Wineweek 110: Return to Matkonsulatet

There is nothing like finding a great new winebar. I guess when you live in one place long enough, you stop looking for new spots proactively. Or at least I get a bit lazy. We stumbled on Carotte almost accidentially. Well, not exactly, but the visit was mostly unplanned: Googled with an aim to find a spot for a glass in between our house and Matkonsulatet, the prime destination of Saturday night. Continue reading “Wineweek 110: Return to Matkonsulatet”

Wineweek 42: Fall Thoughts and the Best Deal on Champagne in Town

Good evening from rainy Stockholm! It is Sunday again and we are enjoying a lazy afternoon at home. The past week has been hard; Not only due to every project landing on us at the same time, but the news…I am sure you have seen it. But what has made me extremely happy in the recent days is the headlines being filled with countries and companies extending their hand to help the ones in need. We are a small company, but we want to help too. So we decided to donate our September profit to charity; SOS Children’s Villages to be exact. Our profits are seldom very big, so we will probably put some extra money on top; But if you want to contribute, come to our tasting on Saturday and/or make your fall wine purchases from the Winecurious.

Some of the most interesting findings this week were made in the grocery store. Our neighborhood supermarket just happens to have a small deli inside with a license to serve wine. It’s not a real wine bar or such, but you can buy some fresh food to have there and a glass of wine as companion. We were sopping for dinner on Monday when we just, out of curiosity, took a peak at the wine-list. There it was, a vintage (2008) Palmer & Co. by the glass for only 90 SEK (10 EUR). That must be the best deal on champagne in town. I believe I will volunteer to do the shopping from now on (and I suspect that M will too). The environment is not the coziest in town, but hey, you cant have everything.

We also did some nice dining during the week. After a “long” summer pause, we visited our fave restaurant, Matkonsulatet. They had some nice new wines on the list. The red in the picture is from Teneriffe. I also enjoyed some traditional Swedish cuisine at restaurant Asplunds. Hmm. I wonder what kid of red would go with reindeer, mashed potatoes and lingonberries?

The wine list at the local supermarket
The wine list at the local supermarket
This is about as cozy as it gets but who cares with a nice glass of champagne in your hand
This is about as cozy as it gets but who cares with a nice glass of champagne in your hand
The return to Matkonsulatet
The return to Matkonsulatet
The cheese selection at Matkonsulatet can be shared by four
The cheese selection at Matkonsulatet can be shared by four
A traditional Swedish dish at lunch restaurant Asplund's
A traditional Swedish dish at lunch restaurant Asplund’s

Came weekend, it was time for some wine, sparkling wine to be exact. On Friday we opened a cremant du Jura and on Saturday a rose sparkling from Austria. The Benoit Badoz cremant was definitely one of the best ones I have tasted in a long time, and cost less than 10 EUR in the producers web-shop. A real bargain I would say. The Austrian rose was also good (we had tasted a glass in a wine bar in Paris), but slightly past its prime. I need to try to score a newer vintage. I think this one was from 2010 and really on it’s last meters before going over. More specific reviews will follow.

Benoit Badoz Creman du Jura, an excellent bubbly for less than 10 EUR
Benoit Badoz Creman du Jura, an excellent bubbly for less than 10 EUR
Austrian sparkling on Saturday night, the label does not look like much but the wine was excellent
Austrian sparkling on Saturday night, the label does not look like much but the wine was excellent

So that was it for Wineweek 42. Next week will be exciting as we will open our fall order window and hold the big open house tasting. We have a lot of nice people coming: friends, colleagues and some wine bloggers. Interesting to see how our samples of Almeida Garrett from Portugal will be received. We also have some sample bottles from south of France, so we shall see if we will include them this time or wait until Christmas.

Have a great coming week!

xx Soile

Food Inspiration for Cava

Here in the Nordics, sparkling wine (Champagne, Cava, Prosecco etc) are most commonly enjoyed as an aperitif or similar. Something fresh to start the evening (or day). In Catalonia, Cava is very seldom served without food. It is a companion for all courses, started, main and dessert. I must say, I prefer the Catalonian way. A sparkling wine works great with cheese, cured meats, barbecue and even with bacon and eggs (or as we like to call it, the Richard Julin way, after his recommendation on what to combine champagne with). We recently visited my favorite restaurant here in Stockholm, Matkonsulatet (a previous review here), and sampled some great new dishes that are perfect companions for a nice cold sparkling wine. Matkonsulatet excels at making simple-ish dishes from good ingredients. Everything is top notch, even the olive oil is something I could just drink straight from the bottle. Here are some pics and descriptions. So next time you pop open a bottle of sparkling wine pair it with some of these babies. Or if you don’t have energy to cook, just pop down to Matkonsulatet for a bite.

Wineweek 8

The time has finally come, our trip to Asia is just one day away. This trip was booked a long time ago, so it feels a bit surreal that in 48 hours we will be in +30 degrees (Celsius). It will be a five week journey staring from Bangkok and ending in Singapore. As I mentioned earlier, it will perhaps not be the most wine-rich month of our lives; but food-wise I have high expectations. The ambition is to find a lot of good street food, but we have also been reading a lot about a rising coffee scene both in Thailand and Singapore. So the blog will probably be filled with reviews and pictures of food-stalls, bars and cafes; and the occasional annoying picture of the sun and beach of course.

Some other exciting news to share with you: the blog will be getting a new voice to share experiences on wine and food with you. M, my lovely husband, has also raised an interest in writing and will be publishing some of his reviews in The Winecurious. An active Yelper, M has been the initial inspiration for all this public sharing. We spend hours surfing online for bars, restaurants and other interesting places in our home city and whenever we travel. That’s how we find most of the great places, so it is a pleasure to share onward.  M will be writing his own introduction, so I will not get too much into this. But the addition of a new writer means that we will be able to include more content and also another point of view. Perhaps impossible to imagine, but we don’t always agree (wink wink).

Wineweek is also about recapping the activities of the past week, so here is a quick glimpse to the past. As it was a busy week preparing for the upcoming trip, we did not have the appetite to cook much at home. We had some great value for money burgers at Rhino, two for the price of one in January (using a FB offer). Egg, bacon and truffle mayo burger, there is no way that can taste bad, and it didn’t. On Friday we opened one of the Cuvée Guy Charlemagne Vintage 2008s that I got (a box of) as a Christmas present. It was really wonderful, and I can’t wait to share a review with you. Many of the 2008 vintage Champagnes that have been released, have been already now very drinkable. A friend of mine, Iisa, who is a Sommelier, calls 2008 the fruit-year, and I can only agree. She also mentioned that some of her renowned wine-contacts say it might even be a better year than 2002. So stock up now, when the price for 2008 is still reasonable. I know, it’s a gamble, all wine does not mature as expected. But that is perhaps the fun of it. Some people play poker to get their kicks, I buy wine.

On Saturday, we went browsing around in the Monopoly. The branch on Regeringsgatan in the center of Stockholm is a real treat to visit. Sometimes I just go in and browse. This time we did find something interesting to buy though. There was something on the shelf that caught M’s eye. And now I am not talking about the Gramona that is in the picture above (that’s also a great new addition to the selection). We found two bottles of Jaques Selosse Brut Initial, this is not always in the assortment so we just had to go for it. This is a producer that divides a lot of opinions, also among critics.  Some say it is wonderful, and some say it is really not worth the money. When we lived in London a bottle of a basic non vintage Selosse cost closer to 120 pounds (cheapest I have seen was £108 but norm is more so for example Berry Bros & Rudd charge £126). That’s as much as a Krug Grande Cuvée; but now it was available at the Monopoly for under 900 SEK (with the current exchange rate ~70£). It is not like I buy a wine this expensive every week, but I am curious to try it – to see what the fuss is all about. So we quickly picked up the two last bottles and made our way to the counter. We tried the wine last night, and yes it was something else. I will write a proper review about it later; but I must say it stood out in a nice way. Whether I think it’s value for money, well that is another question. But purely from quality perspective – Yes, I get what all the fuss is about now.

Saturday evening we had a wonderful early dinner at Matkonsulatet (you can read an older review here). As we were trying some Champagne later that night, we decided to go easy on the drinks. The Estrella Inedit was a wonderful choice. I like the 0.75l bottle that you can share with friends. The beer is very light but still flavorful, with a subtle fizz. Perfect with food or on hot summer nights. Kind-of reminds me of some of the Asian beers, but this one has more flavor in it and no bitterness what so ever. For food we got to try some wonderful new things: Beef tartar with oyster ice cream, another tartar with foie gras flakes and black truffle, and pork burger pinchos. They were all wonderful! Especially the burger, but it was so greasy (just the way I like it) that it was actually good that we only got half burgers. I was stuffed after the meal.

That was it for Wineweek no 8. Next time I will be writing this post, it will be from Bangkok. Meanwhile enjoy the reviews and random rambling I have scheduled for the coming week.