In addition to great food, Tampere offers tasty experiences on the drink lists too. Champagne, sherry and cider, in glasses filled by some award-winning sommeliers.
Restaurant C is one of the best fine dining places in Finland. C is known for inventive usage of ingredients as well as the skills of the co-owner, sommelier Christina Suominen.
Christina knows how to pick a wine, which doesn’t only suit the food, but adds to its flavour. The bold drink selection might lead to a disaster in inexperienced hands, but Chistina’s food and drink combinations give an instant feeling that this is exactly how these tastes should be brought together.
If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, C offers more than just water. The restaurant offers Tampere’s best alcohol-free drink list with for example homemade berry and vegetable juices. The drinks are matched to the food just as pedantically as the wines.
Hella ja Huone is also a fine dining restaurant, where the drink is as important part of the experience as the food. Co-owner Humberto Pulido Garcés is a wine lover who dares to think differently.
Even though the restaurant puts emphasis on the wines, best-suited drink for your meal might be something totally different. I have for example tasted the beer and sake menu where beer was served even with the dessert. I was pleasantly surprised when I tested the wines from Villard vineyard in Chile. Chile is often thought of as a bulk producer, but there are some unique products hailing from there as well.
You can enjoy a long dinner at Hella ja Huone, or just a couple of oysters and a drink. On Saturdays at 14-16 there’s a French-type aperó, a selection of savoury treats and aperitifs.
The vastest wine list in Tampere is said to be found in Winebridge. The restaurant owner Timo Jokinen has visited vineyards all around the world, and now he offers over 200 wines in his restaurant, including some rare finds.
There are wines from intriguing small wineries, producing under 10 000 bottles a year, available at Winebridge. The list offers for example some Thai and Moroccan wines that are rarely found in Finland.
Here, you can taste some of the more expensive wines with reasonable price, as they are served also in portions of 4 and 8 cl. Winebridge remains nicely casual too, in addition to the main courses of the menu there are also some tapas on the list, and the wine can be enjoyed at the bar.
Known to many for the beers, Tuulensuu also boasts a nice selection of wines. There are over 40 brands of champagnes and bubbly wines alone, and you can also buy them by half a bottle. Already opened half bottles come with a discount.
Absinthes are one of Tuulensuu’s specialities. The selection of nearly 50 absinthes must be the biggest in Tampere and possibly the whole Finland. Here, you can also savour on some pastis, rums or even Polish mead. The menu offers European classics from blue mussels to frog legs.
When you order a glass of “some nice red” at Deli 1909 & Wine Bar, you don’t have to settle for any old house wine.
Deli 1909 is a great casual winebar. In addition to prestige wines, the list also offers more affordable wines, that are still far from boring. The menu includes nicely priced bistro plates, such as bruschetta, tapas selections and pasta.
The atmosphere in this art deco restaurant is in a class of its own. The terrace is warm long into the autumn, and you can even listen to some live chanson singing while you enjoy your excellent wine.
Tapas Bar & Sidreria Inez specializes in ciders and sherry. To go with the drinks, you can have a taste of some Spanish cheeses and sausages, padron peppers or churros.
If the artificial taste of light ciders has put you off from enjoying ciders, Inez will happily restore the honour of this fine drink. The drink list offers both filtered and cloudy ciders, sparkly, green apple flavoured, extra dry or sweet.
Many restaurants recommend sherry only as a dessert wine, and the choices are usually only sweet. Inez, on the other hand, offers sherry to go with the whole meal, offering sherry with flavours of strong raisin, elegantly fruity as well as dry, even salty sherry.
Tampere boasts a whole bar dedicated to champagne, the Champagne Bar Santé. The drink list in this elegant, small restaurant offers nearly a hundred champagne varieties. There’s also red and white wine available.
In Santé, you can taste various types of champagne or choose one location and compare its different wines to each other. The restaurant also organizes tastings, where the world of the bubblies is explored with the guidance of an expert.
Santé is not a food restaurant, but there are some salty or sweet snacks available to go with the drink. How about a piece of great cheese or a hand-made chocolate?
Text: Janica Brander
Photos: Janica Brander, Laura Vanzo, Kirre