Wine, Food & Good living 2013 -event – what went wrong?

27 10 2013

Champagne -

Wine, Food and Good living -event is now in turning point. Either it has to find larger hall to take all “private” visitors on Saturday and lower prices or focus on business visitors.

First you have to line up to give your coat to checkroom (2.50€ per person). Then you queue for tasting class (8€ – 5€ = 3€ when you return your class) and tasting tickets (2,50€ each). All tasting -seminars are fully booked up well beforehand the event starts; so no guided tasting this year.

Of course vintage champagnes are expensive but it is odd that you have to pay 6 tasting tickets (15€) for 4cl of noble drinks in the picture. Of course Dom Perignon Vintage 2004, which had arrived to Finland 2 days ago, is rare and valuable drink but if we think that Taittinger Brut Reserve (2 tickets) tastes better you do not attract customers to purchase this vintage champagne.

To crown it all, most champagnes ran out of the champagne bar 1/2 hours before event closed. From about 20 champagnes about 4 of the most non-drinkable wines were left. What a waste for the tickets.

To summarize, too crowded and too expensive. Only way to carry on is to modify Saturday; either expand floor space on that day or try change visitor profiles. Hopefully the first one because event itself is marvelous experience on a rainy autumn day.

PS. Forgot to mention that entrance costs 18€. As we had free tickets did not remember that cost at once.

Wine review: Jim Barry Watervale Riesling

19 10 2013

Watervale Riesling

The late Jim Barry was a pioneer of the Australian wine industry. He was the first qualified winemaker to work in the Clare Valley of South Australia and with his wife, Nancy, built a successful wine business which has produced trophy-winning wines since its establishment in 1959. Today, the company is headed by Jim’s second son Peter Barry.

Jim Barry Wines has four distinctive climatic and geographical sites in the Clare Valley:
1) Watervale towards the southern end of the Valley 
2) Lodge Hill in the eastern ranges 
3) Vineyards at the northern entrance to Clare and 
4) Armagh to the west 
In addition, the company has a 14 hectare Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the Coonawarra region.

Tasted wine was Watervale Riesling 2012, of course from riesling crapes.

Riesling - reijosfood


Like the label of the bottle, simple black W on white background. Sometimes labels attract to try the wine which was the fact this time.

Wine itself is bright straw yellow in appearance with green nuance. Light riesling white wine.

Jim Barry -


Nice light riesling bouqet without disturbing side effects. Acidity, petrol and minerals are far away. Nothing disturbs…


WIne is really dry as you can see from the facts and figures below. However, wine lacks typical riesling minerality which makes wine is a little bit unbalanced.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12,20 %
Extract : 22 g/l
Acidity: 6,7 g/l
Sugar: 4 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (330 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: metal screw cap


Wine is suitable for all kinds of fish and white meat foods as well as pasta and pizza which we made by ourselves. With pizza we also tasted Don Camillo Sangiovese which paired better with it. Of course it also depends what toppings you add on pizza.

Home-made pizza - reijosfood.comHome-made pizza slice -




Restaurant review: Blue Peter

18 10 2013

Restaurant Blue Peter is situated on Lauttasaari island 4 km from Helsinki city centre. In the summer time it is really popular due to large terraces and HSK sailing club members. Restaurant is open all year around hosting private events also in the winter time. Suggest to try it instead of hotel meeting rooms.

We had dinner outside of busy season.

For starter had Crayfish Skagen, which has always been excellent. Thick and juicy crayfish tails are better than basic shrimps and combined with well prepared topping, it is really mouth-watering delicacy. And the massive heap of crayfish is really prestige.

Blue Peter -

For main course we ordered Salmon with dill-potato smash and herb oil. Fish was perfectly roasted but sweet potato (correction: it must have been pumpkin) did not match as well as carrots which the portion usually included. Balancing sweetnes for salty fish was missing.

Blue Peter -

For dessert, of course, Crepe with Old fashioned ice-cream and strawberry jam. It would be convenient to have at least one choice of lactose-free or low-lactose ice-cream because suggested sorbet does not pair with delicious crepe. We also paid normal price for the portion although decided to order it without ice-cream. Crepe is propably best in Helsinki as mentioned in earlier post, but would also value if both of us could really enjoy it with all side dishes.

Blue Peter -

Blue Peter is THE summer restaurant and therefore after busy season it might feel a little bit quiet. After combining bistro and a la carte menus, selection of portions have decreased. Sometimes it is good to focus on fewer choises, but now only warm fish available in seaside restaurant are vendaces. This may be partly because of game season as you can enjoy of elk and rabbit.

Waiting already for the next summer, sunshine, cold drinks and cheeese burger at the terraces and maybe surface renovation of the chairs at the dining area.


Restaurant review: Grotesk Winebar – but not grotesque at all

11 10 2013

Foie gras -

Name Grotesk for restaurant may sound odd especially in Swedish, but regarding reader’s votes in local wine magazine, Viinilehti, it has the best wine bar in Helsinki and 2nd best in Finland.
After this review we also have new leader in Helsinki, rankings can be found on page “Restaurant reviews – rankings”.

Restaurant Grotesk is fine dining restaurant with affordable prices and relaxed athmosphere located in Ludviginkatu 10. Guide Michelin has granted Bib Gourmand -rating to Grotesk Meatbar as a proof of good value for money and it is partly owned by same the chef’s as Michelin star restaurant Demo.

Instead of Meatbar we visited Grotesk Winebar, which has 3 small dining rooms and enjoyed 8 tapas dishes with wines chosen by sommelier Pekka Koiranen. And what a fireworks; you seldom see so many rare prestige delights one after the other.

Grotesk Winebar -

First two portions were served with semi-dry Chenin Blanc 2007 from Loire. Was a little bit skeptic about semi-dry white wine but it did not differ much from dry. Perfect choice for both two first portions.

Dinner started with Oyster with tapioca and pomegranate. Oyster was easy to eat and had enough citrus acidity. Then we were served Foie gras with briosse, beetroot pyre and mustard ice cream. If you happen to like foie gras (it is not everyones favourite for many reasons) you would like this combination. Mustard ice cream was excellent realization.

Oyster - reijosfood.comFoie gras -

Next two portions were served with dry Riesling from Austria. Totally different sense of taste due to minerals and acidity but well chosen white wine for next dishes.

Smoked scallop with quinoa plate was brought in covered by smoking glass vase which was upside down. When the vase was lifted enjoyable smell of smoke surrounded plate. Pity that I was not prepared to take a photo. Whitefish with red pepper crumb smelted in mouth, it was like mince as it was so soft. Both portions were superb!

Scallop - reijosfood.comWhitefish -

First red wine served was Pinot Noir; medium-bodied with light red color.

Next delicacy with Pinot Noir was Sweetbread with black trumpet mushroom and shiitake. Sweetbread was perfectly cooked and fungus paired nicely with it. After that came Pork belly with cabbage. Some at the restaurant really did eat the pork lard but we did not, otherwise portion was excellent.

Sweetbread - reijosfood.comPork belly -

Forth wine and second red wine was full-bodied andwell balanced Garnache from Spain. Again perfect choise to complement the taste of pleasure.

Quail legs were eaten with fingers. It would have been impossible to remove delicious and crisp meat with fork and knife. Tapas dinner was ended with Chicken liver which was yammy and well prepared. 8 tapas is not too much and they cost 44 €, affordable compared to quality and layout of portions.

Quail - reijosfood.comChicken liver -

Grotesk Winebar earns 5- for overall grade because of ambitious set of voluptuous portions with affordable prices. Portions are really small but give you a chance to taste eats which usually are available in Michelin star restaurants but at much more higher prices. Our dinner took 3,5 hours, so restaurant is not fast food place. You really have time to enjoy the food and the wines or the wines and the food depending how you want to stress your dinner.


Wine review: Gewurztraminer ‘Hugel’

5 10 2013

Hugel -

The Hugel family, winegrowing ancestors since 1639!

Alsace is the driest wine region in France. Its micro-climate is caused by the distance which separates it from maritime influences, and by the protection of the Vosges mountains.
This climate enables the grapes to ripen slowly to full maturity, giving the wine great finesse of aroma and unequalled intensity.

Production of Wineyard Hugel averages 110,000 cases per year, of which around 90% is exported to more than 100 countries worldwide. Tasted from Hugel & Fils Gewurztraminer ‘Hugel’ which is one the Hugel classic wines. Other categories are tradition, jubilee, vendange tardive and selection de grains nobles.


Hints of pale green and straw yellow, it is bright and clear which indicatesof full body.

Wine -


First aroma is noble rot which is typical to sweet white wines but also for Gewurztraminer grape. Soft, aromatic, scented bouquet with flowers and fruits


Again noble rot but dry palate although sensation is not so dry as many other grapes give. Aromatic finish.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 13.00 %
Extract : 28 g/l
Acidity: 5.1 g/l
Sugar: 7 g/l
Energy : 80 kcal / 100 ml (350 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Wine suits well with wild duck and calvados sauce (recipe available on page Dining at home) as well as with roe. With sushi and oriental flavors it does not pair so well. Serve well chilled due to light noble rot in taste.

roe -


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