Wine review: Bernard-Massard Cuvée de l’Ecusson Brut – sparkling pearl from Luxembourg

5 06 2014

Bernard-Massard - reijosfood.com

A family managed company, Bernard-Massard is the main producer of traditional method sparkling wines of Luxembourg

After more than 92 years of existence, company remains true to the values of quality and entrepreneurship of the founder Jean Bernard-Massard. As of today, Bernard-Massard is Luxembourg’s first privately owned wine producer with about 4 million bottles leaving yearly our cellars.

Beside a strong presence in Belgium, Cuvees are well represented in countries like Finland. It is nice to see that Finland is important market for Bernard-Massard. Wonder if it is available in the biggest markets like Germany and of course France?

Tasted Bernard-Massard Cuvée de l’Ecusson Brut is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Riesling grapes. Quite a mix, but not in bad sense. The finest of Bernard-Massard’s Cuvées since 1971, the Cuvée de l’Ecusson range epitomises the expertise of the company which affords this Cuvée its place amongst the most interesting European sparkling wines.

THE LOOK

Light yellow, almost translucent. Small bubbles which rise from the bottom of glass in continuous stream.

THE NOSE

The scent is delicate, some citrus and pear but need to sniff carefully. As we tasted wine is different glasses, also bouquet varied.

THE TASTE

Although wine is brut, amount of sugar is more than usually in dry wines and that can be noticed in taste. Could found some fruits but was also as delicate as was scent. Tasted wine in different glasses and there was clear differences to be found.

Champagne glasses - reijosfood.com

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12,00 %
Extract : 31 g/l
Acidity: 6,6 g/l
Sugar: 13 g/l
Energy : 80 kcal / 100 ml (330 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

I am not sure, if 13 g/l sugar categorizes Bernard-Massard Cuvée de l’Ecusson Brut as brut wine. However, this is one of the easiest sparkling wines to start tasting, (if you do not have found world of bubbling drinks yet). Exellent aperitif and pairs well with different kind of foods, even with desserts due to sugar.

As we tasted this wine with different champagne glasses, review of those glasses will follow.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++

http://www.bernard-massard.lu/en/

 





Restaurant review: PureBistro – with Bib Gourmand status

1 06 2014

PureBistro and Market Square - reijosfood.com

PureBistro is a modern bistro and bar with two terraces next to the Market Square in Torikorttelit buildings.  Restaurant is owned by Michelin star restaurant Luomo (on the 2nd floor) chef”s Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila. That explains partly why PureBistro is one of the five Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants in Helsinki and earns to keep that status.

PureBistro entrance - reijosfood.com

Dining room at PureBistro is quite small and therefore in the summer time you might decide to dine outside, if temperature allows that, which it did not on the last day of May. If you dine inside, ask for window table and you can enjoy sea view and observe bustle at the Market Square. That is exactly whatwe did.

PureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro terrace - reijosfood.com

Menu is short – 3 starters, 3 main courses and 2 desserts. If you choose 3 course dinner, the price is 45€. One option is to have drink at the bar and taste some small bites, in Finnish Snadit. As English and Finnish versions of the names of the portions are not exactly the same, I included both language versions.

After placing order customers will get fresh bread paper bag on the table.

PureBistro menu - reijosfood.comPureBistro menu and bread - reijosfood.com

Starters we ordered had fancy names; Hamashi Sashimi with Avocado & Seaweed Piikkimakrillisashimia, avokadokreemiä, soijaa ja levää and Carpaccio, Bloody Mary Sorbet & Tallowvinegar Kotimaista rotukarjaa, bloody mary sorbet ja emmentalia.

Sashimi was fresh and side dishes accompanied fish in oriental portion well. Lack of salt was only minus. Beef carpaccio was so soft that it could have eaten with spoon. I am not sure if kitchen tried to create picture of hedgehog on the plate, but portion looked like it.

Sashimi at PureBistro - reijosfood.comCarpaccio at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had two times Fried Trout, Cauliflower & Cassis Ahvenanmaan taimenta, kukkakaalia ja herukkaa but requested some changes to one of them. Restaurant created excellent version of this portion by replacing cauliflower with ratatouille.

Trout itself was perfectly fried, you could also eat fish skin as it was enough crispy. And what is most important, fish was not over-fried which happens too often also in so called good restaurants.

Fried trout at PureBistro- reijosfood.comTrout at PureBistro

For desserts ordered Tosca, VanillaIceCream & MilkXoco Toscakakkua, vaniljajäätelöä ja maitosuklaata and “Macedonia De Frutas” Liqourice “Hedelmäsalaattia” ja lakritsisorbettia.

Tosca cake was scrumptious. Amount of toffee sauce was maybe too much, but had to eat all of it anyway. Take a look at how fruits and sorbet was placed on the plate! PureBistro really has an artist in the kitchen, remember the hedgehog.

Dessert at PureBistro - reijosfood.comFruit dessert at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

Had to order bottle of Tesch 1 Liter Riesling for two reasons; riesling weeks with special menus had just ended but Tesch riesling was still available and the unsual size of the bottle (1 liter) is rare apparition.

Wine paired well with all dishes we had; well, maybe not with desserts. Dry, about 6 g/l sugar if I remember right what waitress told, and balanced acidity and minerality.

 Tesch 1 litre riesling at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

As we got window table, overall grade is 4,5. Propably next time we shall dine at the terrace; waiting for warmer summer days….Service is in balance with kitchen’s creativeness and skills.

PureBistro is genuine Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant and actually one of the first fine dining bistro type of restaurants in Helsinki. Nowadays there are several sophisticated bistro restaurants close to each other, like Gastrobar Emo, Gastropub Rikhard’s, Spis and Copa’s y Tapas. Reviews of there restaurants can be found by using search. Also previous PureBistro reviews can be found the same way.

REVIEW: FOOD 4+/5 – SERVICE 4+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

http://www.purebistro.fi/

 








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