Skip to content

Notes from Stockholm

September 23, 2010

Greetings, from the land famous for ABBA, Volvo, Ikea and Bjorn Borg, amongst others, but not wine. Ikea does carry some Swedish wines next to its hot-dog counter, but you don’t see any Swedish wines on any wine list in the reputable Swedish restaurants, which says a lot. So, in the end, I had to drink non-Swedish wines in Sweden.

2007 Domaine Saint-Gayan Cote du Rhone, over a huge Black Angus tenderloin at Restaurang Prinsen, Stockholm. Dull ruby red. A huge note of red fruits and plum dominated over the entire wine, without any meaningful depth nor texture. A cheap drink, overpriced at SEK105 (about SGD21) for a glass.

2008 Domaine William Fevre Chablis, just a glass to go with the seafood platter at Pontus By The Sea, in Stockholm. Light golden in color, but it packs a punch. Very open on the nose with the fragrance of white flowers, almost perfumed and sweet, living up to its promise on the palate, much fuller than expected for a village wine, overflowing with rich minerality, not quite as flinty as a Chablis Grand Cru, developing a creamy texture with a long glowing finish. Excellent.

2004 Ch Gazin, a full bottle to go with the steak at Pontus By The Sea, in Stockholm. Popped and poured. Deep red. Very pleasant bouquet of blueberries and raspberries, leaping out from the glass with a hint of sweetness. There’s plenty of cool ripe fruit on the palate, very lovely, fairly rounded even at this stage with well-integrated and unobtrusive tannins, well-balanced, elegant and poised. With time, it expanded further, becoming broader, developing notes of toffee and dried leaves, leading to an extended minty finish. This is an excellent Pomerol, not at all overpriced at SEK950 (SGD180) off the restaurant list.

2000 Piano Alto Barbera d’Asti, shared with Ben over a fantastic steak at Teatergrillen in Stockholm. Decanted in the restaurant. Still showing a deep red with the slightest signs of tinting. Lovely nose of ripe fruit full of plum and licorice supported by a mild herbal, medicinal lift. Medium-full on the palate, rounded at the edges, fairly soft, the secondary characteristics emerged after some time, developing notes of cassis, cinnamon and dried herbs, fairly complex in the middle with just the right degree of intensity, remarkably harmonious. At SEK695 (SGD135) from the expensive restaurant list, this Piedmont certainly exceeded all expectations. Excellent. Testergrillen is a small charming restaurant that combines wonderful food with casual but discreet and friendly service. I chanced upon it in an editorial that I happened to read in an in-flight magazine on my way to Stockholm. The writer was absolutely right about its steak – huge, juicy, and tender, threatens to wear down lesser eaters but guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s faces.

Another superb eatery in Stockholm is Lisa Elmqvist, located smack within a busy marketplace at Ostermalms Saluhall. A firm favourite with the locals, Lisa Elmqvist serves seafood freshly plucked from the Baltic Sea. Like any restaurant in Stockholm, the wait staff is friendly and highly-efficient, and it is always packed, necessitating advance booking. The grilled salmon with trout roe was absolutely the best I’ve ever had, easily the equal served at any top restaurant, with a price tag to match at SEK258 (SGD50), even pricier than any main course offered at Mathias Dahlgren! In fact, if not for the fact that it is located within a marketplace, Lisa Elmqvist would easily qualify for a Michelin star. I had a glass of Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV (SEK120 [SGD23]) to go with it. Light golden in color, the Pol Roger offered notes of toasty nuts, vanilla, cream and butter that was well matched on both the nose and palate, superbly balanced, smooth and rounded with the dryness well-contained. I preferred this to the Bollinger served on board Singapore Airlines. Excellent.

I also had a 2008 Italian cabernet-merlot from San Siro (the maker’s name escaped me) by the glass at Ciao-Ciao, an enormously popular Italian restaurant in Stockholm, but this wine tasted cheap throughout, the superficial plumminess failing to hide the indifferent fruit quality.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: