Wineweek 160: November Rain

I wish the topic was referring to a song, but its not. Its referring to the weather; which is as you would expect in November – rainy. Next week, the weatherman has promised snow. I am not excited about that either. So until we fly to Asia again, I intend on staying inside. Instead of going out for cocktails I will make them at home. 

I will write more about cocktails next week, but I just have to share, I have gotten into the habit of making one new cocktail per week. Until now, I have been sticking to my favorite spirit, which is gin. But I am happy to announce to all rum-lovers, that I have my eyes on moving on to some nice Daiquiris, Planters Punches and Bahama Mamas (the last one was a joke). Just have to pick up a few different rums to have a base to build on. I have also considered Mezcal, but I think it is wise to advance one spirit at a time.

In addition to hiding from the weather at home, I have been keeping warm at our wine cellar in Östermalm, Magnusson Fine Wines. Almost every Friday, Magnusson hosts a champagne tasting arranged by different Swedish distributors. This week it was time for Louis Roederer and their different vintages from 2009: Vintage 2009, Brut Nature vintage 2009 and Cristal 2009.

It is not often the tasting are this extravagant. Many importers are more interested to show off their standard cuvees, which are the best sellers. Don’t get me wrong, a good entry level cuvees is the business card of the house. Without it, a house will not thrive. But having been a Roederer fan for a long time, the non vintage cuvees were not of interest, but Cristal definitely was. This legendary champagne was developed for Alexander II, tsar of russia, in 1876, and is the favorite of many of today’s champagne personalities, like Essi Avellan. So, I am always intrigued when I get my sight on one of those golden colored bottles. The dark color by the way comes from the high portion of Pinot Noir in the grape mix of the champagne (50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay).

I wont go through the history of Cristal in this post (could be something to write about on my holiday), but I can just say that I still struggle to see the same in it as some of the experts do. Its a good champagne, but it doesn’t even come close to a Krug – except for in price. Of course, the 2009 was quite a young vintage, so I am not sure if I have tried Cristal at its best. Maybe if I would get my hands on some -96…anyway, not the premium cuvee I am ready to put my money on. At least not today.

With those thoughts I end this wineweek. Four weeks and counting to take of for our annual “summer holiday” in Asia.

xx Soile

Gin & Tonic with cucumber slices, mint and elderflower tonic from Ekobryggeriet
Friend broccoli at LingLong
Shitake mushroom bao at LingLong
How about some Cristal?
Your Cristal is served
Candied thyme to use as garnish on cocktails
Gin with thyme syrup, lime and elderflower tonic
The candies thyme as garnish on top

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