This is a beautiful, affordable and very tasty bottle of fun from Portugal. It's made by Filipa Pato, who is the daughter of legendary winemaker Luis Pato.
To us Norwegians, knowledge of wine from Portugal is somewhat limited. To most people it's just "the country that makes Port Wine". Understandable. We'll find an occasion to have a more in depth look on Portugal and it's wine, but for now let's just enjoy this great bottle from Filipa.
It's been a lovely summer filled with white and rosé wines, but it is important not to forget the reds that we have laying in our cellars. Even when the weather is hot there might be a great opportunity to take them up and enjoy them in good company and food.
A few years back I bought a bottle of Chateau Laffite-Tramier 2005. It had gotten really good reviews in Norwegian newspapers and was a bargain at just over 200,- kroner. As everyone knows getting a good Bordeaux is usually an expensive experience. I left the bottle with my mother who has a great natural cellar where the bottles can be stored in perfect conditions and when she came for a visit this week she brought the bottle with her. We cooked a simple meal with entrecote, oven baked potatoes and mushrooms, and enjoyed the wine with the meal. It was a great success!
I don’t know to much about the wine or the wine maker, we haven’t been to Bordeaux much for our travels in France, unfortunately, but reading a great article in FT by the fantastic MW Jancis Robinson left me intrigued. I will definitely follow Adrien Tramier and buy his wines in the future.
Ch. Lafitte-Tramier 2005 259,90 (In the Vinmonopolet it’s the 2006 that is selling now)
A beautiful dark ruby red colour. It really shows its age in a fine, fine way. A lot of secondary notes on the nose, leather, cigar, and peppers. Great length in the mouth. It lingers and lasts. Still some tannins left, but it’s coming towards the end of it’s journey. In the mouth the peppery tastes that the Cabernet Franc grape gives dominates, and that is something I really love.
This goes really well with any kind of beef. Try it with a classic entrecote with béarnaise sauce and creamed potatoes.
Our wine of the week has origins from Harstad, northern Norway. Well maybe not the wine itself, but our relationship to it does.
A few years back we were invited to the Arctic Wine Festival in Harstad, to talk about our wine adventures. We had a great time. During this trip we meet winemaker Matteo Catania from Sicilia. He's the brains behind the Gulfi brand. And of all the wines we tasted during the festival, the Gulfi wines were by far the best. Well farmed, organic and of great complexity. Eight of his wines are available at Vinmonopolet. Red, white and this one; the Rosà.
In the autumn of 2016 we had the good fortune of traveling to Burgundy to taste the Cremant. It’s the little brother of Champagne, but we found that this is a wine that plays way above its weight.
Crémant de Bourgogne came into being in October 1975, for white and rosé sparkling wines alone. It now claims to have some of the strictest rules for wines of this sort in France. Don’t think you can just turn your worst grapes and least successful vats into Crémant, either: you have to declare your vineyard for Crémant before the end of March. There are 11,000 of those ‘secret’ parcels, accounting for a total of 2,500 ha within greater Burgundy as a whole.
We visited Louis Bouillot in the autumn and it was fantastic to see this great winery in action. Situated on the outskirts of Nuits-Saint-Georges we were welcomed to a grand and massive winery that produce a massive amount of Crémant every year. But what surprised us was the quality! Usually we like the smaller producers, family owned farms where everything is made by hand. But this is more like a factory. But that’s not bad. It’s easy to see how important Boulliot is to the people who live in the area. They employ hundreds of people making them a very important employer for the people of Burgundy. And these people take pride in what they make. And the result? A sparkling wine that stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best wines from their more famous neighbors to the north.
Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Perle de Vigne Grand Réserve 164,90 in the Vinmonopolet 129,- at Gardermoen airport
Lovely golden hue. Freshly baked bread and green apples on the nose. Nice mousse, ripe red apples and red berries in the mouth. Bought for 129,- kr at Gardermoen Airport, a real steal! Great value Cremant.
A great substitute for Champagne at a price way under your regular champagnes. Good for food as well, but let’s be honest, this is a wine for parties and fun. Cheers!
Imagine the summer berries you grew up with. Fresh, ripe and full of fantastic flavours. We had a few rows of strawberries, and my best buddy Terje had big juicy raspberries. I remember the smell on our hands after eating what was available. And then, 30 years later I pop a bottle of cloudy red wine from France, and the memories come flowing back. It's amazing how strong our sense of smell really is.
The unusual temperatures have dropped a little bit, but it is still the season for fresh and wonderful white wines. For this week’s wines we have left the beauty of the Canadian mountains for another beautiful and mountain rich country Austria.
Situated between the capital Vienna and Budweis, a beer loving name if ever there was one, in southern Czech Republic, you’ll find Langenlois, Austria’s largest wine producing city. The region is Kamptal, known by wine lovers all over the world for it’s fine white wines.
Here we find the Rabl family (Rabl means little raven in German) who have cultivated their wine yards since 1750. The two most important grapes are the famous Riesling and the Grüner Veltliner. And it is the Grüner I want to highlight today
A grape that is indigenous to Austria and it is here it really shines. It is related to the Savagnin grape so famous in the Jura, but I think the Grüner is fresher and a bit sweeter, making for some really good wines that can be enjoyed on warm summer days with good friends.
Rabl Langenlois Kamptal Grüner Veltliner 2017 – 155,50 kr
Medium bodied single-vineyard wine, spicy with citrus fruit; dry, fermented and matured in steel tanks.
Pale yellow colour. Fresh, and green bouquet with peaches, lime, green herbs and hints of pepper.
Very refreshing in the mouth. Lemon, lime, apple. Very good minerality and length. A great wine to enjoy on warm sunny days.
I like this on its own as a refreshing wine to share, but try it with poultry and salads, it should do fine.
This is the best bottle I've tasted for a very very long time. And it's from Canada.
Canada!!! I didn't even know that wine making could reach this level in climates resembling Norway, where I live. Fantastic!!
Beautifully situated, in landscape we easily can relate to here in Norway.
The Chardonnay we've tasted is from this vineyard; Old Main Road Vineyard. It's set on a terrace, giving the silt and clay soil good drainage .
We are having a heath wave the likes we never have seen before, at least here in Bergen where I am. So, the question on everybody’s mind is: what wine should I drink when the temperature is over 30 degrees? My answer is: Look to Germany!
In Norway we tend to favour the dry wines. The wines from Chablis and the rest of Burgundy, Loire, Alsace, even Italian and Spanish whites are bone dry. And from Germany we also get some fine try wines, or Trocken as they call them there. But today I want to focus on the sweeter German wines ad specifically the Kabinett! And we’ll stick to the Riesling wines, in my opinion a perfect grape for the German conditions.
A little background information. In Germany the have their very own way of categorising wine. You will find two major categories Table wine and Quality wines. We’ll leave the table wines and focus on the Quality wines. They are again categorised into two groups: Qualitätswein and Prädikatswein. The Prädikatswein is divided into six groups: Trockenbeerenauslese, Eiswein, Beerenauslese, Auslese, Spätlese and finally Kabinett.
We are going to make a whole blog on the difference between the Prädikat but let’s focus on the Kabinett today.
But I won’t call a good Kabinett wine a sweet wine. Why you ask? Because of the high acidity level! The acid balances out the sweetness and you get a delicate and fruity wine, that is perfect when chilled and served on a hot summers day!
Maximin Grünhaus Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett 2015 – kr 250,60
The colour is a light, light yellow. Lemon, green apples and some tropical pineapple notes on the nose. You can also feel the tartness from the acid. Ripe peaches, and tropical fruits with some green apples in the mouth. So refreshing and delightful. There is also a distinct minerality to the wine that is superb.
This is a wine the you can enjoy all on its own. It’s fresh and refreshing, a real thirst quencher really. It will handle seafood without any problem, especially sushi. But also great with light salads and fruits.
A perfect wine for those long, hot summer nights!
In our latest episode of #Drink we had the pleasure of having three beer loving friends with us. Two chefs, Gunnar Jensen from Mathallen in Tromsø and Rolv Bergersen from Bergen and one sommelier who also loves to cook, Ove Svendsen of Don Pippo-fame. Our challenge to them was to taste a whole lot of Belgian beers and find out what food would go well with the beers. A challenge they happily and eagerly accepted. So, we ventured off to the best beer country in the world Belgium.
We visited six breweried: 3 Fonteinen, Rodenbach, Duvel-Moortgat, Brasserie de la Senne, De Glazen Toren and De Kroon. Our guys tasted themselves through a loooong list of beers and then they were ready for their time in the kitchen!
We travelled to the wonderful Hotel Boskapelhove just outside of Brussel. A beautiful farm that has been made into a fine hotel. Here our friends in Bapas, Karl van Malderen and Isa Van de Ven, had made ready a fantastic table of great produce. The best Belgium had to offer.
If you want to know more of what Karl and Isa do check out their website www.bapas.be. They have made it into a science pairing beer and food and their website is good start if you want to find inspiration for the next time you want to cook with beer.
Our three chefs were well pleased with the ingredients they had in front of them and set about making this menue.
Here are the recipes:
Crostini with eel
Marinate the eel (you can also use smoked herring if you don’t have the eel) with grated ginger and kriek vinegar for half an hour (Use cherry vinegar if you don’t have kriek vinegar). Finely chop equal parts of tomatoes and shallots. Spread tomato and shallot on the crostini, lay the eel on top and sprinkle on a little bit of olive oil. Finish with some coarsely ground black pepper.
Beer pairing - Duvel Triple Hop Citra
Crostini with Mushroom
Marinate finely chopped onions in raspberry vinegar and sugar for 20 minutes. Sauter mushrooms in butter, soy sauce and some Liefmans Goudenband (or another sour red/brown ale). Spread some mustard, not too spicy, on the crostini, and top with the sautéed mushrooms and pickled onions.
Beer pairing - Brasserie de la Senne Jambe de Bois
Fry a piece of sirloin in a dry pan. Finely chop some onions. Place on a thin crostini, sprinkle over with olive oil, sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper and lemon juice.
Shrimps in Gueze mayonnaise
Make the mayonnaise but replace the vinegar and lemon juice with Oude Geuze from 3 Fonteinen. Open an oyster and finely chop it into small pieces. Spread the mayonnaise on a crostini and place the shrimps and oyster on top.
For both the tartar and the shrimp the beer paring was the same:
Beer pairing - Rodenbach Alexander
Plaice fried in butter
Peel asparagus and blanch with butter and salt. Make a syrup with Oude Geuze, kriek vinegar and sugar and put the asparagus in the syrup before it goes cold. Make a hollandaise sauce. Fry the fish in a pan with plenty of butter!
Beer pairing - De Glazen Toren Lentebier and De Kroon Delaveux
Rabbit in Geuze
Fry the rabbit in butter until it gets a nice crust. Then sprinkle over some flour. Put in a boiler with a lot of Oude Geuze (remember to drink some yourself!) and simmer. Add chopped onions, leaf parsley stalks, bay leaf, some fresh thyme and whole black pepper. Add potatoes, carrots and parsley. Boil until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add a generous amount of butter at the end.
Beer pairing - 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze
Pickle mushroom in vinegar and syrup. Sauter it in butter with a little soy sauce and raspberry vinegar. Sauter finely chopped shallots, reduce with some Rodenbach Alexander, montér with butter. Panfry the pork tenderloin.
Beer pairing - Rodenbach Charactere Rouge
Reduce the beer with some sugar and finely chopped mint. Put in a freezer. Stir crème fraiche or sour cream with vanilla, sugar, lime zest and lime juice.
'Beer pairing - Liefmans Yell'oh
We had the pleasure of tasting all of these fine dishes and our favourite was the pork tenderloin with the Rodenback Charactere Rouge. All in all we have to say that the Rodenbach brewery really impressed us on this trip. It makes a lot of beer, but with an exceptionally high quality all over!
"Is this a Montrachet?"
My better half replied instantly after taking sip of the large glas pictured above.
She was referring to the deliciously tasty white wines from the Montrachet appellation in Burgundy, France. One of the best wines in the world, and ticking in at least three times the price of this bottle.
Why she has such a nose for Montrachet is a whole different story. But realising that similar wines can be found at affordable prices, is what made this story.
This is a true little gem from Spain and the vineyards of José Pariente. The family run winery is set north west of Madrid, somewhat 40 km south of the city named Valladolid. Just at the yellow pin above.
JOSÉ PARIENTE VERDEJO FERMENTADO EN BARRICA 2016 - 238 KR
Brilliant golden yellow color.
Rich and intense nose. Smell of ripe yellow fruits, lemons, wet stones, honey melon and toast with butter. The intensity continues in the mouth, with a complex palette consisting of ripe lemons, lemon zest and some grapefruit and honey as well. Big and beautiful mouth feel with long lasting aftertaste.
First of al: this is a wine excellent for drinking alone. It's sort of a light meal in itself. Now that being said, it's also an excellent wine with food.
Try this with crab meat on toasted bread with mayo and pickles. Or toss up a salad with Parmesan crusted chicken, to put a little bit of fat to the dish and making the wine pairing more interesting.
It's affordable luxury, a great 'drink alone wine' and it's a cool cat to pair with light summer dishes. A high quality wine, that comes highly recommended from us.