Sniffing Out Wine Faults

This week was a bit unlucky with wine. Several (two) of the bottles I have opened have gone right down the drain due to a wine fault. A wine fault is not always easy to sniff out. Many people just aren’t familiar enough with the flaws to confidently diagnose what’s wrong. But I live with someone with a super sensitive nose. He can smell a full trashcan from outside of the door, or if something has gone old in the fridge from the other side of the apartment. The same goes with wine. The smell-memory or -footprint that has been left in M’s mind is so strong, that no contaminated bottle can get away with it. It is a talent to be envied at times, but most of the time I really enjoy living in my bubble of ignorant bliss. For wine though, I would like to be more knowledgeable, so I a bit of studying can perhaps compensate for a weaker senses. Continue reading “Sniffing Out Wine Faults”

Peek into BasBas & Staff Wine Bar

There are great wine bars and then there are Great wine bars. Wine, as many other things is a matter of taste, so what is great is always subjective. What tickles my fancy is a nice ambiance, genuinely friendly staff and first and foremost a long and delicious list of wines by the glass. It is not often that you find a perfect match, especially since I am into weird things, like methode ancestral sparkling and orange wines. But BasBas & Staff wine bar ticked all of the above boxes. It was just a fabulous experience. Continue reading “Peek into BasBas & Staff Wine Bar”

Wineweek 117: The Week I Could Forget Happened

This is a wine blog. I write about happy things, not my personal life or crises. However, if a week has just been filled with life’s challenges, how do you write a Wineweek full of fun or at least (sort of) funny stories from along the way? There is no way. So I will just skip this week, and be a better sport next week. Continue reading “Wineweek 117: The Week I Could Forget Happened”

Loire on my mind

This week has been quite demanding. I will not go into details why, but to make the day a bit more cheerful, I started thinking about what kind of wines I want to drink in 2017. And what better to lighten up the mood than thoughts of “the garden of France”, Loire Valley. As mentioned in my forecast for the year, Loire wines are thought to be in high demand in 2017. Poilly-Fume and Sancerre are already well known and loved; however, I see less known appellations like Anjou, Saumur and Vouvray appearing on menus of wine bars and restaurants.  Continue reading “Loire on my mind”

Wineweek 116: Unprepared in Helsinki

I am not a fan of January. It’s dark, cold and long until spring and summer. This weekend it paid off though, big time, as there were not that many people going out in Helsinki. I was finally able to visit BasBas (or at least their wine bar), the restaurant I have been raving about for over a year, yet not been able to get a reservation.  Continue reading “Wineweek 116: Unprepared in Helsinki”

Sweet tooth in Bangkok

I have a vague recollection of making a promise before our long trip, to cut down on cakes and other sweet stuff. Asian desserts are not that good anyway, I thought (wtf!!). I don’t know what I was thinking. Bangkok is full of cafes with creamy cakes and delicious desserts. We also hang out in the Japanese expat areas where sweet stuff is appreciated. Here you have a few good tips of where to get your sugar rush in Bangkok. Continue reading “Sweet tooth in Bangkok”

Wine Trends 2017

A year back, I did a post about 2016 wine trends and predicted the following: Orange wine overtaking rosé; Urban wineries gaining attention (attention yes, volume no), and Coravin making rare wines by the glass more affordable. Was I right? I am not sure. Perhaps it is just me that has had my eyes open for these things, but I feel that all predictions have walked with me through the whole year. But past is the past and I think it is interesting to look at what is going to be big this year. So, I went wild on google and collected a few trends that I think I will at least be following in 2017.

The rise of sparkling red

This fall I wrote about my new-found curiosity for sparkling red wines. I have never been a fan of Lambrusco, and perhaps never will be, but suddenly many restaurants I visited had lovely, light sparkling reds from France (Loire) and Germany on the menu as aperitifs. This happened in restaurants in several countries (Finland and Spain), so it is not just a regional phenomena. Thus, I predict sparkling reds to be hot hot hot in 2017. There has also been some noise about Loire rising up as the trendy region of the year, so this could add up to a perfect combination.

The year of Portugal? – Focus on lesser known grape varieties

Me and M have been fans of Portugal for many years now. In 2015 M did a road trip, driving from Porto all the way down to Beira Interior and back. Regions like Dão are still relatively unknown to the masses, however, the average consumers have started drifting beyond their Merlots and Sauvignon Blancs, and are now interested in varieties such as Verdejo and Alvarinho. Portugal is especially interesting for its field blends from pre-phylloxeira vineyards. There might be something like 50 different varieties growing in those fields, and the wines that are born from them are interesting. So, perhaps it is finally the year of Portugal. Time to boost up the sales!

Movement of wine – exchange rates and barriers to trade

2016 was a significant year in global politics. I will not contribute my opinion to that discussion, at least not on the blog (especially not on the blog), but what is interesting from a wine-perspective is how will everything that has happened impact the movements of wine? I am more thinking of exchange rates and barriers to trade. I am already now distancing myself from US wines due to the strong dollar (and weak Swedish krona), and keeping to the old world, that is close and still moving freely within the EU. Brexit has not yet happened (I mean the concrete separation…the divorce has just been declared), but I wonder what will happen to the now thriving UK wine market? Will the rise of English sparkling come to a halt due to uncertainty? All in all, these things are hard to predict (I would be a millionaire if I could), but, my best guess is that people will be looking increasingly closer to home for good wines. Loire, I think, will be one of the areas I will be obsessing about in 2017.

xx Soile

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Wineweek 115: New Years Resolutions

In general, I don’t make New Years resolutions. I never keep them. But there is one I think I can commit to with true enthusiasm – Drink more Champagne! I stole it (with pride) from my friend Ali. We are back in Sweden and back in our normal rhythm of nine to five at the office. I guess that’s why just a dinner and wine with friends felt so damn good on Friday. We finally have the best wine-menu in town at our grabs, and that is our own cellar (read: wine fridges. Cellar just sounds so much better). Not to mention that we can drink from Zalto glasses, which was not the case anywhere in Thailand and Singapore. I am also looking forward to visiting our real cellar, Magnusson again. It will open next week after being closed for the holidays.  Continue reading “Wineweek 115: New Years Resolutions”

Eat Me – Don’t Mind if I Do

Cold, dark and windy – that is what Stockholm is like right now. Regardless of the weather, I am starting to recover from the shock of returning home. Browsing through pictures from the previous weeks is a bit depressing, but I will still torture myself further by writing about Bangkok for a while. There is so much good there that I want to recommend. Eat Me, in this case, is not an invite to come and chew off my arm, but the name of one of my favorite restaurants in Bangkok. It is absolutely amazing quality and for a fraction (well perhaps half) of the price of Europe.  Continue reading “Eat Me – Don’t Mind if I Do”

Bangkok Bar Secrets

Secret bars – what do I think about them? To be honest, I am a bit torn. I don’t want to go to a bar because it is hidden, I want to go because the drinks are good. Of course its a fun concept, I don’t mind that, but sometimes it attracts a bit of an odd crowd. In Bangkok though, the best bars are hidden ones, and I dare to claim that I can now give a very competitive top-3 view. Continue reading “Bangkok Bar Secrets”