Wineweek 48: Champagne and the Flu

I have finally realized why I am always so inclined to start my weekly posts with the weather. It is because I have now lived two years in Stockholm and I am becoming more Swedish by the day. How do I come to this conclusion? This week I was drafting a post for my travel site (www.tripsteri.fi) about how to talk with a swede.  For that purpose, I also asked about five to ten of my friends and colleagues about topics they discuss both with friends and strangers. The first thing on everyone’s lips was the weather. I even think someone made a joke that the Swedes have become the British of the north.

The main content of my writing was about the discussion topics in Sweden being very general, to make sure you do not offend anyone. If one wants to discuss something serious, like politics, one must make a careful note in the start of the conversation about being slightly bothered regarding serious discussions being such a taboo. This way you make it clear you know what you are getting into. Well, wine is not a serious topic. At least it is not for me. The Swedes I talk to about wine always make a note though, that they know nothing about it. This is also a warm-up to make sure I do not take the discussion too seriously (and do not get offended). Every country have their rituals.

Friday evening with Laherte Blanc de Blancs and popcorn
Friday evening with Laherte Blanc de Blancs and popcorn
Some color for the darkening fall nights
Some color for the darkening fall nights
I have been preparing for Tokyo by tending to my colleagues Japanese garden
I have been preparing for Tokyo by tending to my colleagues Japanese garden
Champagne tasting with friends and customers at casa Winecurious
Champagne tasting with friends and customers at casa Winecurious
All the tasting bubblies in a row
All the tasting bubblies in a row

This week I have unfortunately been sick. I have caught the flu. My throat is very sore, and I feel drowsy. Luckily I have not lost that much of my palate, as we had our customer champagne tasting on Saturday. We invited all of our customers who ordered at our spring tasting to sample a range of private label bubblies from the UK. Now, I will write a separate post on the tasting. But just as a quick sum-up: we tasted seven wines, four of them were private label champagnes, two of them were from the original producers, and one was not a champagne at all, it was a cava (nobody guessed that though). We did the tasting blind to be able to have as objective results as possible.

The coming week will be very exciting. We will be flying to Tokyo for a five day food trip. Why Tokyo? The currency exchange rate is right now very favorable. We will be doing quite many nice restaurants and all of them for a fairly affordable price. For the drinks section, we will be trying out some local rice wine, Sake. So if you have any Sake tips, please let me know. We will of course have a look around for wine as well (as always), but I really doubt that it is that interesting. Who knows, I have been surprised before. We have quite a hectic schedule the coming week, so I will probably not be writing that much. Let’s see what I can conjure during the long flight from Copenhagen. And of course I will be posting photos. October is not the most beautiful month of the year, but Tokyo is so colorful that it really doesn’t matter.

That was all the wine action for this week. Next time I will be posting, it will be from the land of the rising sun. Have a great week you all!

Wineweek 41: The Last of Summer

As the heading reveals, it is the last week of summer here in Sweden. After a disappointingly cold and rainy July, August gave it’s best with plenty of sun and warmth. Next week we will take out the coats and umbrellas again, and I will move from crispy dry Rieslings to nice and inviting Portuguese reds. I do like the fall. Evenings get cold and dark, but that’s ok, I bring out the candles and blankets, and settle myself on the sofa. Thats as good of an environment to drink wine as any.

September has always felt like the beginning of a new year; It is full of possibilities, new adventures and new wines. We will have quite a tight agenda with our upcoming fall and Christmas tastings, Cavatast in the beginning of October and a trip to Tokyo to check out the wine scene there. Our friend Ali has really fallen for Sake, so I am quite intrigued to do some tastings. I am also quite pumped up about Cavatast as we will have the chance to meet up with some fellow winecurious from Finland and the UK. Not too late for you to join as well (just give us a shout)!

But going back to this week, we have made some progress. If you recall, last weekend I was complaining about us being procrastinators. Well that came to an end with a new burst of energy going into the actual business, not only drinking wine. We made all the necessary arrangements for the falls first open house tasting that will take place on the 12th of September in Stockholm. We booked the space, sent out invites and now we are preparing all the materials. We also did some much hated bookkeeping as well as reminded our warehouse manager to send us some long overdue information (that guy just seems to be on vacation all the time!). And last but definitely not least, we took around some sample bottles to wine bars that we feel could be interested in our wines. Let’s hope that all these efforts bare some fruit.

Friday evening we were so exhausted that we just made camp at NoFo wine bar and sat there all evening. Erik, the owner, is a really nice guy, and knows plenty about wine. We congregated at the bar, chatted with him and some other guests basically from five to nine downing a great bottle of Julie Balagny’s Chavot 2014. We also ate meat and cheese for dinner and invited half of the bar to our tasting. Great times! On Saturday we popped by Johan & Nyströms coffee festival at Södermalm and in the evening we relaxed with a glass of Guillem Carol Extra Brut cava.

That was it for wineweek 41. The numbering reminds me of how time flies by. I cant believe it has soon been a year since I started writing this blog.. Have a great (wine)week you all!

Attending the opening of Asplund apartment hotel.
Attending the opening of Asplund apartment hotel.
Relaxing with some red from Beaujolais
Relaxing with some red from Beaujolais
The meat board at NoFo
The meat board at NoFo
Yes we do! Visiting the Coffee Festival at Södra Teatern
Yes we do! Visiting the Coffee Festival at Södra Teatern
Drinking free coffee at Johan & Nyströms Coffee Festival
Drinking free coffee at Johan & Nyströms Coffee Festival
Guillem Carol Extra Brut Cava. An excellent choice for Saturday evening
Guillem Carol Extra Brut Cava. An excellent choice for Saturday evening