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.
It is almost 1am in the morning when I am writing this post. I have just arrived at my hotel in Poland, unpacked and answered the most urgent emails. I was actually considering going to sleep (as I should), but then thought I cannot leave the blog empty until Friday. Without putting major effort into the writing, this is my olive branch to you: a comprehensive list of the best places for wine in Stockholm. I really gave some thought to this list that I made for my travel site, Tripsteri. So it is definitely not a quick fix. It is THE list you should consider when coming to Stockholm for wineventures!
The week has been exhausting. Not that I have been doing any heavy lifting. However, I have had to concentrate 24/7 on work. All good stuff, but just too much at the same time. Or wait a minute. Perhaps I can call that heavy lifting after all. Having to use your brain at such a high capacity can feel like you have a backpack filled with rocks on your shoulders. So when Friday came, I was feeling relieved. That first glass of bubbly Friday evening tasted better than ever. I am not a comfort drinker, but this time a glass of wine was just what I needed to relieve the stress. I also received a guest from Finland, so the rest of the weekend was all set t be awesome. Continue reading “Wineweek 74: Portugal on my Mind”→
As per tradition, I will start with the weather report. It might seem like an irrelevant part of my weekly posts. But on the contrary, I think it is an important note for setting the right mood. The kind of wine I drink is heavily influenced by the weather. So it is no coincidence I have been drinking a lot of light reds, white and rose this week as it has been HOT. Sweden has been showing it’s best with 25-30 C and sun, and I have been doing my best to enjoy the hot weather with some cooling drinks.
Wednesday we went to check out the second location of our favorite wine bar in town, Gaston at Nordiska Kompaniet. NK is one of the finest department stores in town and the top floor has recently been taken over by the king of Swedish fine dining, Björn Franzen. Gaston wine-bar is also a part of Frantzen’s culinary empire and one of the most notable wine-hangouts in town. While the location in the old town of Stockholm remains my favorite (it also has a more extensive list of wine), the NK location is also a place worth to visit. The style of displaying the wines in fridges along the wall with pricing written with a white marker reminds me of Paris and it’s many wonderful wine bars. So on a rainy day, head up to this comfortable oasis for wine in between shopping. The two go well together (I have experience)!
On Friday we went out for some drinks and Asian food at a new restaurant in town, Lokal Izakaya. The Japanese inspired Izakayas are the new food trend in town. Sushi and Asian inspired dishes combined with some yummy cocktails and a list of Sake makes up for a concept I very much enjoy. Sadly every single Izakaya in Stockholm has the same problem, they are not Izakayas. Don’t get me wrong, I like the restaurants as such. I just don’t like that the concept has been so grossly miss-interpreted. An Izakaya is a simple Japanese eatery, like a tavern or pub, a kind of after work place that serves some food to accompany the drinks. The so called Izakayas in Stockholm remind me more of Asian fine dining than a local. Lokal Izakaya, like the first on the izakaya scene in Stockholm, Shibumi, is a fun restaurant. The cocktails, sashimi, and hot dishes all very satisfying. I was just expecting something more simple.
As many cities in Europe, Stockholm will partly close for summer vacations. July is prime time for Swedes to head to their cottages and travel around in Europe, so many small restaurants and bars close their doors. We went to enjoy the last opening day of Hornstulls Bodega, a wine bar and restaurant close by to where we live. After Gaston, I would say this is THE place to come for wine. We enjoyed some Spätburgunder rose, reds from Loire and an amazing peppery Rioja.
I will miss the Bodega, but the summer will go by fast. Next week we are heading for Helsinki, my home city; to rest, meet friends and relatives, and to drink some more wine of course. The blog will not be taking a holiday, but summer vacation will mean that there will be a slightly slower pace (maybe). And perhaps I have the chance to finally really consider what to do with the look and layout. All ideas and inspiration are more than welcome! Hope a warm and sunny week to you all!
The area around Hornstull has been missing a real wine-scene for some time and the team running Linje Tio, Tjoget and Bierhaus decided to remedy that with opening a proper wine bar housed in the same space already holding Linje Tio and Tjoget. The space is incredibly small but very efficiently used so in some way they easily manage to squeeze in 30+ people in a space no bigger than most people’s living rooms.
The staff are friendly and relaxed so it feels a bit more like having a glass of wine with at a friends (a very knowledgable one) as a normal question is more like what type of wine you feel like today. The relaxed feeling and cozy atmosphere is really a strength of this place. The wine list changes frequently, and it usually holds around 5-7 whites, 5-7 reds and 1 sparkling by the glass. There is also almost always a few additional wines that are available by the glass so be sure to ask what else they have. With the name I would have expected more of Spanish wines but when I have been here there has been a lot of Italian and French wines on the list. The wines are in general good and it is always possible to have a small taster before ordering a full glass. I have not had spectacular wine here but also never anything close to bad so it is very good wine bar. Prices are also fairly reasonable to be Stockholm (expect at least 80-90 SEK per glass (€8-10), many around 120 SEK (12 SEK) and a few a bit more) but no bargains to be had.
Upon my last visit I sampled a pleasant Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, the producer was Yannick Amirault, region Bourgueil and the wine was called La Coudraye. Very good Cabernet Franc, especially considering the price. In addition I also sampled a Chianti from Montesecondo, fairly nice balance but felt rather young so while pleasant now would probably benefit from som ageing.
They also serve some food. Mainly small plates, tapas style. I sampled the cheese croquetas, the charcuterie plate and the almonds. The food is pretty decent but looking at the amount of food it is not really great value for money. The dishes are small and the prices would make it fairly expensive to fill up on the tapas. So either come here before dinner for some good wine, nice atmosphere and enjoy a small bite or two or come after dinner and have some wine. I will definitly stop by now and then for a glass of wine so it is welcome to a neighborhood otherwise pretty starved for quality beverages (still waiting for a proper coffee place).