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

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!