Helsinki’s Best Bars for Nature Wines

I had a quick look at my statistics last week, and one of the most popular posts of all time is my review of Helsinkis wine bars a few years back. All the places in that post are still relevant, I would go for a glass of wine at Latva, Vin Vin, Soil Wine Room and Sinne Helsinki any day. However, there are is a new genre of wine bar in town, that should really be mentioned – the natural wine bar. Nature wines are produced without any help from synthetic chemistry: pesticides or additives like clearing agents. They are usually unfiltered and can have some sediments that make the wine murky and thick in color. There is a skin contact-trend going on which means that you can also find orange, and amber-wines on the lists. Continue reading “Helsinki’s Best Bars for Nature Wines”

My Best Tourist Tip in Town – The Flying Elk

I often get questions from friends visiting Stockholm: where would I recommend to eat. You would think this is a question I love answering, however, I actually find it a bit hard. I could recommend tons of places, but I run into hesitation. Why? Three things. Firstly popular restaurants in Stockholm require advance booking. A lot of advance booking. So all of those who are not extremely well planned (90%), will just hit a wall when trying to score a table. Which is a bit discouraging. Second, many visitors will find the Stockholm price level for food high. I find it inconsiderate to suggest something that will cost an arm and a leg, so I need to really think of those price worthy places that are easy on the wallet . Third, people like eating different things, and I am generally suspicious of restaurants that think they can master several cuisines (if you advertise that you master everything – I suspect you master nothing). And as you know, I never, ever, recommend something that I don’t think is good. Continue reading “My Best Tourist Tip in Town – The Flying Elk”

Under the Grapevines at Klimaty Poludnia

July is here and it has brought with it a calm that I have long been craving for. I have time to sit around, write and think. Our trip to Krakow was like a tipping point. The point where my mind started to wander and tense muscles relax. There was this specific moment on the terrace of restaurant Klimaty Poludnia (“Climates of the South”) where my brain acknowledged that I was actually on holiday.  And if you see the restaurant, you will understand why. The place was practically medicine for the soul. Continue reading “Under the Grapevines at Klimaty Poludnia”

Sundown Dinner at Torvehallerne

Last week, I was on a business trip in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Alone. Its not that much fun traveling by yourself. I often end up hanging out at the hotel, just working and skipping a proper dinner. I don’t really like going out to eat by myself (very Finnish of me). This time however, I had a plan: It was beautiful weather, I had my camera with me and an appetite for a good meal. From my trips with M, I also knew where to go if you are eating out alone, the Torvehallerne food market at Norreport. Continue reading “Sundown Dinner at Torvehallerne”

Wineweek 78: A Touch of Summer

The weather is amazing. Plus 25 celsius and no clouds in the sky. This is how Sweden is in July. Of course we know it will not last. This kind of warmth in May is just a tease. The temperatures will for sure drop back to +10 and there will be rain. Lots of rain. Nevertheless we have enjoyed the great weather by walking around, taking some photos and drinking cava. Lots of cava. We still have quite a stock left over from our previous visits to Cavatast, so wed better make an effort to empty it.  Continue reading “Wineweek 78: A Touch of Summer”

The Best Wine Bars in Stockholm

It is almost 1am in the morning when I am writing this post. I have just arrived at my hotel in Poland, unpacked and answered the most urgent emails. I was actually considering going to sleep (as I should), but then thought I cannot leave the blog empty until Friday. Without putting major effort into the writing, this is my olive branch to you: a comprehensive list of the best places for wine in Stockholm. I really gave some thought to this list that I made for my travel site, Tripsteri. So it is definitely not a quick fix. It is THE list you should consider when coming to Stockholm for wineventures!

Enjoy!

19 Glas: Stora Nygatan 19
AG: Kronobergsgatan 37
Bar Nombre: Odengatan 36
The Burgundy: Yxsmedsgränd 12
Corvina Enoteka: Kornhamnstorg 47
Cultur: Österlånggatan 34
Eriks Vinbar: Stadsgården 6
Garage del Gusto: Västmannagatan 54
Gaston: Mälartorget 15 ja tavaratalo NK, 4. kerros
The Green Queen: Norr Mälarstrand 64
Hornstulls Bodega: Hornsbruksgatan 24
HTL Lounge (Cava-baari): Kungsgatan 53
Monks Wine Room: Lilla Nygatan 2
Naturligtvis: Kommendörsgatan 23,
NOFO Vinbar: Tjärhovsgatan 11
Vin Valvet: Södermalmstorg 8
Wijnjas Ost & Vinkällare: Scheelegatan 3
Xarcuteria: Hantverkargatan 40

xx Soile

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Gaston in Gamla Stan
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Corvina Enoteca
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Corvina Enoteca
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Cava served from low glasses at Monks Wine Room (big dislike)
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Visiting 19 Glas in Gamla Stan
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Hornstulls Bodega
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Hornstulls Bodega

Wineweek 75: Exploring Gamla Stan

This week, things have been moving forwards. We have finally contracted with our new warehouse, ordered all of our summer wines, and organized transport. In a week, the new warehouse in Copenhagen should be bulging with wonderful wine. I can’t wait! What is a bit special about these orders is, that we have started taking in much more small batches. The aim has been not only to increase the selection, but also have some more high end stuff to sell via the monopoly. The papers for selling at the monopoly are still lying on the table, but the intention of sending them in is (ahem) high. Continue reading “Wineweek 75: Exploring Gamla Stan”

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”

Planning for the Big Apple

New York, New York! I am counting the days. You know, we got married there. It was just us and an officiant in Central Park. So the Big Apple will always have a place in my heart. But my marriage is not the topic of the post. It is the wine planning I we are doing for the trip. And I would really appreciate to get some help from you. Continue reading “Planning for the Big Apple”

The Best in Bangkok

It has taken four days to get rid of the Jetlag. I have been up at 5am every day and falling over by 9pm. Finally it seems that my body has adjusted and I slept until eight this morning. Starting a new job hasn’t helped, so it is completely natural that any posting has been postponed to the weekend. The first post I want to do and the place I want to reminisce is the Wine Pub – the salvation of any winecurious spending time in Bangkok. It is by far the best wine bar in town.

The bar is located at the Pullman King Power, close to the Victory Monument. The hotel as such is not that nice, and the huge King Power tax free makes the location slightly unpleasant. Too many buses and tourists loitering around next to the hotel. This would not be the block to come hang around at due to its charm. The ambiance of the bar is quite generic. The looks are no different from a normal hotel bar. It is the content of the wine list which makes the Wine Pub worth a visit. 48 different wines by the glass would tickle my fancy anytime, anywhere.

The list by the glass in divided into four sections: House Wines, Suggestions du Sommelier, Premium Wines and Grand Crus. Prices started at around five euros per glass up to 50. The Premium and Grand Cry wines could also be ordered in smaller sizes: three (3) and six (6) cl. This is a feature I always appreciate as it gives the opportunity to taste more expensive wines for a reasonable price. The wines were held in one of those air tight vending machines, so they were preserved nice and air tight. And the sommelier checked each bottle before serving. As they should do.

The list is nice and mixed with wines from France, Australia, NZ, Chile and South Africa. The Premium wines also have some old world vintages from Italy. France, as you can imagine, was most heavily represented. The list also features four bubblies by the glass: two Proseccos and two Champagnes. To my disappointment, the champagnes were quite boring (and I would not touch the Proseccos).

We tried altogether five wines: La Chapelle Viognier (Fr), Pegasus Sauvignon Black (NZ), Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc (NZ), Poiully Fuisse 2006 (Fr) and Clos Windsbuhl Pinot Gris 2004 (Fr). All whites due to the hot weather. All were actually really good for the price on the menu. How rare! The poiully Fuisse and Clos Windsbuhl were from the premium selection, so we took only 3cl tasters. That was definitely enough as they were quite intense, but delicious.

Service was also good. However I think there is a bit of a language barrier when the bartenders are local. Not that they don’t know their stuff, but some things that we asked about they just did not understand in the context we meant it. For example, we asked how often they rotate the wine list and they understood it how often do we open a new bottle (for wines by the glass). Not that far but still a completely different thing.

All in all I was really happy to find the Wine Pub. Regardless of its lame name and chain restaurant looks, it is by any standards a really great wine bar to visit.

xx Soile

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