Restaurant review: Samsara (Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain)

3 03 2018

Usually write about restaurants in Helsinki, Finland, but if find noteworthy spot somewhere else, review ends up here. Gran Canaria is one of the most holiday destinations, especially the south part. Most of the restaurants do not differ so much from each other and you can similar food from each restaurant. Some try to be a little fancier, maybe the the fanciest are at the hotels.

Restaurant Samsara in Costa Meloneras is hidden gem or not because it is so popular. It’s location is interesting, one could not guess from outside that in that worn building there is a fusion cuisine spacious restaurant with it’s own style. Decoration comes from Asia, buddha style dominating.

The idea is to share portions, dishes are not classified to starters and main courses. If you decide to eat one dish by yourself, there is not room for so called starter.

To start the dinner with, Samsara served Samosas for apetizers both times. Delicious snack is a nice bridge for courses you are waiting for. There will also be a small white roll, which is not needed and actually it does not fit in to the ensamble.

First visit dishes were “fish lasagne” POUPIETE DE LENGUADO Y SALMON AHUMADO CON CREMA DE LANGOSTA ORIENTAL and FILETES DE TOFU ENROLLADOS CON HOJA DE ESPINACA EN SALSA DE SETA SHITAKE.

“Lasagne” was tasty but as waiter said it was not so exotic and spicy as many other dishes. Wanted to try how two fishes, salmon and cod, paired with cheese. Interesting experience!

Tofu replaced turkey in vegan version of this dish. Dish was tasty and tofu cooked crispy.

For wine ordered Mas de Quince from bodegas Piedemonte. Winery is located in the town of Olite in Navarra, Spain of course. It was founded in 1992. The red varieties grown are: garnacha, tempranillo, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Wine was created from grapes sourced from more than 15 year old vineyards, with an average yield of 4000 kg/ha. Color was dark ruby and taste balanced with smooth tannins.

When visiting second time ordered SOLOMILLO CON CURRY PANANG and VERDURAS SALTEADAS CON CURRY DE MATSUMAN Y LECHE DE COCO ACOMPAÑADO DE ARROZ JAZMIN.

Tenderloin in curry sauce with vegetables and cashew nuts was bulls eye. Spicy and sweet sauce as well as soft, crispy pieces of meat made this dish excellent.

Vegan version of curry was not so spicy as expected but propably for many it was enough strong. Delicious dish and of course big portion.

Principe de Viana Edition Limitade was the wine we enjoyed during second visit. Grapes come from different wineyards and they are Tempranillo 25% Plot “El Carrascal”, Merlot 50% Plot “El Crucero” and Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Plot “La Muga”. It has been aged in 225-litre oak barrels for 14 months. Wine has deep ruby red colour. Taste is round and well-structured, dark berries and fruits with hints of vanilla.

When you enter to restaurant by climbing the stairs, you first see giant statue. Outside there is chilling area for enjoying drinks. There is also few tables for dining but winter time sometimes might be to cold to eat outside.

Indoor you can find different spaces. Dining rooms are decorated with sculptures, pictures, small items and all are more or less looking like there were brought from Asia or India.

 

Samsara serves some spicy dishes, but all of them are kind of pieces of art. Serving plates, bowls or trays are huge due to size of portions. One speciality is desserts, one can beforehand order cake for birthday party or for other celebration.

Service is propably the best in Costa Meloneras, many waiters and waitresses are ready to to serve.

Restaurant is open only in evenings and it is fully booked almost all the time. Therefore if you want to visit it, make your reservation enough early. They might ask to re-confirm it, but it is worth of it.

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

http://www.samsara-gc.com/indexe.html





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 and Albert Bichot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2017

17 11 2017

 

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. But not any more, even labels seem to be same

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 16th November, 2017.

This year wines available from Alko were Albert Bichot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. So no changes compared to last year.

 

THE LOOK

Albert Bichot did not have time to renew label? One fun part are the labels which are colorful and creative. Luckily Georges Duboeuf did not dissappoint.

Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish like young wines always are. But I think this year they are darker than last year.

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 again.

THE TASTE

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

Facts:

                             Georges Duboeuf                                        Albert Bichot
Alcohol:        13,00 %                                             13,00 %
Acidity:         5,2 g/l                                               5,5 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (280 kJ / 100 ml)   70 kcal / 100 ml (290 kJ / 100 ml)

 

Albert Bichot cost 0,50€ more, why? Same label as last year, more modest taste.

 

REVIEW:

Georges Duboeuf  OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++

Albert Bichot OVERALL GRADE 3/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +/+++





Wine review: Matsu El Recio

16 07 2017

 

First time I saw this kind of a “hilarious” series of Spanish red wines, was couple of years ago at some wine fair in Helsinki. Already then I took the cards of the wines to study them more closely later.

Several times have ordered basic Matsu El Picaro in restaurants and it has always been enoyable. Medium-bodied, almost full bodied and pairs nicely with meny dishes. Therefore expectations for Matsu El Recio were maybe to high.

Matsu wines come from an area called Toro with very favourable conditions for obtaining a good quality grape. The climate in this area is a continental climate with an Atlantic influence. It is an area that experiences extreme temperature changes, reaching 11 degrees below zero in winter and 37 degrees in summer. There is also a considerable temperature contrast between night and day, which favours an optimum maturation of the grape. In addition, the annual rainfall is very low, so the risk of diseases appearing is also very low and therefore grapes grow in a perfectly healthy state.

Vineyards produce the Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) variety; between 80 and 100 years of age and have a very low yield per vine.

THE LOOK

What was attracted my interest, was the label. Or actually series of labels. In this wine there is a middle aged man.

Color of the wine is quite deep red but not as brownish as I expected-

THE NOSE

Ripe plum, cranberry and sour cherry. Quite mild, actually difficult to find anything, but somhow acidity came through.

THE TASTE

Regarding to notes, wine should be full-bodied, but this one was not. Would say it medium-bodied. And acidity and tannins dominated also in taste as well noticed in bouquet. Also spiciness was obvious. Not my favourite.

 


 

Must say that this Matsu El Recio was dissappointment. I tried to find some wine error, acidity maybe was, but could not actually identify. Cork was ok also. Maybe it is just so, that this wine is too light and blend for my taste.

However, suggest to try El Picaro which is also affordable. I am now wondering if I shall try El Viejo at all. Any experience?

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,5% by volume
Acidity: 4,4 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml
Closure: Natural cork

 

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 2/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK + / +++

http://bodegamatsu.com/en/





Wine review: Rouge de Carsin Suomi Finland 100 2014

6 03 2017

Finland’s big year 2017

Finland became an independent state on 6 December 1917. The newly born state was willed into being by the Finns after a long struggle. In spite of hard times, the Finnish people have for almost a hundred years engaged in the building of their country and making decisions together. Now the Finns are leading their country into a new century with courage and determination.

The centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 will be the most significant commemorative year for this generation of Finns. The centenary emphasises Finland’s strengths, such as equality and democracy by offering Finns and friends of Finland diverse and international centenary programme in Finland and abroad. The centenary year provides opportunities to better understand the past, experience the jubilee together and set the course for Finland’s future success.

The official Finland 100 corporate partners, products and services and the centenary projects of different companies. When it comes to wines, Chateau Carsin from Bordeaux, France is the one of the 2 partners.

In early 1990, Château Carsin was purchased by Finnish wine enthusiasts, the Berglund family. At the same time New World wines were becoming strong in the markets. In order to be competitive, a totally modern winery was ordered from Australia. With that investment winery is able to compete against other French producers.

Winery has used in production traditional Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

THE LOOK

Suomi Finland 100 logo is on the label as a proof of partnership.

For quite young wine, color is already dark red. When you circulate the glass, wine flows down, as it would do when you observe older wines.

THE NOSE

Bouquet is pleasant, actually quite intense compared to the taste. Spicy with some berries like blackberry.

THE TASTE

Taste reveals that you are having quite young wine in your hands. Medium-bodied with soft tannins.

 

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5% by volume
Acidity: 5,1 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml
Closure: natural cork

 

There is also white wine, Blanc de Carsin 2015, available. As a friend of red wines, might not have time to taste it.

Suomi Finland wines are of course marketed in Finland, but if you find them somewhere else, please let me know.

 

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

http://carsin.com/suomi100/

 

 





Wine review: Farnito Camponibbio 2009

10 02 2017

*
In 1967, Giovanni Carlo Sacchet and Antonio Mario Zaccheo set out to interesting wine and produce a Chianti Classico that it would gain international renown. Carpineto wines are the result of advanced scientific and enological processes and techniques which respect the territorial integrity of the land. Over 95% of the Carpineto production is of red wines, the majorityof which are wines which age 3+ years before reaching the market for sale, with current figures at over 3 million bottles of wine being sold yearly.

“Camponibbio” is a Vineyard located in the southern part of our Vino Nobile estate, just outside the town of Chianciano Terme, Siena. This vineyard is subdivided into various plots, each with its own grape varietal, clone and rootstock that best match the varying soil types. During each harvest winery selects the fruit from the best performing vineyard plots, given the weather conditions of that vintage.  The grape composition of each vintage, therefore, is made of varying percentages of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and even Merlot, which is not mentioned on the back label of the bottle.

THE LOOK

Style of label is old and it has kind of map of wineyard.

Color of the wine is intense, deep, ruby red with garnet highlights. Vintage 2009 does not yet provide hints of brownish color.

THE NOSE

First light but later intense, found plums, berries and liquorice. After letting the wine breath, could also find light stable and cigar box.

THE TASTE

Bold, yet balanced and elegant.

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5% by volume
Extract: 40 g/l
Acidity: 5,5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml
Closure: natural cork

It is recommended to decant the wine, then you can really enjoy the flavors and bouquet.

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

http://www.carpineto.com/the-winery/?lang=en

 

 





Wine review: Amarone della Valpolicella di Sartori 2011

24 12 2016
Amarone of the month, Amarone della Valpolicella di Sartori 2011. Can not avoid buying Amarone, when it is Christmas.

Wineyard’s history goes back to 1898 when Pietro Sartori bought his first vineyard in Negrar. Nowadays Sartori’s success is in large part due to its international efforts, which represent over 80% of its sales in over 50 countries: throughout Europe like Finland, in North and South America, in Russia, in South East Asia. The labels on which the company is now focusing on are Regolo Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso DOC and Marani Bianco Veronese IGT. This makes me wonder, if Amarone is worth to try.
Grapes used in production are 50% Corvina Veronese, 40% Rondinella and 10% Molinara.


THE LOOK

Most Amarone bottle labes are modest without too much colors like Sartori

Intense red colour

THE NOSE

First feeling was coffee chololate. When you rotate the glass, you find typical aroma with hints of red fruit jam and spicy finish

THE TASTE

Also first taste is kind of coffee chocolate, which I have not recognized from other Amarones tasted. If you have tasted this wine, did you find the same aroma and taste?
Wine does not taste as sweet as many others, but it has same full bodines, of course.

Facts:

Alcohol: 15% by volume
Sugar: 9 g/l
Acids: 5,5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml
Extract: 39 g/l
Closure: natural cork


img_2294

Amarone della Valpolicella di Sartori 2011 is nuanced, developed and pairs well will rustic meat dishes It paires also with cheeses, like Comte as well as Castello blue and white cheeses, which were as desserts on Christmas table.

Amarone is always wine you can trust, if you like to enjoy something else than red water.

 

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

http://www.sartorinet.com/en/

 

 





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2016 & Albert Bichot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2016

20 11 2016

 

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. But not any more.

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 17th November, 2016.

This year wines available from Alko were Albert Bichot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau.

 

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.

Facts:

                             Georges Duboeuf                                        Albert Bichot
Alcohol:        12,00 %                                             12,50 %
Extract:        30 g/l                                                28 g/l
Acidity:         5,5 g/l                                               5,3 g/l
Energy:         70 kcal / 100 ml (280 kJ / 100 ml)   80 kcal / 100 ml (290 kJ / 100 ml)

REVIEW:

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

Albert Bichot OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++





Wine review: Amarone della Valpolicella di Emilia 2013

10 10 2016

The Winery Cantina Valpantena Verona has been in business since 1958 and was established by several Verona wine growers as a cooperative and now has approximately 250 members farms that cultivate a total of approximately 750 hectares of vineyards, all included in the controlled origin brand areas in the Verona hillsides territory. These members were joined, in July 2003 after merger with the ‘Oleificio delle Colline Veronesi’, by another 150 farmer producing olive oil. This gave live to a new oil and wine business in Valpantena.

Grapes used in production are Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Cabernet Sauvignon


THE LOOK

Most Amarone bottle labes are modest without too much colors. di Emilia is one of the most modest.

Color of wine is dark red with hints of brown although wine is still quite young, 2013.

THE NOSE

Typical Amarone; intense, sweet and quite strong bouquet. However, one might find hints of stable aroma which might come from the mixture of grapes and oak barrels.

THE TASTE

Full-bodied and warm, soft tannins. Fig, plum and dark cherry can be found as flavors. Long and soft aftertaste without any disturbance

 

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,5% by volume
Extract: 40 g/l
Acidity: 5,6 g/l
Energy: 100 kcal/100 ml (400 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Amarone della Valpolicella di Emilia 2013 is not the most known Amarone, at least for me. But after this tasting it became one of the favourites.

Compared to many other Amarones, price is very attractive. So with this wine you can replace many of the similarly priced more typical red meat or game dishes.

 

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

http://www.cantinavalpantena.it/index.asp?Lingua=2

 

 





Wine review: Ned & Henry’s Shiraz 2015

25 09 2016

Established in 1998 Hewitson winery is situated in the heart of the Barossa Valley. Hewitson’s vineyards are spread throughout the renowned wine regions of South Australia, including the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills.

As fan of Hewitson red wines tasted this time Ned & Henry’s Shiraz 2015. Wine comes from Barossa Valley. Grape used is Shiraz 100%.

Like the names many Hewitson wines have. Miss Harry is the favourite also when it comes to taste.

THE LOOK

Color is quite deep red like a crimson

THE NOSE

Forest berries and slight oak bouquet

THE TASTE

Berries warm texture and soft tannins. Fresh acidity on the finish

Ned and Henry’s is meant to be enjoyed young. Had couple of weeks earlier at restaurant Roster same wine but vintage was 2013. Must say that difference between 2015 and 2013 is not huge, but would have given 4 1/2 for 2013.

image

As wine is not the strongest it can be enjoyed well as aperitif, if you like red wine before dinner.

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,0% by volume
Extract: 28 g/l
Acidity: 5,4 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (370 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: metal

 

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

Home





Greek Merlot red wines

29 07 2016

Greece is one of the most popular destination for Finnish holiday travellers in the summer time.

However, Greek wines are under valued and difficult to buy in Finland. Only 4 red and 4 white wines available in Alkos as shelf products and 4 more wines which you can pre-order. Greek restaurants, few in Helsinki, offer also some other Greek wines, which they import by themselves.

During our visit to Crete in July 2016, tasted few young, good and ok red wines. Focus was on Merlot grape, which is actually quite popular, but not as popular as local grapes like Agiorgitiko, Asyrtiko, Mavrodafni and Xinomavro. Sometimes Merlot is additional grape as in few wines tasted.

Chateau Julia Merlot 2011

Winery Domaine Costa Lazaridi with distinctive title “Chateau Julia”, was founded in Adriani, Drama in 1992. The first bottles were marketed also in 1992. Amethystos white, Amethystos Rose and Amethystos Red. Today the Estate produces five families of wines, Amethystos, Chateau Julia, Domaine Costa Lazaridi, Oenodea and Oenotria Land. Today company exports wines even to Sweden but not to Finland, yet.

Chateau Julia Merlot 2011 was facinating or even surprising wine. Unfortunately wine was served too warm, but did not want to use cooler although waitress asked it. Complex aromas of forest fruit, mint and eucalyptus; rare bouquet for Merlot wine. Taste was warm, full-bodied and due to aroma, a bit complex too. Requires food with spices, pairs well with gyros, for instance.

 

Chateau Julia

 

Karipidis Merlot 2012

The Karipidi Winery is a family business in Vounaina Thessaly in central Greece that manages 30 hectares of privately owned vineyards. The vineyards, which are registered in a institution for inspection and certification of biological products, are being cultivated exclusively with methods of biological agriculture.

Karipidis Merlot 2012 is organic wine and has aromatic bouquet with hints of plum, currant, chocolate and vanilla. Mouth-feel of high density flavor, rich structure and robust body.

Pairs well with shellfish and seafood pasta and vegan foods too.

 

Wine

 

Biblia Chora Red 2014

Domaine Biblia Chora was established in 1998 by Vangelis Gerovassilou and Vassilis Tsaktsarlis being one of the newest wineries. In June 2001, the construction of this modern Domain began. In the same year, the first wine was made. Today, the Estate has a private vineyard of 350 acres, which surround the winery, and in which Greek and foreign varieties are cultivated in accordance with the biological standards of viticulture.

Biblia Chora Red 2014 is produced from two grapes; Cabernet Sauvignon 50% and Merlot 50%. It has pure and complex bouquet of ripe red fruit, chocolate and some spicy notes on the finish. Intense flavour with a full body, good structure and a high tannin content, which provides a lasting aftertaste

Pairs with quite variety of foods because of Cabernet Sauvignon, which smoothens the taste.

 

Red wine

 

Melios Red Dry Wine

Domaine Brintziki cultivates vineyards owned 120 acres applying faithfully and with love of the principles of organic agriculture for many years planted with local varieties of Greek. Winery uses also the Avgoustiatis, which belongs to a group of very rare Greek varieties, grown in small size, few producers, but with remarkably high quality results. It is a red wine variety, which gives mostly red dry wines, leading the exploration of the world’s vineyard at the edges. Products product at winery are Tinaktorogos, Augoustiatis, Sign, Melios and Enipeas.

Melios Red Dry Wine is produced from Merlot 80% and Mavrodaphne 20% grapes. Wine has dark red color, intense aroma of red fruits, vanilla and cherry. Full mouth with soft tannins.

Pairs with meat, vegetables and pasta.

Unfortunately winery’s web-pages did not work properly.

 

Melios

 

 

Idisma Drios Merlot 2013

Wine Art Estate was created by Yannis Papadopoulos and Yannis Kalaitzidis 1993. 26 hectares of vineyards at a location known since ancient times for the cultivation of the vine and the production of wines, as indicated by the ruins of a Sanctuary of Dionysus. Wine Art aims to present how well certain Greek and cosmopolitan varieties are adapted to the microclimate of Drama. Towards this direction, a new wine, Chardonnay Idisma Drios was put to market in 1999. This was the first of a new range of products, Idisma Drios (“sweetly oaked”), to be followed by Assyrtiko, Merlot and Syrah.

Idisma Drios Merlot 2013 has deep purple colour. Quite complex bouquet of spices and dark berries.
Wine is balanced and has noble tannins. It is mature, full-bodied, with a long aftertaste.

Pairs with meat, cheeses and even with asian flavors.

 

Idisma Drios Merlot

 

As said earlier, Greek wines are undervalued. Many of the wineries produce organic tasty wines, but production amounts are so small, that many times only Greeks can enjoy of these wines.

Visited Agreco Farm http://www.agreco.gr/ which is partly tourist attraction but also produces organic wines. Wines are sold from their own shops and via some hotel chains and restaurants but production quantity does not allow export these wines.

Maybe some day there are more quality Greek wines available in Finland. But travellers should first choose better wines (not the best ones) instead of grape juice (house wines in caraffes).

 





Farewell to Wine Expo in Helsinki?

21 03 2016

For several reasons Wine Expo in Helsinki has to be renewed or there has to come decision to stop keeping the fair.

  • Only Spanish bodegas were enough interested in to be exhibitors with country department. Visited Bodegas Penafiel and tasted two nice Crianzas.

 

image

 

  • Almost as many beer exhibitors as wine exhibitors or importers. What beer has to do with wines?

 

  • Entrance fee 23€ and you were forced to take tasting glass with you.

 

However, tasted few wines. From Hewitson always reliable Ned & Henry, Le Lecateur and Miss Harry. One of the best wineries in the world come from Australia.

http://www.hewitson.com.au/

 

image

 

From Sweden wine agent Granqvist offered wines from Scriani, Amarone Della Valpolicella and Valpolicella Ripasso. These wines differed from standard similar wines, especially Amarone. It was not that sweet as Amarones typicall are. Also the strong aroma of stable make this wine extraordinary.

http://www.scriani.it/

image

 

But with same setup prefer to visit wine importers own events and new Champagne tasting in April sounds more interesting than Wine Expo in the future.





Wine review: Chill Out – Soft & Vibrant Merlot

9 03 2016
Chill out wine - reijosfood.com
Chill Out wines are a range of wines by Finnish beverage company Altia. Wines come from Europe, Australia and South-Africa and then they are bottled by Altia. Product range contains red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Even ecological and alcohol-free wines include in sortiment.
BUT, all wines are in plastic bottles or bags!

Chill out merlot - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Plastic bottle is light but it feels quite odd in hand because of the weight.

As wine is young it is also quite pale red for Merlot grapes.

THE NOSE

Modest bouquet, hardly can recognize otherwise so spicy Merlot.

THE TASTE

Taste is as weak as aroma. Merlot wine usually “kick” a little bit but this one was without character. On the other hand easy to drink if you do not like full-bodied wines.

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,5% by volume
Extract: 31 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: Plastic cork

Chill Out wines must target younger consumers but also those who sail, visit festivals or camp. Light weigh makes it easy to take more bottles with you. And bottle is still recyclable.

Maybe wines should be enjoyed from plastic glasses to maximize bouquet and taste? Real wine glass is not optimal choice, prefer food glass instead.

When price of the wine at Alko is about 7€, it is one of the cheapest wines there.

 

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 2/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++ / +++

 





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: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau and Doudet-Naudin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (2015)

20 11 2015

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

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 19th November.

Luckily 2015 we are able to taste 2 different wines, both cost to consumers less than 10€ in Alko.

These wines are Doudet-Naudin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Georges Duboeuf wine was for also for sale last year, but Doudet-Naudin is new. One specific feature differentiates these wines from the previous vintages, amount of alcohol >13%!!!

BN2015

THE LOOK

Bottle: Label of Georges Duboeuf follows colorful and joyful trend but Doudet-Naudin does not look traditional Beaujolais Nouveau style with black background.

Wine: Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish as young wines always are.

THE NOSE

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

It seems that Doudet-Naidin has more deep bouquet.

THE TASTE

Medium-bodied, young, light fruity wines. Berries (cherry, cranberry) dominate, but on the other hand taste is light. Aroma is more convenient than taste, but with unspiced food and pizzas, both wines pair well.

Doudet-Naudin felt softer because less acidity, but extra 0,5% in strongness made this wine my favourite.

Facts:

                      Georges Duboeuf                                                  Doudet-Naidin
Alcohol:        13,00 %                                                           13,50 %
Extract:        30 g/l                                                               27 g/l
Acidity:         6,1 g/l                                                              5,7 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)          90 kcal / 100 ml (360 kJ / 100 ml)

Alko has imported 50.000 bottles alltogether of these wines. Let’s see is they are finished before Christmas.

REVIEW:

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

Doudet-Naidin OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++





Wine review: Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010

7 07 2015
 Zenato Amarone - reijosfood.com

The Zenato vineyards cover 75 hectares in the Zenato estate of S. Cristina in San Benedetto di Lugana, ideal for the Trebbiano di Lugana, and in the Costalunga estate in Valpolicella, the homeland of the famous Amarone Zenato.

Produced in Costalunga Estate, in the classical area of Valpolicella, a land well known for its wine and food culture, after a manual selection, the 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 10% Oseleta grapes are left to rest in small boxes and then pressed to create a wine of undoubted quality with great complexity that gets better with age.

Tasted vintage 2010 which is maybe the youngest wine to try from Zenato Amarone red wines.

 

THE LOOK

Most Amarone bottles are modest without too much colors on the label or size of the bottle. Zenato is one of the most modest.

Color of wine is dark red with hints of brown color although wine is still quite young

THE NOSE

Typical Amarone, intense and strong bouquet. Be careful in sniffing as amount of alcohol might surprise you.

THE TASTE

Full-bodied and warm. Fig, plum and dark cherry can be found as flavors. Long aftertaste.

 

Facts:

Alcohol: 16,5% by volume
Extract: 45 g/l
Acidity: 6 g/l
Energy: 110 kcal/100 ml (460 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

 

Antipasti and Amarone - reijosfood.com

 

Tasted Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010 first as such. The wine suits well for enjoying also that way, but the you must like stronger and sweeter red wines. And with giant Riedel glass you really get best out of wine.

With Antipasti flavor even improved. Salty Italian ham and rocket salad paired extremely well with a little bit sweet wine. With red meat I would enjoy more “rough” wine than Amarone, but as friend of this wine type would not leave it to drink, if served 🙂

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

Zenato Winery.

 








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