This blog is about wine! Its also a little bit about food, other drinks and tastes in general. Most of all it is about the fun of discovering something new: starting a company and the journey of combining your favorite hobby with business. This is a tongue-in-cheek wine blog, but we hope both the more and less experienced can find something inspirational in what we write about.
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.
As we are closing in on the new year, I thought I would do a post about some current wine trends and what to expect in 2016. I am all but on expert, so I did some research with my trusted partner in crime – Google. What comes up when typing in “wine trends in 2016”? Continue reading “Wine Trends 2016”→
Happy Sunday everyone! This has not been the easiest week of my life (some sad news on the private side), but I still have a lot of positive wine-action to share with you. Spring is here and we are almost done with our first order window under the Winecurious brand. It went approximately as we expected, so we are pleased. The shop will open again in May with some great new wines in the selection. It is a perfect time to stock up with some boxes for the summer months as then the Winecurious will be on vacation (the shop not the blog). That is actually what we have been up to this weekend, marathon-tasting the wines from Portugal.
It has been some time since we came back from Portugal, and we have been discussing about tasting all the wines, but there never seems to be time for all the bottles. Mind we brought back 35 of them. Well this weekend we came up with a plan. We poured small tasters with the Coravin. How genius, now we still have most of the wine left to enjoy later. That is perhaps the Finn in me, but you don’t throw alcohol away. All together we tasted 18 wines over two days from Gravato, Quinta do Escudial, Quinta da Pellada (Quinta de Saes) and Valle do Nideo; and now we have our selection made for the spring. There are some amazing reds and whites coming up. More about the individual producers in upcoming posts
In addition to some wine tasting, we enjoyed the start of Spring in Stockholm. It was closer to 16 degrees Celsius (believe me that’s warm to be April in Stockholm), and the whole town was out and about. We walked around, visited some cafes and had the first (outside) ice creams of the year. Yes, immediately when the sun comes out, the Swedes come out too, no matter how cold it is. The darkness of the winter months has finally passed. That is something to celebrate with some great sparkling wine!
I must admit, I rarely open a bottle of white wine. Perhaps I have replaced it by having sparkling and also the absence of fish (and vegetarian) food from our diet might have something to do with it. However, when I go for a white, it is often a Riesling. And I definitely do not regret opening the bottle of Emrich-Schönleber as it was well worth the try.
Emrich-Schönleber is a true family business. The father Werner Schönleber is focused on the vines and that they thrive as they should. The son Frank has his main responsibility over the cellar and follows the process from wine to bottle. The mother of the family (Hanne) and Frank’s wife Anja are managing the customers. So the entire family is involved.
They are focused on high-quality single vineyard whites and are in the market to make an impression. They focus on bringing out the distinctive flavors and characteristics of the grapes and terroir and making wines with a personality. They mainly have Riesling (85%) but also Grauburgunder, Weißburgunder and Müller-Thurgau in their vineyards.
Emrich-Schönleber Riesling Nahe 2012
Cork and new opener
The dominance of Riesling can be seen in their production but with this high quality Riesling’s I am not objecting to that. They have won numerous awards during the years so it is no doubt that they are a high quality producer. Producing around 130 000 bottles a year they are not small but still not huge either. Still the benefit of this level of production is that their wines are reasonably easy to find.
The wine we tasted was their 2012 Riesling Nahe. We had opened the bottle already in the summer with the Coravin (more on the Coravin to come in separate post but for now we will just say that is does what it is supposed to), but it did not show any signs of oxidation when opened six months later.
The color was golden yellow and the initial impression on the nose exotic with fruity elements. When tasting the wine I expected something sweeter but instead was met with a fresh mouthfeel, nice citrus zest and clear and distinct notes of mineral. Not surprising with the mineral but more interestingly there were hints of cucumber and saffron (!). Very exotic indeed. It felt like a cool and humid summer morning (like the ones we have here in the Nordics). A truly wonderful wine experience, have it with food (could go well some seafood or chicken) or just as it is. I would rate it as a 4 for quality and at 179 SEK (around €20) at the local monopoly it is also a solid 4 for value for money.
Let it be Sunday! Not my favorite day of the week (because there is seldom wine on Sundays), but a day for relaxation and looking back on all the wine-action during the week. We are now back in business, making calls, filling in forms and planning our next order window. If everything goes well, it will not be the Easter-bunny knocking on your door in the beginning of April, it will be the nice man/woman from Jet pack delivering your Llagrima d’Or.
So what else have we been doing (except for working) this week. We had some nice Riesling on Monday. The bottle of Emrich-Schönleber had been started with the Coravin in the summer, and now was opened to find no traces of oxidation what so ever. As I have said before, the Coravin is one of our best purchases ever. I really hope it is introduced to more restaurants as it opens up completely new possibilities for wine by the glass.
We also visited a new wine bar in Stockholm, Hornstull’s Bodega. We have been meaning to go for a while, but Christmas hassle included, we have been quite busy the past two months. The place was a nice addition to the Stockholm wine-scene. The concept reminds me a bit of José (review here) with a no reservation policy, focus on wine by the glass and a decent selection of Spanish inspired bar food. We had a good time, so you can be sure that a review will follow.
M also made a great find at Amsterdam airport. He came home with two bottles of Mumm de Cramant that he picked up from a sale for just 45€ (!!) a bottle. I would say that 45€ for a Champagne is perhaps not cheap cheap, but for a Blanc de Blanc Champagne made solely from grapes from the village of Cramant, classified 100% Grand Cru, not a bad deal! We had one of the bottles Saturday night and it was lovely (and well worth the 45€).
That was about it for the week. Next Sunday we will be reporting from the beautiful Douro Valley in Portugal.