Celebrating "Wine Day", May 25th, in California, New Zealand, and Spanish wine country

In contemplating how to make a truly global experience out of today's annual National Wine Day, we decided to ask several of our wine writing friends to tell us about their favorite of the world's wine regions. We left the question open ended to be as specific (Santa Barbara's Ballard Canyon AVA) or as wide open (several regions scattered about New Zealand), and loved what we found.

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Visiting a new city? Seek out the wine.

Something wonderful is happening. As a new generation of oenophiles makes wine and cities -- two of the world's oldest institutions -- their own, the two are blending in both ways and places most unexpected.Wineries, wine bars, and restaurants with excellent glass and bottle lists are often reflective of the local culture surrounding them, and -- when such regions exist -- of the wine made in the countryside beyond the next mountain. I can think of few other ways to connect more deeply and learn more thoroughly about a place than to do so in the company one keeps with a glass of wine in hand.

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Which wines should I drink as winter becomes spring? Our Best of March (April and May, too).

We spent last week's first day of spring, whilst snow fell here at home in Virginia, contemplating which wines we'd recommend to everyone in the northern hemisphere's seasonal regions as we transition into (perhaps slightly) warmer weather. Spring and autumn are the conundrum seasons for those of us whose tastes hew fairly reliably to thirst for reds in winter and whites in summer. So in this our Best Wines of March we recommend you look into a white, a rosé, and a red that we find pretty reliable in confused temperatures.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Celebrate Albariño Day with these great bottles, perfect for summer yet versatile for the whole year

We've long been admirers of the Albariño grape varietal, perhaps most famous for the wines it produces -- floral and characterized by peach and apricot fruit notes -- in the Rías Baixas region of Galicia, near the Atlantic Ocean in the northwest of Spain. August 1 is International Albariño Day, so we've asked our wine writer friends to share some of their favorites with us. Both delicious and unique, we hope you will seek these and other Albarinños out all week, every week, and all summer.

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Sign up for the American Cellars wine club, earn 6500 bonus United MileagePlus miles

Meghan recently received a note in conjunction with her United Airlines MileagePlus account inviting her to earn 6,500 bonus miles by signing up for the American Cellars Wine Club through Vinesse Wines. While I am a big skeptic of online wine clubs, I am also a big fan of airline miles, so at a risk of $41.95 I signed up to try the introductory offer with an open mind. Consider doing so yourself if the notion of six bottles of wine plus 6,500 United miles in exchange for $41.95 of your hard earned money seems appealing.

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Summer is for Sangría. Try our recipes, or visit your favorite terrace.

The sun is moving across the sky, reflecting brightly on wispy clouds as sea air drifts through my window. Whether taking summertime in from the waterfront, the city terrace, or a porch in the countryside (I plan to do all three in the next six days), we suggest you do so with a glass of sangría -- you know, the delicious red wine cocktail that makes every beautiful day even better -- in your hand. We originally published Meghan's recipes for red and sparkling sangría last year, and think we'll make an annual tradition of sharing them with you. Enjoy!

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Should local wine shops sell local wine?

A friend and Wine:Thirty Flight reader sent me this question one morning last week. Should local wine shops sell wines from nearby regions? There was some background here, but suffice it to say, he was perplexed as to why a shop in Manhattan with a self-professed focus on "wine education" not carry any bottles from New York at the very least, nor from (relatively) nearby wine regions in states like Virginia or Massachusetts.

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These three great reds from three different regions are our picks for Aussie Wine Month

Our friend Casey at Travelling Corkscrew in Australia has reminded us that May is Aussie Wine Month, a momentous occasion that we're celebrating with these three great red wines from three of the country's wine regions. We're sad that we couldn't get our hands on a Pinot Noir from Tasmania -- one of our favorite tough to find (in the United States, at least) bottles -- but we're excited to share these with you. If you love Australian wine, consider following Travelling Corkscrew for more.

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Nasty Woman Wines offer great snark and a lineup of crowd pleasing wine from Oregon

Here at WTF we try to keep from getting political, but we believe that good wine is good wine, no matter where you are on the spectrum. So when Nasty Woman Wines sent us three wines to review a couple months back, we pledged to take a non-partisan standpoint on it, and it did not disappoint! We had a spring soiree at our apartment this past Saturday night, and decided to serve Nasty Woman Wines as the first round. Here’s what we found.

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Celebrate Oregon Wine Month with these excellent, yet very different bottles of wine

May is Oregon Wine Month! We're celebrating with four (ok, five) recommendations, and we've worked really hard to select different varietals because we think that any "wine month" highlighting a specific region is a great opportunity to try things you'd not have otherwise considered. Cheers!

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