Wine & Travel

Snooth User: jamessulis

Hotel Holt in Reykajvik, Iceland

Posted by jamessulis, Feb 17, 2014.

Traveling to Iceland next week with my wife. Staying at the Hotel Holt in Reykjavik where the hotel boasts of a wine list of 4,000 vintage wines. Then traveling to the Hotel Ion for a 2 day stay where if lucky enough we will sit in their glass enclosed bar to view the Northern Lights. Hoping the Ion also has some fine wine for tasting. Will report back after vacation to post possibly some of the Northern Lights and some wine recommendations.

If anyone has been there any tips will be appreciated.

Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest


Reply by duncan 906, Feb 18, 2014.

Have a good time

Reply by outthere, Feb 18, 2014.

Bring a coat?


Reply by jamessulis, Feb 18, 2014.

Actually it isn't that cold there. It's been in the upper 30's during the day and low 30's during the night. People often confuse the weather with Greenland which is much colder. Because of many natural geothermal springs and geysers the temperature is not that cold.

However OUTTHERE, I planned on bringing a coat and possibly a few sweater



Reply by outthere, Feb 18, 2014.

You have to remember, I live in California. Anything under 60 degrees is cold. ;)

Reply by jamessulis, Feb 18, 2014.

Anything under 60 degrees for me is chilly also. Living in the Portland area keeps me just right. Cool winters but certainly only jacket weather (if you can stand the rain). Spring, Summer and Fall is just absolutely perfect here.

For most of my life I've lived in and just outside of Chicago, now that's cold. Want to feel what an ice cube feels like? Visit Chicago in January and February and the other minus is constant snow and bone chilling nights with winds that make the birds fly sideways.


Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 18, 2014.

I looked at the wine list and I can't really tell what things cost because I have almost no idea what their currency is (well, it's the Krona, but anyone can look it up) and at 195 of those to the dollar, a country with presumably high costs, I'm just guessing, but it won't be cheap.  But you are already there, so drink something good. 

With that in mind, the Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill is a lot closer in price to, say, Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque in Iceland than it would be in NYC. So, comparatively, a good deal.  Keep in mind they use decimals the way we use commas and vice versa when it comes to numbers and I guess you can just divide by 200 (or move the decimal point two spots over and divide by 2. So, like 245 vs. 275--which, come to think of it, ain't all that bad, since Belle Epoque is usually $100-125 retail down here.

A white Smith Haut Laffite from '06 is $114 or so--and they are the only Graves classified for red and white, I think.  Or either of the white Burgundies from Olivier Leflaive look pretty good, both under $90 at current rates. On the whites generally, the Burgs look pretty decently priced for the quality.  I'd pass on the Cali whites, only two and neither is worth traveling that far for.

On the red side, there's a lot of pretty good prices on the Bords, including some Cantemerle, but not limited to that.  Really a huge selection at a variety of prices. From the Italians, the Tignanello and Ceparello look like they are pretty close to US retail.  (I think the Tignanello especially is overpriced in the US, but at that price in a restaurant, I'd happily order it.)  If you haven't had it, Chateau Musar from Lebanon is a terrific wine, and pretty reasonable, although it can't really beat the comparative restaurant value of those Italians.   Actually, the Isole e Olena Chianti is not a bad deal.  While it seems pricey for Chianti, that's elite Chianti.  There's also a 2007 Brunello from Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona for about $80, and '07 is an early drinking vintage, so it should be good with a decant.  I'd say the Italians have less selection than the Bords, but someone there likes them and makes them values. 

No US reds?  Can I be missing something? 

Actually, this is kind of fun.  I might plan out a couple meals worth of wine for you at this rate. 

In any case, drink up and report back!  And not just about the wine, okay?  Like, we want to know why you went all that way.  Not just for the wine, eh?

Reply by jamessulis, Feb 18, 2014.

@ FOX,

Wow, thanks for all the tips. Not aware of what I will order while dining there but I'll order based on what kind of food they have (what goes good with Puffin?) just kidding. It will be a food and wine experiment.

Not going there for the wine at all, the wine list that is at our hotel is just a bonus. The wife and I are vacationing there for other reasons. My son recommended Iceland for it's natural beauty (he power biked there for a month last year and said the country is amazing). If you saw the recent movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller, he winds up in Iceland and the country is beautifully desolate. The other reason for the trip is that we want to experience the Northern Lights which will peak while we're there. The flight and accommodations were actually much cheaper than flying to Alaska (those crazy airline rates astound my ability to decipher)



Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 21, 2014.

Have a great time and do report back from the non-Pacific North North North.

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