Skansen for Grownups

This weeks post will be a bit unusual. We are on our way back from Bangkok, and I have not had time to edit any pictures at all. So, I chose to write about something else: Skansen,  an outdoor museum and Scandinavian zoo in the heart of Stockholm. It sounds like a kids attraction – and it is – and I was there with my kid – but I actually think that Skansen is for everybody, not only the short members of the family. If you are visiting Sweden, it is a fun place to visit to get a taste of Swedish culture, food, flora and fauna.  Continue reading “Skansen for Grownups”

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”

Wineweek 173: The Launch Party

Today I want to write about one of the greatest things I have been working on the past year, our Tripsteri travel app, that was finally officially launched this week. And when you launch something that great, you have to have a party, right! I had very little to do with it, but my girls had put together a super event at our office in Helsinki. We had some awesome raw pizzas, vegan chocolate cake, Moritz beer and newly launched Kyrö distillery Bitter Rye with Fever Tree aromatic tonic. For viewing frankly the best travel app there is, you can visit the app store and search for Tripsteri, and for reading more about the concept and about our company, visit www.tripsteriapp.com Continue reading “Wineweek 173: The Launch Party”

Wineweek 172: Booking for Grand Champagne

I am a bit late to the party here, but better late than never. Grand Champagne, my favorite wine event of the year is coming, and it is time to book tickets – at least for the amazing Master Class tastings, held by some of the greatest winemakers in the region. The event is held in the center of Helsinki, from the 19th to the 21st of April, and is one of the biggest gatherings of Champagne houses in Europe. I would say that only events held in the French wine region its self can compare.  Continue reading “Wineweek 172: Booking for Grand Champagne”

Grand Champagne Vol. 2 – Master Classes

Keeping my promise on writing some more about Grand Champagne. This time I thought I would be focusing on one of the juiciest parts of the exhibition, the Master Classes.

The Master classes are educational tastings organized at the Grand Champagne event. Every Master class had a theme; most focused on a specific champagne house, their story, style and vintages; the rest on topics like pairing champagne with food. The purpose of the Master classes was to be educational, but also a good tasting opportunities for rare wines. We joined two house-classes: Palmer & Co. and an all-time favorite, Charles Heidsieck.

The Palmer & Co. tasting was intimate. The room had space for around 20 people around a long table. We tasted four wines from Palmer: the entry level Brut and vintages 2002, 1998 and 1985. All magnums. It was lovely listening to the story of the house while tasting through a rich set of vintages. Palmer is an interesting cooperative of seven established growers bringing together their high quality grapes. Palmer wines are not too violent on the wallet either, so we have perhaps gone a bit crazy looking to buy a 1985 magnum to have in our cellar.

The other Master Class we attended was for Charles Heidsieck. It was a larger class but still quite pleasant. I really like the Heidsieck wines. The entry level cuvee has always been a favorite when it comes to big well-known brands. Along with Bollingers special cuvee of course. We already knew many of Heidsiecks recent vintages: We have tasted (and have in the cellar) both Millessime 2005 and Cuvee Millionaire 1995. So we attended mainly for the story of Champagne Charlie, and to be honest, the 1982 Jeroboam that was opened for the event. 1982 is my birth year, so I think its fun tasting champagnes that are as old as me. Heidsieck was the last tasting of the evening; we were already quite tired, and to be honest a bit tipsy. Heidsieck did not really cheap out with their pours, so it was a bit hard leaving some wine behind.

I think the Master Classes were definitely the main reason to go to Grand Champagne. Many producers had some rare vintages in the tastings, so just the opportunity to get a hold of those felt worth the price. Most master classes cost around 50€ per person and the entry ticket on top. Sounds a bit expensive, but totally worth it. A general survival tip though – do not book too many master classes per day, spread them out. Especially not following a press event where you anyway have been tasting wines all day.

xx Soile

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Comparing the colour of the 2005 and the 1982
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At the Heidsieck Master class
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Palmer 2002, 1998 and 1985
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Pouring the wine from magnums at the Palmer & Co. Master class

 

Grand Champagne Vol.1

When thinking about what to write about Grand Champagne, I really had a hard time keeping it short. There is just so much to share. So I decided to split the story in two, starting with the press event and professionals tasting on Friday morning. The second post will focus on the consumer event as well as Master classes. Continue reading “Grand Champagne Vol.1”

Take me to Grand Champagne

I am super excited: 50 producers, 200 different champagnes and 16 different master classes organized by famous champagne personalities, cellar masters and head-winemaker – all under one roof in Finland in may. Grand Champagne is by far the biggest bubbly event of the year in the Nordic countries (as far as you ask me), and its happening in my birth town of Helsinki where we visit frequently. And the best news is, that this year we are going! Continue reading “Take me to Grand Champagne”

Whats New at Cavatast 2016

Estimated time of arrival at Cavatast in Sant Sadurni: 2.5 days. Time until we board the plane: 1.5 days. Hours until I open the first cava of the week -best guess 20 (less than 24 at least). A welcome overdose of Cava is close and I can feel it, so I am preparing by reading up on what is new this year on the official tourist-site of Sant Sadurni.  Continue reading “Whats New at Cavatast 2016”