The three most important words in the Finnish culture are; ice-hockey, alcohol and sauna. So naturally being a country that puts such a high emphasis on drinking – they just had to join the wine circles and make their own specialty wines. The climate, sitting at around -20 degrees Celsius in winter is not a big turn on for the grapes that we usually associate with the wine on our supermarket shelves.
Actually as soon as I realized that the Levi wines were made from Lappish fruits I had vague reminisces of my younger years drinking cheap feijoa sparkling wine.
The reds were made up of either single varieties or blends from; blackcurrant, crowberry, and blueberry. The two whites on the menu were made from the Arctic cloudberry and the other from rhubarb. Intriguing.
This particular wine shop that we visited in the heart of Levi is small and joins up to a cozy restaurant/bar, where I just had to have a taste and see what these local berries were like in wine form. With a touch of hesitation I opted for a taste of the ‘Poro Mustikkaviini’ aka ‘Reindeer Blueberry Wine’ (don’t worry, no reindeer’s were harmed in the making of this wine!). I had the dry (also comes in sweet and medium dry) version; sitting at 12% it had a hefty alcohol punch to aid its ribena tasting juice. However saying that it was definitely dry, which to me made it very enticing as normally with fruit wines you end up overdosing on the sweetness.
I was so impressed that I ended up buying a bottle of the 3-blend (crowberry, blueberry and blackcurrant) wine to have with dinner that night. At 12 Euros it was a rather steep price tag for a backpacker, although I guess that is Levi for you.
Tunturi-Lapin Marja ja Vesi Oy is a great place to slip away from the touristy streets of Levi for a moment or two. A tasting is only 2 Euros per glass, so you really can’t say no to an offer like that.
For further information please check out their Facebook page.