Wine review: Taittinger Nocturne – Champagne for Finnish Independence Day

6 12 2014
Taittinger Nocturne

Taittinger Nocturne

Taittinger Nocturne is a “sec” champagne composed of chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (60%). Taittinger suggests that Nocturne should be enjoyed at the end of evening. That is partly because of amount of sugar, 17.5g/l dosage of sugar, which might be needed in the wee hours. Champagne for parties? Let’s taste!

However, we decided to taste Nocturne in the evening on Finnish Independence Day, but not at the end of the evening. Did it make any difference? Tasting from Riedel Vitis champagne glass.

Had enjoyed one tasting glass earlier in the afternoon, when we participated at Wine, food & good living fair in October and then it did not taste as good as we hoped. Wine was also a little bit warm at that time.

Taittinger Npcturen and Riedel glass - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

The design of the bottle is elegant and colorful purple. There is also standard bottle available but I would choose this special release.

The body of the wine is pale yellow in color. Rich amount of small bubbles makes you desire to taste before sniffing.

THE NOSE

From delicate bouquet you can find peach but also the “sec” which means a little bit more sweetness than in brut champagne

THE TASTE

Amount of sugar is noticeable, but when wine is enough cold, it does not bother too much. Taste is balanced and stylish.

Taittinger Nocturne - reijosfood.com

Facts:

Alcohol: 12.50 %
Extract: 39 g/l
Acidity: 6.9 g/l
Sugar: 17,5 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (340 kJ / 100 ml)

Taittinger Nocturne is champagne for special occasions especially if you do not like too dry (brut) champagnes. Cool it enough cold and you do not even notice the sweetness.

Happy 97th Independence Day!

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

Taittinger – CUVÉES GALLERY





Champagne tasting at Wine, food and good living fair

30 10 2014

Yearly Wine, food and good living fair was at Messukeskus last weekend. With 2 vouchers or tickets, which you purchase beforehand, you can taste different Champagnes (wine costs 1 ticket). Value of tickets is 2,5€. You also “rent” tasting glass which costs 2€ after giving glass back.

Most of the champagnes available are at Champagne bar/lounge, but some can be found at booths hosted by wine exporter’s. Could unfortunately not find any vintage champagnes.

Tasted Champagnes are in order of merit, not in the order they were tasted. On the top are the wines we liked most.

——————————————————-

Winner was Gosset Excellence Brut. Champagne is produced from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes by champagne house Gosset. It was established in 1584 being one of the oldest wine makers. Champagne provides excellent balance between acidity, citrus and light minerals. (4+/5)

Second place goes to Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut which is produced from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes. Well balanced champagne suits for aperitif and with most of all food, except sweets. (4/5)

Third place goes to a little bit complicated champagne, Bonnaire Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, which costs only 34,90€ at Alko’s. 3rd place is therefore partly earned because of price. Sparkling drink from Bonnaire champagne house does not include sugar at all (non dose). Blanc de blancs, only Chardonnay grapes, makes the taste of wine stable. Due to acidity and extra dry taste, makes you want to sip water between tasting. (4-/5)

Next comes Duval-Leroy Brut AB. Wine has obtained the Ecocert organic certification, meeting standards and specifications at an international level. First wine prdouced only from Pinot Noir grapes. Main reason to choose Duval-Leroy’s Cuvée Brut is to enjoy a wine produced from organic viticulture. Family business was founded 1859 and is nowaday’s led by Carol Duval-Leroy. (3,5/5)

Then comes Taittinger Nocturne Sec, champagne which should be enjoyed late in the evening, because of amount of sugar, 18 g/l. We tried it at about 4PM, which seemed to be much too early. Grapes used in production are Chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunieur. Taste is close to semi-dry as sweetness is obvious. (3,5/5)

Difficult to say which one of the next two champagnes was “better”.

André Clouet Grande Réserve Blanc de Noirs Brut is produced only from Pinot Noir grapes. It does not help to raise ranking, that wine costs at Alko only 29,90€ being one of the cheapest champagnes there. Pure Pinot Noire champagne is challenging, not only when it comes to look, but also flavor. Family owned Clouet wineyard is quite small and it produces about 300.000 bottles per year (2/5)

 Champage De Saint Gall Rosé Brut is produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. The way rose was made is not so great, pinot noir wine was added afterwards to sparkling wine. You can almost notice that in the look. In taste you can find some strawberry and rasberry. and Wine is produced by co-operative Union Champagne. (2-/5)

To summarize, maybe it is better to focus to fewer champagnes from same producer. At least thought afterwards after long day and evening. But if there are not vintage champagnes available, what would be your choice?

Some interesting champagnes were already finished, which you can see for instance in the picture below. Name of the champagnes were crossed out. But at the end of the day, maybe that was also good thing….

image





Hotel review: Swissotel Tallinn, Estonia

7 09 2014

 

Room with a view at Swissotel Tallinn - reijosfood.com

Five-star hotel Swissotel Tallinn is the highest building in the city, boasting impressive views of the old town and the Baltic Sea. 238 rooms and the facilities of this hotel should leave nothing to be desired and it did not indeed.

Check-in and check-out are quick, one of the most comfortables we have experienced.

ROOMS

We always ask for room in upper floors and our 2nd visit was rewarded with room from 29th floor with quite nice view to Tallinn harbour. Hotel also brought to our surprise a bottle of Laurent-Perrier champagne. What would be a better way to feel welcome.

We stayed at Swiss Executive room, which would had provided access to the Swiss Executive Lounge, which offers a range of special features like complimentary beverages, snacks & newspapers, as well as complimentary meeting space.  Unfortunately did not have time to enjoy the facility at all.

Room is spacious and elegantly decorated. And bathroom well equipped with shower and bathtub.

Laurent-Perrier at Swissotel Tallinn - reijosfood.com

Swissotel Tallinn room - reijosfood.com

Swissotel bathroom

PUBLIC SPACES

Public spaces are actually so exclusive that you could spend all the time at the hotel.

On the 11th floor there is heated indoor pool with Finnish sauna and a state-of-the-art fitness club. Purovel Spa and Sport is the perfect retreat after a long day out, offering a wide selection of treatments, from hydrotherapy to hot stone massages.

Unisex sauna was least attractive because it was quite simple; steam sauna’s suit better to spa’s. Maybe it has been there ealier as it was mentioned on hotel website. But would would be better to bathe in heated pool?

Purovel Spa

Tallinn’s “highest” culinary landmark is at the top of Swissôtel Tallinn, with views far out over the Baltic Sea and the medieval old town. Restoran Horisont and bar offer fine dining and drinks at 30th floor. Restaurant is ranked in 1st place on list of Tallinn best restaurants. Unfortunately we were not able to eat at the restaurant this time either because it was under renovation. Maybe 3rd time we are lucky.

Horisont bar

Cafe Swiss is at the 8th floor serving breakfast buffet (can recommend, lacked only sweet pastries), lunch and dinner. Service at breakfast was polite and professional. You could order extra goodies from waitresses which kitchen would prepare right away.

Cafe Swiss

Lobby includes reception, bar and coffee shop. Same waiters operated both places, service again thoughtful. Easy also just to drop, by if you want to take a peek.

LobbySwissotel lobby bar

Swissotel Tallinn is excellent place to spend long weekend. For 5 star hotel it is also quite affordable. Service is excellent and athmosphere relaxed.

Department store Stockmann is only 150 meters away from the hotel and walk to old town takes about 15 minutes.

REVIEW: ROOM 5-/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 5-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5/5

Tallinn Hotel – Luxury Hotel Tallinn – Swissotel Tallinn

 





Wine review: Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Brut

3 09 2014

Heidsieck Blue top - reijosfood.com

Established in 1785, Heidsieck & Co Monopole, the fifth oldest Champagne house in France and the makers of popular “Blue Top” Champagne. Today, Heidsieck is owned by the Vranken company, who also have Pommery and Demoiselle in their portfolio.

Name Heidsieck might be confusing because of Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, which are quite similar champagne names. Is there any connection between persons behind these names?

Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top has been produced from Pinot Noir 70%, Pinot Meunier 10% and Chardonnay 20% grapes. Amount or lack of chardonnay is visible in taste.

THE LOOK

Yellow bottle must be designed to attract younger friends of champagne. Also the size, 20cl, is convenient take-away gift.

Pale, some hints of straw color. Small bubbles all over the glass which disappear quite quickly

THE NOSE

Mild aroma, some fruits but extremely light for nose

THE TASTE

Nice but light and lackluster. Hopefully low fluite in champagne glasses used, did not affect to flavor.

Facts:

Alcohol: 12,00 %
Extract: 29 g/l
Acidity: 6,2 g/l
Sugar: 12 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (330 kJ / 100 ml)

Heidsieck champagne - reijosfood.com

Tasted champagne as aperitif and noticed that it must be ice cold. Suits with mildly spiced food, snacks and potato chips.

Any experience of this wine?

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

Vranken Pommery





Wine review: Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut

28 08 2014

Ruinart and Riedel - reijosfood.com

The Ruinart House was officially created on 1st September 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart, which makes the company oldest established champagne house. The Chardonnay illuminates wines, exalting their brilliance and creating the particular fluidity that makes them so distinctive. Today house is owned by the parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is produced from a blend of 100% premiers crus Chardonnay grapes from the best of recent vintages. Grapes from the estate vineyards in Sillery and Brimont are joined by carefully selected grapes from other premiers crus vineyards in the Côte de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims.

THE LOOK

The design of the bottle is elegant and it is sold in stylish box

Champagne shows a superb, golden yellow color but in the bottle it is more yellow than in the glass. Small bubbles in straight strip raise from the bottom of glass continuously

THE NOSE

The nose is clean and light without any disturbing side scents. 100 % Chardonnay guarantees neutrality

THE TASTE

On the palate the wine is very supple and harmonious, with notes of honey and minerals on the long, sustained finish. One of the most pure champagne tastes

Facts:

Alcohol: 12.50 %
Extract: 33 g/l
Acidity: 4.9 g/l
Sugar: 8 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (350 kJ / 100 ml)

Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs - reijosfood.com

Although Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is NV, it is not basic champagne. It is more expensive due to the chardonnay grapes and whole concept is luxorious including shape of the bottle and package.

Wine suits well for special occasions, to be enjoyed as such. Ruinart pairs with white fishes, shellfish and mildly flavored food. As taste is so delicate, it would be waste to try it with spicy cookings. Excellent champagne, worth to taste and enjoy.

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

Ruinart, Wines and Spirits, premium wines – LVMH.





Hotel review: Regatta – boutique hotel in Hanko, Finland

23 08 2014

 

Moet Ice Imperial at hotel Regatta - reijosfood.com

Regatta Hotel is a modern boutique hotel located in Hanko in the Finnish architect Lars Sonck planned Art Nouveau building from 1898. There have always been hotel business in the famous cultural building and in 2012 the hotel opened again after a complete renovation.

Hotel Regatta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Regatta has 49 different rooms, including 2 single rooms, 45 double rooms and 2 suites (Regatta Suite and Lars Sonck Suite). Each room has its own air conditioning, safe, LCD- TV film- and information-system, internal phone, kettle and hairdryer. The rooms are on the first to fourth floor and accessible by elevator or by one of the two staircases.

This was our 2nd visit to Regatta, so everything was already familiar to us.

ROOM

We had Superior Plus room on the 4th floor with a nice view to the sea. Room itself was modern and cozy. In the summer small fridge would be useful, as there was no mini bar either. Bathroom was small, too small for this type of room. But same room level last time and the bathroom was superb. Take a look at yellow bath tube, which we expected to see also this time.

Hotel Regatta Superior Plus room - reijosfood.comAnna Codorniu Blanc de Blancs - reijosfood.comRegatta room with a view - reijosfood.comRegatta room 403 bathroom - reijosfood.com Regatta bathroom - reijosfood.com

PUBLIC SPACES

In the summer terraces are best part of the public spaces. Patio terrrace especially with cozy chairs tempts you for glass of champagne. Terrace by the street is also relaxing, but unfortunately had one of the worst rose wines ever.

Hotel does not have own dinner restaurant, as there are several nice restaurants nearby. In the winter time that might be deficiency, but in the summer you want to eat at some of the restaurants by the sea.

Hotel Regatta patio terrace - reijosfood.comHotel Regatta terrace - reijosfood.com

Hotel Regatta is the the best hotel or accomodation place in Hanko. Before it was renovated there was a big gap in that business. Only thing what I miss is the swimming pool, which was in front of the original hotel Regatta several years ago. The sea is 50 meters away but hotel swimming pool would complete luxury.

Hotel Regatta in Hanko - reijosfood.com

With fridge and same bathroom as last time, room would have been 5+. As there is only breakfast room and terraces, public spaces is close to 4.

But as the building is nicely built and athmosphere is luxorius with BMW test drive opportunity not forgetting local standards, overall grade is close to 5.

Must stay, if visiting Hanko.

REVIEW: ROOM 4+/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5-/5

Hotel Regatta | Ajatonta nautintoa – ympäri vuoden





Wine review: Anna de Codorniu Brut Blanc de Blancs

30 07 2014

Anna de Codorniu - reijosfood.com

Anna de Codorníu is the flagship cava of Codorniu bodega and was the first to incorporate the Chardonnay variety in its blend as early as 1984. Delicate, elegant and fresh, this is the best tribute to the last person in the Codorníu family to use the family surname.

The Anna range is a collection of fresh, elegant and delicate cavas with a unique personality. Blanc de Blancs was introduced in October 2013 and it obviously tries to compete against Moet & Chandon and Lanson with their “white” champagnes. Similar set of white coolers and glasses supplements the package. One big difference is that Anna is dry (brut) trying not to tempt customers favoring sweeter bubbling wines. And it is Cava, not Champagne.

Blanc de Blancs should include only Chardonnay grapes, as far as I know? Anna has 70% Chardonnay, 15% Parellada and 15% Xarello, Macabeo. Is it then Blanc de Blancs?

Anna de Codorniu Blanc de Blancs - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

White bottle is refreshing for cava and suits especially for summer time enjoyments.

Wine is more yellow than Cavas usually are.

Anna is cava with a fine and persistent bubbles that forms a continuous string of tiny bubbles. But bubbles dissappeared quite quickly.

THE NOSE

Full of citrus and tropical fruit notes. Funny, but first time could really find some bouquet of toast.

THE TASTE

Soft and balanced without disruptive flavors. 70% Chardonnay is the reason for all of this.

Facts:

Alcohol 11,5%, Sugar 8 g/l

 

Cava - reijosfood.com

Wine suits for aperitif and pairs with almost every food. However, would not choose it for red meats but for chicken and pork definately.

Bottle tasted was bought from cruise ship between Helsinki and Tallinn. Therefore it was really affordable and earns 3 plus marks.

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

Annas Blanc de Blancs | Anna de Codorníu.

 








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