Posts Tagged Allt om Vin

Interview with Per Gessle in Allt om Vin

As we already informed you about it, the July issue of Allt om Vin contains an interview with Per Gessle. The magazine is available in Sweden as of today. The interview was done by Hasse Gänger at the end of April and the beauty pics of Mr. G were taken by Stefan Bohlin at Vingruppen’s office in Stockholm.

In the interview Per says he can understand those who are eager to have their own vineyard. Though in that case, one might decide: “Now this is what I will do for the rest of my life.” This thought has not entered Mr. G’s mind yet, but he says he is still young.

pg_allt_om_vin_2Per is not a super expert when it comes to wines, but he knows what he likes and that’s enough. It’s rather a hobby for him. He is also very curious. For example, he heard that Ornellaia has made a white wine, Ornellaia Bianco, which was impossible to obtain. He called a contact in England he usually buys from, but he was said the wine was sold out, 4000 bottles were gone. That makes one super curious. He didn’t even know what kind of grape was in it, but he wanted to test it of course.

The night before the interview with Allt om Vin was done, Per had dinner with his friends at PA & Co and drank a white wine he never had before and had never heard of. It was Aligoté, a little worse variant of the Chardonnay grape as the waiter explained it to him. It was amazing according to Per. He sent an e-mail directly to Ann Burgaz at WineAgency to ask if she can fix some of that wine for Hotel Tylösand.

Mr. G says that from the beginning he didn’t want to release his wines commercially. There are already a lot of celebrity wines and he doesn’t want to be part of this thing. Moreover, it was the hotel’s wines and still it is his basic idea, to find good wines for their guests. But Ann Burgaz thought the wines were so good. It almost felt as if Marilisa Allegrini produced better wines than what they paid for.

They talk about the wines and champagnes in The Per Gessle Selection and Per explains Kurt & Lisa is named after his parents and has the label with his parents’ wedding photo on it. Mr. G shares one of his coolest memories so far. It happened at a restaurant in Stockholm. Per was sitting there having dinner and three tables away there were some who ordered Kurt & Lisa. He saw how they poured it into the glasses, but they did not know Per was there. It was incredibly special for him and he had never experienced anything like that feeling before in music or anything else. Seeing someone else entirely unknown to drink his own wine was both really strange and cool.

Per tells Hasse Gänger he has no ambitions to become a major wine entrepreneur. He doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, because he doesn’t feel comfortable with it. For example, this interview is the only one he does about wines in the foreseeable future. He wants the wines to speak for themselves.

According to Mr. G, it’s two things that make his wines work. One is that Ann Burgaz has an eye on it and can open doors to high-quality suppliers. The other is Per’s taste. He always tells everyone that one doesn’t need to know so much about wines. The most important thing is to learn what you like. He doesn’t like Zinfandel, for example, but in Bordeaux category, he likes Saint-Julien wines a lot.

Regarding Sommartider wines Per tells the story that it was Magnus Börjeson, Roxette’s bassist who came up with the idea to launch wines called Sommartider. The wines came out first as boxed wines, but now they are also available in bottles.

Then they talk about the alcohol-free wines in the assortment, named after Per’s beloved wife, Åsa. Mr. G says Åsa drinks a lot of alcohol-free wines with her friends. The white and rosé wines in The Per Gessle Selection are called Fru Nordin.

Talking about the labels, as Per is very much of a design freak, he is happy to be involved in the label art. Sommartider wines have his own drawings on the label, Furet has the house he grew up in and Kurt & Lisa’s label colour is changed for every vintage. The latter was inspired by the American Sine Qua Non winery, which each year has new fun designs and names for each vintage.

It was quite difficult to finish the champagne labels, because the regulations are incredibly strict. Per’s own name could appear only in a certain percentage in relation to the name of the champagne, and the images must be wine-related. The 3 champagnes in the assortment are The Convincer, The Pleaser and the flagship, The Improver (which is only available in the restaurant range). 500 bottles of The Improver sold out immediately and the next turn was expected to be available still during this spring. As Per says, The Improver will always be serious shit.

In the interview Per says that he feels he has a little odd taste when it comes to champagne. Many of his friends are in favor of old champagnes, but he likes young champagnes the most. Old champagne tastes almost like a completely different drink. At the same time, his taste changes with time. For a while, he stopped drinking Bordeaux wines and he is rather drinking Italian wines. Mr. G doesn’t really like the new world’s too sweet and strong alcoholic wines. He is very much a Cabernet guy. He likes French and Italian Cabernet, even though they are quite different in taste.

Regarding the future, Per says a Pinot Grigio would fit in The Per Gessle Selection and they are also searching for a South African red wine in Kurt & Lisa’s price range, around 200 crowns.

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Per Gessle’s golden wines

Mikael Mölstad from Allt om Vin interviewed Per Gessle. They were talking about Per’s passion about wines. Per drinks more expensive wines than many others, but it’s mostly because he can afford it. He believes that good wine experiences are available in most price segments anyway.

To the question about his first wine experience he replied:

Oj, it was when I started touring when I was around 20. Before that I drank almost nothing at all. This was in the late ’70s and I had read that Keith Richards drank Blue Nun, so I would of course try. I knew nothing about wines, but thought if Keith did something I should do the same. But oh, what a disappointment it was – it was just disgustingly sweet. The first real wine experience I had when I turned 30 and I got a Château Malartic-Lagravière 1982 from Thomas Johansson, our concert organizer. That wine opened a new world for me.

PG_wine_Allt_om_VinPer was asked about his greatest wine experience. He says it’s almost impossible to answer, but he would say his last great acquaintance, a Cheval Blanc 1986. He talks about he started with Bordeaux wines, then more Californian and Italian wines. He also became more curious about Burgundy. Per says, the older he gets, the less he likes New World wines. They are a little too sweet and have a bit too much alcohol.

About the best wine and meal experience he says there are some. He mentions a lunch in Verona with good pizzas and a champagne, Billecart Salmon Rosé. Another experience he mentions is a bottle of Ornellaia with caprese, prosciutto and classic Italian meals at one of his favorite taverns in Tuscany.

Per’s favourite everyday wine is his own Kurt & Lisa. A dream wine tasting he would love to participate in is a vertical tasting [where you have a number of bottles from the same winery, that are spread out over a number of vintages] of Château Petrus or Latour with some of his best wine friends.

To the question which wine region he would happily return to he replied he is very fond of Tuscany, so it is always his first choice. A wine region he is longing to visit is Napa Valley, for he hasn’t been there yet. Per says it would be great to experience some of his favorite Californian wines on site, such as Bond and Harlan Estate.

Mr G’s favourite red wine grape is Pinot Noir. He wants to learn more about Burgundy and he hopes soon to experience some great wines from there. Per’s favourite green-skinned grape is Chardonnay, blanc de blancs from Champagne or from Southern Burgundy.

Per tells Allt om Vin that some wines he buys from each year, e.g. Ornellaia and Solaia. Otherwise he gladly buys champagne. His last purchase was a Larrivet Haut-Brion. He prefers keeping older wines in his wine cellar and he likes to go back to wines from the ’80s and ’90s. Per says one can’t experience such wine tastes these days.

At the end of the interview Per says he is proud of making his own wine and then get to experience surreptitiously how people like it in a restaurant. Although he hasn’t trod the grapes, he still helped to create the blend. [Mr G treading grapes is definitely something we would love to see one day, isn’t it?]

On a side note next to the interview you can read besides some other well-known details that Per’s hidden talent is being a hell of a table hockey player.

The fabulous PG photo in the article is by Anders Roos.

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