An Evening of Bubbles

It is not a secret that I love sparkling wines (or in that case one of the worlds worst kept ones). Champagne, Cava, Cremant; I love them all (when they are well made). Why am I not mentioning Prosecco? Well it’s just not my style, but I am not saying it cant be a great experience for someone who is fond of fresh and fruity wines. To celebrate New Year’s eve, I thought about sharing some thoughts from an article I read in a Swedish newspaper: tips for drinking Champagne and how to pair a three-four course meal with only bubbly. What a wonderful concept! Why restrict your Champagne only to an aperitif when you can enjoy with every course of your meal.

The article was written as an interview of Richard Julin, the most known Champagne critic in Sweden. While I do not always agree with Richard, I do think he is a very interesting personality, and the person to follow if you are interested in Champagnes. He has an amazing sense of smell, some say it is even scary. In 2003 he attended an event in Paris where participants had to guess 50 different Champagnes (producer and vintage) just from their smell. He placed 43 (out of 50) and the second best, the Sommelier world champion, placed only 4. He has also been featured on Norwegian TV sniffing people blindfolded to guess their age, gender and country of origin. Creepy, but he actually was able to recognize a pregnant 43 year old German woman almost to the detail. Richard is said to have a “photographic memory” of scents. If he has once smelled a wine, he can remember it. He is a Champagne fundamentalist; a man of the opinion that even the worst Champagne is better than the best “other” sparkling wine in the world. Here is where I disagree with Richard, but moving on, he had some wonderful tips for New Year and I would like to share them with you!

1. You should have a right glass when drinking champagne. Tulip shaped.

2. Don’t drink the champagne too cold. If you have had it in the ice bucket, its too chilled. Take the champagne from the fridge, wait 5 minutes, then pour. Its better to pour a little bit at a time and refill to make sure the champagne does not get too warm in the glass.

3. When it comes to food, Champagne goes well with food that has salt, fat and acidity. Avoid bitterness, sweetness and spiciness in foods and if using vegetables pre-cook them instead of having them raw.

Richard has also some interesting concrete suggestions. For example Pata Negra is a creamy and salty ham that fits well with the acidity of champagne. For a main: truffle ravioli with safran sauce; and for dessert cheese (instead of something sweet).

He ends the interview with stating that one gets a nicer drunk feeling from Champagne because it is pure. I am not sure if one should take this last sentence seriously (I think he is actually joking), but I do agree that Champagne is a great drink for all occasions (and all courses of the meal). Perhaps I will go with his suggestion and ask the Sommelier tonight to match my dinner with a flight of Champagne. And there is no better place for that than Kitchen Table, a restaurant in London that specializes in growers Champagne.

A Night Out at the Apothecary

You might remember a few weeks back I mentioned we went for dinner at Pharmarium, a restaurant built in an old apothecary specializing in pairing cocktails with food. I have been somewhat fascinated with the concept. I like cocktails and I like food, why would they not fit together? Sadly there are not many restaurants that pass with flying colors in this area. Perhaps the best one I have been to is HKK in London that did a wonderful (non-alcoholic) juice flight with their tasting menu.

A cocktail bar serving food, that’s how Pharmarium markets its self. Emphasis clearly on the drinks, but also with an interesting menu. I have visited this restaurant several times and left happy. The space is decorated like an apothecary from the 18th century (the space used to be an apothecary) and there is a scent of herbs and spices in the air. As a Finn I immediately associate the lingering aroma of smoked birch tree to a Sauna. Oh my God I miss having a good Sauna. One would think that the Swedes would get it, but they don’t really have Saunas in apartment buildings in the city. If it were my choice we would have a Sauna or two just in our two bedroom flat. Back to Pharmarium: it is murky inside with light coming from candles and lanterns, perfect for creating a warm and cozy atmosphere. It feels great stepping inside from the crispy (read sh*t cold) weather outside.

The menu has a set of interesting cocktails and mid-sized dishes. This time the waiter suggested to order three to four dishes per person to fill our tummies, but we knew better from previous visits (and also from what the staff previously suggested) and settled with two to start with. The dishes are not all the same size, and some of them would easily go as a main course, at least for me. The chefs suggestions for food-cocktail pairings are in the back of the menu, but the staff are also very knowledgeable and will mix something special if you cant find anything to your liking on the list. There are also some nice beers and wines if you are not up for cocktails with the food, but I must say the drinks are the reason to come to this restaurant, the food comes second, so if you do not buy into the concept you may be better off going somewhere else.

We ordered some pulled pork tacos (Vietnamese style), charcuterie, sweetbread and snails with bone marrow. The food was mediocre, which was a surprise, as my previous visits have been much more positive. The hazelnut sauce in the tacos was way too overwhelming (could barely taste the pork), and the sweetbread was rare (WTF, we even asked if that was the intention of the chef and it was). I liked the snails and marrow and the charcutrie board, but they were nothing special.

But the drinks, they were wonderful. Original, tasty and well presented (as you can see from the pictures). Btw. check out the quality of the pictures (not edited). They were taken with my friends Samsung Galaxy S5, and boy am I jealous. I really had great expectations for my iPhone, but the Samsung was a clear winner in dim lighting. Thank’s Kaisa for letting me use these! Now back to the drinks. My favorite was the Dream Catcher. Some Gin, Lillet Blac, cucumber and rose cordial mixed together with Garam Masala house bitters. It came in a cute little bottle; and when opening the cork I finally understood why the whole restaurant smelled like a sauna. The aroma flowed like smoke out of the bottle making the whole experience quite exciting. Not to mention the drink was served warm. We also tried the Gin & House Tonic, Roses & Gold and the 5th Element. The GT and Roses and Gold were very good, but exactly what I always go for at a cocktail bar: fresh lemon and ginger notes mixed preferably with some bubbly. But the 5th Element, that was something different. Served in a copper cup, it was like a liquid dessert.

Yes, we had a fun evening out. I was a bit disappointed at the food, so I am not sure if I will have dinner there again. However, I am happy to pop by for some drinks (and a charcuterie board) any time. Another very positive note is that Pharmarium contributes nicely to the revival of the night life in Stockholm’s Old Town. Today (as opposed to a few years back) there are numerous really good places for wines, beers and cocktails. Gaston, 19 glas and Burgundy all offer interesting wines. Cocktails can be had at Pharmarium, TweedCorner Club and Pubologi. The Flying Elk as well as to some extent the new No 53 (more on that in a coming blog post) offer nice beverages as well. I am looking forward to seeing what else will pop up in 2015, as the charismatic Old Town has many great spaces, and plenty of visitors to fill up restaurants.

Wineweek 6

The last Wineweek of the year! A recap of Christmas week: Great food, wine and of course visiting friends and relatives; and some thoughts about 2015.

This year Christmas was a bit different. We have traditionally traveled away combining the holidays with some weeks of saved-up summer vacation days. Last year we spent three weeks in Hawaii and the year before we were in California. As we are travelling away in January “this year” (technically next year), Christmas was planned to take place here in Sweden. So my family traveled from Helsinki and London to stay with us. It was wonderful, but hectic. I am happy to wait a year to do it again. When Friday finally came, M and I sat on the sofa and thought how wonderful it was that the house was quiet.

So what did we actually do this week? Perhaps most interesting is to discuss what we drank (and ate) on Christmas eve. It was not an easy decision choosing the festive drinks with so many great bubblies in the fridge after the Winecalendar. After some contemplation we opted for the Krug Grande Cuvee. The house of Krug produces very powerful Champagnes with notes of nuts and caramel. A perfect choice for days of celebration. They are heavy on the wallet, but worth trying. For Christmas dinner we went for some Italian red from LaVis and a non-alcoholic Cider from La Ribaude. As a companion to the wines we made a roast with vegetables, boiled potatoes and a fig salad. Not a traditional Christmas meal, but it was our choice as we hosted the event.

What about presents then? What kind of stuff did Santa bring the Winecurious? I don’t know if I have been such a good girl this year, but I sure did get some great presents. There was a few great wine-books: Christie’s Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine revised and expanded by one of my favorite wine-personalities from Finland, Essi Avellan MW (Master of Wine) and the 7th edition of the World Atlas of Wine. M also got a great hamburger cooking book. Mmmm, looking forward to him making those burgers. To my surprise, there was room left in the fridge(s) for some more bubbly (even after the Winecalendar), so Santa got me a box of Cuvee Charlemagne  2008 for my long term storage. I also got a great new tea brewer with a convenient mechanism for keeping the tea pot warm for a second serving. These presents should keep me busy (and drinking) for a while.

We also tried a few other great wines this weekend. Two cavas we brought home from Cavatast last October: Vilarnau Gran Reserva Vintage 2010 and Guillem Carol Millenium Gran Reserva 2005. Both interesting and worth taking some time to write a review. And an Italian red, Gran Verosso Gold Edition. Otherwise we have been enjoying coffee moments and long walks in the winter weather. Here in (our part of) Sweden the first real snow started falling on Christmas day.

What is there to come then in 2015? Well, a lot of course! Our Swedish VAT number has arrived,so we are only short one more registration to start real business. Exciting! We will also do some traveling to old and new wine-countries for seeking out new producers. And we will work on growing our blog with new interesting posts, tips and reviews. But perhaps 2015 is too big to really capture in one post, so I will tell a little about the coming weeks. Next week, we will be travelling to London for touring some wine-shops and spending New Years eve at one of our favorite London Restaurants: Kitchen Table. And in two weeks we will finally head of for our long vacation in Asia, touring in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. It might be a period of fewer reviews on wine, but I suspect there will be some great stuff coming up on restaurants, cocktail bars and other culinary experiences. We read up that the coffee culture is really starting to boom in Bangkok, so that will be interesting to check out. Maybe there will be some posts on wine. I know there are some nice shops in Singapore where we end our journey. After three weeks on a “wineless-diet” I am sure I will be anxious to seek them out.

Wine Review: Champagne Drappier Brut Nature NV

Another find from the Monopolys special-order selection; Champagne Drappier Brut Nature NV ticks all (most of) the boxes for me. It is a 100% Pinot Noir, Zero dosage (no added sugar) and goes in the wonderful price range of under 300kr bottles. All the characteristics for a good Friday champagne.

Reading up on the producer really sparked up my interest. The House of Drappier has a rich history. It was founded over 200 years ago in 1808 in the city of Urville. They grow not only classic grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier, but also rare varieties such as Petit Meslier, Blanc Vrai and the extremely rare Arbane. You might recall Arbane from my review on Oliver Horiot, who also uses the classic grapes in combination with Arbane and Pinot Blac for his Ancient Variety Champagne 5 Sens. The cellars where Drappier store the wine are among the oldest and most extensive in Europe and also were the only cellars that weren’t damaged during the two world wars or the fires that raced through the area in the 1950s. Drappier also specializes in using very low amounts of sulfur in their production. 0,002% as opposed to 5% used by various other champagne houses. After all this information, Drappier is definitely bookmarked for a visit next summer (hope they take visitors).

The Brut Nature NV comes with a stylish, classic label. It felt nice and festive when opening the bottle. The nose and taste are definitely classic champagne toasty with a hint of sweetness. And I don’t mean sugary sweetness, more like sweetness from fresh fruit. There is also a taste of apple and yeast and an interesting residual bitterness. The price of this wine was “only” 259 SEK at the Monopoly. All in all it is not a surprising wine, but I am very happy with the quality/cost ratio.

I have actually found it challenging to give wines only one rating. Many of the wines that I have tried are nothing earth shattering, but I am then torn when I take into account the price. I appreciate a price tag that is affordable but also recognize that some of the better wines can be “a bit” more expensive. It’s not only about brands and marketing (*vague smile*). I am beginning to understand why the 1-100 points system is needed. So, starting from this review, I will start rating the quality of the wine and then value for money separately. For example, as a wine, the Drappier deserves a 3.5. When the price is taken into account the score goes up to 4 stars. So my rating looks something like this: 3.5/4.

Wine Review: Santus Brut Franciacorta Sparkling Wine

When holding tastings, people often ask me what is the difference between Cava and Prosecco. Perhaps it is because Prosecco has been, at least here in Sweden, more known amongst consumers than Cavas. I am not surprised, as the Monopoly selection is really weak on quality cava. But for those who are not acquainted with the subject, a very simple description of the difference is, that Proseccos are aged (“fermented”) in steel tanks (The Charmat Method), as opposed to Champagnes and Cavas being aged in bottles (the Champagne Method or Methode Champenoise). There are other differences as well of course, but I will leave the analysis to a future post.

Franciacorta is the main exception. It’s one of the few wine regions in Italy that produces sparkling wine with the Champagne Method, the others being Trento and Oltrepo Pavese. I am not saying one method produces better wines than the other (yes I am), but they bring out different characteristics in the wines. Steel fermented sparkling wines tend to be more “fresh” and fruity. The route from grape to wine is shorter than with the Champagne method, and the wines should be consumed young when their fruitiness is at it’s max. Champagne method on the other hand produces a different result. The fruitiness of the wine diminishes with age and aromas such as toast, nuts, caramel and yeast come out. These characteristics are developed over time contributing to a smooth and creamy texture to the wine.

However this is a wine review, not a deep dive into production methods. Santus Brut Franciacorta sparkling ended up on our table from M’s trip to Northern Italy. It was a recommendation from a local wine-shop. I tried to enter the producers web-site, but I run into a common problem that I often have (as I concentrate on small producers), the website is only in Italian. That’s a bit disappointing, as I would have liked to read about the producer.

Now about the wine itself: Santus Brut is a mix of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, it has 7g/ liter residual sugar and it has been aged for 21 months. It’s actually a single vintage from 2009. Mmm. the ingredients are there for me to like it! The color of the wine is light yellow and the bubbles small (a characteristic common to the Champagne method). The nose of the wine is fresh and lemony, and the taste sour, sort of like biting into a Granny Smith apple. Its an easy sparkling wine. Perhaps value for money for 14 Eur.

If this wine would be available here in Sweden I would definitely buy it. I could imagine it as an aperitif (for a summer party) or pairing well with some white fish. I think for 14 Eur a bottle it is a really good choice. Perhaps I need to contact the producer and ask if they need a distributor (wink wink). I give this wine 3.5 stars.

Merry Christmas from the Winecurious

It’s finally Christmas eve, they day we here in the land of Santa Claus celebrate and open presents. The old man is really from Finland, but I need to be a bit careful around the Swedes as they also claim Santa lives in their territory (but yes, Santa is really from Finland but it does not really matter that much to M as he claims Finland is just East Sweden). This is a day for spending with the family, not for blogging, but I sneaked off for a few minutes to discuss a dilemma I have: What wine should we have today? With a Christmas calendar full of great bubblies, I really have a difficult time deciding.

What would a good Christmas Champagne taste like? Perhaps creamy flavors of nuts and caramel would be appropriate on a day like this? I have some bottles that have been “waiting for an occasion”, like a Krug Grand Cuve, that are really not for saving but for opening within a year or two.  I also got a really wonderful bottle from the “winecalendar” today, the ancient variety champagne I have been raging about (for example in this post), the Oliver Horiot 5 Sens Brut Nature. That would be a really wonderful drink for today. But I feel torn as it’s really hard to come by with just 8000 bottles produced a year, and perhaps I should be patient and put it into long terms storage as it’s a 2008. Yes, this is not easy. I need to rummage through the cabinet and really put some thought into this. Will let you know when I have decided.

Now its time to get back to the family and socialize. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas! May you have great food and wine, and of course a great time with your loved ones!

Discovering Port

When planning the founding of our company, we had an idea of concentrating mainly on bubbly. What a surprise! We had identified a gap in the market here in the Nordics for high quality sparkling wine other than Champagne, and a base of consumers, who were increasingly curious about these wines. Maybe it was Christmas coming with dark, candle-light evenings calling for something different than a fresh bubbly, but soon ideas started flying around to include some other categories of wines, like “interesting” reds and also Port wine. Then a friend of us from Denmark introduced us to Luisa de Borges, a young and passionate winemaker from Viera de Sousa wines, and we suddenly found ourselves, arranging for boxes and boxes of Port wine from Portugal.

Port wine was a new area for both of us. Yes, we have both tried Ports before, but I at least didn’t know much about them. What is Port? How is it produced? And most important, what kind of food could it be paired with? We thought that it would be wise to take a deep-dive into the subject. So where else to start these days but google, and so we started surfing to find out more about it. Here is what we found out:

Port is a fortified wine, a wine to which a neutral grape spirit, similar to brandy is added, and it originates in Portugal. Port has been produced in the Douro Valley region for centuries. It’s typically enjoyed as a dessert wine, but there are countries which serve it as an aperitif or choose to use it for cooking. It pairs beautifully with a variety of dessert dishes and cheese. Port ranges between 19-21% in alcohol.

There are two main types of Port; wood-aged and bottle-aged, with many sub-categories of each. To keep it simple, the Port types have been broken down into white port, ruby port, tawny port and Garrafeira port. While most use the same type of grapes, the way in which they are selected, vinified, stored, and aged are very different. The five key grapes used for the majority of Port types are: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão (Completely new grapes to me). Of course there are many other grapes that can be added to the blend and each grape adds a unique touch to the wine. Port,like any other wine, changes and develops with age. So you can store them (in the right conditions) and have some beautiful vintages to enjoy after some years of patience.

Some pros and cons of Port I have thought of along the way. Port is quite a strong wine, so finishing a bottle is not something at least I would do very easily. In a household of two, its requires a larger group of friends to open one of those beautiful Vintage Ports, that are at their best only for a few days after opening. However, some Ports, like Tawny Port, can keep its quality up to several months after opening (if stored correctly); so that’s kind of nice, sipping through a bottle during Christmas holidays as a dessert. Another feature that requires some work is the decanting of Ports. Some Ports, not all, require decanting before you can serve them. Bottle aged Ports have the dead yeast (“sediment”) left inside, and that is something you really don’t want to drink. There is a lot of writing about the rituals of decanting port, but it really doesn’t need to be a complicated process. It just requires a small effort. Here is a link to some good instructions I found. Last but not least, Ports, especially young Vintage Ports, require some airing before they reach their prime, and that can be up to 12 hours. So if you want to get the most out of your Port, it’s an event you should plan for. Port is not an entirely spontaneous drink.

This was just a scratch on the surface of Ports. If you are interested in reading some more, I found a pretty good site I would recommend to visit, here is a link for For the Love of Port. Let’s see where this road leads to. But for now, we are planning a trip to Portugal to meet Luisa and see her wonderful vineyards. Perhaps, if we are lucky, her ports will be available through The Winecurious for purchase in 2015.

Wineweek 5

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We even got a “tree” this week. M was very much against a full sized one as they make such a mess. So I bought a nice vase and picked up a few branches (for a few kronor) from a tree-salesman, and tadah – good enough for me! I am not this creative myself, but I saw the concept at a shop and thought it looked nice. What a busy week otherwise; finishing up with work before the holidays, buying presents, and doing all the food shopping for Christmas eve (that when we celebrate Christmas here in the Nordics). I felt that I didn’t have that much time for writing. I definitely wanted to, but as there is always more one can do at home and at work, I have learned to always reserve enough time for my loved ones.

It has been an interesting week with the Winecalendar. It is definitely clear to me now that this is a very bubbly calendar with only sparkling coming out of the boxes this week. I am always interested in small producers as they sometimes have more courage to be bold with their wine-making. The larger houses have their signature tastes and high quality can also be about consistency. Not saying that the big houses don’t have great vintages, but they are often out of my price range. With the smaller producers you win some, you lose some. I enjoy the surprise nevertheless. I can see I am getting deeper and deeper into grower champagnes and artisan cavas. I wonder whats next, perhaps ports. I have already started reading up on them. And the real question is, how can M top this years calendar next Christmas? I can’t really imagine it getting much better than this.

We had several guests popping by this weekend. First a friend I have met in London came over for a few nights. We did some wonderful wining and dining both at home and out. We spent Friday just cooking at Casa Winecurious and tried out two interesting bubblies: A Drappier Brut Nature Champagne, ordered through the Monopoly; and Santus Franciacorta sparkling wine brought from Ms trip to Northern-Italy. Franciacorta is the only region in Italy that produces sparkling wine with the Champagne Method, so we have been curious to buy them whenever we get recommendations. Both were pretty good and I can’t wait to review them. On Saturday we went out for dinner and drinks at Pharmarium, a restaurant that is built into an old apothecary.

On Sunday, today, another pair of friends stopped by for a champagne brunch. We finally tried out a combination Richard Julin, one of the big wine critics here in Sweden recommended in one of his TV appearances: Bacon and eggs with Champagne. It’s a surprising combination and something I would definitely not have thought about without Richards tip. Not sure if I am as excited about the pairing as Richard is, but it wasn’t too bad, not too bad at all.

Yes a hectic week. However, the holidays are around the corner, and not a moment too soon. Some rest and relaxation is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Bubbly After Work at the Porcelain Shop

Friday again and time for after work! I love after work! Just the thought of it energizes me through a day of meetings and emails at the office. I actually love my job, but I love after work even a bit more.

Royal Copenhagen has been on the list of to-do’s for a while (since I moved to Stockholm). It’s a Café in the bottom floor of Mood Gallerian in connection with the Royal Copenhagen porcelain shop. The focus of the café is on Smörrebröd, a type of open-faced Danish sandwich that is just topped with heaps of meat, fish or other ingredients; but they do good coffee as well and have an interesting wine-list. The list is not very long, but they do seem to have a good taste when it comes to bubbly.

This specific time, we tried two of the champagnes (that we hadn’t tried before): Chateau del’Auche Cuvee Selection NV and Colin Cuvée Alliance NV, both decently priced under 130 SEK (in Stockholm this is a bargain). I must admit, I forgot to take notes, so my memory is failing me when it comes to the aromas and tastes, but I remember not thinking that much of them, neither good or bad. The Colin was a bit less flavorful than the Chateau del’Ache, so if you go and want to try the champagnes, start with the Colin. They also have a wonderful cava on the list: Cava Xenius Brut NV from Penedes.  If someone asks me where they should go for a glass of Cava in Stockholm, this is one of my top recommendations. The wine list rotates, so there is often something new to try.

There are also some wonderful dishes on the menu. I went for a Swedish meat pancake. What a wonderful concept I must say: A pancake topped with (a lot of) crispy bacon and some lingonberries on the side for freshness and acidity. The Danish sandwiches, Smörrebröd are also very good with different toppings: salmon, veal, and they have some other small snacks to fend away hunger. Value for money-wise, it’s as they say in Swedish “lagom” (medium). I think 75 SEK for a glass of good cava and ~120 for a glass of champagne is definitely not a rip-off.  The porcelain however, phooh, its expensive. Pretty, but not sure it’s worth the money. Porcelain is not really my style anyway. However, as a present, maybe, it would be something I would consider for a person who appreciates more old style romantic décor.

The only thing that really bothers me about this place is the service. Its friendly and professional, but for some reason amazingly slow, each and every time. And it’s when you realize that you are late for your next appointment, and you just want to pay fast and go, that’s when they screw up your bill, twice. And this is irrespective of person, it just seems always to be like that, regardless who is working or how many customers there are. Table service is not so common in cafes around here, so perhaps that is it. Otherwise, Royal Copenhagen is a great place to stop by when you are shopping or just hanging around in the center.

Midnight Cocktails at Tweed

In the past two years, I have visited my fair share of restaurants. Yes, I married a foodie and became one myself. Perhaps I always had it in me (the love of eating), but my food personality really bloomed when starting to date M. We lived in London at that time, so there was plenty of stomping ground. We were out several times a week in restaurants and bars, it was like Disneyland for foodies.

Well, that hasn’t really changed after the move to Stockholm, perhaps a little bit. What I have missed though is a decent selection of wine and cocktail bars. Alcohol taxes here are high, so it isn’t that easy to make a profit from just selling drinks. Mostly I feel bars here are for beer-drinkers, and now I’m not talking about the micro-brewery, beer enthusiast kind of places. A majority of bars have a philosophy of more is more and the price of a pint plays a bigger role than the selection. Well this is fine, if that’s what the majority wants, then that’s what the majority should have, right?

Anyway, Tweed is one of those rare places where a wine (and cocktail) curious like me, can go to enjoy a good selection of drinks and bubbly by the glass (or rather half-bottle). Located in the Old Town, it is hidden away from the street in the upstairs of the Collector’s Victory Hotel. Not a secret bar as such, but you need to know that it’s there to be able to wander in. The interior has an old-library fell with some quirky old figureheads from boats, and of course tweed tapestry. It is crowded in its own way as it is popular, but never feels quite full. It’s the bulky Chesterfield sofas that take a lot of space that leave enough breathing space to the people standing. Music is also not very loud, so you can actually hear the person sitting next to you. A comfortable bar, as it is advertised! Although the absence of windows does bother me now that I think about it.

So what is on the drinks-list then? There is a large range of wines by the glass from the classic wine districts, craft beer from far and wide, classic cocktails and digestive-spirits. In addition to this, Tweed shares a large wine cellar with Djuret and Burgundy, other restaurants (by the same owner) located in the building. They say they hold around 1600 different wines focusing on the classic wine regions and countries. What I noticed was the large selection of bubbly by half bottle. That’s almost better than by the glass if you are sharing, as you get a freshly opened bottle. This time, I had a classic cocktail though, as it felt more appropriate after a bubbly start for the evening and wines at a restaurant before; and my companions had some beers and Äppelmust (type of Apple juice). One couldn’t really call it as relaxing as it was Saturday night, but after some waiting we did get a table. Price-wise, well, its not the cheapest bar in town. I wouldn’t call it a rip-off, you pay for the comfortable space and good bartending, but perhaps I wouldn’t make a nest there and start calling it my local, as it can be a bit heavy on the wallet. Worth a visit though! Especially if you have an occasion to pop open a (half) bottle of bubbly.