Bubbles’n Riesling

Did you know that sparkling wine consumption per capita in Germany is one of the highest in the world? Local sparkling wines: sekt and schaumwein are extremely popular. When I think of German sparkling, I think of Rotkäppchen Sekt (the little red riding hood), the cheap supermarket sparkling that I bought during my many trips to Berlin around ten years ago. That was vile stuff, but no matter, it cost only a few euros and was available in every corner kiosk in town. Today, the trend with German sparkling is more towards quality and differentiation. Vintners often select individual, small, high quality batches of wine for their sparkling wine production and favor the traditional method of second fermentation in the bottle. Exciting! Continue reading “Bubbles’n Riesling”

Saturday with Roederer

I must say, Roederer is one of my favorite among the big champagne houses (after Charles Heidsieck). Their wines are elegant, fresh and crunchy (or crisp is perhaps a better word). My love for Roederer was sparked many years ago: It’s a great memory actually.  We were en route to Bali for our honeymoon, M and I, wondering around Heathrow airport. We stopped by the tax free to ogle at the shelf of bubblies. No way was there going to be any good wine on Bali, so we thought we would buy a few bottles to go. On the shelf there stood a newly released Roederer Rose Vintage 2008. I did not know then how fond I would become of the year 2008, but the bottle was on offer. My first bottle of Roederer followed us to Indonesia that night. Oh my God, how good that champagne tasted on the balcony of our hotel. The Roederer 2008 has had a special meaning to me ever since. Continue reading “Saturday with Roederer”

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”

Bubbly Tip of the Week: Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature

I recently wrote about how big brand champagne has long since divorced what comes from the ground. The aspiration of producing the same product batch after batch requires manipulation of the years produce with a mix of wine from the previous vintages as well as an addition of sugar (to hide some of the taste of the grape). Well here is a champagne that is exactly the opposite: Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature. Continue reading “Bubbly Tip of the Week: Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature”

Wine Review: Cava Gramona Imperia Brut Gran Reserva

Gramona was one of the first specialty cavas that came my way a good three years ago when we were starting our business. Llagrima s’Or is obviously the first (and my favorite) but the Gramona came soon after. Since that time I have of course discovered many more, but Gramona is one of the cavas that have made it big outside the borders of Spain. And it is one of the only artisan cavas found in the Monopoly standard selection. The price is a bit on the high side though (compared to Spain). But it is a savior if you are in quick need of a good bottle.  Continue reading “Wine Review: Cava Gramona Imperia Brut Gran Reserva”

Wine Review: Mr P Knows Pinot Noir

I confess. We bought the bottle because of the label. It was stylish and moderately funny (we giggled about the name. I know, childish). That is what caught our attention in the first place. Then there is of course the aspect that Pinot Noir is not that commonly grown in South Africa. We had something “professional” to place the purchase decision on. But yeah, it was the label. Successful marketing from IONA Vineyards, a family venture in Elgin, close to Cape Town.     Continue reading “Wine Review: Mr P Knows Pinot Noir”

Wine Review: Maison Nicolas Potel Chassagne-Montrachet Vielles Vignes 2007

Recently I have been talking a lot about white Burgundy (recent post here). It is the wine-obsession of the year. So last weekend we took out a recent acquisition from the cellar to enjoy with food. The bottle of Chassagne-Montrachet from Nicolas Potel is a 100% Chardonnay from Côte de Beaune, so we reckoned that it could hold its own with a mushroom risotto. How right we were. It was a perfect match.  Continue reading “Wine Review: Maison Nicolas Potel Chassagne-Montrachet Vielles Vignes 2007”

Wine Review: Gardo & Morris Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

On my quick and lazy Sunday post I mentioned that we had a go at a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc last week. I am not a huge fan of the grape in general, however, I do have a soft spot in my heart for SB from Marlborough, New Zealand. And since I have a weakness for sparkling as well, then a sparkling from the region does not sound like a bad idea. Continue reading “Wine Review: Gardo & Morris Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc”

The First Wine Review of the Year: Vang Dalat Excellence Chardonnay

Happy New Year! What better way to start a new year of blogging than a wine review. I haven’t written those in a while. This time you are in for a treat as I have been tasting some Vietnamese wine. Yum yum…perhaps not, but interesting nevertheless. We picked up two bottles at Saigon airport just before departing to Singapore and a few days ago mustered up the courage to open a bottle. As white wine seemed like the safer choice we decided to open the Vang Dalat Excellence Chardonnay.

Like with most other Asian countries, wine is not the first drink that comes to mind when thinking about Vietnam. Nevertheless, Da Lat city, with its cool central highland climate and strong French heritage is an anomaly producing wine. The grapes come from nearby Phan Rang which is Vietnam’s main grape-growing region. The wine is said to be made according European wine making practices, but I did not find very much information about it online.  What is nice is that the wine is made affordable for locals, but this specific bottle of Chardonnay was produced for the export market and set us back 13 US dollars at the duty free.

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Tasting the Vang Dalat Excellence Cardonnay
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The seal of approval for Vietnamese wine

The wine was straw colored and the initial sniff fresh. The nose of the wine was actually quite pleasant in this hot weather with tropical fruits, lemon and honey. The taste of the wine had white fruits and lemon, accompanied by that oxidized taste of cooked fruit that I associate with spoiled wine. It was faint, but nevertheless it was there. I cant really put my finger on it where it comes from. Perhaps late harvest or over heating during the fermentation process. It is however quite common, and as I have understood it even preferred by locals in China and Vietnam. Taste is taste, what can you do.

Vang Dalat, is available in most cities and provinces in Vietnam and its exported to China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Cambodia and Switzerland. It is also available to buy in Germany, however the price tag really does not match the quality (~20€). I would not recommend buying it for the quality. However, many decisions these days come down to interesting versus delicious. So if you are into new things – why not!

Although I would like to give some points for a good attempt, I just cannot do that. Otherwise I would not be true to the scoring system. So both quality as well as value for money get one point out of five (even that is a bit generous). We drank one small glass and poured the rest.

xx Soile

Wine Review: Franciacorta Brut ‘Le Terre’, Arcipelago Muratori

This is more of a mini-review as I was not able to gather much information about the wine from the restaurant (a small neighborhood restaurant in Milan) where I had it as they did not speak any English and I do not speak Italian. Looking at the bottle I did however quickly see that it was a Franciacorta sparkling wine so made with the traditional (champagne) method and that it was a Brut. It is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but I could not see any information regarding the percentages.

The wine was pale yellow color and the aroma was one with nice lemon and lime with only the slightest hint of toastiness. It has a pleasant acidity and a slight citrus flavor. It lacks complexity and the flavor falls pretty flat. I would say that it works well as an aperitif and especially when it is hot (and that it was when I sampled it – Milan was a steaming +37 Celsius). Not a bad wine but not something I would necessarily seek out. Quality rating it deserves a 2.5 but it was attractively priced, €4.5 for a glass in a restaurant and that I think makes it great value for money so there it rates higher at 3.5