The Rise of Sparkling Red Wine

Have you noticed, that I have lately been experimenting with some sparkling red wines. As a firm non-fan of Lambrusco, I never saw the day coming. It just kind of sneaked on me, starting an innocent glass of sparkling red ordered by accident in Barcelona. Last week, I found myself actually craving for a sparkling red aperitif when presented with an option of a bubbly spätburgunder. It was so fresh with notes of red berries, blackcurrant in particular – perfect fall wine. Wtf I say! However, just as with orange wine, this trend could not be ignored. So I did a bit of digging into different types of sparkling red wines on the market to get more acquainted with my (future) obsession. Most of these babies come from Italy, but I am sure the trend will spill over some borders. It already has.  Continue reading “The Rise of Sparkling Red Wine”

The Hidden Gems of Italy

This week, M ran into an interesting article in CN Traveler: The Italian wine regions you should visit next. The article snubs crowded Toscana, Piedmont and Barolo and talks about lesser known areas for wine that could be the next big thing. Valtellina was there on the list with a very accurate description on its amazing potential. So I consider this piece to be quite credible. You can just imagine what kind of wine-travel fever I got from reading it. Continue reading “The Hidden Gems of Italy”

Visiting the Vineyards of Mamete Prevostini

It was last Thursday mid-day when we pulled into the driveway of Mamete Prevostini, a producer of high altitude nebbiolo wines in the valley of Valtellina. We had been driving all morning from Milan to reach the head office of the famous winemaker. It was a disastrous drive as our GPS had not been updated in years (damn rental car companies). So we took the wrong road several times. Luckily we arrived twelve sharp as agreed.  There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky and the sun felt roasting hot. I was grateful to step inside into the air conditioned shop. There we were greeted by Miriam, who handles the logistics of the wines and Alessia, who is responsible for sales. The purpose of our trip was to agree with the winemaker how to organize the exports to Sweden, as the interpretations of EU legislation by both countries is from opposite ends of the spectrum. Continue reading “Visiting the Vineyards of Mamete Prevostini”

Wineweek 90: To Valtellina and Back

The past week we have been in Italy. Mainly working, visiting vineyards north of Milan in Valtellina. We also spent a day in Milan, walking past attractions and taking photos (and catching Pokemon – I know, pathetic!). We have been avoiding Italy as a holiday as well as a wine destination. We have found it too touristic and poor when it comes to service culture (mainly due to the rude service you get). Italian wines are also usually too aromatic and “thick” for our taste. Not saying they are bad, but just not our style. However, with the discovery of the perfect nebbiolos from Mamete Prevostini, we decided to give Italy a try and organized this trip to Valtellina to visit vineyards and talk some business. As we always want to know a little bit more about where our wines come from (local vibe and cuisine), we decided to extend our stay with a few days of vacation. After two and a half days of touring in the region, I can say without any exaggeration, Valtellina is one of the best wine destinations I have ever visited in my life. Italy has been reborn in my mind. Continue reading “Wineweek 90: To Valtellina and Back”

Grape Love: Malvasia

When I write these pieces on specific varieties, I try to bring out some small or less known grapes that are somehow significant to my wine interest at that time. With eastern Europe raising it’s profile as a wine region (I guess Eastern Europe is many regions), Malvasia has been the grape in my glass often this spring. What sparked my grape-love towards Malvasia was probably some of the natural Italian sparkling wines produced with the ancestral method. There is a lot of interesting nature wines (including orange wines) carrying Malvasia on the market. The variety is ancient: incumbent to Greece and the Mediterranean, but widely spread out to Italy and Spain as well as overseas. It is also the main variety used for making one out of four different types of fortified Madeira.  Continue reading “Grape Love: Malvasia”

Wineweek 88: Summer in the City

It is the peak of the summer here in Stockholm. Sun has been shining almost all week and traffic is slow. Perfect. There have just been two things hindering us from sitting outside and enjoying a lot of wine: the flu (of course it comes when you relax a bit) and a curse called Pokemon Go. M has become obsessed with it, and of course spread the addiction to me as well. It is so funny to observe how other people are so hung on it as well. I notice many adults like us walking completely transfixed, heads bent over their phones, hunting for Pokemon. There were also a huge number of people (adults) sitting at a kids playground fiddling with their mobiles because there was a Pokestop there. I suspect many of them did not have their child with them. If you don’t understand what I am talking about, good! You are lucky. Do not download the game.  Continue reading “Wineweek 88: Summer in the City”

Wineweek 74: Portugal on my Mind

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”

Nebbiolo Night

This week, we had our first tasting for our new producer to-be, Mamete Prevostini. They are a small family producer from northern Italy, making 100% Nebbiolo wines. We have already decided to add them to our selection, but we held an extra tasting to get some confirmation for our thoughts regarding the mix. We were not disappointed as our brave tasters gave us great feedback for making our decision. The wines will now be ordered (as soon as our new warehouse deal is signed), and they will be available (hopefully) for purchase in the end of April.  Continue reading “Nebbiolo Night”

A Peak into the Winery Hotel

How does a wine-holiday in Stockholm sound? Now that I am a bit more acquainted with the city, it sounds pretty good. Especially with the opening of the new Winery Hotel. I already mentioned last Sunday that I had the privilege to get a tour around the hotel and their winery. Here are a few collected thoughts and photos from the visit Continue reading “A Peak into the Winery Hotel”

Wine Review: Franciacorta Brut ‘Le Terre’, Arcipelago Muratori

This is more of a mini-review as I was not able to gather much information about the wine from the restaurant (a small neighborhood restaurant in Milan) where I had it as they did not speak any English and I do not speak Italian. Looking at the bottle I did however quickly see that it was a Franciacorta sparkling wine so made with the traditional (champagne) method and that it was a Brut. It is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but I could not see any information regarding the percentages.

The wine was pale yellow color and the aroma was one with nice lemon and lime with only the slightest hint of toastiness. It has a pleasant acidity and a slight citrus flavor. It lacks complexity and the flavor falls pretty flat. I would say that it works well as an aperitif and especially when it is hot (and that it was when I sampled it – Milan was a steaming +37 Celsius). Not a bad wine but not something I would necessarily seek out. Quality rating it deserves a 2.5 but it was attractively priced, €4.5 for a glass in a restaurant and that I think makes it great value for money so there it rates higher at 3.5