The leaves are starting to fall. There is only two weeks left of September. The winter is coming. In a week, we will escape the cold weather to Barcelona. Unless the cold weather is waiting for us there. I have heard concerning weather reports from past weeks. There is also another reason for concern, which is the Catalonian referendum. The closer to the date we come, the more unrest is to be expected. I’m trying not to think too much of that, and this weekends events have been the perfect escape: Wine at the cellar, making cocktails at home and opening party of the new Johan & Nyström concept store in the center. Continue reading “Wineweek 151: The Opening Weekend”
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”
Taittinger is a rare beast for a Champagne house, it is owned and managed by the family whose name is on the label. Founded in 1734 they are one of the oldest houses in the business; and biggest with production of over six million bottles a year. The house is owned and managed by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger and his two children. I have never been drawn to the big houses (except to Bollinger), but as I learn more about their history and wine making, I always have a bit more of an emotional connection to them. About a week ago, we took part in a small Taittinger tasting, and chatted with a representative of the house. Continue reading “Tasting Taittinger”
I have spent the past week in Helsinki. It rained a lot, thus only photos from indoors. It was really this kind of nasty, humid fall weather, where the chill just penetrates all your outer clothes and sinks all the way to your bones. I have never gotten used to that, not even when I lived in London, where this kind of weather was a constant. Stockholm on the other hand was very sunny this weekend when I came back home. I could have just stayed outside all day long. Instead, we sat in the windowless chambre separé at Magnusson and had a good dose of Delamotte. Continue reading “Wineweek 103: Rainy Helsinki”
I must say, Roederer is one of my favorite among the big champagne houses (after Charles Heidsieck). Their wines are elegant, fresh and crunchy (or crisp is perhaps a better word). My love for Roederer was sparked many years ago: It’s a great memory actually. We were en route to Bali for our honeymoon, M and I, wondering around Heathrow airport. We stopped by the tax free to ogle at the shelf of bubblies. No way was there going to be any good wine on Bali, so we thought we would buy a few bottles to go. On the shelf there stood a newly released Roederer Rose Vintage 2008. I did not know then how fond I would become of the year 2008, but the bottle was on offer. My first bottle of Roederer followed us to Indonesia that night. Oh my God, how good that champagne tasted on the balcony of our hotel. The Roederer 2008 has had a special meaning to me ever since. Continue reading “Saturday with Roederer”
Stockholm has woken up from its summer hibernation. The city is buzzing with people and restaurants are open again. Luckily the weather still reminds of summer. I am not that sensitive to fall coming though. Fall means Cavatast; fall means my birthday; and fall means that winter vacation is closer. Yes! We have booked a long trip to Asia again. Bangkok and Singapore, here we come. I should publish some pictures from last year to remissness. This weekend I have encountered some technical problems. Yesterday I tried to publish a post, but just ended up spending hours cursing the internet. It happens, I know. But I still let it get to me. Had to calm the nerves down with some wine. Continue reading “Wineweek 93: Fall Buzz”
There is light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel being the long winter in the Nordic countries. Temperatures have risen close to +10 C, and we have had several days with clear blue skies. The best time of the year is approaching: Summer. Spring and summer mean an increased consumption of rose and crispy white wines. That is why this Saturday we arranges a rose tasting for some of our friends. Continue reading “Wineweek 73: The First Signs of Spring”
It is a gray and rainy day in Stockholm. The kind of day when you just want to stay inside and huddle under a blanket. So here I am, sitting in my comfy chair and reminiscing about the wineweek. It has been since long that we have just been at home. Travel has become (perhaps it has always been) a big part of our lives, so it feels great to be still now and then. It has however not been an eventless week. We opened our first order window for Sweden in a year, received our new logo and we tasted some pretty awesome wines over the week and weekend. I have already been advertising the opened sales window quite a lot (and this will not be the last of it) so perhaps better stick to the weeks wine adventures in this Sundays edition. If you are interested in having a look at the selection for this spring you can visit our website.
On Wednesday we opened a bottle to celebrate our opening of March sales. It was a Parellada i Faura Brut Nature Cava from Cellers Carol Valles. This is one of the small producers we met last week in Penedes. This was their entry level Cava, a Reserva nevertheless, and it was wonderful. You could taste the freshness of the grape trio: Parellada, Macabeo and Xarello combined with some toastiness after a while of oxidation. This is a producer we are very interested in and hope to be working together soon. In Barcelona we also tried some of their Grand Reservas, a brut nature and an extra brut, and they were awesome.
Yesterday we took a day off (it is not that easy as wine is never completely work free) and headed to Magnusson Fine Wine, a private club and wine cellar in Östermalm. One of our friends is a member there and he invited us for a Charles Heidsieck Champagne tasting. Here is the lineup:
- Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV
- Charles Heidsieck Brut Millesime 2005
- Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires 1995
I must say I am now sold when it comes to Charles Heidsieck as a producer. The Millesime 2005 was excellent (but perhaps could age well for some 5 to 10 years more) and the Blanc de Millenaires 95 was great as well (not sure about the value for money though). But what is the best part is that their non vintage Brut Reserva did not fall far behind the vintages. I am looking forward to writing more about it later, but I must say that it is great value for money. Currently you can take home a bottle of the Brut Reserve for 459 SEK (the Monopoly) which is ok. However, it is often available for an even better price on the Viking Line boats sailing between Stockholm and both Turku and Helsinki in Finland. We just noticed that Viking Line has “Bubbly weeks” on the boats all of May, and there the Charles Heidsieck Champagnes are available for very juicy prices, the NV for 339 SEK. I don’t usually travel with the boats (they are not called “party boats” for nothing), but now we found ourselves already browsing for some day trips to Åland (an island in between Finland and Sweden).
We also tried a sample that we brought home from Portugal, a bottle of Antonio Madeira 2012 red. This is a very interesting and inspiring producer from the Dão region, whom only makes this one wine from old vineyards he has sought out. He attempts to find vineyards that have only very old vines as he believes this will produce the best results and after trying this one I am not one to disagree with him. His wine was very light, French inspired (the producer is half French), almost like a Pinot Noir. Absolutely something that would fit our selection of small producer wines. I think we might need to give Antonio a call.
We also popped out for a very nice brunch this morning at the Black Swan, a gastro pub along the water at Liljeholmen (or Liljeholmskajen as the real estate agents want you to call it) in the southern part of Stockholm. We didn’t have any wine (although they do have Lanson as their house champagne by the glass so not ruling it out), but I was very impressed by the brunch, so will perhaps write a few rows about it later next week.
That was it for the wineweek. Next week will be Easter and we will be travelling again, this time to Finland to see my family. There will be some nice food, reunions with friends and I suspect some wine. The good part about drinking wine and blogging is that you can do it (almost) from any part of the world.