June 28, 2015

May wines

Favourite of the month:
2008 Marchesi Mazzei Mix 36
Dark red colour. One the nose ripe red fruit, flowers, spices and liquorice.

On the palate plums, currant character with some chocolate undertones. Full body, with velvety tannins and a fruity finish. Perfect now and will be amazing in a couple of years.

2005 Penfolds Bin 128

2008 Marchesi Mazzei Mix 36

2012 Domäne Wachau Riesling Smaragd Terrassen

2011 Umani Ronchi Le Busche

2009 Bodegas Mauro Castilla y León

2007 Domaine Pierre Gonon Saint Joseph Rouge

2010 Paul Jaboulet Ainé Evidence par Caroline

2010 Zenato Ripassa

2013 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Baronnes

2006 Palmer & Co Millésime Brut

2010 Aventino 200 Barrels

May 21, 2015

April wines

Favourite of the month:
2010 Domaine Jean Sipp Riesling Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauville
Light gold could. On the nose waxed apples, petrol, lime, baked fruit and honeysuckle.

On the palate lime and minerals. Long finish.

2012 Le Volte dell'Ornellaia

2012 Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Steinsetz Grüner Veltliner

2011 Le Clos du Caillou Cotes du Rhone Le Bouquet des Garrigues

2011 2011 Couly-Dutheil Domaine Rene Couly

2012 Campogiovanni Rosso di Montalcino

2009 Peter Leheman Wigan Riesling

2007 Castello di Fonterutoli

2012 Domaine Weinbach Cuvée Théo Gewurztraminer

NV R de Ruinart

2012 Schloss Gobelsburg Gaisberg Riesling

2012 Winkl

2013 Torricella

NV Delamotte Brut

2013 Stoneleigh Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc

2010 Domaine Jean Sipp Riesling Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauville

2007 Castelnau de Suduiraut

April 13, 2015

March wines

Favourite of the month:
2013 Château de Pibarnon Rosé
Salmon tinted colour. On the nose sun-warmed peaches, strawberries and pomelos.

On the palate strawberry, blackberry, raspberry and some spicy notes. Full-bodied as much as a rosé can be.

2012 Fonterutoli

NV Piper-Heidsieck Brut

2008Pio Cesare Otre 2008

2009 Mont-Redon Réserve Rouge

2013 Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc Stoneleigh

2009 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape

NV Taittinger Brut Réserve 2012

2012 J M Brocard Chablis Vieilles Vignes Domaine Sainte Claire

2013 Château de Pibarnon Rosé

2011 Henri Bourgeois La Chapelle des Augustins

March 14, 2015

February wines

Favourite of the month:
2009 Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet
On the nose soft stone fruit, light oak and a somewhat toasty minerality.

On the palate white flowers, light, bright green apple acidity and light melons. Pleasant flinty finish.

NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier

2013 Fleur du Cap Chardonnay

2011 Masi Campofiorin

2011 Fonterutoli

NV Veuve Clicquot Brut

2011 Santenay Albert Bichot

2005 Fratelli Revello Barolo

NV Dopff Brut Cuvée Julien

2011 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

2005 Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico

2009 Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet

2008 Palmer Blanc de Blancs

February 25, 2015

January wines

Favourite of the month:
NV Henri Giraude Hommage
On the nose warm bread, yeasty, apples peaches and biscuits.

On the palate full bodied with medium/acid. Rich with a larger style backed up by warm bread, yeast tones, apples and peaches

2013 Domaene Gobelsburg Kamptal Reserve Riesling

2010 Mas de La Grange Blanche Châteauneuf-du-Pape

NV Delamotte Brut

2012 Schloss Gobelsburg Steinsetz Grüner Veltliner

2011 Couly-Dutheil Domaine René Couly

2013 Domaene Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner

2011 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

2009 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino

NV Henri Giraude Hommage

2011 Winkl

2011 Trimbach Gewurtratimer

2013 Domaene Gobelsburg Steinsetz Grüner Veltliner

2008 Sequillo Red

2011 Carroi du Bon Air Les Débonnaires

2010 Castello Fonterutoli

NV Delamotte Brut

January 31, 2015

Christmas in London

Our very special Christmas started with meeting up with my dear friend Cooksister at Vivat Bacchus the night before Christmas Eve. We hadn’t seen each other in 3 years, but when I saw her through the restaurant window and our eyes met I knew that she was still that smart and beautiful friend I remembered, and always will be regardless of time and distance.

Three large glasses of Graham Beck Brut arrived quickly which we sipped on while browsing the menu. TheMan decided to go with steak, Cooksister with cod and I with a burger and triple cooked chips. To drink Warwick Estate Three Cape Ladies which was wonderful. The wines at Vivat Bacchus is one of the main reasons why I keep coming back. South African wines at its best (and hard to find in Sweden).

Champagne is a must at Christmas (and of course at any other time…) and by lunchtime on Christmas Eve I met up with another dear friend, AussieFoodie, to drink champagne. Yes, two women in their 40’s sharing a bottle of champagne right in the middle of the afternoon at one of London’s five star hotels. (A long way from the days of M&S cheap fizz…)

Christmas Eve is the big day in Sweden so when it came to picking venue for dinner that day we were quite picky. Some friends recommended the Mirror Room at Rosewood Hotel which was the perfect place. Modern and elegant but also at the same time serene and a sense of home. Very much liked by TheMan and myself.

After a glass of Perrier Jouët Grand Brut it was time for our Christmas Eve dinner

Langoustine Bisque, Roasted Fennel, Liquorice
2010 Riesling Heimbourg, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht

Foie Gras Terrine
Home-marinated Cherries in Armagnac, Brioche
2007 Reciotto della Valpolicella, Roccolo Grassi

Dover Sole, Asparagus, Winter Truffle
2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château La Nerthe

Turkey Ballotine
Mincemeat Stuffing, Cranberry Jelly
2012 Pinot Noir, Grand Cru, Hoellenberg, Allendorf

Spice Pineapple, Vanilla Cream

Manjari Chocolate, Poached Pear, Milk Ice Cream
2008 Sauvingon Blanc, Noble Sauvage, Isabel Estate

My favourite was the Foie Gras Terrine (of course) as well the Dover Sole which was perfect. To drink a white Château La Nerthe was quite special as well since we visited that Chateau La Nerthe last summer. Someone must have thought of us when matching the wines.

Walking home hand in hand close to midnight the city had closed down and we could hear the bells ringing in St Paul’s. A very special Christmas Eve for the both of us.

On Christmas Day we woke up to +12 degrees, sunshine and clear blue sky. With everything closed we did like to so many other people, we went walking. Walking for 2,5 hours in the City looking at familiar sites and landmarks. And yes TheMan got to hear quite a few stories about bars, pubs and restaurants I had visited...

When we said we were going to do Christmas in London we both agreed on that Christmas Day dinner had to be special since that’s the big day in the UK. I immediately thought of the Savoy, my favourite classic luxury hotel in London. Having seen the whole transformation from being an old and almost worn out lady being wrapped up for 3 years to becoming an elegant grand old dame, I have a soft spot for the place.

The Savoy Grill was very busy and quite crowded when we arrived at 7 pm, but a very well-organized and professional staff handled things very well. Starting out with a glass of the house champagne Ayla it was again time to dig into another feast in so many days.

Chef’s selection of canapés

Smoked Severn and Wye salmon with sour cream, buckwheat pancakes and traditional garnish

Black Angus rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce served with roast and boiled potatoes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli gratin, honey-roast carrots and parsnips

Passion fruit sorbet

Hot chocolate fondant with malt ice cream

The Black Angus rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding was wonderful, although the Yorkshire pudding could have come out of the oven a tad bit earlier. Crispy dark brown edges aren’t exactly the perfect Yorkshire pudding… Browsing the extensive wine list we both quickly agreed on a bottle of 2009 Chateau Pibarnon. Another of the chateaus we visited this summer. A wonderful match to the beef and as well to the chocolate fondant I had for dessert.

Boxing Day was another day of walking. This time from Holborn to Mayfair and back, trying to avoid the crowds on Oxford Streets before going to the matinee of White Christmas at the refurbished Dominion Theatre. Leaving the theatre we got our own share of white Christmas, or really sleet. Finding a taxi was incredible hard so yes we got quite wet as my dinky little handbag umbrella didn’t do much help.

For dinner we had decided to go with Chinese close to the hotel, but when we arrived the place was closed, despite us having a confirmed booking. Incredible! The upside though was that the restaurant was part of a hotel and very embarrassed F&B Manager managed to get us a table at the Oxo Tower. A place I hadn’t been to in at least 10 years, but at least there was food and wine. The view was still spectacular despite the rain and darkness. Sitting next a big panorama window when the rain and wind is gushing is quite cosy actually. Duck, mash and a bottle of Pinot Noir from yet another of our favourite domaines in France – Leflaive- made the evening quite a success. And not to forget chees from Neal's Yard Dairy and a glass of 25 year old port.

You can’t come to London without having Indian and on Saturday night we went to Benares, one of very few Indian restaurants with a Michelin star. After much consideration we decided to go with the set menu with matching wines. Neither TheMan nor I think wine goes well with Indian, but looking at what wines they were matching the food with it seemed very OK. All the typical white wines that goes well with spicy food. The first dishes were a perfect match and then came the chicken. Three variations of chicken that were hot, hotter and hottest. The last piece of chicken was way too spicy and together with the wine it got even hotter. Not a very good match, and unfortunately that more or less killed our taste bulbs. The rest of the dishes, fish, lamb and dessert, were all very nice but that piece of chicken had ruined the experience. But it was indeed a fun experience, but from here on we will go with beer when having Indian food.

The sommelier at the Savoy had told us about the most exciting wine project of recent times in London, Hedonism Wine in Mayfair, which we decided to visit on Sunday afternoon. After browsing this magnificent shop for a while we got talking to one of very knowledgably sales assistants and soon we were tasting some 2008 Penfolds Yattarna and 1990 Hermitage La Chapelle. Wine to die for, but also to wait for in the cellar.

We finished the Sunday with after another British institution, tea at The Landmark Hotel. As usual you got very full from all the food and no dinner was necessary. Instead we went to see Paddington, the movie. A warm, fuzzy feel good movie even for an adult.

As usual times fly when in London and when it was time leave on Monday afternoon my heart ached as always. But London will always be there and I will come back. Again and again and again… A never-ending love affair with the city I call my second home.

January 28, 2015

December wines

Again, another year has flown by. What is it that makes time go by so quickly? As usual December was a whirlwind of work and other Christmas related commitments and the closer you get to Christmas the more tired and stressed you get. This year though TheMan and I decided to skip town for Christmas. Instead we went to London. After all that time I’ve spent in London I’ve never been there for Christmas. I’ve been there until Christmas and come back for New Year’s but I’ve never on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A full post on Christmas in London will come very soon.

Other than Christmas and New Year’s in December we spent a lovely Saturday evening with some friends drinking and tasting different champagnes throughout a three course meal. Clearly the more champagne I try the more I realise how well it goes together with food. What was so special with this tasting was also that this were the last bottles we brought back form Champagne two years ago. We had tasted them right after we got home and it was very interesting to see how they have developed over 1,5 year. Needless to say we need to go back to Champagne now…

2012 Domaine Francois Carillon Bourgogne Chardonnay

2013 Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

NV Dopff Brut Cuvée Julien

NV Collard Picard Cuvee Dom Picard Grand Cru

NV Collard Picard Cuvee des Merveilles

NV Taittinger Nocturne

2013 Jean-Marie Brocard Bourgogne Jurassique Bourgogne Blanc

2009 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino

2011 Warwick Estate Three Cape Ladies

NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier

2009 Château de Pibarnon

2011 Domaine Leflaive Monthelie 1er Cru Sur la velle

2008 Sequillo Red

2007 Champange Delamotte Blanc de Blancs

2005 Domaine Duseigneur par Philippe Favre barc