Tongue-in-cheek wine journalism

Although my job is to manage and solve complex problems, I appreciate simplicity in most things (in everything). Wine is not simple: it is a result of science, engineering, powers of nature, and taste. There are over 10 000 different grape variants, hundreds (maybe thousands) of different winegrowing regions with different soil and climate, and millions of nuances to making wine. So if you want to master wine, it is quite a journey to learn everything. Wine Folly, however, makes it as easy as it can get. And you will have fun while you study.

Wine Folly is a wine blog and book written by sommelier Madeline Puckette. All of her articles summarize quite large topics, contain pictures and infographics, and use storytelling as a tool, keeping the reader engaged from start to finish. Madeline also has a tongue-in-cheek style of humor in her texts, that give a friendly edge to the topic. The information shared on Wine Folly  is a bit black and white (not in the context of colour but with facts), however the high level of simplification is what makes the information easy to consume. So if you want to learn about a specific type of wine or grape quickly, Wine Folly is the perfect place to gather those nuggets of information that help you know what you are drinking. I wouldn’t start arguing about the facts with a specialist though, as the high level of generalization also means that the statements in the book do not take into account exceptions. For example, the book states that there are only three grape varieties allowed in Champagne. In truth, there are seven, but four of them are very rare.

I ordered the book to M for his birthday. Its rich with colour and pictures, which I love, and information is easy to find. It contains information on science related to wine, taste profiles for wine regions and grape varieties and deep dives into accessories. Madeline has really applied her graphic design skills into the visualization in the book. You don’t have to read long, dry descriptions, but rather explore pictures of taste wheels and other informative illustrations.  It was not very expensive for a wine book, and is a suitable read for anyone.

What I particularly like about this book is that there is no snobbery, just enjoyment and fun of discovering wine. It’s kind of feel-good wine book, a rare one of its kind.

The Wine Folly can be ordered from internet bookstores for about 200kr

xx Soile

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Wine Folly has a nice graphic design
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Taste wheels for grape varieties
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How to open a bottle

Wineweek 6

The last Wineweek of the year! A recap of Christmas week: Great food, wine and of course visiting friends and relatives; and some thoughts about 2015.

This year Christmas was a bit different. We have traditionally traveled away combining the holidays with some weeks of saved-up summer vacation days. Last year we spent three weeks in Hawaii and the year before we were in California. As we are travelling away in January “this year” (technically next year), Christmas was planned to take place here in Sweden. So my family traveled from Helsinki and London to stay with us. It was wonderful, but hectic. I am happy to wait a year to do it again. When Friday finally came, M and I sat on the sofa and thought how wonderful it was that the house was quiet.

So what did we actually do this week? Perhaps most interesting is to discuss what we drank (and ate) on Christmas eve. It was not an easy decision choosing the festive drinks with so many great bubblies in the fridge after the Winecalendar. After some contemplation we opted for the Krug Grande Cuvee. The house of Krug produces very powerful Champagnes with notes of nuts and caramel. A perfect choice for days of celebration. They are heavy on the wallet, but worth trying. For Christmas dinner we went for some Italian red from LaVis and a non-alcoholic Cider from La Ribaude. As a companion to the wines we made a roast with vegetables, boiled potatoes and a fig salad. Not a traditional Christmas meal, but it was our choice as we hosted the event.

What about presents then? What kind of stuff did Santa bring the Winecurious? I don’t know if I have been such a good girl this year, but I sure did get some great presents. There was a few great wine-books: Christie’s Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine revised and expanded by one of my favorite wine-personalities from Finland, Essi Avellan MW (Master of Wine) and the 7th edition of the World Atlas of Wine. M also got a great hamburger cooking book. Mmmm, looking forward to him making those burgers. To my surprise, there was room left in the fridge(s) for some more bubbly (even after the Winecalendar), so Santa got me a box of Cuvee Charlemagne  2008 for my long term storage. I also got a great new tea brewer with a convenient mechanism for keeping the tea pot warm for a second serving. These presents should keep me busy (and drinking) for a while.

We also tried a few other great wines this weekend. Two cavas we brought home from Cavatast last October: Vilarnau Gran Reserva Vintage 2010 and Guillem Carol Millenium Gran Reserva 2005. Both interesting and worth taking some time to write a review. And an Italian red, Gran Verosso Gold Edition. Otherwise we have been enjoying coffee moments and long walks in the winter weather. Here in (our part of) Sweden the first real snow started falling on Christmas day.

What is there to come then in 2015? Well, a lot of course! Our Swedish VAT number has arrived,so we are only short one more registration to start real business. Exciting! We will also do some traveling to old and new wine-countries for seeking out new producers. And we will work on growing our blog with new interesting posts, tips and reviews. But perhaps 2015 is too big to really capture in one post, so I will tell a little about the coming weeks. Next week, we will be travelling to London for touring some wine-shops and spending New Years eve at one of our favorite London Restaurants: Kitchen Table. And in two weeks we will finally head of for our long vacation in Asia, touring in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. It might be a period of fewer reviews on wine, but I suspect there will be some great stuff coming up on restaurants, cocktail bars and other culinary experiences. We read up that the coffee culture is really starting to boom in Bangkok, so that will be interesting to check out. Maybe there will be some posts on wine. I know there are some nice shops in Singapore where we end our journey. After three weeks on a “wineless-diet” I am sure I will be anxious to seek them out.