Lill Karina Bøhn
Regardless of whether you are a real wine connoisseur or prefer alcohol-free in the glass, it is impossible not to be fascinated when Lill, with great passion, opens the knowledge door to the world of wine at Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel. Lill has a raw insight into tannins, soils, storage methods and vintages. And she triggers the sensory apparatus with descriptions of everything from petrol to peaches.
– It is with deep respect that I work to give guests a unique wine and food experience on the tundra many miles outside of civilization in Longyearbyen. I feel really lucky to be able to work on looking for wine that enhances the taste experiences from local ingredients, such as char from the Linné waters, cod from Isfjorden and reindeer from the trapper Tommy Sandal on Akseløya, explains Lill.
Lill is a trained sommelier at the Culinary Academy, and is now completing the Wset level 4 Diploma. She has been chief sommerlier at the renowned Smag og Behag in Kristiansand, where together with talented colleagues (Arild Skeie, Kim Robert Danielsen, Hans Petter Klemmetsen and Marius Herseth Sørensen) she won the Newcomer of the Year and People’s Favorite awards in the competition Norway’s best wine list.
33-year-old Lill came to Isfjord Radio together with her boyfriend, Kay, who is a station manager at our wilderness hotel. Both seized the opportunity to work and live in Svalbard when it appeared in 2022.
– We did not hesitate to move and agreed that it is better to regret that we took the chance, than to regret that we did not. But regret… We haven’t done that for a single second, laughs Lill.
As an enthusiastic wine agent and with great service and hospitality, Lill is happy to share some “fun facts” from the world of wine:
– Did you know that in a bottle of champagne there is approximately three times as much pressure as in a car tyre?
– Did you know that the petroleum experience in Riesling, which smells a bit like petrol, comes from the Riesling being aged?
– Have you ever eaten a grape with a stone, and chewed on the stone? It tastes quite bitter and then it is actually the tannins that you taste.
– Did you know that tannins and tannic acid are the same, and a synonym for bitterness which is a taste we have to learn to like?
– Did you know that sediment, i.e. the small pieces you sometimes find at the bottom of the red wine bottle, is color that has broken down and that is why older red wine has a lighter color?
– Did you know that all wine gets its color from the grape skin? Therefore, you can make white wine from blue grapes, but you cannot make red wine from green grapes.