Accords met-vin

ALKO, Jouluviinit: Kuohuviinit

Last option for Christmas: a sparkling. Clearly, considering the composition of Finnish meal, it can be more than a substitute. Again, you will find first a number of reference, then the name of the producer, the name of the wine, the price and the reference number from Alko.

40: A light sparkling but with enough to enjoy.

41: One of the most interesting sparkling Rosé from Alko. Flower and red fruit aromas. It is much better after one or two year of extra ageing in bottle. WINEOPS PICK.

42: More Champagne-like. Toasty, fruity. Nice long finish. Great with food. WINEOPS PICK.

43: More exclusive than the previous one. A big wine that require some ageing.

44: Jacquesson is one of the most reliable Champagne brand. However 734 is quite average, you must aim at 735, which has just been released. To be aged one to five years.

45: The Champagne of James Bond. This also needs ageing though it taste very well right now.

ALKO, Jouluviinit 2011: Valkoviinit

In this article, I will comment on the white wines from ALKO. In my opinion, these are the most likely to fit your whole Christmas meal. You notice that the selection is wider than with the reds, which is logical. Again, I will pick among them my favourite ones under the « WINEOPS PICK » label.

On the list, you will find first the number that is linked to the comment afterwards, then the name of the producer, then the name of the wine, then the price and finally ALKO’s reference number.

15: Medium minus strength, exotic fruits, good complexity. A good wine and one of the best value for money from Alko in white. Very versatile. WINEOPS PICK 

16: Powerful; apricot and stone fruits; good complexity. This is a massive wine, not as subtle as the others I picked. It will particularly fit the pork.

17: Medium; oaky, toasty, oily; good complexity. Again a bargain. Extremely pleasant oaky Chardonnay. Much better than all the « Chardonnay Reserva » from the New World.

18: Medium; herbaceous; average complextiy. This is more a curiosity. This variety of grape is a mutation of Sauvignon Blanc. Interesting, will fit well savulohi.

19: Powerful; oaky, toasty; average-good complexity. Somebody would call that an oak-monster. I do not like these over-oaked wines but it is very expressive and easy to enjoy. If you like big Chardonnay from the USA or Chile, this is for you!

20: Medium-low; Pear, citrus, little bit of exotic fruits; average complexity. A curiosity from Spain, very aromatic. A match for savulohi and salads.

21: Medium; nuts, grilled nuts; average complexity. Again another great value for money. This can fit most dishes. However it is made in a distinctive oxidative style. It means that you will not find the fresh fruit of other white but something more grilled.

22: Medium; white fruits, oaky; good complexity. An other Chardonnay from the South but with more acitidy. Its powerful body will match savulohi as well as pork.

23: Medium; flowers, fruits; good complexity. I already advised this wine last year. Today it has a bit different profile, the wine is ripe and more thick than it use to be. A great and original idea to pair it with joulukinkku.

24: Medium-low; stony; average-good complexity. This is still very young but it is very fresh and it will cut through all of the dishes. That is a very good compromise. WINEOPS PICK.

25: Medium; stone fruits; average complexity. A good value for money wine. The style is an inbetween Riesling and Chardonnay.

26: Medium-high; stone fruit, « chicken-like »; average complexity. Pinot Gris is always a possibility when you aim at a match with powerful meals like pork or salmon.

27: Medium; flowers, stony; average complexity. A Chardonnay from the north, with much more freshness and a better ability to pair with food. A good pick.

28: Powerful; Exotic, stone fruit, slightly toasty; high complexity. A big wine in the good sense. Very well balanced, very nice wine.

29: Medium-high; mineral, floral; good complexity. Puligny-Montrachet is one of the best village of Burgundy for white wines. This is a good example of this location, unfortunately a bit too young.

30: Powerful; Exotic, very toasty, spicy; high complexity. This is a great Chardonnay especially when we consider the price. It is typical from Pouilly-Fuissé with its characteristic spiciness. A must-drink : WINEOPS PICK, undeniable.

31: Medium-high; Herbaceous, fruity; high complexity. Sauvignon Blanc is the grape but in a whole different style than what you can taste from Chile or New-Zealand. This is rich and ripe, a bit varietal but not that much. It would age wonderfully. WINEOPS PICK.

32: Light; fruit; medium complexity. Again a great value for money. This is a perfect example of a good, entry-level, Riesling from Mosel : pure, fresh and yet aromatic. Again a WINEOPS PICK.

33: Medium-low; stony, citrus; medium complexity. Very fresh and clean Riesling. Great to deal with the fat of both salmon an pork.

34: Medium; stony, lemony, slightly exotic; good complexity. A bit more of everything than the previous one.

35: Medium-low; fruity; average complexity. Simple and charming. More body than the Blitz Riesling but also a bit more sugar.

36: Medium; spicy, stone fruits; average. A basic Pinot Gris, with loads of fruit. It taste large.

37: Medium-high; mineral, toasty, flowery; high complexity. Fresh and well balanced Chardonnay. WINEOPS PICK.

38: Powerful; spicy, exotic; high complexity. A good alternative to the Chardonnay/Riesling strategy. Very interesting Pinot Gris.

39: Powerful; fruity; medium complexity. A powerful Riesling with residual sugar (that you don’t really feel: it tastes dry) and quite high alcohol. The match is powerful be good with pork.

ALKO, Jouluviinit 2011: Punaviinit

Here are a few comments on the different red wines from ALKO’s normal selection. I will comment them the same way each time and will pick a couple of them as « WINEOPS PICK« . I hope it will be a useful reading.

On the list, you will find first the number that is linked to the comment afterwards, then the name of the producer, then the name of the wine, then the price and finally ALKO’s reference number.

1: Medium strength, fruity, not very complex. This is a very juicy wine though a bit simple in term of aromas. Alcohol is slightly too high.

2: Powerful, fruity and concentrated, medium complexity. Very interesting wine made from grapes that grow in northern Italy. Might be slightly too powerful but will please people who look for something stronger than a Pinot Noir.

3: Medium strength, very fruity, spicy and oaky at the same time, high complexity. This is a modern style fruit-bomb Pinot Noir. Very enjoyable and easy to understand. I liked it a lot. WINEOPS PICK.

4: Medium minus, spicy and a bit fruity, good complexity. Less modern, it will need a bit of breathing. It is an interesting solution if you wish something cheaper than K1.

5: Medium, spicy, fruity and earthy, high complexity. This is a classic solid Pinot Noir that require a minimum of one hour decanting. A beautiful effort for a very reasonable price! WINEOPS PICK.

6: Medium plus, fruity, high complexity. Very nice Pinot Noir, slightly too young.

7: Medium minus, fresh fruits like red currant (punaviinimarja), average. A bargain and a very pleasant wine.

8: Medium, fruity and earthy, medium complexity. Antè is a very good example of wine from northern Italy. Balanced, elegant and yet powerful enough. More body than a Pinot Noir but still fits pork.

9: Medium minus, mix of fruits, humus, average. Not very powerful but a good value for money.

10: Medium minus, cherry and earthy, average. An interesting but basic Pinot Noir from Burgundy. Maybe more difficult to enjoy.

11: Medium, fresh fruits, good complexity. From Sancerre, this is more on the fruit side but still classical. A good wine with a very good acidity, that often lack in New World wines.

12: Medium plus, spicy, good complexity. Classical style. Very versatile and enjoyable wine. A good pick.

13: Medium plus, fruity, spicy, high complexity. More modern, a bit more of everything compared to the previous one.

14: Powerful, fruity and oaky, high complexity. Very modern, this is an extracted, oaked aged Pinot Noir. This requires most of the time a bit of opening. Self evident but it is a bit too much in my opinion.

That’s for the reds, all of them should deliver during your Christmas meals. These red should fit well with joulukinkku and the various laatikkot. However they will not match the possible fish (like savulohi) and the salads.

ALKO, Jouluviinit 2011

Hello my Finnish reader! Like last year, I will provide you with a few recommendation about Chrismas wines. Of course, you can also still check last year article, HERE.

As I said earlier, the main difficulty is to match a wine with all the ingredients of the traditional Christmas meals. There are three possibilities : either you try to find the best possible match for all (which will be a white wine) or you separate the service of fish/salads and joulukinkku/laatikkot and you pick two different wines or eventually you pick the wine you want (for example a red) and you drink it only with what fits.

I made two lists this year. One is about the normal Alko’s selection and the other includes wine that are one the « tilattavat » section. Follow the links !

Wines from the catalog, that you can find directly from the shop:


Wines to order (around a week to get them):


In the next post I will comment a bit on these lists.

Hyvää Joulua!

Jouluruoka ja viinit

Finnish Christmas dinner is a lively tradition and the easy thing about it is that the meals are always the same. However the mix of fish and meat, potatoes, beetroot and the different “laatikko” makes it difficult to match one single wine on everything. I decided (a bit late) to provide you with my recommendations.

First of all, you might be interested to know that I tasted all the wine I suggest. Second, they all come from Alko general list and you can check their availability on Alko internet site. Third, remember that to enjoy wine, you need good glasses, good temperature and to pay attention not only to the taste but also to the smell.

I picked 20 wines that would fit the Christmas menu. In order you will find one champagne, 9 red wines and 10 white wines.

Here is a link to download a PDF
version: Jouluviinit

These wines have indeed very different style. However, in their own way, they should perfectly fit the purpose. Of course some other possibility exists.

To match the whole dinner with one single wine, aim at the Champagne or a white wine. White will fit both fish and meat such as pork and turkey. On the contrary, red will be a bit strong for fish. Or pick a red but avoid drinking it with the fish.

For more precision, I will write down which wine would even better fit some specific meals.

With graavilohi or kylmäsavulohi : 1, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

With savulohi : 1, 11, 12, 14, 17, 20

With rosolli : 11, 14, 17

With joulukinkku and porkkanalaatikko, lanttulaatikko, maksalaatikko : 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 20

A few extra things:

Red Nro 7: has to be opened (you just open and leave the bottle like this) 5 hours before the dinner.

White Nro 11 and 16: will be better if you open them in the morning, then recork and put back in the fridge.

White Nro 14: is far too young (my advise is too buy it for next year), you have to open it 48h before, then leave it opened 10 min, then recork and put back in the fridge.

As a conculsion, I am sure some of you wonder what would I pick if it was for me?

I would serve the fish and rosolli separately first and then the meat. I would then pick :

1- Jacquesson Champagne 734 which is one of the very best champagne for this price. (Nro 1)

2- Malat Riesling Kellergarten 2008 a very good and elegant wine. (Nro 11)

3- Caliterra Tributo Pinot Noir 2009 which is a surprisingly powerful and yet balanced Pinot
Noir, the best I tasted from Chile. (Nro 6)

I hoped this helped you!

Hyvää Joulua