Monthly Archives: July 2014

Travel Tips: Finding a good hotel

Travel Tips: Finding a good hotel via @WineTrvFoodHow do you find a good hotel? Sure, you can look at various review sites, but maybe there are somethings you don’t think about when finding a good hotel in a strange city. Here are a few strategies I use to find a good hotel:

Finding a good hotel tip #1: Proximity to Starbucks.

Hotel coffee usually sucks. When traveling, the local chains might not be what you like, but Starbucks are the same pretty much everywhere you go.  Even if you aren’t a coffee drinker, you can use this tip.  Seriously, have you ever seen a Starbucks in a bad neighborhood? It’s rare.  If you can find a hotel near a Starbucks, you’re probably in a good part of town. Continue reading

Recipe Roundup: Summertime Lunches

Recipe Roundup: Summertime lunches via @WineTrvlFoodWhat should I have for lunch? This question plagues us all year long, but summertime lunches should be light and easy to make. I tend to crave salads or sandwiches, so I tracked down some yummy recipes to share.

Summertime lunch recipe #1 German potato salad.

Ok, yes, I know German potato salad is warm, but this one has bacon in it and it looks so delightful that I had to share it.

Summertime lunch recipe #2 Caribbean Salad with Sweet Orange Vinaigrette

Finding a salad without tomatoes is a challenge. I love them, but can’t eat them. This is a yummy recipe without tomatoes, but chock full of other good veggies. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a good homemade dressing?

Summertime lunch recipe #3 Rotisserie Chicken Wraps

You know those chickens pre-roasted and for sale near the deli in most large grocery stores? This recipe uses that stuff in five different ways.

Summertime lunch recipe #4 Chinese Cabbage Salad

The dressing alone on this salad makes it worth trying. I’m a big fan of dressing. Hooray for peanut butter!

Summertime lunch recipe #6 No Mayo Avocado Chicken Salad

Finally, we have a recipe I featured on the blog not too long ago, but I love it so much that I have to share it again. If you love avocado, this is the sandwich for you. Many of the spices and nuts can be switched out for whatever you have in your cabinet or whatever you like.

Do you have a recipe you’d like me to share? Post a link in the comments and I’ll check it out.

Wine Review: Robert Hall Viognier 2009

Robert Hall Viognier: Wine ReviewWhile shopping for wine on my birthday at Sunfish Cellars here in Saint Paul, one of the guys in the shop recommended I try the Robert Hall Viognier.

For those not familiar, Robert Hall is a winery in Paso Robles, California. Now, I consider this to be part of southern California, technically, it’s central California. Pretty much everything south of Santa Cruz is SoCal to me. Let’s put it this way, what baseball games are on the radio when you are in Paso Robles? It’s not the Giants or the A’s.

But, I digress. Paso Robles has been gaining fame as a wine region over the past decade and a half. No, this is not the Sideways area. It’s close, but have I mentioned I don’t like that movie? It’s kind of a downer…regardless, this area is a bit north of that movie setting.

The nice thing about the Paso Robles wine region is that most of the 200 wineries are small, boutique ones. I prefer small wineries because they feel less intimidating and more personable. I’m in no way a connoisseur and I like to learn about wines. Small wineries just seem more conducive to a good time.

Interesting fact about Robert Hall, he’s from Minnesota. Maybe that’s why I found his wine here?

Robert Hall Viognier: The wine

So, what was this wine like? It’s fruity, a hint of citrus, and a little bit sweet. Tasted like it would go well with cheese. It tasted like summer. It had more heft or depth of flavor than a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. It wasn’t oaky or buttery like a chardonnay. It was somewhere in between those wines.

According to my research, a Viognier is close to a Gewürztraminer. It comes from the Rhone region and was almost extinct, but some folks in California have been helping to make it more popular.

Over the course of the few days that I drank it, I liked it more and more. I kept hearing myself say, “This is good wine!” I will definitely be getting more wine from this winery in the future.