Wineweek 54: November Moments

November is a dark month. Here in Sweden the sun rises around 9am and starts setting already at 3pm. During the darkest time of the year, there is only around five to four hours of daylight during the day. It’s dark when you head to the office and dark again when you are finished with work. Not to mention the cold wind and rain that is characteristic for NOvember in the Nordics. Without good wine, this would be a very depressing time of the year.

This week was not much different than many others. Perhaps we had a tad more bad luck with out business than we usually do. Firstly, our Port-wines never arrived to their final destination. The parcel company had sent them to Poland by mistake. Poland (!!), how is it even possible to mistake that with Sweden? After some heated email conversations, the wines were eventually returned to Portugal. The packages were severely damaged as well as a few bottles of white port nicked. This was very disappointing of course, but it happens in our line of business (transporting fragile goods). Luckily the parcel company was very responsive regarding our complaints and promised to compensate us for the damaged wines (they exceeded our expectations). However, even though we will not incur monetary loss, the Ports must wait to be sold another day. We also had an issue with our deliveries from Denmark to Sweden (what kind of truck-curse has been bestowed upon me?). However, that was solved within a few hours and caused no further harm.

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Trying out our new Nebiolos from Gordona
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Dinner at Backfickan Djuret
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Champagne with friends on Saturday
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Ending Saturday evening with a beer at Brewdog

Otherwise we did some nice wining and dining this week. We headed out to Djurets Backficka on Friday. Djuret is a restaurant in the old town, that specializes in one animal at a time. Basically everything that they have on the menu comes from the same species. There is this kind of nose to tail idea behind it, but the cuisine is quite classical. No weird shit. A backficka is the no-reservations side of a restaurant, usually the bar or other separate more casual space in the restaurant.

On Saturday we tasted some wines: Larmandier-Bernier Lattitude Champagne, Bonnaire 2005 Blanc de Blancs and one of our last bottles of the Francoise Bedel Cuvee Robert Winer 1996. The Bonnaire 2005 having spent a few years in our cellar had significantly improved (already). I think we bought a few cases of this due to Richard Julin giving it a very inspiring forecast (96/100). We did not drink all of these ourselves, we had some help. After the tasting we went for some nice refreshing beers at the Brewdog bar close to Friedhemsplan. I must say a nice lager after all of that semi-acidic champagne tasted really nice. Somehow even healing. Brewdog also has some light and non-alcoholic beers, so one could enjoy the drinks without adding more kilometers on the Sunday hangover. It wasn’t that bad, but I am dead tired.

The coming week will be our last whole week in Sweden in 2015. On the 9th of December we hop on a plane to Bangkok to start our winter vacation. Oh my God I am looking forward to it. Five weeks in Asia will of course mean some wine-deprived weeks again. Last year it was not until we made it to Singapore that we actually were able to have some nice (decent) wine. This year I expect nothing to have changed. So beer and cocktails it is this Christmas.

It will be a tough week at work. However, I do hope that I have energy and inspiration to write some interesting stuff about wine. Perhaps it is time for some more restaurant reviews this week..

Cheers! Soile

Grape-love: Nebbiolo

I am traditionally not a huge fan of Italian wines (Prosecco – yuk). However, due to a recent visit to a vineyard in Gordona (North of lake Como) by M, I have been bitten by the Nebbiolo-bug. He brought home such beautiful red wines that we are seriously considering adding Italy to our selection.

I was not very knowledgeable about the grape, so this cold Saturday morning I set out on a google-journey to read more about Nebbiolo. Where does it come from, how is it processed and what kind of food does a Nebbiolo-wine go with?

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A beautiful 100% Nebbiolo from Mamete Prevostini

Nebbiolo is indigenous to Piedmont in North-Italy, west of Milan. It is also grown in other parts of Italy, California, Australia (Margaret River for example) and in small quantities in Chile and Austria. The grape gets its name from the Italian word nebbio, which means fog. The grape ripens very late in the season, October to be exact, so there is often a fog in the vineyards during harvest. Cool! Nebbiolo is also used to make Barolo and Barbaresco (!!). I didn’t know this before. However Barolo and Barbaresco can only be made in a few villages in Piedmont, so the rest is just called Nebbiolo. The locals joke that the king of wine, Barolo, is for those who can afford it and Nebbiolo is for them.

A Nebbiolo-wine smells like roses. It often benefits from decanting. The wines often have tastes of  violet, red berries (raspberry, blackberry and blueberry) and wild herbs. It is said that Nebbiolo is good with all kinds of food: spicy meats and creamy pastas. I would not rule out having the wine just on it’s own. I can imagine it being quite nice just on a Friday evening wearing comfy pants and lounging on the sofa.

After doing all this research I am really thirsty for some red wine.

Natural, Organic or Biodynamic – Whats the Difference?

Now this is a topic that is sometimes confusing. Words like organic, biodynamic and natural wines are thrown around  in conversations lightly. But do we really know the difference? Is it even possible to know the difference as countries and apellations regulate these terms differently? I will be honest with you, I was not at all sure of all the definitions myself before I did this little investigation. Here are some ground assumptions that you can make when discussing different types of ecological wine production.
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Wineweek 53:Swedish Christmas Treats

So now all the Christmas decorations are officially out. There is no escaping anymore. I really love Christmas, don’t get me wrong. I am just opposed to it always starting so early. By the time it is mid-December, I am already bored with all the fuss. Continue reading “Wineweek 53:Swedish Christmas Treats”

Wineweek 52: A Year of Blogging

A year has passed. Where did all that time go? I must have done something during these 52 weeks.. Looking at the statistics, we have posted 266 times, had around 7000 views (that’s of course quite small, many bogs have more in an hour) and 1000 visitors. So we must have done a lot. For my 52nd Wineweek, I thought I would mention the most popular posts of the year, as well as my personal favorites.

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Grape-Love: Albariño

As we are quite fond of Spanish and Portuguese wines, we have crossed ways with Albariño (or Alvarinho in Portuguese) many times. It is a variety of white grape grown in northwest Spain (Galicia) and northwest Portugal (Monção and Melgaço). The wines made from the varietal are fresh with mineral notes and high acidity. Even though the grape comes from areas that have heavy rainfall the local saying is “wine is sunlight, held together by water”. Thus, a perfect wine to enjoy during the winter to remind us of the pleasures of summer.

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How to Make a Wine-Calendar

Every year we have been together, M has made me a Christmas calendar. Usually it has been small presents: chocolates, candles and knickknacks. Nothing expensive, just something cute or practical. Last year, however, I was in for a big surprise. M had made me a wine-calendar. How awesome is that!

As the wine-calendar is one of my favorite things ever, I thought I would share the idea with you on how to make one for a wine-loving partner, friend or just yourself. There is nothing better than opening a wine-surprise first thing in the morning while waiting for Christmas.

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Wineweek 51: Preparing for the Holiday Season

I love Christmas! Its one of my favorite times of the year. Bright lights and candles, great food and presents; not to forget a good excuse to buy some great wines (as if I need an excuse). However, every year, Christmas starts too early if you ask me. Who wants to bring out the decorations already in rainy and gray November? As a business owner, you realize that you kind of have to. Continue reading “Wineweek 51: Preparing for the Holiday Season”