Wineweek 63: End of January

All is well in the kingdom of Sweden. The ice age has passed and the snow melted. Perhaps it is too early to wish for the cold not to return. We have all February left. However nice with the warm spell. This week has been very weak with wine, but at least I have something to report from yesterday’s visit to Spritmuseum’s talked about restaurant.

We had really looked forward to the dinner. Spritmuseum’s restaurant had received excellent review not only for the food, but the wine list and service as well. It is one of those places that is whispered to be up for a star. I really hope not, because it wasn’t a great at all. Why? I will start with what was almost worst for me: the wine glasses were horrible. You know these small, thick, shapeless glasses that they have in cheap restaurants and on the partyboat. Yes, they murdered my lovely aperitif, a glass of Laherte Freres blanc de blanc by serving it from those. I eyed the glasses more closely and saw that they were Spiegelau. Probably the restaurant was thinking retro when they chose them, but then they should have explained the concept. Now the glasses were just there without any story or purpose destroying my wine-experience.

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Spritmuseum entrance
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A nature wine from Loire
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Gluten free bread
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The glasses that bothered me all evening
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Goat cheese with cream and cookie

Secondly the dinner lasted four hours. We had an eight-course tasting menu, served two courses per hour. So we always had to wait 30 min in between. The food was ok, but nothing ground breaking. And some dishes were actually plain bad, like the yeast soufflé with algae powder. Third, the service was very un-attentive. Not rude, but basically no apologies for the food taking so long or no questions after half of our party hardly touched the yeast soufflé. I am sure this is all slightly worse because of our high expectations, but still Spritmuseum is definitely not star quality. I think M was still mumbling in the morning how he just can’t get over the poor experience. I will write more about the food and wine next week. Now I will just post some pictures.

We have also started a new Sunday tradition: early lunch at Ringens new food court – Teatern. It is probably the hottest new thing in town. There are about eight small restaurants where you can fetch food, including ramen, hot dogs, Vietnamese Bahn Mi, and Korean. Most of the restaurants are run by very prominent names in the Swedish food scene: Magnus Nilsson (Fäviken), Stefano Catenacci (Operakällaren) and Adam and Albin (Matstudio). It is wonderful to be able to buy a hot dog from the kitchen of a two starred chef for less than 3 euros.

Next week M will finally give up his wine-strike, and we will visit Friday champagne at our cellar. The wine of the week is Perrier Jouet. I will also be visiting the Winery Hotel, an urban winery and hotel here in Stockholm. Below some food-porn from Teatern and the Dom Perignon tasting last week.

Wishing you a good coming week!

xx Soile

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Bahn Mi from Nook Market at Teatern
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Three small courses from Stefano Catenacci
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Teatern still empty at 11am
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Dom Perignon tasting at the cellar

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The Symptoms of Wine Depreviation

I did not expect to be suffering from a lack of wine at this time. End of cold and dark January. I was prepared for a break during our Asia trip, but now that I am surrounded by my cellar, M has embarked on this “no wine for a month”- challenge. The whole situation is leading to a bit of a writers block.  Continue reading “The Symptoms of Wine Depreviation”

Tips for Booking a Wine Trip

Last weekend I attended the Nordic Travel Exhibition in Helsinki. I was there to market my home city, Stockholm, however ended up on stage talking about wine. How did that happen? Well that I will save for another post. But long story short, I was on stage interviewing two fun ladies who had been living one in Barcelona and one in Lisbon for a large part of their lives, on wine-travel. We discussed the wine culture in both cities/countries, wine opportunities and most interestingly where and how to do wine-travel. I thought I would share some of the highlights of that discussion with you today on how to organize a successful wine-trip. There are of course organized tours, but the recommendations below focus on if you want to plan your trip yourself (which I always do). Continue reading “Tips for Booking a Wine Trip”

Wineweek 62: Back to Basics

Greetings from three feet of snow! Life has returned to its tracks after the long trip to Asia. I have been in Helsinki all week presenting my Stockholm travel guide at the Nordic Travel Fair. I actually thought until this week that they would have the Helsinki Wine Expo at the same time (I was planning to sneak over for a few tasters) but discovered that it is not until March. What a disappointment. I must say it is winter at its deepest in Finland. The ground is covered in a lawyer of ice with fluffy piles of fresh snow. It is a real winter wonderland, the kind that you would like to see on Christmas, but wish would be gone soon after. It is very pretty, but the temperatures are shocking. When I landed in Helsinki the thermometer showed -23C. Brutal! Continue reading “Wineweek 62: Back to Basics”

Hanging out at Quince BKK

For those who are already sick of my post on Bangkok, this is the last one I swear. For this year at least. However, since this time around we found much better places for wine in the city, I don’t think it’s fair to keep them all to myself. Quince Eatery & Bar is a very typical expat hangout right inbetween Thong Lo and Phrom Pong sky train stations. The look is early hipster: modern bistro with some edgy industrial details – a look you have seen a thousand times in London and Scandinavia. But we did not come to Quince for the decor, we came for the wine list.  Continue reading “Hanging out at Quince BKK”

Wineweek 61: Ice Age

We have returned to Sweden and boy is it cold here. Seriously, its below -10C. My face freezes when I go out. The warmth of Asia is just a faint memory and now we have to patiently wait for summer. Its going to be a long wait…how have humans survived at these latitudes for this long?

Continue reading “Wineweek 61: Ice Age”

The Best in Bangkok

It has taken four days to get rid of the Jetlag. I have been up at 5am every day and falling over by 9pm. Finally it seems that my body has adjusted and I slept until eight this morning. Starting a new job hasn’t helped, so it is completely natural that any posting has been postponed to the weekend. The first post I want to do and the place I want to reminisce is the Wine Pub – the salvation of any winecurious spending time in Bangkok. It is by far the best wine bar in town.

The bar is located at the Pullman King Power, close to the Victory Monument. The hotel as such is not that nice, and the huge King Power tax free makes the location slightly unpleasant. Too many buses and tourists loitering around next to the hotel. This would not be the block to come hang around at due to its charm. The ambiance of the bar is quite generic. The looks are no different from a normal hotel bar. It is the content of the wine list which makes the Wine Pub worth a visit. 48 different wines by the glass would tickle my fancy anytime, anywhere.

The list by the glass in divided into four sections: House Wines, Suggestions du Sommelier, Premium Wines and Grand Crus. Prices started at around five euros per glass up to 50. The Premium and Grand Cry wines could also be ordered in smaller sizes: three (3) and six (6) cl. This is a feature I always appreciate as it gives the opportunity to taste more expensive wines for a reasonable price. The wines were held in one of those air tight vending machines, so they were preserved nice and air tight. And the sommelier checked each bottle before serving. As they should do.

The list is nice and mixed with wines from France, Australia, NZ, Chile and South Africa. The Premium wines also have some old world vintages from Italy. France, as you can imagine, was most heavily represented. The list also features four bubblies by the glass: two Proseccos and two Champagnes. To my disappointment, the champagnes were quite boring (and I would not touch the Proseccos).

We tried altogether five wines: La Chapelle Viognier (Fr), Pegasus Sauvignon Black (NZ), Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc (NZ), Poiully Fuisse 2006 (Fr) and Clos Windsbuhl Pinot Gris 2004 (Fr). All whites due to the hot weather. All were actually really good for the price on the menu. How rare! The poiully Fuisse and Clos Windsbuhl were from the premium selection, so we took only 3cl tasters. That was definitely enough as they were quite intense, but delicious.

Service was also good. However I think there is a bit of a language barrier when the bartenders are local. Not that they don’t know their stuff, but some things that we asked about they just did not understand in the context we meant it. For example, we asked how often they rotate the wine list and they understood it how often do we open a new bottle (for wines by the glass). Not that far but still a completely different thing.

All in all I was really happy to find the Wine Pub. Regardless of its lame name and chain restaurant looks, it is by any standards a really great wine bar to visit.

xx Soile

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A Walk in Lumpini Park

The time this post publishes, the tropical scenery featured in the pictures is a faint memory. I have timed it to go around the same time as we land in freezing Sweden.

Lumpini park is one of the must-visit places in Bangkok. Its kind of an oriental (smaller) version of central park. A perfect place to relax in the middle of a buzzing city. This time we didn’t have any wine with us, but I could imagine myself having a nice sunset picnic with a  chilled bottle of white Burgundy. I tried to find out if it is allowed to drink at public places. Looking at all the tourists going around with a beer in the hand, I would assume so. You can never know though, so perhaps good to bring along a brown paper bag (haha). This post will unfortunately not feature more wine (I promise the next one will), but a few pics from life in the park.

xx Soile

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Afternoon coffee
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The park has many fountains
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The Chinese Pavillion
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Beautiful bridges
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Comodo Dragon sunbathing
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Rent a paddle-boat and enjoy your wine on the lake

Wineweek 60: Home is Where the Wine is

As all good adventures, our tour in Asia must come to an end. We are spending our last full day in Bangkok, and tomorrow we will start heading back to Stockholm (technically on Tuesday as the flight takes of after midnight). There a crispy -20-something Celsius is waiting for us. Talk about a rough landing going down around 50C degrees in temperature. Continue reading “Wineweek 60: Home is Where the Wine is”