Nytorget is kind of a hipster-cool city oasis. It’s a little park in SoFo (South of Folkungagatan), Södermalm, surrounded by charity shops and vegan cafes. I have long avoided hanging out there. Not because I don’t like second hand or vegan, but rather because it is so crowded by locals and tourists and the food and drinks selection has been limited. This summer, everything has changed – Bar Agrikultur has opened next to the park. Now, I have been hanging out around Nytorget every week. Other newcomers, like Café Pasqal opening a branch there will make it even more attractive. Continue reading “The Little Gin Bar at Nytorget – Bar Agrikultur”
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.
This weekend has been very unusual. The weather has been hot. I mean really hot, close to +30. Such temperatures are not common in Stockholm. Definitely not in May at least. We dream of days like this all year, where the sun is shining from a blue sky and the wind is warm and gentle; and perhaps there is one such in July. From a wine enthusiasts perspective I can say that I am in waiting all year as I have quite many wines that I have bought with the excuse of them being perfect for summer and slacking on the balcony. Think of all those crispy white Bourgognes and Grüner Weltliners..not to mention Champagnes. That statement is however just to fool myself. If I start really thinking about the logic I can say that I have balcony wines for the next ten years. Continue reading “Wineweek 135: The Heat Wave”
2017 is a special year for all Finns. The country celebrates 100 years of independence on December the 6th. It’s actually quite overwhelming that the time finally here. I remember Finland turning 90, and the countdown to a round hundred has been going on ever since. So there is a lot of celebration to be done, and what I find impressive is that Finland has chosen champagne Ayala for making an iconic 100 year celebratory drink for them. Actually this post will be mostly about Champagne Ayala: who they are and what kind of champagne do they make etc. However, what I am hoping for is that it builds some interest and trust in the Finland 100 bubbly. It is not always these marketing things come out good you know. Continue reading “Finland Celebrates 100 Years of Independence with Champagne Ayala”
Sun fun and champagne, those are the ingredients for a great weekend. And a great weekend it has been indeed; time well spent in Helsinki and the Grand Champagne wine fair. Grand Champagne is a one of a kind event. Fifty great names from my favorite wine region in France, all under one roof for three days, filling the glasses of the wider public. There are also master classes for those who are deeply interested. Continue reading “Wineweek 132: At the Champagne Event of the Year”
This weekend has given me hope that there will be summer. Its been sunny all weekend and warm, well at least in the sun. You can suck in some of the Stockholm May madness in the pictures below. I have caught some kind of hay fever though, so no wine for me. At least not on Saturday. Its a waste to drink with a blocked nose. But on Friday I was still healthy and enjoyed a night out with a friend at Woodstockholm, one of the best wine haunts in the city. Continue reading “Wineweek 131: Grand Champagne Coming”
This week has been the first week of spring. The sun has been shining, birds singing, and the bravest have already taken out their spring coats. I haven’t, because its still s*** cold. But even though I am still roaming in my winter gear, there is something new in the air. I am sure winter will come back again (it always does), but there is still hope that this torture of a cold is soon going to be over. Continue reading “Wineweek 124: Spring Awakening”
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”
Mathias Dahlgren is one of the most well known chefs in Sweden. I like that he is on top of the food trends and always willing to take some risks and renew himself. When I moved to the city, he had two restaurants: Matbaren (one star) and Matsalen (two stars). They were located next to each other on Standvägen, in the same building as the famous Grand Hotel. Since 2013, the year I moved to Sweden, Dahlgren has opened an awesome all rhye bakery, Green Rabbit; and closed down his two star establishment to open a vegeratian restauran, Rutabaga. Matbaren is a relaxed restaurant, with well prepared mid-size dishes and an awesome wine-list. And I have a special liking to the place as M took me there for my 30th birthday, which was also one of our first dates. One might even say that Matbaren is where I started my journey towards being a foodie. Continue reading “Three Things I love about Matbaren”
The topic is a bit misleading – eating out in Stockholm is never cheap. Chik on the other hand… anyway, relatively speaking, Café Nizza is a very price worthy dining experience in Stockholm. You get a cozy bistro experience with four courses plus amouse bouche and petit fours for 500kr. The food is not innovative but very well prepared and tasty, and the wine list is awesome. Continue reading “Cheap and Chik Café Nizza”