Wine review: Lind Gewürztraminer Trocken Spätlese

27 04 2013

Tasted wine was Lind Gewürztraminer Trocken Spätlese with 100% of  Gewürztraminer grape from Weingut Lind. (winegut = winery)

The wine growing estate Ökonomierat Lind is situated in the South of the wine growing area of the Palatinate, in the area known as the “Südliche Weinstraße” (the southern wine road). The eco-wine guide-lines of Weingut Lind go much further than the European guide-lines for bio- logical agriculture. Using the rare “sur lie” method ensures that wines remain on the fineyeast until bottling and through this absorb more minerals, vitamins and bioactive substances. This long “mother-child contact” and a biological reduction of the acidity guarantee that the wine is harmoniously and well-balanced.




Deep yellow with some green apple and raisin, no visible acidity.

white wine


Aroma of grape comes up strongly. Even some noble rot which is typical to some sweet wines. Spices and raisin.


Dry, tastes of typical gewürztraminer grapes. Used menthod has reduced the acidity. Some spices and flowers.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12,5% by volume
Extract: 31 g/l
Acidity: 5,3 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml (340 kJ/100 ml)
Sugar: 5 g/l
Closure: natural cork

This wine is suitable with white fishes and white meats. Because typical taste of grape is quite strong I would not recommend this wine for aperitif.


Restaurant review: Pirate Helsinki

21 04 2013


Restaurant Pirate Helsinki is located in Southern Helsinki, Lauttasaari. First Pirate restaurant was established in Hanko and it serves also pizzas which Helsinki restaurant does not. You have to order food from the bar because there is no table service.  Pirate is a summer restaurant but it is open in December providing ambitious Christmas lunch with famous chefs.

Visited Pirate just when it has just opened also for weekends for the summer time.

For starters ordered Tomato Mozzarella and Parma Ham Rucola Bruschettas with Country French fries. Both bruschettas were nice and french fries really well made. Portion were quite big so they might even be enough for lunch but as we were having early dinner had decided to eat also main courses.

BruschettaMozarella bruschettaParma ham bruschetta

For main courses ordered Grilled king prawns, octopus with french fries, marinated vegetables and hollandaise sauce and Pirate smoked salmon with morel mushroom sauce and warm potato-vegetables salad. Prawns were OK but octopus was chewy; would also have prefered sauce in separate scoop. We had asked that for morel mushroom sauce…. Fish was well prepared as it was not smoked too long. Both portions included same looking side dishes; only difference was potatoes with salmon. Maybe too much oil used in vegetables.

Shrimps and octopusSmoked salmon

Restaurant Pirate is laid-back bistro and especially in the summer terrace is pleasant place to have a beer or two. Because restaurant was just opened we were the only diners at 0530PM. Because spring is so late all boats were still on the ground and surrounded restaurant.


If you visit Hanko some day, try Pirate because it is quite popular in the summer.


Wine review: “Von Unserm” Rheingau Riesling Trocken

17 04 2013

What, again riesling….?! Yes, because at the moment think it is THE best white wine grape.

With a vineyard area of ca. 3,000 ha (7,400 acres) the Rheingau numbers among the smallest, but most important, wine-growing regions of Germany.

For more than 130 years, Weingut Balthasar Ress has been in the middle of this wine-growing region, in Hattenheim. Unique feature is that wineyard offers opportunity for leasing of grapewines. 3, 5, 10 and 25 year leases are available. Each grapevine that is leased is identified by an engraved tag bearing the new owner’s name, and the new owner has the right to visit the vineyard at any time to monitor the development and care of his/her grapevine. Those with a lease in the Hattenheimer Englemannsberg site can also take part in the grape harvest in autumn. Must consider!

Tasted white wine “Von Unserm” Rheingau Riesling Trocken comes from above mentioned Balthasar Ress wineyard. Grapes used are 100% Riesling, of course. BTW, “Von Unserm” means “Ours” in english.

Riesling von Unserem


Pale yellow with some green apple, no visible acidity.



Mild flavor of aroma, riesling grape does not feel so strongly. Some honey can be found.


Dry, some minerals but not so much as usually in German rieslings.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12% by volume
Extract: 23 g/l
Acidity: 8,2 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml (320 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: metal screw cap

This wine is suitable with white fishes and white meats but also good choice for aperitif.


Restaurant review: Glogatan 4

14 04 2013

Restaurant Glogatan 4 was opened in February 2013. Swedish name comes from the street name restaurant is located and from the hotel name Glo where it was opened. It is part of Kämp -Group which has hotel Kämp just beside Glogatan 4. Kitchen is open but does not appear to diners because of pillars and visual barriers. Bar is now in the middle of dining room.

Glogatan 4 kitchenGlogatan 4 barGlogatan 4

Extremely interesting discovery are the Finnish Hermanni wineyard wines on the otherwise short wine list! Mostly used grapes in the wines are white currant in sparkling and white wines and black currant in red wines. Actually it is quite difficult to compare Finnish wines to “normal” wines because of the berries used. Yes, berries not grapes. Anyway had to try for aperitif Hermanni, Haigu Extra Sec sparkling wine.


BUT…. Hermanni sparkling wine was finished! So we had to order something else.

Anyway, started the dinner with Spring potatoes Dill / Juniper berry / Roe and Spring carrots with tarragon Carrot / Tarragon / Fennel. To be honest, one of the best starters ever. Spring is late but these dishes carried it closer.


Restaurant bread was also really delicious, served with two different butters. One, apple spiced butter, was in the tube, it is not toothpaste 🙂


For main courses ordered Smoked fish Pickled cucumber / Radish / Spring onion / Carrot and Steak 200 g with specialities. Serving the fish (whitefish) was nice experience. It was smoked in metal box which was brought to the table. You seldom get smoked fish and how it was served was amazing.

Entrecote with cole slaw salad and carrot pure was a little but chewy because there was almost no fat which is typical for entrecote steaks. Side dishes were mouth-watering. See also knife on the plank; it is typical Finnish knife from the past.

Smoked whitefish

Smoked whitefishSteak

For desserts, because there was still plenty of room for food due to quite small portions (except steak), tried Rhubarb and liquorice Rhubarb / Liquorice pudding / Ymer sorbet and Chocolate. First dessert was tailored because we asked not to use milk products and still it was a success. Chocolate reminded from childhood; ice cream stick was delicious and it was dipped on white cholocate crumb.


Food is excellent and service even better. Dining room was too dark at the end of space because it was difficult to see menu’s. Lightning is better by Glogatan (Kluuvikatu), ask therefore for window table. Hotel guests dine at the restaurant, all neighbor tables were reserved by Russian guests which made athmosphere international.

REVIEW: FOOD 4+/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5 Note! Restaurant has changed name and style in Spring 2014

We found quite interesting black and white pictures all over the place…especially on the way to rest rooms.

Restaurant review: BBQ House

11 04 2013

Restaurant BBQ House is situated in Kamppi shopping center. Restaurant has heated outdoor terrace, where we dined, which expands in the summer to a large bar and terrace area. BBQ House is specialised in steaks and meats, name should also tell it. When we visited restaurant there was Argentine weeks with special menus. If you decide to dine inside or terrace is full, you can watch how chefs manage to do they work in open kitchen.

As a S-Group co-op member you can get discount for some portions. This year you can enjoy bottle of champagne Nicolas Feuillatte at the the price of 39€. However this champagne can not be ranked in top ten, but if you can get bottle of champagne in restaurant for the price of mediocre wine, go for it! And this time it was colder compared to experience in Casa Largo.

ChampagneNicolas Feuillatte

For “Entrades – Appetizers” we chose Tapas dishes. From 5 alternatives we decided to taste Marinated vegetables and artichoke and Shrimp mousse and crostini. Both portions were quite OK. Combination of shrimps, mousse and crostini was clever, enough juicy and tasty.


From “Prato principal à sua escolha da nossa grelha de pedra vulcânica – Main course of your choice from our lava rock grill” ordered Corn-fed chicken. For these dishes you have to choose sauce from 6 alternatives and side dish from 4 alternatives. Decided to choose Portwine-balsamic sauce and BBQ House salad. Big salad portion compensated a little bit the small size of chicken. Otherwise quite delicious.

Corn-fed chickenBBQ House salad

From “Pratos à maneira de bbq house – Meals à la BBQ House”  ordered Entrecosto de porco bem cozido ao molho glacé BBQ Slow-cooked pork belly with BBQ glaze served with escabeche marinated vegetables and sweet potato fries. Pork was prepared well because meat came off easily. Sweet potato is welcomed ingredient for french fries. Easy to prepare at home also.

Slow-cooked pork

Sitting at the heated terrace is convenient although outside temperature is close to 0C degrees still in April. You can watch what happens at Kamppi Square and front of Tennispalatsi, biggest cinema complex in Finland. Terrace dining raises overall grade. Might have given 4- for service but one waiter poured champagne classes almost full and served main course first for male. Other waitresses were polite and helpful.


Kamppi Square

Last year 2012 visited two times at the same restaurant, previous review available

Review of Stockmann Herkku dining spots

6 04 2013

Stockmann Aleksi in Helsinki is the biggest department store in the Nordics. Stockmann has several locations in Finland but is also growing in Russia.

Stockmann Herkku (Delikatessen) sells food products and groceries in each Stockmann department store. In other foreign countries where Stockmann operates, Herkku is called Delikatess (Estonia), Delikatese (Latvia) sekä Gastronome (Russia).

Biggest Stockmann Herkku is in the flagship store in the center of Helsinki. It also has couple of nice dining spots which we have planned to try quite long.

First spot was Meals Bar where we had few tapas and some fruit salad.

Stockmann Meals

Three different tapas were Parma ham, Chevre and Cold smoked salmon on rye bread. To be honest they were dissappointing goodies. Rye bread and Parma ham does not fit together. Chevre was too cold because all tapas were in cold place. Cold smoked salmon was a little bit dry. Fortunately fruit salad was fresh. You can choose from 2 white and 2 red wines, one cava and one champagne to pair your food.


After tapas visited Coffee Bar serving different coffees, teas and some fondants but also some dessert beverages like grappa, cognac etc…Decided to order espresso, simmered green tea, grappa and few chocolate fondants. Must say these fondants were better than usually Petit fours are for dessert. Can recommend!

Stockmann Coffee Bar

Tapas selection at Stockmann Herkku varies day by day, so another day might provide better experience at Meals Bar. Believe fondants are always as good as they were this time.

Wine review: Museum

5 04 2013

Again Spanish red wine?! Sorry, but somehow like them a lot…but this wine was a little bit dissappointing.

The Cigales wine region is situated in the province of Valladolid and Palencia and covers an area of 2,600 hectares. The Cigales wine region consists of 37 vineyards (Bodegas), which produce 5 millon liter of wine annually. Finca Museum is one of the biggest bodegas in the region and part of Grupo Baron De Ley.

Tasted red wine Museum from Finca Museum which is 100% TINTA DEL PAÍS grape. Tempranillo, more known spanish red wine grape, is known under a number of local synonyms in different regions of Spain, Cencibel and Tinto Fino are used in several regions, and it is also known as Tinta del País.



Label is printed with golden letters, makes wine look precious. At the bottom of the bottle there is also picture of one sculpture wineyard has in their collection

Vintage Crianza 2008 was dark red with a hint of brown color



Bouquet was rich, but difficult to recognize tempranillo due to tannins. Some black berries and hint of fennel. Aroma was quite strong.


Museum was aged at least 6 months (Crianza) in French and American oak barrels. Would say full-bodied and spicy but strong due to tannins. Took some time get familiar with taste.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 13,5% by volume
Extract: 29 g/l
Acidity: 5,1 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Museum wine is suitable for red meats. Because of the tannins, it is not aperitif. Not the best Spanish tempranillo (Tinta del Pais) I have tasted. Better invest for reservas or gran reservas, tannins might be milder. Anyway, with over cooked lamb shank the wine was ok.



Easter lamb shank

1 04 2013

As friend of confits and tender meats tried first time to prepare lamb shank. It takes about 5+ hours to cook in the oven at 150C degrees but it is worth of it. Meat becomes really crisp and comes off the bone easily. And it is delicious!

Lamb shankLamb

Recipe for 4 person

1 lamb shank per person

1 Carrot

 1/2 Celery

1/2 Swede

1 Onion

1 Garlic (4-6 cloves of garlic)


Sage (4 leaves)

1/2 liter dark beer (e.g. Velkopopovicky Kozel)

1+ liter meat stock


Salt, pepper

Mashed potatoes

Cooking instructions:

1) Remove meat slides and extra fat (in picture below not yet done). Fry the meats in a pan for few seconds just to get some color. Place meets on pot or casserole dish.

2) Chop the roots and place them on the pot. Add also garlic, rosemary and sage leaves + salt and pepper

3) Pour beer (must be dark!) and meat stock on food materials so that they are covered

4) Bake in the oven for 5+ hours at 150C degrees in order to soften the meat. Be patient, 6 hours will be even better

5) Prepare sauce from broth by adding some Maizena

6) Put some vegetables on another pan, add some honey and bake in the oven at 225C degrees about 15 minutes

7) You can prepare mashed potatoes meanwhile pot prepares in the oven. No cooking instructions, just prepare it how you are used to

8) Place goodies on the plate, add some rosemary and finger salt.


10) WITH RED WINE (review coming later)


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