Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Points Guy Wine Wednesday: Martinborough, New Zealand

For this week's Wine Wednesday post on The Points Guy, we headed back south of the equator to New Zealand - a country that produces a minuscule amount of the world's wine and yet has an outsize influence on the wine industry thanks to some stunning wines from its diverse regions.

Although most folks get Martinborough, which is on the southern end of the North Island, confused with the much more famous Marlborough (where most of the country's Sauvignon Blanc is made) on the South Island, this tiny wine region an hour from the capital of Wellington has some of the country's most lauded wineries thanks to spectacular Pinot Noirs and other varietals produced here.

Read about why you should take a day trip here on your next trip to New Zealand in my post on TPG from yesterday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Los Angeles Confidential Magazine: Cobb Salad

LA lays claim to few original dishes - kimchi tacos, hamachi and jalapenos...and the Cobb Salad, that all-American melange of chopped veggies, meats and cheeses that has stuck around for well over 70 years at this point.

First invented at the Brown Derby, the Cobb Salad has become a culinary institution in its own right, though you can still find interesting variations all over LA. It's the original "have it your way" dish.

Want to learn more about how the humble Cobb came about as well as where the best versions in LA are served? Read my LA Confidential feature here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Points Guy: Destination of the Week Auckland New Zealand

For today's Destination of the Week post on The Points Guy, I covered one of my specialties, New Zealand, with a visit to its largest city, Auckland.

While there aren't a ton of points hotels in the city, there are still plenty of ways to use your points and miles to get here and stay here, not to mention lots of great things to see, fabulous restaurants, fun shopping, and even wine-tasting nearby.

To read more about this dynamic destination, check out my post here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Points Guy: Wine Wednesday The Danube Valley Austria

For my next Wine Wednesday post on The Points Guy, I decided to cover an oft-overlooked little region in the heart of Europe: Austria's Danube Valley.

You might have seen (or tried) wines from here including crisp Gruner Veltliners and seductive yet tart Rieslings, but maybe you didn't know that it's just an hour's drive from Vienna and is a land rich with history - not to mention tons of medieval fortresses, ornate abbeys and some of the best food in Central Europe.

In this quick post I cover some of my favorite wineries over there, plus suggestions on where to stay, what to eat, and a special hike to where Richard the Lionheart was once imprisoned on his way back from the Crusades.

Sound interesting? It is! Read my post to find out more.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Points Guy: Flying Around Argentina

Since I started as the Managing Editor of The Points Guy back in 2011, I've gone through a rigorous and constant education on how to maximize frequent flier miles, and I brought that knowledge to bear during my recent trip to Argentina by using a few stray Delta miles I had floating around to book flights on Delta's new SkyTeam partner Aerolineas Argentinas.

I had to get from Buenos Aires to Mendoza and then Salta for wine-tasting - preferably without having to transit through Buenos Aires in the middle there. Flights were going for over $1,000 on individual itineraries between the cities let alone one that included all three, so if I was going to make it happen, it had to be on miles.

Luckily, Delta had already partnered with Aerolineas by the time I was booking, and I was able put my miles to use for a stellar redemption that would get me all around the country to the wine regions I needed to visit.

To read more about how exactly I was able to do this as well as some helpful tips on how to leverage your miles while in South America, read my post here.