One of my absolute favorite parts of being a wine lover is the thrill of discovering new things. While my preferred method of discovery is through travel and visiting various wineries around the country but unfortunately that is pretty limiting. Sadly, I don't have an unlimited travel budget and so even wineries in Washington State and Texas escape my immediate plans, while New Zealand, South Africa, France, and Spain are even farther in the future. While I'm lucky to have some fantastic wine stores with talented staff here in San Diego, wine clubs like Firstleaf are a great option if you just want to try some different options from around the world and avoid spending a ton of money doing so.

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There are only a handful of restaurants that are more iconic as The Hitching Post and it's cousin The Hitching Post 2 (immortalized in the movie Sideways). These are icons of the "real California", a land between the big cities filled with ranches and cowboys where we roll the clock back a few decades and the only thing that matters is big hunks of beef and great wine. Leave your fancy clothes at home because unlike pretty much every other legendary steakhouse, The Hitching Post is laid back and casual. It's a place you go when all that matters is having a huge meal with friends.

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Chardonnay is one of the most popular wine varietals around the world and in the United States, Chardonnay generally is the most popular choice for non-sparkling white wine (Moscato is the clear fav for white overall). For me though, I've never been a fan since the dominant style seems to be the iconic "Kendal Jackson" style that some simply refer to now as "California Chardonnay". It is iconic for being both buttery and a bit oaky with a medium balanced body. For me though, that just means you are sacrificing easy drinking for being able to truly enjoy the grapes. Recently though we had a chance to work with Center of Effort winery in Edna Valley, California who opened my eyes as to the diversity that Chardonnay grapes could provide. 

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You're an adventurer. You're an explorer. You love discovering unknown places and obscure activities. You want an experience. If this describes your personality, it probably describes your appetite too. Of course, the challenge of living an adventurous lifestyle is trying everything the world offers while maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. While this sounds like a daunting task, it doesn't have to be difficult. There are three habits you can start right now that will help you stay fit while exploring the menus of the world.

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One of the fun things about cruising is the food – not just the quantity, but the specialness of having treats that you generally don’t find at home. Over the years, as American tastes have gotten more sophisticated, cooking shows have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment. While many cruise ships do have a cooking demo a couple times on each voyage, Holland America Line has taken this to the next level with actual theaters to showcase their chefs as well as periodically invite celebrity chefs to make an appearance as well. Even though cruising is closed right now, we can still remember the good old days while planning for future explorations and adventures!

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