Wine reviews: Gramona Xarel-lo and Cordillera Carignan

6 01 2013

This wine review is based on recommendation for cheeses by Copas y Tapas waiter when we had dinner there just before Christmas. Being conservative, cheeses need port wine or similar, this food and wine pairing was pleasant surprise.

After asking for sweet wine with the cheeses, which restaurant did not have, we were suggested to try wine from Gramona with Xarel-lo grape and Cordillera with Carignan grape by Miguel Torres (Chile).

Torres should be quite familiar to everyone but Gramona was unfamiliar to me. Gramona is family owned 125 year old wine yard in Penedes producing cavas and wines. Tasted wine comes from Font Jui site. Gramona also uses riesling in one of they white wines.

Because we were not so sure if red wine or dry white wine would be more suitable, decided to taste both.


Gramona’s red wine was dark ruby red with hints of purple on the edges. Cordillera white wine was light yellow, close to gold.


Gramona’s bouqet was quite sweet for dry white wine, some pieces of white fruits. Cordillera was warm and dense aroma reminiscent of spices and forests.


Most important thing was the perfect paring with the cheeses. If tasted separately these wines might feel too modest although they might be ok also separately.

Gramona had white fruit and some oak barrel taste. Sustained tartness, and pleasantly sharp white fruit finish with lasting aftertaste. Cordillera’s barrel ageing had added touches of vanilla and smoke. Although wine is quite strong, alcohol did not taste through.

We had Assortment of 5 cheeses: Manchego, Comte, Livarot, Gruyrere goat cheese and Ossay-Iraty. None of the cheeses were over salty or too greasy which were base for a perfect match to the wines. If one of the cheeses would have been blue cheese or really strong and greasy, more deep wine might have been needed.

Cheese plate

Facts and figures (Gramona):

Total acidity 4.6 g/l
Alcohol content 11.5% Vol.
Reducing sugars <; 2 g/l

Facts and figures (Cordillera):

Alcohol: 14 t-%
Extract: 33 g/l
Acidity: 5,5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)

These recommendations prove that restaurant Copas y Tapas service is professional also when it comes to wines. 4+ comes from pairing to cheeses. Note, Cordillera Carignan should be available at Alko.

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

Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas

8 09 2012

Restaurant Copas & Tapas started at Esplanad but luckily their previous landlord decided to use all premises by themselves. Means that you can always sit on half empty terrace at Cafe Aschan. But if you want to taste delicious tapas or even dine prepare to book table beforehand. Restaurant is not so easy to find but it is worth it.

You can choose Tapas assortment of 3, 4 or 5 tapas and continue with main course. This time daily selection were whitefish, duck or black angus steak prepared on “horno brasa”. Means charcoal grill. For dessert assortment of 3, 4 or 5 cheeses or sweets. Most of the wines come from Torres wineyards including 20 and 30 year old Torres brandies.

For tapas got Zucchini soup, Filled capsicum and  Pork neck mousse on rye bread. Recommendation was to start with cold soup which was good and suitably salty. Next ate capsicum which was filled with cream cheese and crayfish, excellent. Overripe organic pork neck mousse was scrumptious. Could have eaten 5 of them. On top of tapas were two pieces of licorice which suited well for salty mousse.

Chose for main courses Whitefish with fennel pyre, beurre blanc sauce, season vegetables and chantarelles. Asked one portion without milk products and restaurant managed to meet the request perfectly serving fish with sweet pepper sauce. Both portions were delicious, would say achieved gourmet level. Fennel pyre was relish, onions so sweet and it always makes difference when food is prepared on charcoal grill.

Would say that service was also admirable. Lots of useful information about portions, wines and brandies.

Copas y Tapas is not traditional Spanish tapas restaurant because it uses Finnish foodstuff and also tapas are prepared partly Finnish way. What makes it extraordinary are fresh tapas which are prepared at the restaurant. With some modifications to the dining room (too much echo), it will be one of the most successful concepts.


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