Wine review: Best mulled wines 2015

12 12 2015

Glögi - reijosfood.com

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.

So,  here is a selection of TOP3 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% (be careful!)
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 ++/+++ (little bit too strong)

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





Wine review: Aalto – Spanish winery and red wine have Finnish name!

13 02 2015

Aalto

Famous Finnish architect and designer Alwar Aalto has desinged several buildings in Finland including Finlandia Hall. Buildings designed by him can be found also in USA, Germany, Italy, France, etc. One of his most known glassware works was Aalto (Savoy) vase.

Bodegas Aalto was founded in 1998 by Mariano Garcia, Vega Sicilia’s legendary winemaker of over 30 years, and Javier Zaccagini, former President of the Ribera del Duero AOC. Almost 20 years since it was founded, the winery is considered one of the best in the region. The name of the winery was inspired by famous Finnish designer Alwar Aalto. Aalto is main wine for this winery and also reviewed wine carried Aalto name.

Grape used in producing Aalto red wine is 100% TINTO FINO. Tempranillo, more known 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 in Ribera del Duoro where Aalto winery is located.

Aalto wine - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Label itself is one of the most minimalist seen before. Different colors of black and silver gray letters and small bunch of grapes in the upper right corner of O letter.

Vintage 2010 was dark red like but not not brownish, which means that 2010 is still quite young.

THE NOSE

Bouquet was rich and pleasant, could recognize tempranillo. Some black berries and hint of fennel. Aroma became even more elegant after 10 minutes.

THE TASTE

Full-bodied, again elegant and soft. Filled mouth not just flowed down. Again tempranillo was easy to identify, one of the best Spanish wines ever tasted. And this was not the first time!

I am fan of tempranillo wines, which might affect, but not too much. Tasted wine first as such and then with fillet steak. Pairs perfectly with red meat and bet that also with strong cheeses.

Fillet steak and Aalto wine - reijosfood.com

Facts:

Alcohol: 15% by volume
Extract: 28 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)

Vintage 2010 is “stronger” than 2008, which had 14% alcohol by volume. To be honest, liked vintage 2008 a little more than 2010….but 2010 is also great and enjoyable!

Aalto wine is elegant but partly because of low production volume, it is not the most unexpensive. Although you have to pay a little bit more the quality really provides value for the money.

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

http://www.riberadelduero.es/en/bodegas/aalto-bodegas-y-vinedos-sa





Wine review: Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas Mencía 2011

1 02 2015

I have been lazy that I have not been written about wines tasted and enjoyed. This will change 2015!

Cepas Viejas - reijosfood.com

I was planning to purchase Spanish red wine for lamb and original intention was to buy Aalto wine. Nearby Alko did not had it, so decided to try full-bodied Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas Mencía 2011. Wine is produced from Mencia grapes at Dominio de Tares bodega. Actually all that info is in the name of wine :). I can not remember that I have tasted before wine produced from Mencia, but I can be wrong. Mencia is not so common as many other Spanish grapes like Tempranillo.

Dominio de Tares is located in the region of El Bierzo (León) and settled in an exceptional area surrounded by high quality vineyards. Also main area for Mencia. The vineyard, with indigenous varieties mencía and godello, has been selected after an exahustive search of the best pagos under de D.O. Bierzo, by looking for the most interesting soils and settlements.

Cepas Viejas - reijosfood.com

******************************************************************************************************************************
THE LOOK

Cherry red colour with violet tones on the rim. WIne is darker than Pinot Noir which is usually benchmark for Mencia when it comes to color.

THE NOSE

Powerful nose of intense fruity aromas of raspberries and cherries, as well as flowery hints of violets in perfect combination with oak spices and fragrances of liquorice.

THE TASTE

Nuanced and developed. Boysen berries, spicy and warm. The tannins are firm, but well integrated, the acidity is lively. Amount of alcohol can be just regognized.

Cepas Viejas - reijosfood.com

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,5%
Extract: 32 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (390 kJ/100 ml)

Wine is excellent and especially paired perfectly well with overcooked lamb shank. Wine can be found from upper shelf in Alko due to price, but it is worth of it.

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

image

Home – Dominio de Tares.





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.





Vorschmack – traditional Finnish dish

19 08 2013

Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

There are several stories regarding the origin of Vorschmack but it has become a traditional, but not so widespread Finnish dish as it was one of the favourite appetizers of the Finnish statesman, war hero and gourmand Marshall C.G.E. Mannerheim.

For main course Vorschmack is too heavy due to salty, quite “interesting” taste and combination of side dishes.

Vorschmack is prepared mainly out of minced meat (lamb and pork), anchovises and/or herring, onions and spices. The dish is usually garnished with beetroot, pickles, sour cream and eaten with baked potato. Made one change to original recipe of side dishes, had oven baked beetroots instead of pickled ones. Bought Russian pickles but they were too salty and therefore suggest those ones which are in small glass jars. And to be honest, Vorschmack itself was canned. And in this can anchovises dominant flavor flavour too much.

Root vegetables - reijosfood.comPickles - reijosfood.com

Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

You can enjoy Vorschmack for instance at restaurants Savoy and Lasipalatsi in Helsinki. Had last year Vorschmack (picturebelow) as a starter in restaurant Lasipalatsi and it was delicious.

Lasipalatsi Vorschmack - reijosfood.com





King prawns with Asian flavour

9 05 2013

For shellfish lovers easy and quick portion to prepare for lunch or dinner. But also really tasty and healthy!

King prawnsKing Prawns

Recipe

King prawns (enough for each person)

4 garlic cloves

1 chilli

1/2 -1 fresh ginger (depending on size)

Oil to fry

Asian mint

Baby salad or similar

Lime slices

Low fat Yoghurt

Whole-grain rice  for side dish

(Soy sauce)

Cooking instructions:

If king prawns are frozen defrost them in cold water and dry on paper. If you have shells on prawns, take them away.

1) Chop garlic, chilli and ginger in small pieces and cut 2 lime pieces for each person

2) Put the water to boil for rice and rice to pot when water is hot (takes 10 minutes to cook, ready cooking instructions from package)

3) Pour youghurt in small scoop and set salad leaves, lime pieces and scoop on the plate

4) Put oil on frying pan, heat it and add garlic, chilli and ginger in order to glaze them

5) Add king prawns and fry 1-2 min from both sides (depends on the size of prawns)

6) Take rice out of water and set it on the plate and add some soy sauce (if you like it)

7) Set king prawns on salad leaves which are already on the plate

8) Garnish with Asian mint

9) Enjoy with good white wine!

Ingredientsking prawns

Perfect wine due to Asian spices is KungFu Girl Riesling which was reviewed 12.1.2013.

Bon Appetit! Hyvää Ruokahalua!





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)

Rosemary

Sage (4 leaves)

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

1+ liter meat stock

Maizena

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.

9) ENJOY THE DISH

10) WITH RED WINE (review coming later)

LambVegetablesMuseum








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