Sweden, a cold nation with a warm heart and, a nation of gluttons. Producers from all over Italy with Gambero Rosso in a 18th century dancing hall with 500 buyers
Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
We arrive in Stockholm with this year’s first snowfall, for us its cold, for the locals it’s unusually mild. The city is beautiful with its immense buildings, all perfect and tidy. We are in the north, where Father Christmas lives and there are evident traces of the festivities just gone. There are still lots of lights in the roads, lots of pile of fir trees piled high in the squares and a few trolls with red hats on.
The food market is a Swedish version of Eataly with all sorts of salmon, shrimps and herrings. Karina Tholin takes us to the Sommelier Association office
where they are preparing two youngsters for a competition: in five minutes they must describe in English a white wine of which they do not know the origin and they manage it perfectly. These Swedes do not take things lightly; they have just positioned one of them on the podium as best Euopean sommelier. The wine safety vault-treasure chest, with its iron bars, is spectacular, it resembles a medieval prison.
Jakobsson & Soderstrom Vinhandel .The location seems a wine shop but Karina explains << it is a restaurant, here wine can be sold only by the monopoly stores>>.
Delicious food and enthusiastic atmosphere and an enormous quantity of tastings. In the end Violante and I go to bed but they continue the evening, with bubbles, in another place.
We sleep in a house transformed into a hotel- de-charme in the super VIP area. Coolish rooms, but comfortable and most of all with an intimate hotel character: lounges, kitchen …all is well cared for, welcoming and most importantly comfortable; there are even blankets for resting in the armchairs.
The Gambero Rosso tasting is in the Grand Hotel, in front of the Royal Palace, in the dancing hall full of mirrors and golden stucco. 32 producers from all over Italy with spectacular wines, among the public many sellers from Systembolaget, a few importers, a few journalists and restaurateurs. Great interest for our Brunello Riserva 2008 just released and still with its provisional label. Very professional tastings with pertinent questions, it is a pleasure to taste with such guests. The wine is not sufficient, and when at half past six, a real hoard of operators arrived, the tireless Violante serves only drops of Brunello Riserva, but who imagine so many people …. 500 operators! Bravo Gambero Rosso!