Travel the World on a Budget

Do you have a dream to travel the world and experience different cultures and flavors but neither the time nor the budget? Have I got the solution for you! You can travel the world cheaply and easily simply by exploring different locations through regional foods and wines. You heard me, you can travel the world simply by trying different foods and drinks.

You can do this very simply by going to interesting unique restaurants in your area and try things that you have never considered. Another way you can explore the culinary world is to attend a wine Pairing event.

Tour Guides for our World Tour

My very good friend, Carin Skowronsky of Pairs Well With is a wine expert who puts on events just like this. For this particular event, she brought chef Tyler Dieringer to create the food that is going to pair perfectly with the wine from the different regions that we visit.

Our World Tour

So without further delay, let’s get this voyage going. Carin selected five wines for this event and Tyler will prepare the food the Pairs Well With the wine.

Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine
Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine

How were the wines selected?

Carin says, “All wines for the event were chosen to showcase something unique in the wine, whether flavor, region or producer. I never showcase anything that isn’t, in my opinion, a standout wine. Now, that doesn’t mean that a bottle has to cost over $50 to be considered rave-worthy. There are plenty of regions and producers that produce fine wines at affordable prices. Price doesn’t necessarily equate to quality.”

How was the Menu Created?

The Menu was co-designed with the intent to have the food pairings match the wines. Key pairing rule: foods and wines from the same country pair best. (i.e. Argentine wines pair best with locally grown and cooked food. The composition from which it is grown/where it comes from holds certain similarities that carry through in taste.)

First Destination –
Champagne region of France

Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine
Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine

Beverage: Delot Prestige Brut Champagne

  • 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
  • Comes from the Cote des Bar in the Champagne region of France; one of the most prestigious terroirs of Champagne
  • This is a prestige bottle which means it comes from the highest quality of grapes
  • Rumor has it, champagne will help prevent memory loss

Bite: Celeriac Remoulade on Crostini

Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine
First Course – Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine

At the peak of winter in the Midwest, vegetables can start to resemble the weather – bleak. This can make eating local offerings a challenge. Enter in celeriac, or celery root, the underutilized and often overlooked winter storage vegetable. Celeriac has a hint of celery flavor and a little potato-like earthiness while bringing a flavor all its own. You need to taste it in order to fully understand it. Celeriac is featured on this popular French appetizer: grated celery root is mixed with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and tangy Dijon mustard and nestled atop crostini with pickled mustard seeds and fresh parsley. Pairs well with Champagne.


What surprised us so much was the very light taste. It made me think I was sitting out on the deck in the summer with a very light and refreshing drink and bite to eat. None of us had ever had this celery root bulb and this combination just blew us away!

Second Destination –
Cotes de Provence in south-eastern France

Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine
Second Course – Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine

Beverage: Clos Cibonne Tentations Rosé (2017)

  • This wine comes from Cotes de Provence in south-eastern France, the dry rose capital of the world
  • Wines from this region will be crisper and sharper than other regions due to the soil composition and surrounding environmental factors
  • We chose this pairing as earthy flavors (the veggies) pair well with earthy wine notes (the bright flavors such as the crisp and bright flavors of the berry and citrus)

Bite: Roasted Cauliflower and Beet Grilled Cheese

Though many may argue that the grilled cheese needs no updates, the addition of roasted cauliflower florets and beautiful sliced red beets are a simple way to liven up this sandwich. Cauliflower and beets are tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, roasted in the oven until browned and soft. This brings another level of flavor and texture when layered with Jarlsberg cheese for creaminess, thin apple slices for crunch and sweetness, and rich garlic aioli between buttered high-quality whole wheat bread. Truly the perfect afternoon snack. Pairs well with a dry, Provençal rosé.


None in our group consider themselves white wine people. Normally one has the impression that the lighter wines are much sweeter. That was not the case for this wine. Also we have never had melt in your mouth beets. They melt like the cheese in the grill cheese sandwich.

Third Destination – Tuscany Italy

Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine
Third Course – Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine

Beverage: Mocali Piaggioni Toscano Vitigno Sangiovese (2011)

  • This producer was ranked Top 100 of 2016
  • This wine comes from Tuscany where 80% of the grapes produced here are red
  • Sangiovese is Italy’s most widely planted grape
  • This bottle is 100% Sangiovese – and an outstanding bottle at that!
  • Aged 8 months in French Oak
  • Definitely able to pull through mature fruit, chocolate, vanilla, maybe even slight hints of licorice

Bite: Mini Italian Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

If you’re drinking a Tuscan wine, you might want to try eating like a Tuscan. Days spent under the Tuscan sun will lead you directly to a red wine-rich tomato sauce that can be served with pasta, vegetables, fish, or in this case, meatballs. These classic Italian meatballs are made with pork, beef, egg, parsley, Romano cheese, and (wait for it) bacon fat. They are served with a nutty aged parmesan and fresh basil, oregano, and parsley. Pairs well with an aged Tuscan Sangiovese.


Some of us had just gotten back from a Trip to Italy and this course took us right back there. The flavors is the meatballs combined with the magical full bodied wines was pure magic!

Fourth Destination – Argentina

Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine
Fourth Course – Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine

Beverage: Domaine Bousquet – Cabernet Sauvignon (2017) – Tupungato Region

  • Carin visited this vineyard while living in Argentina as part of a larger trip to Mendoza to study South American wines
  • Domaine Bousquet is known for their organic grape production, with all hand-sorted grapes
  • A South American Cab will shock most people. It doesn’t taste much like the California Cabs we’re used to drinking here in the US. An Argentine Cab will more closely resemble a Malbec and are not expensive but are high quality
  • An Argentine Cab is not as big as a CA Cab, but richer and fuller than that of a Bourdeaux
  • Notes of blackberry, cherry, pepper, vanilla and I got some mint with this one

Bite: Seared Flank Steak with Chimichurri

Bienvenidos a Argentina! Boy, do they know and love beef. It is an integral component of their economy and Argentine identity and this dish is a nod to that rich history. A pan-seared flank steak is slathered with a chimichurri verde (an uncooked green sauce) made of parsley, oregano, red wine vinegar, garlic, Aleppo pepper, salt, and olive oil. The chimichurri brings a perfect combination of acid, salt, fat, and herbaceous deliciousness and brings welcomed brightness to any type of grilled or seared meat. Pairs well with an Argentinian Cab Sauv.


While it is common to have a pesto sauce on many italian dishes, we had never tasted anything mind bending and delicious as the
chimichurri verde, yes our minds were blown. The flank steak was prepared to perfection being, tender, beautiful and delicious.

With a flavor as bold and the chimichurri, the wine would have to be big, bold and beautiful. The Domaine Bousquet – Cabernet fit the bill perfectly. A wonderfully full bodied red with so many rich unique flavors. It was indeed a veritable cornucopia of treats for the pallet.

Fifth Destination – California

Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine
Fifth Course – Travel the World Without Leaving Home with Food and Wine

Beverage: Midnight Cellars – Full Moon Red Blend (2014) – Paso Robles

  • Might taste the marine and mountain influence in these wines
  • Love the backstory here – vineyard was purchased as a retirement plan after the kids suggested their dad buy a vineyard
  • This producer focuses on fine wines at an affordable cost
  • High alcohol content, 60% Syrah/40% Zin with notes of blackberry, spice and stewed fruits
  • This bottle won the Central Coast Wine Competition

Bite: Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms with Mozzarella

Mushrooms are the perfect blank canvas for many things, especially stuffing. We love this appetizer for its versatility and ability to pop and go! This version is reminiscent of a deconstructed pizza sans a heavy crust (and who doesn’t love a fresh pizza?) Cremini mushrooms are gutted, slightly roasted then filled with a dab of tomato sauce and with spicy fennel-laced pork sausage. Fresh basil and mozzarella strips bring home the oven-baked pizza flavor. Pairs well with a strong California blend.


The stuffed mushrooms did indeed have a sense of eating an interesting delicious pizza, but being you were eating it out of mushroom caps it had much more of a feeling of being a delicacy saved for the rich and famous. It was a wonderful treat.

Often times wine blends can be a bit ho hum, but this one was truly a treat for the tastebuds. It was filled with rich complex beautiful flavors seldom found in a blend. Certainly a wonderful find.


We had such a wonderfully enjoyable time with Carin and Tyler. The flavors were amazing, we learned so much and the event was just all around fun.

I would highly recommend Carin and Tyler for your next corporate or group event. Cheers!!


Wines selections were curated from:

* Solo Vino Bottle Shop Saint Paul, MN
* Cork Dork Wine Company Minneapolis, MN
* Personal collection from Carin’s travels 

Carin Skowronsky Bio

Carin Skowronsky is a food and wine pairing writer and educator who has a passion for elevating everyday meals. She knows how to add a little extra to a meal and has created pairing experiences across 20 countries and 6 continents throughout her 2017 year abroad. Carin has been featured on CNBC Travel, The Wining Hour, and many of the wineries she’s visited for her global food and wine coverage.

Wine glass in one hand, piece of cheese in the other, Carin is on a mission to bring you the best pairings from around the globe.



Instagram: @pairswellwith 

Wine education and bottle notes credited to: Pairs Well With

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website

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