Profile: Whitney Butler

Whitney Butler is a freelance professional with seven years of combined education and hands-on experience in writing and content development with an emphasis on lifestyle and travel. She has lived abroad and traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, which she chronicles in her personal blog.

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NoteStreams By Whitney Butler

Sustainable Winegrowing: Lodi Makes the Case

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between sustainable winegrowing and organic wine, you’re not alone.
Behind the Wine: Lodi, CA

Category: Wine

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Lodi Local: Interview With Cheesemonger Cindy Della Monica

Learn how this charming California city keeps it fresh all summer long.

Category: Food

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New Towels and Dirty Laundry

It was Saturday—cleaning day—a time I use each week to collect my thoughts via the repetitive motion of putting things in their proper place.
It was time to clean my bathroom.

Category: Self Discovery

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Phallic Drawings & Other Cultural Exchanges

Epiphanies over condiments and sandwich toppings are not something to celebrate. What is interesting, however, is the universal humor found in phallic drawings.

Category: Travel

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Napa’s Grape Season is Underway!

Grape harvest season, sometimes called “crush,” is a magical time to visit Napa Valley. From August to October, winemakers and growers are anxiously watching the weather, sampling fruit and surveying the land—preparing for the perfect moment to send hundreds of hands to work, delicately picking and sorting the bounty, which will soon become the vintage of another year gone by.

Category: Wine

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Backpacking Through Vietnam: Part III

Aside from the rusty train tracks that connect the north and south, Vietnam lacks a comprehensive system of direct roadways into dozens of cities. The road to Nha Trang would be through the countryside on dirt roads with green jungle surrounding—uneven, steep, and mysterious.
We had lost valuable time while I recovered from anaphylactic shock. I had heard about overnight buses and assumed those would be ideal for our journey forward to Nha Trang—we could at least make up some time. This plan, however, was hatched in a steroidal haze and doomed from the beginning.

Category: Travel

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Backpacking Through Vietnam: Part II

Admittedly, I know very little about Vietnamese history, and even less about its modern political and cultural awareness. Having some experience living in a country that’s divided geographically and ideologically (South Korea—where I lived for 15 months) I should have guessed that northern Vietnam would be distinct from the south. But like so many things on the trip so far, assumptions were becoming somewhat of a novelty.
To read Part I of this series, click here.

Category: Travel

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Summer BBQ and Wine Pairings Revealed

The outdoor barbecue is an American cooking tradition that dates back to the 1500s. The low and slow method of cooking meats over indirect heat developed cultural twists as the technique spread from native tribes to colonists and across the country. Different immigrant groups introduced new spices, preparations and meat varieties, which has resulted in a spectrum of sweet and savory rubs and sauces featuring unique profiles that pair perfectly with wine.

Category: Wine

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Backpacking Through Vietnam: Part I

My backpack was heavy. An inexperienced backpacker, I could hardly anticipate that a hair straightener would be needless, flip-flops and a sports bra invaluable. The science of packing for a trip to a third world country was less complicated than I thought.

Category: Travel

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Matter of Taste: How Cork Closures Affect Aging Wine

We pay no mind to it—a wine cork is usually no concern until it has torn and lodged itself in the neck of a bottle; or worse, broken into pieces, now scattered inside a glass. There are several entertaining ways to open a bottle of wine, or rescue the contents of one poorly popped cork. There are even ways to enjoy a glass of wine without ever removing the cork. However you pop (or don’t pop) your bottle, it most certainly can affect the taste of your wine.

Category: Wine

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Hot Grills, Cool Pairings: Wine That Compliments Grill Flavors

Modern grill masters have pushed grilling beyond the threshold of mere hamburgers and hot dogs to a creative space that encourages all things nontraditional. It would be prudent to pair beverages accordingly—if only for experimental reasons—and wine offers more than a congenial twist. It’s not uncommon to see hot grills and cold beers together—the summer duo has certainly earned its place among tradition—yet discerning cooks may prefer the less obvious choice at their next cookout.

Category: Wine

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Marin County Farmers Grow a Food Community

From artisanal cheeses and handpicked produce to aquaculture and fermented foods, Marin County is a shining example of traditional methods yielding quality results. Since the early 1990s, Marin has emphasized locally sourced programs that have set precedence throughout the country, inspiring a new generation of farmers to think past today’s food systems toward a future of sustainability. The result of these farmers’ efforts has led to a culinary explosion in the Bay Area, known the world over for its creativity, seasonal flavors and farm-to-table ideology. Meet the makers of your food with a visit to Marin, and explore the simple pleasures that make it all possible.

Category: Food

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7 Wine Hacks Every Home Chef Needs to Know

Nothing adds a bit of sparkle to entertaining like a glass of wine. Pop open a bottle and you’ve got instant je ne sais quoi. Entertaining friends and family is crazy enough, so don’t panic if you accidentally drop bits of cork into the wine bottle — this list of easy wine hacks will save your sanity, save you money and add some spice to simple food dishes.

Category: Wine

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The Golden Year: Super Bowl 50 Goes to the Bay

It is with great pride that the San Francisco Bay Area prepares for a homecoming like no other — welcoming the Super Bowl’s golden anniversary game as it returns to The Golden State. Not since 1985 has The Bay hosted a Super Bowl, and after almost 30 years it’s time to show the NFL and football fans across the country what the Bay Area has to offer.

Category: Sports

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Five Reasons to Stay or Play in San Mateo/Silicon Valley

They say San Francisco has something for everyone—and that’s true for many travelers seeking a cosmopolitan experience. The streets are busy, the days are fast and the nights are long. But if you’re headed to the Bay Area on vacation, don’t expect something for everyone—discover something new! Here are five reasons to head south of San Fran to San Mateo County/Silicon Valley and discover something just right for you.

Category: Travel

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Spice Up Your Cooking with the Unexpected

Culinary cooking has become the upper echelon of creative art. Seducing more than just our taste buds, food has found its place in social media, television and beyond. Today’s modern chef, novice or professional, must seek inspiration from the unexpected—to boldly go where no chef has gone before. Well, maybe it’s not intergalactic, but it should at least be fun. Here’s a good idea to get the juices flowing.

Category: Food

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How Well Do You Know Your Mushrooms?

If you’ve ever wondered where your broccoli comes from, or what kind of pasture your meat ran in before it become dinner, head to Healdsburg for a unique opportunity to meet your food up close and personal out in the hill country of Sonoma County. There’s more to the ‘farm to table’ movement happening out on the farms.

Category: Food

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Warming Up With Spiced Wine

Tradition may try and dictate that holiday beverages must be served warm, but for people lucky enough to not encounter sub-zero temperatures this winter, Spiced Wine served over ice, similar to sangria, is the coolest holiday drink. You’ve had a hot toddy, sipped on cocoa, and made a toast with champagne. This year, mix it up or serve it straight, introducing the best holiday drink this season: Spiced Wine.

Category: Wine

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A Night at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

The doors to the eighth floor open from the elevator. The hallway of the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco is the color of cream, decorated with gold-framed photography and glittering sconces. A comfortable feeling of luxury is present, however, I don’t feel as though I might break something. Find your heart in San Francisco with a unique look at luxury.

Category: Travel

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