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The wine of the month


During the first fourteen days of each month, NJ Wines presents the wine of the month. NJ Wines tastes hundreds of wines every month and among them, the wine of the month is chosen. The criteria that a wine will qualify as the wine of the month is that it has got at least 3,5 NJP in rating and that it stands out both by its quality and its aroma/flavour complexity. The wine shall also be available on the wine market.

February 2024: Masi, Costasera, Amarone, Classico, 2018 (31 EUR/33 USD in Sweden) red dry blend wine, Amarone della Valpolicella, Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy, 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (85 points of 100 points) (11-02-2024 by Nenad Jelisic)

The wine's producer declared the vintage of this wine to be exceptional. This can be seen on the upper part of the bottle's label, where it says five stars. I myself have so far, including this vintage, tasted 30 vintages of Masi Costasera Amarone Classico. And thus I can conclude that this vintage is undoubtedly the one with the most prominent tartaric ... Read more

News and other things about wine

SWEDISH BRAND CELEBRATES 25 YEARS (23-02-2024 by Nenad Jelisic)

Wow! What a wine tasting! All 183 wines, which were available to taste, 3 Calvados and 1 Armagnac were tasted and rated by NJ Wines. Typically, about 3% of wines that have been tasted during a major wine tasting get 3,5 NJP (out of 5,0 NJP) or more. During wine tasting on the 19 of February 2024, just over 8% of the tasted wines got 3,5 NJP or more. That says a lot about this brilliant wine tasting. Bravo Swedish Brand AB! At the same time, NJ Wines can conclude that Swedish Brand AB's strong point are wines (and a calvados) from France, and this is also reflected by the list of the best of the best presented below. The company's wines from (in alphabetical order) Argentina, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States were also tasted, but they did not reach the same levels as wines from France's Bordeaux and Burgundy wine regions.

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NEW WINES IN REGULAR ASSORTMENT DECEMBER 2023 (13-01-2024 by Nenad Jelisic)

NJ Wines has tasted all Systembolaget's new wines in regular assortment December 2023. The wines got the following points (Note that the wines are arranged in alphabetical order, that the wines that have got more than 3,0 NJP, if any, are presented or will be presented under "Make sure to try these wines, wines that have got at least 3,5 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP", that NV = non-vintage wine, that Systembolaget = a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden and that NJ Wines does not taste wines from Boxes, Paper-packaging and PET-bottles because NJ Wines believes that these types of packaging destroy the wonderful wine culture. The Boxes also make people drink much more than they should.):

1. ALUZÉ, Pessegueiro, 2020 (16 EUR/18 USD in Sweden), red dry blend wine, Portugal, 2,5 NJP, 2. Bajo Piedra, 2022 (11 EUR/12 USD in Sweden), red dry wine, Argentina, 1,5 NJP, 3. Bouchard Aîné et Fils, Givry, 2022 (27 EUR/29 USD in Sweden), red dry wine, France, 2,0 NJP, 4. Campo Luz, Roble, 2021 (9 EUR/10 USD in Sweden), red dry wine, Spain, 2.0 NJP, 5. Controdanza. Planeta, 2022 (14 EUR/16 USD in Sweden), red dry blend wine, Italy, 1,5 NJP, 6. Dandelion Vineyards, Fearless Fronds of Coonawarra, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2021 (17 EUR/19 USD in Sweden), red dry wine, Australia, 0,5 NJP, 7. Hattingley Valley, Classic Reserve, NV (30 EUR/33 USD in Sweden), white dry blend sparkling wine, UK, 2,0 NJP, 8. Juliusspital, Würzburger. Silvaner, Trocken, 2022 (14 EUR/16 USD in Sweden), white dry wine, Germany, 0,5 NJP, 9. KWV, Coastal Views, 2023 (10 EUR/11 USD in Sweden), white dry blend wine, South Africa, 0,5 NJP, 10. La Verne, Cap Classique, Brut (13 EUR/15 USD in Sweden), white dry blend sparkling wine, South Africa, 2,0 NJP.

See all 23 wines

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ITALIAN WINE DAY, 27-11-2023, GRAND HOTEL, STOCKHOLM (10-12-2023 by Nenad Jelisic)

The Italian Wine Day at the beautiful and world-famous Grand Hotel in Stockholm on the 27th of November 2023 was the last major wine tasting of the year. As usual everything was perfectly organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce. Of the 191 tasted wines (51%) of the 371 wines available, 12 wines (6%) got 3,5 NJP or more. The result is disappointing, but at the same time it must be said that never before have so many wines got 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP. Unfortunately, it was the same trend at this tasting as at the other trade tastings in recent years, i.e. the most well-known wine producers and their prestige wines were missing. This is both a very boring trend and a big difference to how it was a few years ago. The result could be much better if, for example, we got to taste the wines from Aldo Conterno, Capannelle, Dal Forno Romano, Gaja (not only Sito Moresco), La Spinetta, Le Macchiole, Monteverro and Tua Rita or the wines such as Masseto, Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Tignanello for to name a few. The twelve wines that stood out in terms of quality and taste were five wines from the Amarone della Valpolicella appellation in the Valpolicella wine district, which is located in the wine region Veneto, five wines from the Tuscany wine region and two wines from the Barolo appellation that belongs the Piedmont wine region.

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Make sure to try these wines, wines that have got at least 3,5 NJP of possible 5,0 NJP

Churchill's, Late Bottled Vintage, 2018 (21 EUR/23 USD in Sweden) port wine, Porto, Douro, Portugal, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (100 points of 100 points) (2024-01-14 by Nenad Jelisic)

That this wine was chosen as the Best Wine of approximately 400 wines that were available to taste at the Italian Wine Day 2023, that it was chosen as the Wine of the Month December 2023 and that it was chosen to be one of the 10 Best Wines 2023 says a lot about this wonderful wine. Sotirio Podernuovo a Palazzone 2017 is an ... Read more

Sotirio, Podernuovo a Palazzone, 2017 (57 EUR/62 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, Tuscany, Italy, 4,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (95 points of 100 points) (02-12-2023 by Nenad Jelisic)

That this wine was chosen as the Best Wine of approximately 400 wines that were available to taste at the Italian Wine Day 2023, that it was chosen as the Wine of the Month December 2023 and that it was chosen to be one of the 10 Best Wines 2023 says a lot about this wonderful wine. Sotirio Podernuovo a Palazzone 2017 is an ... Read more

Louis M Martini, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 (35 EUR/38 USD in Sweden) red dry wine, North Coast, California, USA, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points) (20-11-2023 by Nenad Jelisic)

Right now, this wine is the best US-wine under 2,000 SEK at Systembolaget (a government owned chain of all liquor stores in Sweden). The wine is also one of the best wines from the US that NJ Wines has tasted in recent years when red wines under 2,000 SEK are in question. Louis M Martini has succeeded again to produce a brilliant ... Read more

The world's restaurants


The restaurants, which NJ Wines has viisited, tried their food and wines as well as rated food’s quality, food's taste, how the food is presented and looks, wine selection, decor, atmosphere, service and cleanliness, are presented here.

Tuzla's restaurants, Bosnia and Herzegovina (26-12-2022 och 15-02-2024 by Nenad Jelisic)

NJ Wines visited many of Tuzla's restaurants during June and July 2022 and June and July 2023. The restaurants, which were visited, ranged from those specializing in just one dish to those that had a wide selection of dishes and could be opened in any city in Europe. As Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied by many different empires, mostly by the Ottoman Empire (just over 400 years) and then by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, its food tradition has been greatly influenced by it. Furthermore, Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of three major religions, Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics, each of which has its own food traditions. All this makes Bosnia and Herzegovina a unique culinary place when it comes to food. And therefore, if you get the opportunity, you should definitely visit and try different cuisines in some of Bosnia and Herzegovina's cities such as Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo or Tuzla. Also, people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are very nice and helpful.

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Ekstedt, Stockholm, Sweden, 2,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP (17-10-2020 by Nenad Jelisic)


Restaurant Ekstedt was the fourth restaurant in a row in Stockholm that NJ Wines visited and rated. Restaurant Ekstedt is owned by one of Sweden's most successful and influential chefs, Niklas Ekstedt, who became known through the cooking program Niklas Food on Swedish Television in 2005. After internships at several very famous chefs such as Charlie Trotter, Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià, Niklas started in 2000, only 21 years old, his first restaurant, restaurant Niklas in Helsingborg in Sweden. From 2003, he also ran the restaurant Niklas Viken in the coastal community Viken north of Helsingborg. In 2007, Niklas opened the restaurant 1900 in Stockholm and with the move, the restaurants in Skåne were closed. In 2011, he opened the restaurant Ekstedt, which got a star in the prestigious Michelin guide in 2013 and has been retained it since then. A few years later, the restaurant 1900 was changed its name to Restaurant Niklas and then it was closed in 2017 when Niklas decided that he had to focus on his new restaurant (wine café) Tyge & Sessil and the restaurant Ekstedt. Since the beginning of 2018, Niklas owns restaurant Hillenberg in Stockholm. During 2018, Niklas was part of the cooking program "Four Hands Menu" and "New Scandinavian Cooking". He has also published seven cookbooks: Niklas cookbook (2004), Niklas in the middle of the week (2006), Niklas tastes (2008), Niklas Home cooked Swedish food (2011), Grill with Niklas (2013), Ekstedt over open fire: recipe for the analog kitchen (2017) and Niklas Christmas (2018). In addition to these seven cookbooks, he managed to write three more cookbooks with Henrik Ennart: Happy food: About how food and happiness are connected (2017), The blue food (2018) and Happy food 2.0: About how the meal and happiness go together (2018 ) and a cookbook together with Christian Daun: My child eats everything (2017). Niklas really has to like his profession a lot otherwise he would never succeed to do all this in just 41 years.

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The Veranda, Grand Hôtel, Stockholm, Sweden, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (23-11-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)


There are not so many restaurants in the world that are located in a capital city and have such a fabulous view as this restaurant and the restaurant's big brother the Cadier Bar, which is on the opposite side of it. The view of the Royal Palace, the Old Town and the boats on Stockholm's current. Both restaurants are located in Sweden's most exclusive and very beautiful Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. While the Cadier Bar, which is named after Régis Cadier (French chef and hotel founder), is a restaurant where one comes mainly to be seen, and drink champagne, cocktail or beer, The Veranda is a restaurant where you come to eat good food and drink good wines. In the Cadier Bar, one can also order good food, the food comes from the same kitchen that makes food for the Veranda. During all years, which I have been visited the Cadier Bar, it has seemed that the visitors of the Cadier Bar are there to drink something or to take something that fits well with champagne or coffee. In addition to these two restaurants, the hotel has two restaurants of renowned Swedish chef Mathias Dahlgren: Matbaren (see my article from 05-11-2017) and Rutabaga.


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Everything you need to know about Shafer (12-02-2024 by Nenad Jelisic)

The text excerpts from NJ Wines' extensive wine dictionary are presented here. The text excerpts will be changed one to four times a month. You can read about exciting wines, appellations, wine districts, wine regions, etc. by clicking above on the "Wine glossary and wine facts".


Shafer, a US’ wine producer that is located in the appellation (AVA) Stags Leap District, which is located in the Napa Valley wine district, which in turn is located in the North Coast wine region in California. Shafer has 83 ha spread over 5 vineyards: Borderline (10 ha), Hillside Estate Vineyards (22 ha), La Mesa (7 ha), Red Shoulder Ranch (27 ha) and Ridgeback & School Bus (17 ha).

Shafer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Hillside Select, one of the most internationally known red wines from the United States of America. The wine is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are sorted three times. The first sorting takes place already at harvest, which is always done by hand. The second sorting takes place prior to the destemming and the third occurs after the destemming, grape for grape. The must is fermented in small stainless steel tanks with regular over-pumping of the must. The malolactic fermentation, and the aging take place in 227 litres new French oak barrels for 36 months, and then, after bottling, the wine is aged in bottle for 12 months. The wine is filtered and not cleared. Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select has a great aging potential, up to 20 years.

Shafer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Hillside Select (red dry wine), Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, North Coast, California, USA, the best vintages, until vintage 1990 none; 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 201, 2018 and 2019.

Shafer grapes, dominates Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Merlot, Petit Syrah and Syrah are also grown.

Shafer soils, consists of rocky volcanic soil that overlays weathering bedrock. The soil of such a composition is characterized by very good drainage properties and lack of nutrients. These soils give small but very tasty grapes.

NJ Wines

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