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Is wine bad for your teeth?

>> Sunday, December 31, 2006 and no, judging from my own experience and from my dentist. If I taste a lot of wines (especially whites) I certainly have the impression that it gets to my teeth. Brushing the teeth (or eating something sweet) after tasting a few hundreds wines is not nice thing. It can feel horrible. It’s the acid of course. I have also heard people strongly recommend that you do not brush your teeth after a serious wine tasting because the teeth defences (the enamel) has been weakened so you risk damaging the teeth. On the other hand my dentist says that it is an excellent way to keep your teeth clean. For a more in depth view you can read the two articles on Wines and Vines
Article 1
Article 2


INAO changes shape

From the beginning of next year the INAO (Institut National des Appellations Contrôlées), the French control body for appellations, will change shape and responsibilities. To start with they change name to ”Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité”. However, the keep the short for INAO! Perhaps the most important change is that it’s responsibility will be enlarged to include, in addition to the AOC, a number of other “labels”: IGP (« Indication Géographique de Provenance »), « le label rouge » (LR), « la spécialité traditionnelle garantie » (STG) and « l’agriculture biologique » (AB).


New Zealand will get official wine districts

>> Friday, December 29, 2006 New Zealand official control body for wine production, New Zealand Winegrowers, will start defining the boundaries for the countries wine regions. This follows a new law, the Geographical Indications (Wine & Spirits) Act, that requires that so be done. We hope that the discussions will not be too endless. RadioNZ


Harvest report from Portugal

2006 was very warm and dry in Portugal. The total harvest is expected to be 6.9 million hectolitres, which is down 4% compared to last year. The volumes were particularly low in Bairrada, Extremadura and Ribatejo, whereas in Alentejo the harvest was up 20% compared to last year. Overall a good quality but with some difficulties due to the hot weather. According to

Keep your eyes open for BKWine's tour to Portugal next year!

►► Go to Portugal with BKWine! More info.


New DAC in Austria: Traisental

Austria has approved a new quality wine area, DAC, which stands for Districtus Austria Controllatus: Traisental. On 770 hectares they grow primarily Gruner Veltliner (63%), plus some Riesling and other grapes. Previously Weinviertel and Mittelburgenlad have been approved as DAC.


Vote for us!

>> Thursday, December 28, 2006't forget to vote for this blog on the blog list of LocalWineEvents. Please!


The Burgundy company Boisset invests in Canada

040923-144-4402The well known Bourgogne négociant Boisset has joined forces with Canada's biggest wine company, Vincor, to invest in a new venture. It will be the biggest investment ever by a European wine producer in Niagara, under the name Le Clos Jordanne. They have plans to build a new winery designed by the world famous (and already winery drawing) architect Frank Ghery. At the moment they make wine from bought grapes in rented facilities. They make both red and white called Le Grand Clos made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We have, unfortunately, not tasted it.


Languedoc and Roussillon join together in common appellation

The initiative has now been approved by the INAO: Languedoc (to the north) and Roussillon (to the south) will join together in a common appellation under the name AOC Languedoc. We’ll be back with more details later.


New AVA: Tracy Hills

American officials have approved a new AVA (American Viticultural Area): Tracy Hills. Tracy hills covers 39,200 acres (some 20,000 hectares) close to the city of Tracy in California.


The new Spanish appellation Vinedos de Espana in trouble

>> Saturday, December 23, 2006 August 2 a new appellation was approved by Spanish authorities, called Viñedos de España. Consejo Regulador de Navarra has filed a complaint in the EU against the name (why this has been done by Navarra is unclear). According to EU regulations an appellation must refer to a geographic entity that is smaller than the member country, so the appellation cannot refer to the whole country. According to reports, the Spanish have referred to VDP du Jardin de la France as a precedence (which seems a bit silly since that refers to a sub region of the Loire Valley, in the same way as Ile de France refers to the region around Paris). To be continued. Read more


Canadian ice wine already harvested

Thanks to unusually cold weather at the end of November, the ice wine has already been harvested in parts of Canada. On November 26 the temperature fell to -17 degrees centigrade in Okanaga (British Columbia). Ice wine is probably Canada’s best know contribution to the wine world. Ice wine is a very sweet wine made by harvesting frozen grapes. The grapes are pressed before they can melt and the resulting must is extremely concentrated and sweet. Apparently you need ten times as much grapes to make a bottle of ice wine as you do for regular wine. (Read our book review on the Canadian Wine Atlas below). Read more: Times Colonist and


Up – and down – for Bulgarian wine

>> Friday, December 22, 2006 Bulgaria ti looks bright for the wine industry though, according to official sources at the National Wine and Vine Chamber. Exports over the first 8 months reached 48 million litres and the end of the year is expected to produce even stronger export sales. This follows on an increase by 25% in 2005. On the traditional export markets sales fell dramatically though (France -44%, Great Britain -81%). The new demand comes primarily from Russia, the Czech Republic and from Asia. According to


Times are not good in Bordeaux

040916-131-3171Sure, there is a small group of Bordeaux producers that fetch stratospheric prices for their wines – the top estates, some of which raised their prices recently with a few hundred percent year-on-year… But for many other Claret producers the reality is less cheerful. A recent study by the Chambre d’Agriculture de Gironde, based on a sample of 105 producers in Entre-deux-Mers, shows this: average turnover has decreased 27% in 8 years; operating income is on average one seventh of what it was then; 36% of the estates made a loss in 2004/2005; only a quarter of the producers can pay themselves a salary that exceeds the French SMIC (minimum salary); sold volume has decreased by 38%. And yet there is much good wine made there!


Effervescents du Monde 2006 – the world’s best sparkling wines

>> Thursday, December 21, 2006”Effervescents du Monde” is a wine competition for sparkling wines from all over the world. A jury gives medals to the best wines. This year the Great Gold Medal went to – no one. The “standard” Gold Medal was given to 24 wines from all over the world. Full info on the medal winners here:


Prices rocket for white Burgundy at the Hospices de Beaune auction

040422-1-CRW_0192_RJThe traditional Hospice de Beaune auction is sometimes seen as an indicator of where prices for Bourgogne wines are heading. That bodes ill for wine lovers this year. The prices for white Burgundy was on average up 63% compared to last year, whereas the reds only saw a slight increase. It is the just finished 2006 vintage that is sold in barrel at the auction. The most expensive barrel was the Beaune Premier Cru Cuvée Dames Hospitalières, under the hammer for 200.000 euro (for 228 litre). Even if it is primarily a charity auction it is often taken as an indicator for commercial prices. Another factor though might be that the auction is now run by Christie’s (the London-based auction house) who is putting a lot more energy into marketing the event than what was done previously., and Reuters


EU court rules against free trade in wine

>> Wednesday, December 20, 2006 European Court of Justice ruled against free movement of goods in a case brought by a Dutch wine buyer. He had bought wine in France (with low wine taxes) and had them transported by lorry to Holland. The Dutch authorities had slammed Dutch (higher) taxes on the wine. The EU court ruled that the unfortunate Dutch consumer indeed had to pay the Dutch taxes. So, unless you transport the wine yourself you will most likely have to pay the taxes in the country of destination. (Doesn’t it work in a different way for e.g. cars?) Importers, trade and governments seemed to be relieved in the UK and in Sweden where consumers were looking forward to buying cheaper wines from abroad.


Canadians rushes after wine and food stamps is not a new government food support program. Or in sort it is. The Canadian Post Office has launched a set of stamps illustrating Canadian wine and cheese. Five million copies were printed and three quarters of the edition has already sold out in three months. According to the Canadian Post an edition usually lasts a year. The stamps were designed by Derwyn Goodall based on photography by Robert Wigington. and Canada Post


Vote for this blog!

>> Tuesday, December 19, 2006 for us on the Top 100 Wine Blogs list on! It would be fun to move up a bit in the ranking on the Top 100 list at LWE so please put your vote for us. Just click the Vote Button here. It will take you to a voting page on LWE where you can also see the full list of wine and food blogs.


Calvet sold to Grands Chais de France

Neither of the two names probably sound very familiar to most people. Some might recognise Calvet since it is an old Bordeaux négociant. On the other hand, if you say “JP Chenet” it should ring a bell. Chenet is probably the biggest selling French wine brand on export – you known, the wine in the quirky, tilted bottle. And JP Chenet is the main brand produced by Grand Chais de France. Even if Calvet is steeped in Bordeaux history its recent life has been troubled and it has already changed hands a few times. Now it will become part of the biggest French wine producing group (not counting Champagne), which might give it a bit of stability. The Calvet employees took the opportunity to stage a strike against the deal.


Prince Charles chosen to illustrate the new Mouton label new vintage of Chateau Mouton Rothschild (2004) will have an illustration by Prince Charles of the British royal family. The painting is a watercolour depicting pine trees on the Cap d’Antibes on the French Riviera. The reason for choosing Prince Charles is that 2004 marks the centenary of the “entente cordiale” between England and France.


News from the Guest Writers

>> Monday, December 18, 2006

We have posted a new article on Provence from wine of our guest writers, Virpi Sorvisto. The article is in Finnish (Virpi lives in Finland and also works with BKWine with our Finnish wine tours) and you can read it here: Guest Writer Virpi Sorvisto

We also have the pleasure to welcome a new guest writer on BKWine, David Furer. David is an American living in England since a long time back. David writes for several different media in the UK and internationally. David’s first article on our Guest Writer Page talks about Côtes du Rhône Villages. Read it here: Guest Writer David Furer


Wine in Luxemburg

It is no doubt one of the smaller wine producers in Europe but there certainly is wine in Luxemburg. The Mosel river runs through Luxemburg, close to the border to Germany, and wine is made along the river. It is mainly white wine, but they also make some sparkling wine. Read more about Luxemburg wine and the country’s wine producers (including an article by our new guest writer David Furer) here: Ambassade de Luxembourg


Gothenburg Restaurant: Magnus & Magnus

>> Sunday, December 17, 2006

Magnus & Magnus, Göteborg A cosy restaurant, friendly and competent service and exceptional food – that makes Magnus & Magnus to one of the stars on the Gothenburg restaurant scene. You could for example try some of the innovative tapas as a starter – the tuna is wonderfully lightly grilled (or “seared” is it’s supposed to be said), the St Jaques clam is perfectly cooked. Outside, you have a nice seating area (in season of course – we’re in Sweden) and next door you have “M3” that you can rent for private functions or if you want to organise a wine tasting or even cooking classes. M3 takes up to 27 persons. BKWine tried Magnus & Magnus for a tasting for the BKWine Brief readers in Gothenburg and we were very satisfied.

Click here for address and more recommendations.


More restaurants and wine bars in Stockholm

Eriks Bakficka (Erik’s Back Pocket)
050408-187-8723Erik’s Back Pocket is not exactly next door to Eriks Gondolen so he must have big trousers. The Bakficka is close to the Narvavagen street in fashionable Ostermalm. Classic Swedish food (“husmanskost”) mixed with more unusual cooking (for example delicious gnocci). A decent wine list (but far from outstanding). Very comfortable, classic bistro decoration without unnecessary whistles and bells. And they are open on Sundays!
Click here for address and more recommendations.

Nordic Light Hotel
050408-189-8904This is primarily a wine place, but of course they do have a restaurant. They are 100% focused on American wines – so interesting for their selection in this segment. They also have a wine cellar where you can rent space (provided you’re a company) for your wine collection and get access to their private tasting room.
Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Pick: Domaine Fontavin, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

>> Friday, December 15, 2006

050302-174-7454 Shortly after Hélène Chouvet finished her training as an oenologist, in 1996, she took over the family property Domaine de Fontavin. From her 42 hectares she produces around 80,000 annually, half of which is exported. The main grape is Grenache (70%) with some additions of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Hélène prefers the Grenache that she thinks is well suited to the local climate and the rocky soil in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Fontavin wines often have a warmth and spiciness but maintain a good, refreshing acidity. Goes very well with game and other food with much taste.

Click here for address and more recommendations.



BKWine Pick: Château Vannières, Bandol

bc26-357-5746 This beautiful property is in one of the best know appellations by the Mediterranean: Bandol. They have a young and dynamic winemaker, Jean-Philippe Fourney, who is continuing, and enhancing Vannières’ tradition of making excellent, full-bodied Bandol wines that often need some bottle age. Made from the interesting Mourvèdre grape variety. The property covers a total of 33 hectares of vineyards.

Click here for address and more recommendations.



Link Tip

>> Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A site that you might enjoy visiting:


Book Review - The Bordeaux Atlas and Encyclopaedia of Châteaux

>> Monday, December 04, 2006

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The Bordeaux Atlas and Encyclopaedia of Châteaux
Hubrecht Duijker och Michael Broadbent
Foulkes Publishers/Uitgeverij Het Spectrum B.V.

An extensive tome, more like an encyclopaedia than a regular book, and here you will find most (if not all) of the interesting chateaux in Bordeaux. Each sub-district has a very informative introduction and very good maps. A book that the passionate Bordeaux lover should not be without.

Click here for more book reviews on my site. You will also find links to on-line book shops on that page.


Interested in wine pictures?

>> Sunday, December 03, 2006

040923-143-4394Perhaps you work as a picture editor or a wine or travel editor? Or perhaps you just like photos of vineyards and wine regions? Then you should try our new “wine picture inspiration”. Once a week we send you an inspirational email with the latest additions to our Wine Picture Blog. Register for the Weekly Wine Picture Inspiration here.


This month’s must have (?) wine gadget

A palm computer and a subscription is all you need. Then you can register your tasting notes electronically. In addition, cooperating wine merchants (or other tasting organisers) can supply an electronic list of the wines to taste to make the data entry even easier. After that you just tap in your tasting notes with the palm computer stylus (or keyboard?) according to a predefined format. When you get back home you just synchronise it with your home (or office) computer. More info:


Youngest ever Master of Wine

>> Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ken Mackay, a mere 28 years old, is the youngest ever Master of Wine. He recently gained the right to add the exclusive letters MW after his name. His day work (assuming that nights are spent studying) is as buyer for Willoughby’s, a wine company in Manchester. There are 250 MWs today.


”Chirac’s” wine cellar sold for euro 1 million

Paris’ current mayor, Delanoe, perhaps does not drink much wine. In any case he thought the stock was a bit too plentiful at the Mayor’s residence, much of which had been bought by his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, France’s current president. Much of the wine was recently sold at an auction that totalled €970,000. Evidently there was a distinct political aura over the bottles since many sold for far more than market prices. Some examples: 2 bottles 1986 Dom de la Romanée Conti: €10,000, 3 bottles Ch Mouton-Rothschild 1989: €2600, 1 bottle Ch Petrus 1989: €4000. Hmm.


Pichon Lalande sold to Roederer

>> Friday, December 01, 2006

040916-133-3341It has been in the making for quite some time and now it’s done. Chateau Pichon-Lalande (one of the so-called “super seconds” in Pauillac) has been sold to the Rouzaud family. The deal also includes Chateau Bernadotte (previously Le Fournas Bernadotte) and Glenelly in South Africa. Rouzaud will buy the majority shareholding from the current owner, May-Eliane de Lencquesaing. The Rouzaud family owns Champagne Roederer and also Ch de Pez and Ch Haut Beausejour in St Estephe, Champagne Deutz with Maison Delas in the Rhone Valley, Ramos Pinto (port), Domaine Ott (Provence), Roederer Estate and Scharffenberger in California. Read more on and on


Parker employs British wine taster

The wine guru Robert Parker has hired a relatively unknown British wine critic to write for him. Neal Martin has been running an independent wine commentary site called that will now close. An added twist is that there has for a long time been a certain antagonism between Robert Parker and the British wine writing establishment. Perhaps this will lighten things up? Read more details on


INAO on strike

INAO (Institut National des Appellations d’Origine) is the official French control organisation of the AOCs (wine and other things). The staff has gone on strike to underline the importance of a “credible policy to safeguard and promote products with an official seal of quality” and to protest against a proposal that would unite several different “quality control” organisations (e.g. INAO) under one roof. Perhaps a good occasion to entirely revise the system and give the consumer a bit more say?


The German wine law updated

>> Thursday, November 30, 2006

One of the changes is that VDP Erste Erlage will be an umbrella description for the best German vineyards (”lage”). You can find details of the changes at Die Prädikatsweingüter


The first wine harvest at Versailles

030812-k687-0024A long time ago there were plenty of vineyards around Paris. Now there are only a few (mostly symbolic) left. But some have actually been replanted more recently. So, for example in Versailles, a few tens of kilometers outside of Paris. Three years ago they planted 1850 vines and this year they gave their first harvest. It will become 200 bottles of rosé wine and it will be called Cuvée Marie-Antoinette. (Photo: One of Paris' vineyards - not the one in Versailles though - with a view over the Eiffel Tower)


Champagne increases ”rendement butoir” to 15,000 kg/ha

>> Wednesday, November 29, 2006

030902-1-k835-0014This month’s least engaging headline? But this refers to a theme that is also often talked about in very generalised, and sometimes mistaken, terms. “Lower yields are of course much better”. Right? Not necessarily. In Bordeaux yields are often around 45-50 hl/ha. Sometimes the grower say ”we have very low yields, not more than 30 hl/ha” and you are expected to nod admiringly. But lower is not always better, especially for white wines (or think about hyper-concentrated, jammy “new world heavyweights” with 15+% of alcohol). To come back to the headline: it means that in Champagne they now allow a yield close to 100 hl/ha, certain years and under certain conditions. (To be precise: “rendement de base” is 10,400 kg/ha and “rendement butoir” has been increased from 13,000 kg/ha to 15,500 kg/ha. A press is filled with 4000 kg of grapes and from that you get 2550 litres of grape must. Do the maths.) Perhaps something to think about.


Mechanical harvest better than manual?

img003.jpgMany have opinions on this matter. Often, people believe that manual harvest, with “real” vendangeurs is better, not necessarily without knowing why. We would rather say, like in most things in wine, that it depends. Manual harvest has the benefit that the harvesters can do a selection already in the vineyard but that requires skilled and trained workers, which is not always the case. And mechanical harvest automatically makes a selection: unripe grapes, or overripe grapes are loft on the vine by the harvester, provided it is correctly tuned. But this is just one aspect. Here is someone who argues that mechanical harvest is unquestionably better: WineBusiness. com


Uruguay wines continue to progress

ah20-236-3687Uruguay is radically different (and perhaps less known) than Argentina and Chile, in terms of wine growing. If you find vast vineyards over immense prairies and multi-million dollar investments in wineries in the two bigger countries, in Uruguay wine production is much more “European” in that most producers are relatively small family enterprises. Many have over the last few years had quite some success on export markets: Bodega Pizzorno, Juanico, Pisano, Bouza, Castillo Viejo, De Lucca, Filgueira, Stagnari, Plaza Vidiella etc. Read an interesting article on Uruguay on and take a look in our Uruguay picture galleries.


A wine university in the Rhône Valley

>> Tuesday, November 28, 2006

L’Université du Vin – it could not be more straight forward. The University of Wine in Suze La Rousse is housed in a magnificent old medieval chateau. They have several different university programs focusing on e.g. wine tasting (sensory evaluation), marketing and sales, wine law, viticulture and oenology etc. But they also organise wine courses for non-professionals: shorter wine tasting courses over e.g. a week-end or just a day. More info (Photo:Suze-la-Rousse)


Blanche d’Armagnac

Perhaps it is clever marketing. We have heard about Blanche d’Armagnac since quite a while back and have written about it previously here. But you can still not buy it. This new, “white” (clear and unoaked) spirit from Armagnac will only be available in 2007. It will be interesting to taste it one day. In the mean time, read this Q&A interview with one of the producers’ representative and you will find out the details of what it is. Read the full article on our site.


American wine overtakes French wine in the UK

>> Monday, November 27, 2006

040225-2-k472-0010According to the latest sales figures wine from the US have for the first time sold in bigger volume than wine from France and now holds second position in the UK. Consumers increased the consumption of US wines with 6.1% over the summer. The increase was largely driven by good sales of rosé wines, in particular Gallo apparently. However, the biggest exporter to the UK is actually Australia. (Photo: of the US Embassy in Paris)


More trouble for V&S Vin & Sprit: fined for illegal advertising in Sweden

Even more advertising trouble hit the state owned vodka producer V&S Vin & Sprit in Sweden when they were fined 500,000 SEK for having used inappropriate imagery in ad campaigns in Sweden: two arms making a toast, and a pizza box, according to the newsletter World of Wine News. It is not only in England that the ad supervisors are diligent.


Absolut Prostitution? – Vin & Sprit pulls ad campaign in Germany

>> Saturday, November 25, 2006

The state owned Swedish spirits giant V&S Vin & Sprit, with its immensely successful Absolut brand, recently launched an ad campaign in Germany that showed a sultry red lipstick impression with a silhouette of a bottle of Absolut between the lips. The headline said “Absolut Herbertstrasse”. Herbertstrasse is a street in Hamburg that, similar to Reeperbahn (which is a parallel street) is known for its prostitution. Various press sources have reported that the head office in Sweden decided to pull the campaign when commentators in Sweden saw it as an indirect support for prostitution. Particularly embarrassing since Sweden was very vocal in protesting against prostitution in Germany during the football world cup. Commentators from Vin & Sprit say that they have cancelled the campaign but that the German organisation cannot understand what the fuzz is about. Read "Absolute Hypocrisy" on The Local.


Unoaked Chardonnay more and more popular

040923-141-4126It’s not exactly big news for those of you who read about wine elsewhere: Heavyweight barrel aged Chardonnay is loosing ground. Consumers are moving towards lighter wines with more pronounced fruit, rather than oakiness and butteryness. A recent study made by Wine Opinions have reached the same conclusion: heavily oaked Chardonnay may have its future behind it.


Big harvest in Europe

7img002The total volume in Europe, though, seems to be relatively big. The total for the four countries German, Italy, France and Spain is expected to reach 154 million hectolitres compared to 145 Mhl last year (and 164 Mhl in 2004, and 149 Mhl in 2003). The French harvest is estimated to reach 53 Mhl (compared to 50 Mhl last year) and in Spain 43 Mhl (35 Mhl). Italy and Germany are more or less flat compared to last year though (49.5Mhl vs. 50.5 Mhl, and 9 Mhl vs. 9.1 Mhl).


Small German harvest

>> Friday, November 24, 2006

The rain arrived just at harvest time in Germany. Many producers had to do very strict sorting of the grapes at harvest, which will lead to a harvest volume that is a bit smaller than normal. The quality is expected to be quite good though (provided proper “tri” has been done). Before the rain grapes had already achieved very good levels of maturation so a larger than normal percentage will be Prädikatswein.


Vin & Sprit announces sales and profits up

V&S Vin & Sprit, the Swedish state-owned that is one of the world’s largest vodka producers (with the Absolut brand), announced sales up with 13% to 7.6 billion SEK for the nine months to September. Operating profits were up 18% to reach 1.6 bn SEK. The improved numbers are chiefly attributed to good sales of Absolut vodka in the USA, Europe and in Asia. Perhaps the Swedish state is happy with the increased alcohol consumption in this case, in spite of its campaign for reduced consumption in Sweden through its monopoly retail stores Systembolaget.


No more Tokay d’Alsace or Tocai Friuliani

>> Thursday, November 23, 2006

img012Next year the agreement between Hungary and the EU will come into effect that will reserve the name “Tokay” (in its various spellings) to wine coming from the region of Tokay in Hungary. The use of Tokay d’Alsace or Tokay Pinot Gris in Alsace will no longer be allowed, nor in any other regions in Europe. They will simply have to call the wine Pinot Gris (which is often already the case).


Introduction to Wine Tasting – new guest writer article

A new guest writer article has been posted in the Guest Writer section on our site: “How to Appreciate a Bottle of French Wine” by Phil Leventhal. Read the full article on the Guest Writer page.


Salon des Vins de Loire, 5-7 February

>> Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Next year’s edition of the Loire Valley wine fair – Salon des Vin de Loire – will take place on February 5 to 7. It is a big trade fair where most of the Loire Valley’s producers that count can be met. A Mecca for the Chenin Blanc lover for example. This year they will even have a wine blog competition! Submit your blog and you might win!


Truffles, olive oil and wine in the Rhone Valley, 14-18 February

The black Perigord truffle is one of the most highly acclaimed (or at least most expensive) food ingredients. The price varies between €1500 and €4000 per kilo… To find truffles you need a truffle dog (sometimes, but rarely a pig) and access to a truffle forest during the short season between the end of November to the end of February. BKWine organises a “truffles hunting trip” in the southern Rhône valley in February 2007. We will spend half a day with a truffle hunter and his dog. After “the hunt” we will enjoy a truffles lunch with the mushroom part of every dish from start to finish. The whole trip is three days long and we will also visit an olive oil producer and several interesting wine domaines. More info on the site



Some restaurant recommendations in Languedoc and Sweden

>> Tuesday, November 21, 2006


040303-1-k468-0013Aux Plaisir des Halles

Very ambitious kitchen, perhaps the best in Nîmes. A small dining room decorated in quite modern style, avoiding the over-heavy classic French attributes that you sometimes see, in particular in smaller cities. If you’re lucky you can have a chat with the chef after dinner.
Click here for address and more recommendations.


040305-1-k467-0006Auberge La Rose Blanche, Lou Caléou

Located between Montpellier and Nimes , its an old basement – « cave » perhaps – transformed into a modern restaurant. Wonderful contrasts and trendy details. Very good food and a good selection of local wines.
Click here for address and more recommendations.


050408-187-8741Bistro Jarl Champagne Bar

Centrally located near Stureplan and the Dramaten Theatre it is a popular meeting place. Has recently expanded and there is now more room. The city’s only (?) real champagne bar.
Click here for address and more recommendations.


This name rings of history in Stockholm, since it was the name of an old dance palace. Now it is a restaurant worth discovering. Outstanding French fries to the minute steak for example. Mid-range prices and quite good wine list.
Click here for address and more recommendations.

050408-187-8727Prinsen (The Prince)

Another classic Stockholm restaurant that is still going strong. They do a lot of traditional Swedish food – “husmanskost” – so it is an interesting venue for the visitor who wants to taste some well made Swedish cuisine classics although the dishes have been give a little bit of a modern make-over. Not cheap, but good. Good selection of wine, elegant dining room and friendly waiters.
Click here for address and more recommendations.


Domain Gilles Robin, Crozes-Hermitage

>> Monday, November 20, 2006

Gilles Robin made his first vintage of Crozes-Hermitage in 1996. At that time he had to help him his grand father, and when Gilles later created a cuvée prestige he named it after his grandfather: Cuvée Alberic Bouvet. Gilles now has 15 ha in Crozes and a small parcel in Saint Joseph. All Gilles’s wines have a very good expression of the grape variety – Syrah. But he is keen that also the terroirs should be evident in his wines. The best way to do that, he says, is to grow your vines organically, so, no chemical pesticides, and only natural fertilizers. Harvesting is manual. His red Crozes-Hermitage, Le Papillon, comes from a five hectare plot with young vines that he has planted himself. It is peppery and fruity (blackberries, black currants). The 2003 costs 9 euro at the vineyard (if there is still some left). Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Albéric Bouvet is made from old vines, planted by Gilles’s father 45 years ago. The wine has spent 16 months in oak. The bouquet is full of spices – cinnamon, cloves, pepper, liquorice, and the taste is long with a very expressive Syrah character (14 euro). Gilles also makes a very nice white Crozes from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes.

Click here for address and more recommendations.


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