Finland: Burgundy Wine Tasting in Kokkola

Later in September on the 12/09/12, I will be lecturing about Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Burgundy. A tasting of quite rare and famous wines from outstanding producers. This will happen in Kokkola, Finland, at Olivette Wine Bar.

The wines to be tasted will be from Domaine des Lambrays, a fine estate that holds the Clos Des Lambrays, one of the four Grands Crus of Morey-Saint-Denis. It is well known for its classical Burgundy wines and its reputation is on the rise over the past years. There will also be wines from the Domaine Ramonet. Noël Ramonet is a prominent producer of the Côte de Beaune (50 km in South of Morey) based in Chassagne-Montrachet. The quality of his wine is as great as the difficulty to get some. They will be accompanied by Domaine de la Bongran which is maybe one of the greatest artist of the Chardonnay. Finally you will be tasting a wine from Samuel-Billaud, a rising star of Chablis.

The underlying theme of the tasting is for the white wines: tasting Chardonnay from the three major parts of Burgundy (Chablis, Côte de Beaune and Mâconnais) and for the right, trying to understand the difference between Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune as well as between a village appellation and a first growth. A big and interesting program that should extend over two hours.

For more detail and registration, you can contact: Virpi Sorvisto at Olivette Wine Bar, virpi.sorvisto@vistovin.fi before the 11/09. Only 20 seats available!

Suomiviini: Wine tasting lessons in Kannus (Finland)

I wish to inform you that next autumn (soon), there will be two wine lesson organised in Kannus. One will be an introduction, going trough all the wine producing countries. It will be in Finnish. The other will be focused on two countries and will involve more wines and this one will be in English. Both will last six weeks with 1h30 of lecture and tasting every week.

If you are interested, please contact me through the comments section.

Vanhankaupungin Ravintola in Kokkola, Finland

Another restaurant review, in Finland.

Vanhankaupungin Ravintola is located in the cute old city of Kokkola, named Neristan, which consists of several old wooden houses. The place is really beautiful, even though it is hardly developed as a touristic attraction. You will find in this restaurant the classical Finnish fish and meat, in a mix of French and Finnish style. The result is a very convincing cuisine, especially since the quality of the products is perfect. I have been visiting this place many times and I noticed that a great improvement with the last seasonal change of menu: the level of the cooking has risen. The preparation are more elaborated, the presentation is better and the meals are pleasant to eat from the first bite to the last one. With these changes, the restaurant reach the level of the very best. However I must say that it sometimes underperforms…

Menu changes every 4 or 6 month, pricing is fair considering the portion: 12€ the starter, 20 to 30€ for the main dish and 11,5€ for the desert. Menu is at 40€. The wine list is short but regularly expanded and improved. Pricing is also very reasonable, from 30 to 150€. Ten wine or so are available by the glass. And that’s it for the facts. Let’s go a bit deeper…

The restaurant is of average size, installed in one of the old houses of Neristan. This gives the very pleasant impression to stay at somebody’s dinning room. Atmosphere is peaceful and relaxed. Service is clean and simple. No particular defect is to be mentioned. Eating there a 3 course meal will be done in less than a couple of hour. The wine service is good unless you have special request (like decanting), I would enjoy more suited glasses for high-end Champagne and a little less thick ones in general but this is a little detail.

Food is very good, nowadays even better than just a few months ago. The style has taken an inventive curve that is for the best, and takes for example the shape of a saffron ice cream with a very fine salt-marinated salmon. Also, the balance of flavor achieved by the Chef has greatly improved. The food is there typically Finnish considering the ingredients: you will find salmon, zander (pike-perch) or reindeer; with inspiration from French technique or aromatic balance like confit or seared meat. The menu itself changes often and offers around fifteen different meals. Right now, I would advise to taste the Jääkellarin lohta, the Confit and the Poronfileetä Wellington.

As I said, the winelist is very good. Wines are picked according to the menu and suggested with each meal. The list also changes during the year. You will find there only very carefully selected products, most of them being exclusive wines. At the moment, the greatest surprise comes from the Jacquesson 1997 a rare champagne which you can enjoy twice cheaper than in any other places I have visited, especially in France. Martin Codax, Schloss Goebelsbourg, Albrecht, Glaetzer, Dom Pérignon are among the names you will find there.


My appreciation: Highly recommended

  • Atmosphere: Formal –, relaxed, quiet, classical
  • Cuisine: Classical, local inspiration, good presentation, generous
  • Wine: Very good selection, around 30 wines, price range: 30-80€,
  • Service: Standard +, friendly, wine service is ok (no decanter).

Extra informations:

  • Internet site: HERE (excellent and comprehensive)
  • Reservation is better but in general not necessary
  • Last visit in May 2012

Jääkellarin lohta, sorte de saumon mariné au sel. Magnifique.