Mar 24 2017

The battle of the two Bikavérs

Published by under Hungarian Wine

Where has been the first Bikavér produced? In Eger or Szekszárd?

Most people reckon Szekszárd, as Garay János – he was born in Szekszárd – mentioned it in Háry János, the Hungarian folk opera: ”pour it into the glass and you will see a miracle! The colour is like the blood of the bull (bikavér)”, but the story of Eger has more action and imagination. Anyway, the point is: both regions produce Bikavér, blends based on Hungarian varieties with certain difference, based on their soil, climate and given product specification.

Yet what they both share is the passion towards the brand, Bikavér and with plenty of changes behind I do hope, that the question on “style” will soon become rock solid.

Ahead of the Bikavér tasting some of the leading winemakers were talking about the history of the brand, as well as the present and future of the wine.

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Feb 01 2017

Hungarian Pálinka – Questions and Answers

Published by under Palinka

While spirits are produced throughout the world and there are many words which communicate the very essence of these products, – such as “water of life”, eaux de vie, Schnapps -, the Hungarians simply use the term pálinka. The Carpathian Basin is an excellent source of high quality fruit, which was recorded by Pliny the Elder in the Historia Naturalis, as he called it: “Fruit growing Pannonia”.

But let’s look at pálinka a little bit closer…

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Jan 23 2017

Flower Power – Champagne Dauby

Published by under Champagne

The story of the estate goes back to two generation. It was Flore Dauby´s grandfather, Guy, who purchased the domaine in the 1950’s from Veuve Clicquot. Guy Dauby loved the vineyards of Champagne and he always had a few small parcels of land. When he was young, he acquired two hectares. In 1954 three barrels were produced, the first cuvée – as Flore recalls it – was perhaps 200 bottles only. And the story began…

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Jan 15 2017

The Queen of Hárslevelű, Berecz Stephanie of Kikelet

Published by under Tokaj

There is no doubt Stephanie takes the variety, Hárslevelű serious, perhaps puts it even over Furmint. Trained winemaker from the Loire and Bordeaux, who came for a three months of practice to Tokaj, but fell in love with the region and her future husband, Zsolt. She did shape Hegyalja quite a bit, being a winemaker at Disznókő and consultant for several smaller and bigger wineries, while now running her own estate, Kikelet in Tarcal.

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Aug 31 2016

Badacsony in the eye of the beholder

My favourite book on the Balaton and its surroundings remains Eötvös Károly: Utazás a Balaton körül (Travel around the Balaton). It puts you really in the mood how the region once was, how everything started, history, culture, wine and a lot more. More than a decade passed since Eötvös travelled and wrote his stories. A lot changed and there is small revolution going on when it comes to the wines as well. Yet the romantic notion has never faded from the region.

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May 02 2016

The beauty and diversity of dry furmint

The beauty and diversity of dry Furmint

Just a month after the successful ProWein 2016 where a number of seminars were organized amongst them with some focus on the variety, Furmint as well I finally manage to post my long due notes on the Great Furmint tasting: Furmint February.

Another quick word on the seminar which was presented by Demetri Walters MW of Berry Brod & Rudd with the title The dry way of Furmint, life beyond  aszú; feautered a staggering number of (mainly) dry Furmint´s from virtually all the possible origins of Hungary. Credit to Demetri he managed to wiz through them within the given time limit which was certainly challenging. As the sheer diversity and high quality of Furmint needs time and attention as well.

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Sep 30 2015

Vertical Tokaji tasting of the Kapi vineyard of Disznókö

It´s not often that the Disznókö estate releases a single vineyard 6 puttonyos Furmint aszú from their site the Kapi growth. The base wine as well as the aszú berries are 100% Furmint and all are originated from the Kapi site. Disznókö is situated in Mezözombor which is sort of a strange village within the region of Tokaj Hegyalja. No underground cellars, fairly flat village and all the vineyards which belong to the commune are situated outside of the village boundaries.

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Aug 13 2015

Karthäuserhof my girlfriends new love

Published by under German Wine,Mosel

It must have been a sunny October when she got to taste the Auslese Riesling 2013 from Karthäuserhof at their Austrian distributor, Kracher in Illmitz. Was is the sheer elegance the beauty which captured her? Or was it the minerality, purity and personality from the Ruwer which got on to her? Call it the Riesling wine bug or whatever but it sure is fun. Best remedy in such a case is to get preferably a few bottles of the wine. I suppose any one would agree with me. Even better if you visit the winery and find all those little secrets out for yourself. Or if there are no “secrets” at least you had a great time and enjoyed the wines in close distance to the sense of place.

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Jul 17 2015

Business Wine Budapest – the place to network over a good glass of wine

Published by under Hungarian Wine

What´s the difference between wine business and business wine? In my book the first is more about the wine while the second is more about the business. The idea behind “business wine” was simply to bring people together from various businesses and different entrepreneurs, managers and executives to share ideas but foremost to conduct business with each other. To spicy up and add another dimension to such a networking get together wine is an ideal tool. Since it´s the oldest and most natural (alcoholic) beverage on the planet with long history, traditions and quality. Many of us consider it as part of their social life, essential to gastronomy and with responsible consumption it´s also a factor of pleasure.  I used to say wine brings people together and so does a common goal as well.

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Jun 30 2015

The aromatic white wines of Badacsony

The (aromatic white) wines of Badacsony

I have been a long advocate to put more emphasize on the fragrant, fruity and aromatic white wines. Especially in Hungary where 67% of the planted grapes are white and the majority of them is aromatic or at least semi-aromatic. While there are some outstanding varieties which are categorized as neutral such as the Furmint, Kéknyelű and perhaps even the Olaszrizling yet there are such a diversity from Muscat based wines, old and new bred varieties to several very locally grown varieties. Badacsony stands out in many respect when we talk about varieties and soil.

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