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Wednesday 23 November 2011

Article: 5 Great Red Wines for the Winter

During winter time in Sweden we tend to eat more meaty dishes, warm stews and game. This affects of course what we choose to drink with our food and that is why Western Taste gives you 5 red wines that we think are a perfect match to the winter dishes we attend to select.

So the first idea you think of is that we will give you strong, round, heavy wines that matches the meaty dishes, however that is not really the case to all the food we have on our Scandinavian plate. Sometimes a more balanced and smooth red wine can actually go with the heavy Scandinavian winter food.

Please see what Western Taste has taken out for you all. All the wines can be found at Swedish Systembolaget, US and China.

Pelissero Dolcetto d'Alba Munfrina 2009, Piemonte, Italy

Nr at Swedish Systembolaget: 88623
Cost in Sweden: 122 SEK
Cost in China: 258 RMB
Cost in US: 19 USD

The Dolcetto Munfrina is one of the finest Dolcetti produced in
Italy today. The wine is supple and solid with huge extracted fruit that melts over the palate like milk chocolate from a chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven. The raspberry, dark cherry, tobacco, and lavender flavors are soft and mature with a velvety quality that can only be described as elegance in a bottle. Luscious and thick, bold and powerful, complex and balanced, full of bright young fruit and still brimming with a multi- faceted character seldom achieved with this grape varietal. This wine is truly a wonder of winemaking. It is the perfect partner for a variety of dishes ranging from heavier fowl, light and dark meats, stew, rabbit, venison, wild boar, red-sauced pasta, pizza and even with rich cheese and bread.

Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2006, Veneto, Italy

Nr at Swedish Systembolaget: 22350
Cost in Sweden: 269 SEK
Cost in China: 1117 RMB
Cost in US: 46 USD

Tommasi Amarone is a wine which one can proudly serve on special occasions, particularly with red meats, game and ripe cheeses. But it can also be sipped an ideal companion to enjoyable conversation.The wine is warm, ripe on the nose, with aromas which are intense and of great refinement. On the palate the flavros are complex, smooth, full bodied, with lots of cherry notes and plum.

Charles Joguet Les Varennes du Grand Clos AOC, Chinon, France

Nr at Swedish Systembolaget: 95620
Cost in Sweden: 215 SEK
Cost in China: 450 RMB
Cost in US: 22 USD

In the 1950s, pioneering non-conformist Loire vigneron Charles Joguet determined that grapes from varying vineyards should be vinified separately to maximise expression of terroir and preserve fruit vibrancy. Innovative in his day his methods are now widely copied and regarded as standard practice for quality estates. This single vineyard selection comes from a patch of vines of up to 80 years old, giving great concentration to the wine.

Château Gigognan Clos du Roi Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France

Nr at Swedish Systembolaget: 70783
Cost in Sweden: 379 SEK
Cost in China: 900 RMB
Cost in US: 32 USD

The 2007 vintage in
Southern France was wonderful. Here is what Robert M. Parker (Wine Advocate Issue 179) said about it, “Throughout the southern Rhône, 2007 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in my thirty years working in that region. I think of 2007 as a hypothetical blend of an opulent, powerful, sumptuous year such as 1990, and a cooler draught vintage such as 2001. The cool weather and the remarkable three weeks of Mistral in September that concentrated the grapes without any spikes of high heat appears to have given the 2007s an aromatic dimension and freshness that I have rarely witnessed. Combine that with wines that are substantial, powerful, and relatively high in alcohol, with super depth of fruit! These are very aromatic wines of great concentration, freshness, laser-like focus, and amazing purity as well as depth. It is the vintage of my lifetime for this region, and I don’t say that lightly.”

Planeta Santa Cecilia Rosso IGT 2006, Sicily, Italy

Nr at Swedish Systembolaget: 72852
Cost in Sweden: 249 SEK
Cost in China: 663 RMB
Cost in US: 30 USD

Often regarded as the flagship wine. 100% Nero d'Avola. Rather closed on the nose. Some mineral perfume. Rich and creamy, svelte, with a wealth of tasteful red and black fruits. Ripe tannins, excellent balance. Great length. Another that needs time - three to four years again.

Written by: Alexander Yü

Sunday 20 November 2011

Hotel Review: InterContinental Madrid

A stay at InterContinental in Madrid offers you great comfort in a modern luxury 5 star hotel with great service. The hotels décor and design is focused to be a high end modern style hotel in the pulsating city of Madrid, Spain. The hotel is very famous in the city and can offer you great seats and shows at upscale places, make sure to talk to the concierge and they will definitely assist you.

The downside of the hotel was that the design was a bit outdated and not as high on standard as other InterContinental Hotels Western Taste visited around the world.

The all day dining restaurant offers a great selection of lunch and dinner dishes however focused mainly for breakfast, which is international continental with East Asian choosing if needed.

The room service is well done with great concern for guest hospitality.

During evening the hotel has a very nice Champagne bar with a large outside terrace. They have a large selection of Champagnes and cigars to choose from complemented with very nice evening tapas dishes.

All-in-all the hotel gives a nice experience and Western Taste enjoyed it.

InterContinental Madrid
Paseo De La Castellana 49
28046 Madrid, Spain
Phone: +34-91-7007300

Grade: 3,5 out of 5

Written and graded by: Alexander Yü

Monday 14 November 2011

Restaurant Review: Brasserie Le Rouge

In Stockholm you can find a classical up scale restaurant calls Brasserie Le Rouge. It is owned and run by the famous chef Melker. He is the owner of the large restaurant group; F12 Group. He owns all kinds of restaurant classes from Michelin star restaurants to small down to earth cafes. He has really embraced the quality and feeling of French style from the romantic era.

The food however is a bit disappointing. The dishes are too much salty and not the petit and balanced flavours as you expect from France. The wine list is impressive and the service is very good. They also have a bar on the first floor where you can enjoy more easy dishes and very nice cocktails.

I love the interior design, the staff and the service. The only thing that I have to complain about is the food quality. It is ok if the dishes are a bit to salty however this one had too much salt and it was not only my dish it was all of our dishes (4 people) and that is not acceptable.

Although we will recommend this restaurant for guests who like to check out the design have exclusive cocktails and very nice service. 

Grade: 3 of 5

Le Rouge 
Brunnsgränd 2-4
Östrlånggatan 17
Old Town (Gamla Stan)

08-50524430 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            08-50524430      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Written by: Alexander Yü

Thursday 3 November 2011

Wine of the Month: Bisol Prosecco Riserva Brut, Valdobbiadene, DOCG, Italy

Carefully selected grapes grown in the upper hills that undergo pure vinification: the definitive Cuvèe is obtained from the essence of this wine, which after 3 years of aging is transformed in to this elegant Riserva Brut.
This Prosecco is amazing and I love the brand and its proud dedication of manufacturing high quality Prosecco. There are too many bubbly wine from Italy that are bad but Bisol always provides quality and great standards.
Usually Prosecco is classified as D.O.C., however Bisol Prosecco Riserva Brut is classified as D.O.C.G. which is the highest of standards in Italy.

This bubbly wine cannot be purchased in Swedish Systembolaget and has to be special ordered. However in Italy the price is very reasonable and set at approx. 7-9 Euro.
Since many of my readers are in China, you can also find this by ordering it from EMW-Fine Wines and it costs 247 RMB (around 24 Euro).

This is my favorite Prosecco and by far one of the best value bubbly wines that I have tried.

Written by Alexander Yü