Winter has really hit Stockholm. The long and warm fall ended very abruptly to a meter of snow, and we have had to pull out all the heavy duty winter gear. Normally this time of the year we would just be blessed with +5C and continuous rain. And the crisp weather does not come alone, it is accompanied by a darkness that makes me want to stay indoors and hibernate. The medicine is to have a great cozy restaurant, that is worth defying the outside weather for. Vina is definitely a place, where the dark and cold weather can be enjoyed from the inside. Continue reading “The Warm Welcome at Vina”
If you are wondering if I have been writing this post while tired, the answer is no; Bottl3.5hop is actually the name of the store I intend to write about. Or perhaps I should say I am writing about a phenomena, which is the rapid increase demand for low alcohol drinks, especially beer. There are small shops popping up in hipster parts of town specializing in small brewery beers that fit under the state controlled limit of 3.5%. These shops slash bars are great places to find interesting local products that are often too small scale to make it to the big players shelves, like peach beer (yuk). I am not kidding about the peach beer, but would like to emphasize that most of the selection is actually not as “special”, but rather something that I would consider excellent low alcohol alternatives to be enjoyed with food during the week or why not weekend. Continue reading “At the Bottl3.5shop”
I am always so happy to start writing a post when I am covering my favorite places in town. It is a challenge though to really convey my enthusiasm on “paper”. And I am very enthusiastic about Punk Royale. So how to do this in the right way. I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps I can start from the note that it is the most fun restaurant in town. Continue reading “Friday Night at Punk Royale Cafe”
Saturday early evening, the weather is typical for Swedish summer. Warm, but rainy. We have to make a run for it if we want to be sheltered from the storm. We find our way to the wine bar on Moseback torg. It has been set up for the summer in the furniture store of Woodstockholm. It is dark and cozy inside. Just one long table with candles and a few random people sitting enjoying a glass of wine. We are greeted by the bartender with a wide smile. I feel we have come to the right place.
I think I have mentioned Woodstockholm a few times. It is a furniture store and restaurant, and now in the summer also a wine bar. The bar has been set up in the section that is normally the furniture boutique. The space is small, but in efficient use. There is one long table with chairs on both sides. The sommelier walk around and there is a kitchen in the back. The kitchen makes a set of small plates for being served at the wine bar. Perhaps they even help out with some cold dishes for the restaurant. I don’t think there is any cooking done there in the back room.
The house champagne that night was a Laherte Blanc de Blancs. Even though I have had it before, I am pleased with the grower choice. Later I learn that the wine list changes quite often, including the house champagne. M takes a glass of Chardonnay from Jura. It is so good with notes of vanilla and butter. The wine has clearly been in oak, but not for too long. The oaky flavors are quite delicate. The white is so good that I negotiate a half/half deal with M (I get half of his and he gets half of mine), which s nothing unusual when we go out for wine.
The second round is a tougher choice: Should we go for the Mencia from Bierzo (made by a lady that has worked for Domaine Romanee Conti), the bourgogne blanc, a spanish white from Galicia or the sommelier recommended charismatic white Chateauneufdupape. We stick with whites: Galicia and Chateauneufdupape, and luckily get to have a small taste of the Mencia later. We also order some small snacks: whipped pork (Genius!) and cow tartar with chorizo. Both taste very good, but the whipped pork is the real star. Just the concept of it is awesome.
It has stopped raining (a long while ago) and it is time for us to move on. The bill is very reasonable. None of the wines were really expensive (100-150 sek a glass), and the food cost around 65 each dish. This is Stockholm, so that is what you pay. I feel we have received value for our money. We will come again. The summer wine bar is an experiment Woodstockholm are running, and I hope it will stay.
Address: Mosebacke torg 9, 116 46 Stockholm
Public transport: Metro (Tunnelbana), Slussen
It is the peak of the Nordic holiday season. The office is empty, restaurants are empty, the whole city is empty. I love it! It is the best time of the year to be in Stockholm. There is no traffic and terraces have space. The only place with some noise and racket was the Tele 2 football arena. M, our loyal football fan, noticed that the Swedish league, Allsvenskan, has started again. Good that we didn’t have to go a day without football (yes, that was sarcasm). At least the game was followed by good wine. Continue reading “Wineweek 87: Stockholm Calming Down”
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”
We don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s day. There is no special dinner or date night. We can do that any week and it will feel just as special. Valentine’s day is merely a good excuse to pop open some rose. The season is closing in, so why not. This year, we enjoyed our rose at our cellar. There was a special tasting featuring some big name pink bubblies. Continue reading “Wineweek 66: Valentine’s Day Wines”
We have for a long time had a tradition of (occasionally) going for Sunday ramen with our friend Patrik. He is a likeminded foody, who loves both fine dining and a street, whatever goes as long as it is made well. Our go-to place has previously been Bluelight Yokohama, a Japanese restaurant in Södermalm. However, the new food court at Rngen Centrum, a run-down mall a few blocks south has won the battle. Continue reading “New Sunday Tradition at Teatern”
Ever had dinner in a furniture store? I have, last Friday. Woodstockholm is a restaurant located in Stockholms Södermalm on the iconic Mosebacke square. It is not a furniture store as such, it is more of a showroom. To be honest, it looks like a normal restaurant, it was more of a savvy start for the post to bring forth that the company behind the restaurant is a design furniture store. And yes, they do use their own designs in the space. The restaurant focuses on ecological food and wine.
We were at Woodstockholm to celebrate my birthday, so we went for a full tasting menu and a full flight of wines. In this case I actually don’t mean a ready selected wine menu, but rather the sommelier helped us find a wine-partner for each course. We started of with some Dhont-Grellet Champagne, a nice toasty aperitif. The price was very reasonable for being Stockholm, only 110 SEK for a glass. With the starters, salmon, tartar and egg, we both chose Austrian wines, a field blend from Vienna and a Grüner Veltliner. Both were nice and crispy. I often find field blends to be quite interesting, filled with fruity character. This specific one Weininger Gemischter Satz was quite young (2014) and slightly in your face (high in acidity). That didnt really bother me though. For main we had duck paired with some truly interesting reds. I had a red Bourgogne made by Koji Nakada, a Japanese man who moved to France to make wine. The wine was velvety and elegant, perfect with juicy duck meat (the main). M had a red from Mikael Boutin, a mechanic turned winemaker. I love it when the restaurant adds some information on the wine, something beyond the grape, area and method. The story of the winemaker often appeals to me when choosing a wine.
The ambiance of the restaurant was pleasant. However it being Friday evening and all, the space was fully packed and the staff slightly stressed. We were a bit concerned in the start if they had lost oir reservation (the waiter looked at us a bit nervously and it took some time before we were seated. Service, when we finally got some, was extremely friendly.
Woodstockholm is definitely a place worth visiting if you are in Stockholm. A reservation is highly recommended and be prepared to share the table with others. We were seated in the same communal table as two other parties, but it did not really bother us. Price range is reasonable for being Stockholm and the wines were awesome!
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!