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: 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: Verrocchio Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2012 – wrong vintage

18 07 2014

Valpolicella Ripasso - reijosfodo.com

If you want to buy wines in Finland you have to go to Alko, which is monopoly company owned by Finnish government. Nowadays you can utilize web shops, if you pay Finnish alcohol tax for your purchases.

When visiting Alko I usually read carefully what is written on the labels explaining if the wine is dry, full-bodied and so on. I chose Italian red wine Verrocchio Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2012 partly based on the information of it’s label on wine cabinet. This visit was about 2 months ago.

The label said that wine should have medium tannins. I am not a fan of wines which include too much tannins because they are just too “hard” to be enjoyed. But information on the label was based on vintage 2011 and purchased wine had changed to 2012. On the label there was nothing about vintage. Because of amount of tannins had to check what Alko said on their web Pages about the wine. Same story from year 2011!

When checking again few days ago, vintage had been changed to 2012 at Alko web page. But still story about medium tannins…..

Wine is made from grapes Corvina and Rondinella. Typical Ripasso grapes.

THE LOOK

Dark red, some hints of brown color.

THE NOSE

Ripasso type, but you can already notice the tannins.

THE TASTE

For me, lot’s of tannins, full-bodied, dark berries, warm.

Valpolicella Ripasso- reijosfood.com

Facts:

Alcohol:      13,50 %
Extract:      36 g/l
Acidity:       5,3 g/l
Sugar:         6 g/l
Energy:       90 kcal / 100 ml (370 kJ / 100 ml)

Ripasso, the younger brother or sister of Amarone, is excellent wine for every ocation. Suits for all meats and of course with Italian food.

Unfortunately misleading (old) information did not make this tasting as pleasant as it could be. Therefore only 3,5. Would like to try vintage 2011 to see if the label at Alko was right about year older Ripasso.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++





Wine review: Best summer rose wines at Alko?

9 07 2014

Neiss Pinot Noir rose - reijosfood.comBardolino Chiaretto - reijosfood.com

In Finland, Alko has a monopoly in selling alcohol including wines. There have been some initiatives in order to obtain wines to supermarkets but that is far away from happening. However, Alko has improved a lot it’s wine supply. On the other hand Finnish tax for alcohol drinks does not favor wines instead of strong beverages, which it should.

But this post was about best rose wines at Alko, so let’s move to that topic. Best with questionmark, because there are quite many interesting rose wines at Alko but these two have excellent price quality ratio.

Neiss Pinot Noir Rosé 2013

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir

THE LOOK

Color with hints of orange-brown looks a little bit fanciful.

THE NOSE

Strawberries, jewing gum Hubba-Bubba came to my mind but scent was not that strong.

THE TASTE

Dry and citrus, very close to the white wines. Threfore, if you do not like rose wines but like white wines, this is the rose for you. Pairs with same foods like white wines.

Neiss rose in the glass - reijosfood.com

Tommasi Bardolino Chiaretto Rosé 2013

Grapes: Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, Molinara

THE LOOK

Hints of orange-brown but more close to typical rose than Neiss.

THE NOSE

Light strawberry aroma, hints of fruit alphabet candies, otherwise scent is delicate. More typical rose than Neiss.

THE TASTE

Dry, pleasant, balanced rose type of flavor. Excellent aperitif but suits also with Antipasto, Chicken, pasta and asian cuisine.

Tommasi rose - reijosfood.com

Facts:

WINE             Neiss Pinot Noir                                         Tommasi Bardolino Chiaretto
Alcohol:     12.00 %                                           12.00 %
Extract:     33 g/l                                               27 g/l
Acidity:      7.6 g/l                                              6 g/l
Sugar:        9 g/l                                                 8 g/l
Energy:      80 kcal / 100 ml (330 kJ / 100 ml)  80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)

Some might think that there are only two type of wines; white and red. Especially if one has tried not so pleasant-tasting sweet and maybe even too warm rose wine. I find good roses enjoyable. They can be basic rose wines or sparkling ones. Especially rose champagnes might be extremely drinkable. You just have to find right roses. Try these two.

OVERALL GRADE: Neiss 4+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++(+)/+++

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





Wine review: Best mulled wines

13 12 2013

Glögi - reijosfood.com

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 two best mulled wines available at Alko: Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi and Hehkuviini.

Mulled wines - reijosfood.com

What is odd that both 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. This was actually new information for me, without writing this post I would not have paid any attention.

THE LOOK

The labels of both bottles look similar, same red ground and golden decorations.

Hehkuviini is a little bit darker red than Perinteinen 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.

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.

Facts and figures:

Perinteinen Hehkuviini**
Punaviinigögi*
Alcohol: 13,00 % 22.00 %
Extract: 130 g/l 175 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l 5.1 g/l
Sugar: 110 g/l 150 g/l
Energy: 130 kcal / 100 ml (520 kJ / 100 ml) 190 kcal / 100 ml (800 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: metal screw cap metal screw cap

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 which is one of the worst ever tasted. Gluhweins are quite close to mulled wines, but not so sweet.

One option is to buy mulled wines from super markets but then you also to need to know which ones to pick. Most of them are actually juices. Good choice is Blossa Lingon which is almost non-alcoholic and therefore suits for drivers also.

Blossa glögi - reijosfood.com

REVIEWS: OVERALL GRADES 5/5* AND 4/5** – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++* AND ++/+++**





Red wine glasses – does the size matter? (Part II)

27 11 2013

Red wine glasses - reijosfood.com

In part I we tasted Faustino VII with one result we did not write about. Right glass improved both aroma and taste of this affordable red wine. In Part II we tasted Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine du Vieux Lazaret 2010, which should be full-bodied with tannins, dark berries, cherry, spicy, hint of oak, nuanced regarding to Alko. Grapes in the wine are Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault which is challenging combination.

Red wines - reijosfood.com

We used the same glasses as in Part I with tasting results below:

Glass 1: Sommeliers Bordeaux GC (Riedel, Austria)

Huge 27 cm high glass with capacity of 0,86 litre. Could take the whole bottle! Glass maker Riedel recommends it to be used with following wines/grapes: Bordeaux (red), Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chablis, Fronsac, Graves rouge, Listrac, Margaux, Médoc, Merlot, Moulis, Pauillac, Pessac Leognan (Rouge), Pomerol, St. Emilion, St. Estèphe, St. Julien

TASTING NOTES: Glass is still too big for tasting because spinning the glass is quite clumsy. Huge size makes you careful which does not help in the tasting. However, practice makes you master and this time wine spinned more easily. Both results of NOSE and TASTE tests were in balance. Wine opened nicely and aroma was pleasant despite of tannins. WINNER OF THE TEST!

Glass 2: Vinum Bordeaux (Riedel, Austria)

Typical 22,5 cm high red wine glass with capacity of 0,61 litre. Recommended by Riedel to use with following wines/grapes: Bordeaux (red), Carmenère, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zweigelt

TASTING NOTES: Part I winner was not so impressive as it was in previous test. Somehow sniffing the bouquet made you cough. However, result of THE TASTE was as good as it was with the winning glass.

Glass 3: Essence (Iittala, Finland)

23 cm high with capacity of 0,45 litre and designed by Alfredo Häberli for Iittala in 2001. No recommendations for wines or grapes. In Finnish Iittala web -site also classified as beer glass.

TASTING NOTES: Shame on Iittala! Again LOSER OF THE TEST! Same problems with the NOSE, alcohol and with THE TASTE, tacky and lackluster.

Glass 4: Basic tasting glass

These glasses are usually used in basic wine tastings. This glass was brought on from Barcelona Estacio Enologica 100-year celebration but glass type has also been used in Finnish Wine Fairs several years ago.

TASTING NOTES: The bouquet for the THE NOSE was tender but THE TASTE was a little bit tacky and acid. Part I and Part II tests proved that basic tasting glass is excellent for the THE NOSE part of tests.

Glasses - reijosfood.com

Conclusion

Size matters, at least when it comes to Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine du Vieux Lazaret 2010! Although none of the grapes of this wine are not mentioned by Riedel for preferred ones for Sommeliers Bordeaux GC glass, glass won the test. Wine with tannins need to get ogygen in order to open. Glass itself is like decanter which improves the experience.

But as written in the beginnng of the post, cheap and lackluster wines improve more in the right shaped glass. Best example are cognacs, do not use traditional glasses for them because you get blind due to the alcohol vapor. Buy cheaper cognac and enjoy it from flute-shaped aroma glass.








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