Wineweek 90: To Valtellina and Back

The past week we have been in Italy. Mainly working, visiting vineyards north of Milan in Valtellina. We also spent a day in Milan, walking past attractions and taking photos (and catching Pokemon – I know, pathetic!). We have been avoiding Italy as a holiday as well as a wine destination. We have found it too touristic and poor when it comes to service culture (mainly due to the rude service you get). Italian wines are also usually too aromatic and “thick” for our taste. Not saying they are bad, but just not our style. However, with the discovery of the perfect nebbiolos from Mamete Prevostini, we decided to give Italy a try and organized this trip to Valtellina to visit vineyards and talk some business. As we always want to know a little bit more about where our wines come from (local vibe and cuisine), we decided to extend our stay with a few days of vacation. After two and a half days of touring in the region, I can say without any exaggeration, Valtellina is one of the best wine destinations I have ever visited in my life. Italy has been reborn in my mind. Continue reading “Wineweek 90: To Valtellina and Back”

The Best Pub in London

Pubs – almost a trademark of London and Great Britain. There is something about the thought of having a pint in a pub. I used to think: cozy, warm and welcoming. Until I moved to London and saw what local pubs where or had become: dirty, cold, giant brewery owned holes that are only good for sheltering from sudden rain or watching football (the atmosphere is quite fun). As with everything there are exceptions. Some pubs have been able to keep their independence and charm. Harwood Arms is in the far end of the scale, a pub so excellent that it has been honored with a Michelin star.  Continue reading “The Best Pub in London”

My Three Favorite Wines of July

July is the hottest month of the year for us in the Nordics. To be honest its seldom actually hot.We are lucky if we hit 25C. Regardless of the mild weather, the summer has an effect on my diet. And now I don’t mean just food, but wine as well. I like my wines light in July. Ok, so I like my wines always quite light. However, I could not gulp down any heavy Barolo or Cabernet in this weather. Those I reserve solely for cold fall or Christmas evenings when I actually feel like something thicker. As I have tasted some great new stuff this July, I thought I would share with you my favorite new discoveries.  Continue reading “My Three Favorite Wines of July”

Wineweek 89: London at a Glimpse

It has been a hot week here in London. Hot and humid. Thunder has seemed imminent, but the the first raindrops we encountered were not before our taxi ride back to Heathrow airport. One could say we have been lucky. On the agenda this time has been food and wine. Isnt it always food and wine though. It feels like shopping and sightseeing have been activities we have filled the gap with between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner. I am feeling a bit of fatique after all that food. However, I am glad I stuffed down every last yummy piece.  Continue reading “Wineweek 89: London at a Glimpse”

The Seven Varieties of Laherte Frères

It is a calm and humid morning in Champagne as we climb into a car taking us to Chavot. We have a booked tour and tasting at Laherte Frères, one of my favorite grower producers in Champagne. I say favorite so often, that what is special about this one? In addition to having some excellent entry level champagnes, Laherte Frères has a fairly rare cuvée in their selection, Les 7. It is a blend of all seven grapes allowed to be used for champagne. Continue reading “The Seven Varieties of Laherte Frères”

Grape Love: Malvasia

When I write these pieces on specific varieties, I try to bring out some small or less known grapes that are somehow significant to my wine interest at that time. With eastern Europe raising it’s profile as a wine region (I guess Eastern Europe is many regions), Malvasia has been the grape in my glass often this spring. What sparked my grape-love towards Malvasia was probably some of the natural Italian sparkling wines produced with the ancestral method. There is a lot of interesting nature wines (including orange wines) carrying Malvasia on the market. The variety is ancient: incumbent to Greece and the Mediterranean, but widely spread out to Italy and Spain as well as overseas. It is also the main variety used for making one out of four different types of fortified Madeira.  Continue reading “Grape Love: Malvasia”

Wineweek 88: Summer in the City

It is the peak of the summer here in Stockholm. Sun has been shining almost all week and traffic is slow. Perfect. There have just been two things hindering us from sitting outside and enjoying a lot of wine: the flu (of course it comes when you relax a bit) and a curse called Pokemon Go. M has become obsessed with it, and of course spread the addiction to me as well. It is so funny to observe how other people are so hung on it as well. I notice many adults like us walking completely transfixed, heads bent over their phones, hunting for Pokemon. There were also a huge number of people (adults) sitting at a kids playground fiddling with their mobiles because there was a Pokestop there. I suspect many of them did not have their child with them. If you don’t understand what I am talking about, good! You are lucky. Do not download the game.  Continue reading “Wineweek 88: Summer in the City”

Tasting Biodynamic Champagnes at Larmandier-Bernier

It is already a month since our visit to the heart of Champagne, Epernay. It was really the perfect place to stay as a group without a car. We were able to reach many smaller towns within 15 to 20 minutes by cab. The cost was reasonable as we split it six-ways. One of the houses we visited was Larmandier-Bernier, a champagne producer in Vertus known also for its biodynamic practices.  Continue reading “Tasting Biodynamic Champagnes at Larmandier-Bernier”

Summer Wine Bar at Woodstockholm

Saturday early evening, the weather is typical for Swedish summer. Warm, but rainy. We have to make a run for it if we want to be sheltered from the storm. We find our way to the wine bar on Moseback torg. It has been set up for the summer in the furniture store of Woodstockholm. It is dark and cozy inside. Just one long table with candles and a few random people sitting enjoying a glass of wine. We are greeted by the bartender with a wide smile. I feel we have come to the right place.

I think I have mentioned Woodstockholm a few times. It is a furniture store and restaurant, and now in the summer also a wine bar. The bar has been set up in the section that is normally the furniture boutique. The space is small, but in efficient use. There is one long table with chairs on both sides. The sommelier walk around and there is a kitchen in the back. The kitchen makes a set of small plates for being served at the wine bar. Perhaps they even help out with some cold dishes for the restaurant. I don’t think there is any cooking done there in the back room.

The house champagne that night was a Laherte Blanc de Blancs. Even though I have had it before, I am pleased with the grower choice. Later I learn that the wine list changes quite often, including the house champagne. M takes a glass of Chardonnay from Jura. It is so good with notes of vanilla and butter. The wine has clearly been in oak, but not for too long. The oaky flavors are quite delicate. The white is so good that I negotiate a half/half deal with M (I get half of his and he gets half of mine), which s nothing unusual when we go out for wine.

The second round is a tougher choice: Should we go for the Mencia from Bierzo (made by a lady that has worked for Domaine Romanee Conti), the bourgogne blanc, a spanish white from Galicia or the sommelier recommended charismatic white Chateauneufdupape. We stick with whites: Galicia and Chateauneufdupape, and luckily get to have a small taste of the Mencia later. We also order some small snacks: whipped pork (Genius!) and cow tartar with chorizo. Both taste very good, but the whipped pork is the real star. Just the concept of it is awesome.

It has stopped raining (a long while ago) and it is time for us to move on. The bill is very reasonable. None of the wines were really expensive (100-150 sek a glass), and the food cost around 65 each dish. This is Stockholm, so that is what you pay. I feel we have received value for our money. We will come again. The summer wine bar is an experiment Woodstockholm are running, and I hope it will stay.

Address: Mosebacke torg 9, 116 46 Stockholm
Public transport: Metro (Tunnelbana), Slussen

xx Soile

DSC_0982-3
Woodstockholm summer wine bar
DSC_0990-2
The wine is served from Riedel
DSC_0994
A glass of Laherte as a starter
DSC_0983
The bar is decorated by the shops furniture
DSC_0998
A beautiful Chardonnay from Jura
DSC_1004
Whipped pork
DSC_0007
Furniture hanging from the roof
DSC_0010
M snappig photos
DSC_0011
Pouring wine
DSC_0027
The decanter
DSC_0035
Mencia from Bierzo
DSC_0040
Bierzo Apellation labels
DSC_0053
After the rain at Mosebacke torg

 

Wineweek 87: Stockholm Calming Down

It is the peak of the Nordic holiday season. The office is empty, restaurants are empty, the whole city is empty. I love it! It is the best time of the year to be in Stockholm. There is no traffic and terraces have space. The only place with some noise and racket was the Tele 2 football arena. M, our loyal football fan, noticed that the Swedish league, Allsvenskan,  has started again. Good that we didn’t have to go a day without football (yes, that was sarcasm). At least the game was followed by good wine.  Continue reading “Wineweek 87: Stockholm Calming Down”