A Second Spring in Oslo

What can one say about the past few months? And more importantly; what can one say that hasn’t already been expressed with far more knowledge and eloquence by others?

Suffice to say that Norwegian spring quite unexpectedly ground to a halt in mid-March this year. Instead of venturing out into the returning light we crawled into our homes with our emotional support toilet paper rolls and our extravagant supplies of yeast, our newly activated subscription to PornHub and our deep, dark anxiety.

And we waited, and worried.

But finally, it seems as if society is slowly returning to it’s normal pace. People are crowding onto buses and trams shoulder to shoulder again, the right to pay extravagant sums of money to get shit-faced on cold, windy outdoor serving areas has been reinstated, and last but not least Oslos wine importers have started to hold wine tastings again.

The first one I attended this week was held by Moestue & Flaaten at their offices in Majorstuen. Wine tastings during corona times promise to be roomy and airy events, and it was a relief not to have fight one’s way to the desirable bottles while greeting absolutely everyone in the room five times over.

Most of the wines being shown were old acquaintances, but I must say that the newest batch of Lustau’s vermuts were absolutely delicious. While I never drink rose vermut other than in theory both the white and the red were juicy, lush and with just the right balance between bitterness and herbaceousness to be a must during the summer months.

Lustau Vermut

Another pleasant surprise was Benjamin Leroux Saint-Romain Sous le Château 2018 and De Montille Bourgogne Blanc Le Clos du Château 2017. I tend to find Burgundy whites in this price range a bit boring and underwhelming, but both wines showed an elegance and length that made them well worth investigating further.

Benjamin Leroux Saint-Romain Sous le Château 2018 and De Montille Bourgogne Blanc Le Clos du Château 2017

Last but not least Alex Foillard seems to have come into his own with the 2018 vintage. The wines are still heavier and more masculine than the wines of his father Jean Foillard, but with this year they are more precise than earlier and show a bit more complexity.

All in all it was a great relief get back to tasting wine again. Not in order to pretend to myself that this is all over and that the world has suddenly returned to it’s normal state again. But getting back to work is a sign that we’re slowly adjusting to an existence with the corona virus, a new order that unfortunately will surely continue for the coming years.

And yet people still continue to make, sell and speak about wine. That is a small comfort at least.

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Aiming towards a short yet amusing life.

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