no-brainer for city escapees, romantic weekenders, and winery wanderers alike.

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Is the AMEX Centurion Lounge worth it? At Dallas - Fort Worth, resoundingly yes!

If DFW is any indication, the Centurion Lounges are the best in the domestic American business. Nothing out there (that I've seen) comes close. I'd actually go to the airport early, stay late, or book another long layover just to have dinner here. That said, there aren't many of them, so you won't get much value if you're not a frequent traveler through Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, New York - La Guardia, Miami, Seattle, and San Francisco.

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SER Restaurant is Simple, Easy, Real. Spain in America, an Arlington, Virginia best.

Another warm summer's evening in Arlington, Virginia sets on the patio at SER, the splendid Spanish restaurant. Simple. Easy. Real. This is the vision in which owner Javier Candon, a native of the region around Seville, Spain, has crafted one of the best restaurants in Arlington over the past couple of years. He's created something really special here.

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