Wine review: Best mulled wines 2014

18 12 2014
Glögi - reijosfood.com

Mulled wines

First two important questions: Is mulled wine a wine at all? Are mulled wines available in your country or is there some other Christmas drink more popular?

Mulled wines (Glögi or Hehkuviini in Finnish) are really popular in Finland during Christmas time. They can be purchased at Alko’s already at the end of October. As the assortment of mulled wines is quite wide it is important to select right ones. Many of the mulled wines at Alko are too sweet, too strong or strangely flavored. Once we had to pour present down the drain because it was so awful.

So, we have picked three best mulled wines available at Alko: Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi, Hehkuviini and Rauschgoldengel Organic Glühwein (1 litre bottle!)

Gluhwein - reijosfood.com

What is odd that first two come from Denmark, which seems to be THE country of mulled wines, if conclusion is based on Alko selection. So, most of the mulled wines are not made in Finland. As a matter in fact, most of them are imported or specially manufactured for Alko and bottled in Finland.

Gluhwein comes from Germany, of course. Very popular drink with several producers in Central Europe, but only one brand to be chosen in Finland.

THE LOOK

The labels of Danish mulled wine bottles look similar, same red ground and golden decorations. Organic gluhwein label is not so flashy, nice winter picture on it.

Hehkuviini is a little bit darker red than Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi. Gluhwine is even more lighter than Punaviiniglögi.

However, the difference of the look of mulled wines is usually negligible.

THE NOSE

The aroma of Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi is softer due to amount of less alcohol. Clove dominates but not disturbingly.

Hehkuviini smells like raisin and Christmas spices but alcohol tries to come up. The scent of both wines is christmassy, which is most important savor of mulled wines.

Gluhwein bouquet is nice, not too much alcohol which makes sniffing more pleasant.

THE TASTE

You can find cardamon form Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi. Taste is well balanced and spices are in harmony.

In Hehkuviini mostly you can taste almond and gingerbread. As it has more alcohol that can also be noticed. Quite a lot calories too…..

Gluhwein tasted much better than last years version. Balanced spiced taste and tempranillo grapes made this drink winner of the year. And most of all, it is not too sweet.

Gluhwein - reijosfood.com

Facts:

……………Gluhwein………….Punaviiniglögi…..Hehkuviini
Alcohol:   10.00 %                 13.00%                  22.00%
Extract:   105 g/l                   120 g/l                   170 g/l
Acidity:    4.9 g/l                    5.7 g/l                    4.7 g/l
Sugar:     85 g/l                     95 g/l                    150 g/l
Energy:   100 kcal / 100 ml  120 kcal / 100 ml  190 kcal / 100 ml

Mulled wines are part of Christmas time, at least in Finland. It is a pity that Alko does not provide wider selection of Gluhweins, only one choice available but fortunately excellent. Gluhweins are quite close to mulled wines, but not so sweet.

One option is to buy low-alcohol mulled wines from super markets, but then you also to need to know which ones to pick. Most of them are actually juices.

REVIEWS:

Perinteinen Punaviini: OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++

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

Gluhwein: OVERALL GRADE 5-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++ 





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau & Château des Loges Beaujolais Villages Nouveau

21 11 2014

 

Beaujolais Nouveau - reijosfood.com

Beaujolais Nouveau

 

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Wine is released for sale on the third Thursday of November. “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” used to see heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe.

The current release practice is to ship the wine ahead of the third Thursday of November, and release it to the local markets at 00.01 AM local time. In Finland Alko, monopoly company selling wines and alcohol, starts selling these wines at 09.00 on Thursday 20th November.

Luckily 2014 we are able to taste 2 different wines, both cost to consumers less than 10€.

These wines are Château des Loges Beaujolais Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau.

BJ wines- reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Label of last year’s wine from Georges Duboeuf was much more colorful. Maybe it is time to slow down a bit? Did it scare consumers?

Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish like young wines always are. The color in the first picture is a little too dark than wine is in natural.

THE NOSE

Fruity, even sweet aroma especially when using tasting glass. Rasberry and fruit candy scent came in to the nose from both wines.

It seems that Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau has more deep bouquet.

THE TASTE

Young, light fruity wines. Berries dominate, but on the other hand taste is skinny. Aroma is better than taste, but with unspiced food and pizzas, both wines pair well.

Beaujolais Nouveau wines in Finland

Beaujolais Nouveau wines in Finland

Facts:

                             Georges Duboeuf                                         Chateau des Loges
Alcohol:        12,00 %                                             12,50 %
Extract:        26 g/l                                                27 g/l
Acidity:         5,5 g/l                                               5,7 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)   80 kcal / 100 ml (340 kJ / 100 ml)

Do not know exactly what has happened, but 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau wines taste better than 2013 wine. Maybe better vintage? Any other opinions?

REVIEW:

Georges Duboeuf  OVERALL GRADE 4-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++

Chateau des Loges OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++





Wine review: Champagne Lanson White Label

6 07 2014

Lanson, cooler and ice - reijosfood.com

Summer and terrace – combination requires specially designed bottles and unique tastes. Of course bottle must be white and drink include some flavouring.

Specially created by the House of Lanson, Lanson White Label allows you to appreciate the subtlety of champagne combined with all sorts of natural aromas. You should enjoy this champagne with mint-leaves, orange peel, rasberry or with choice of yours preference.

Champagne is dry, not brut, and it is produced from Chardonnay 38%, Pinot Noir 37% and Pinot Meunieur 25% grapes.

Cooler which is designed for this champagne is also must. It works well because cooler cover prevents the ice from melting and small slots on the cover are excellent place to keep aromas. We tried orange peels and mint-leaves.

Lanson in cooler - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

White bottle and cooler are solemn combination. Makes champagne even more attractive.

Wine itself is straw-colored with debonair bubbles. Seemed that amount of bubbles diminished too quickly.

THE NOSE

Chardonnay lightens the bouquet and makes it balanced. Found some fruits mostly pear.

Orange peel scent was quite strong so you must be careful when adding it. One or two slices is enough

Mint was too subtle, we had too mild mint leaves, propably.

THE TASTE

Pleasing and fresh flavor, some fruits. You could enjoy this without adding any flavoring.

Again taste of orange peel was stronger but still subtle.

Mint unfortunately did not taste almost at all although we crushed one leave. Mint was from Robbens Lilla Trädgård, try something stronger variety.

Lanson and herbs - reijosfood.comLanson White Label - reijosfood.com

Facts:
Alcohol:    12.50 %
Extract:    49 g/l
Acidity:    8.4 g/l
Sugar:      28 g/l
Energy:    90 kcal / 100 ml (370 kJ / 100 ml)

Lanson claims that White Label is the first champagne in the world specially designed for experimenting aromas. If that is the fact Moet & Chandon has ben able to create more ballyhoo two years ago when it launched Ice Imperial. At least for me it is more known champagne with the similar idea. Main differences are that Ice Imperial is semi-dry and you should add ice cubes. And the latter one is maybe the most revolutionary novelty in the world of champagnes.

Lanson & Moet - reijosfood.com

Can recommend Lanson White Label for summer champagne, if you are not too stuck to brut’s, even without aromas. Champagne would suit for aperitif but also for dessert wine. With peel of orange it resembles one of cocktail, especially if you add too many peels.

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

http://www.lanson.com/white-label/en/home.html





Wine review: Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut

2 03 2014

Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut - reijosfood.com
House of Moët’s iconic champagne, Moët Impérial.

Moët has been associated with the sparkle of success and glamour ever since the House was founded in 1743 by Claude Moët.

Moët Impérial is the House’s iconic champagne. Created in 1869, it embodies Moët & Chandon’s unique style, a style distinguished by its bright fruitiness, its seductive palate and its elegant maturity. Wine is made of Pinot Noir 30-40%, Pinot Meunier 30-40% and Chardonnay 20-30% grapes. Chardonnay completes the freshness and stability of this wine.

THE LOOK

The look of wine is golden straw yellow with green highlights, plenty of small bubbles.

Moet Imperial - reijosfood.com

THE NOSE

Green apple and citrus fruit, the freshness of mineral nuances and white flowers, the elegance of blond  notes. Second glass brought up interesting bouquet…

THE TASTE

White-fleshed fruits (peach, apple), the alluring caress of fine bubbles, the soft palate of citrus fruit

Facts & Figures:

Alcohol: 12,00 %
Extract: 25 g/l
Acidity: 5,9 g/l
Sugar: 9 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Moët Impérial can be served throughout the meal, from aperitif to dessert and pairs perfectly with: shell fish, white fish, white meats (such as chicken) and dessert fruits.

We paired it with scallops, antipasti and chicken skrewer with rucola salad. Best match was with scallops but as mentioned earlier, wine really can be served with all dishes during lunch or dinner.

Scallops and Moet Imperial - reijosfood.com

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

PS. Moet Ice Imperial reviewed 15-09-2013 at reijosfood.com

http://www.moet.com//





Home cuisine: Asian style whitefish

23 02 2014

Asian style whitefish - reijosfoo.com

Whitefish, one of the best Finnish fishes, can be prepared in a myriad of ways. This time made whitefish with asian style, one of our favourite cuisines.

First of all you need fresh whitefish. If you want to take a shortcut, purchase scaled and fish bones removed ones. Less messy and it saves time.

Whitefish - reijosfood.com

Recipe:

1 whitefish fillet for each diner

Rice (used whole grain instead of white)

Sauce: water, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, cane sugar, red chilli, ginger, fresh mint and coriander

Salad: carrot, cucumber, sweet pepper, fresh mint and coriander, balsamic vinegar

Riesling - reijosfood.com

Instructions (30 minutes preparing time, step 1 not included)

1. Take whitefish out of the fridge 1 hour earlier, add salt and pepper for both sides

2. Prepare sauce by mixing all ingredients depending how spicy you want to make it. You might want to add more sugar but tasting is important.

3. Prepare salad in separate bowls by using peeler in order to get thin chips and add sweet pepper and herbs

4. Boil water and add rice according to instructions on package (boiling time 10-12 minutes)

5. Put whitefish in the oven for about 15 minutes, 220C degrees (depending on the size of fillets)

6. Serve immediately; first rice on the warmed plate, then fish fillet and herbs. Pour sauce on top of the portions at the table.

Whitefish and rice - reijosfood.com

This dish is healthy and palatable. It is your choice how spicy food you like. This can be really spicy if you add plenty of chilli, ginger and herbs. It also can be dilute without those spices.

Suitable wine for this dish is white wine from riesling grapes. Tried Cono Sur Single Vineyard Block 23 Riesling 2012, which has enough acidity and character; therefore it paired perfectly. Wine review will follow later.





Wine review: Château d’Arche 2006 – pairing with Runeberg’s tarte and cheeses

24 01 2014

Runeberg tart - reijosfood.com

How sweet white wine Château d’Arche 2006 pairs with traditional Finnish coffee bun, Runeberg cake or Runeberg’s tarte? And with Finnish and French cheeses?

Château d’Arche is located on the heights of the village of Sauternes in Southern Gironde.  This 40 hectare vineyard stretches across the prestigious Sauternes appellation. Wineyard produces only few wines with focus on sweet ones.

Chateau d'Arche - reijosfood.com

The grapes of the wine are Semillon and Sauvignon making the wine easy to enjoy. Wine could be stored even for 20 years if you have enough patience.

THE LOOK

Golden yellow, close to resin.

THE NOSE

Interesting observation or THE NOSE lied again. Found bitter almond, which was odd as it should not be there. Maybe piece of Runeberg cake on the small plate already mislead sense of smell. Anyway, honey and noble rot was there as they should be.

THE TASTE

As you can notice from the chart below wine is not so sweet as many of its cousins. But again taste of noble rot and apricot were obvious.

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 14,00 %
Extract : 160 g/l
Acidity: 5,6 g/l
Sugar: 120 g/l
Energy : 140 kcal / 100 ml (590 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

First tasted wine with cheeses: Finnish blue cheese Peltola Blue and French ones; white cheese Levasseur Grand Livarot from Normandy and 16 months ripened organic Gryerere, Comte, from Jura mountains (on the left). Port wine is maybe the most common wine for cheeses but would say that Château d’Arche 2006 paired quite nicely. If you would have had more sweet white wine it would have destroyed the taste of cheeses. Of course port or red wines are more safe choises but can recommend this one for salty cheeses.

Cheeses - reijosfood.com

Then tasted wine with Runeberg cake. Cake is available only from mid January to 5th February, when the birthday of our national poet and writer J.L.Runeberg is celebrated. As cake includes punch as humectant, it really is challenging dessert for wines.

Runebergintorttu - reijosfood.com

Result: Runeberg cake requires more sweet wine like Tokaji or Eiswein which have around 200g/l sugar. Also as cake has some strong ingredients it requires stronger wine to accompany.

With or without wine, it is always pleasure to enjoy the Runeberg cake or two!

And when it comes to cheeses, would say it was unbeatable threesome. Livarot being maybe the best white cheese in the world.

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

http://chateau-arche.com/





Wine review: Matua Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012

19 01 2014

Matua Pinot Noir - reijosfood.com

I am not sure if THE NOSE lied but when wine was poured in to the glass it smelled first like butterscotch. After rotating the wine in the glass the scent changed totally! Any similar experiences with this wine?

Matua was the first wineyard in New Zealand to plant Sauvignon Blanc in 1969.  Their produced first bottle in 1974. However, this is not about Sauvignon Blancs, which is not our favourite grape. First wine review (not first wine enjoyed) 2014 concerns Pinot Noir.

Tested wine was Matua Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012. Wineyard claims that wine is it’s best Pinot so far.

THE LOOK

First of all the color of the label is different than usually on wine bottles, turquoise. Maybe that was the reason it caught my eye at Alko.

Wine itself is light red, close to mature cherry.

THE NOSE

This was surprising! Usually when tasting wines I do not smell the aroma of wine so carefully before rotating it. This time did and was surprised by the smell of butterscotch. The bouquet I did not expect to find from Pinot Noir. But it made the wine really fascinating and forced to focus on THE NOSE more specifically than ever.

After rotating the wine in the glass strongly, aroma changed significantly. Now we found cherry, more typical pinot noir characters and some tannins.

THE TASTE

Maybe tannins dominated, as acidity was quite low, because wine tasted a little bit acrid. Not that it hindered but that was the first feeling. Anyway, this wine was the most savory pinot noir ever tasted. As they are usually quite tawdry, Matua Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012 is not.

Facts and Figures:

Alcohol: 13,50 %
Extract : 30 g/l
Acidity: 5,4 g/l
Energy : 90 kcal / 100 ml (380 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: metal screw cap

Tasted wine with asian food and match was perfect. Mixed flavors of strong spices and sweet seasonings are difficult combination for wines. Also paired well with pizza which was spiced with tabasco and jalopenos. Conclusion: wine suits better with spicy foods than avarage pinot noirs, mostly because of tannins.

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

http://www.matua.co.nz/en








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