The Grand Champagne Report

Look at that silly smile. That is me scanning the room for my next glass of bubbly at Grand Champagne 2018 – one of the best wine events in the whole of Europe. One would not guess Helsinki to be the venue for such an event. Maybe Paris or London sounds more natural. But it is the hard work of Master of Wine Essi Avellan and winelovers Taru and Christian From, that bring the cream of Champagne to Helsinki every spring for this three day celebration of wine. For the past two years, I have had the privilege to attend the Grand Champagne press event, listening to visiting winemakers speak about their profession and taste through the years new releases of cuvees and vintages. Here is my report of what is new and hot, and what I recommend to buy into the cellar. Continue reading “The Grand Champagne Report”

At the Helsinki Coffee Festival

This weekend was full of events. I know many of you are waiting for my report from Grad Champagne (it was awesome), but I want to put some more time and effort into writing that. So today I will focus on the Helsinki Coffee Festival instead, where we found ourselves just by chance. M saw a poster on the wall of one of our favorite third wave cafes, and luckily the event was near to where we were staying – the Helsinki Cable Factory event hall. The tickets for the morning were 15 euros from the door and 12 euros if you bought them online. The fare included access to the event and an endless flow of samples of coffee. Continue reading “At the Helsinki Coffee Festival”

80 Meters Underground – Cricova Wine Cellars

It has been long since the last winery visit – and this one is a treat. Last week I visited nearly 70 year old Cricova winery in Moldova, half an hour ride from the Capital Chisinau. The winery is underground, housing a labyrinth of tunnels that have existed since the 15th century. The tunnels are over 120km long and 80 meters deep underground: Half of the roadways are used for wine storage and the rest for production, warehouses, tasting rooms and other facilities. Continue reading “80 Meters Underground – Cricova Wine Cellars”

The Resurrection of Magkeolli

Last Sunday, I wrote about our Easter trip to the capital of South Korea, Seoul. During our travels, we stumbled on a traditional Korean drink that really tickled our fancy – Makgeolli. Makgeolli is a Korean alcoholic beverage made from rice. Its a kind of rice wine, like Soju, but low in alcohol (from six to nine percent). Makgeolli is milky, creamy, and lightly sparkling with a some viscosity. The taste can be sweet or slightly bitter, and and the texture chalky with sediment that gives a cloudy look. Magkeolli is considered a happy communal drink, and due to its history as the “farmers” wine, it has been mostly unpopular since the 80’s. But recently the 2000 year old drink has been resurrected as young korean’s prefer low alcohol and healthier beverages. Continue reading “The Resurrection of Magkeolli”

The Seoul Journal

This will be hard to fit in one post, but here goes. For the past three and a half days, we have been in South Korea. Seoul to be exact. You might think that that’s a short time to visit a city, but it is often sufficient for us to have a break. It’s the long flights that are offsetting. However, once a year, we are lucky enough to fly long haul in first class – with airline points of course. But the first-class experience is not the topic (I can write someday about that too), I aim to summarize our four day food extravaganza: low and highlights. There are not many disappointments though (except for the Aseana first class lounge), but a list of great recommendations for a foody holiday in the capital of South Korea, Seoul. Continue reading “The Seoul Journal”