One thing I enjoy almost more than anything is tasting new wine, especially from countries new to me. A new varietal makes it even more cool. Last week, for winechat, we benefited from a trifecta of education, new varietals, and new tastes in wine, which Blue Danube Wine provided in spades.
A Brief Introduction to Hungarian Wines:
"Bisected by the Danube River and a gateway between East and West, Hungary has been largely defined by invasion, occupation or alliances ranging from the Mongolians, Turks, Germans, Austrians, Italians, French, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, Croatians and Communist Russia. Hungarian cuisine, language, and wine culture is the remarkable transformation of these foreign influences into something uniquely their own. Over the past 2000 years, its continental climate, fertile soil, volcanic terroirs, and native grapes make it the only country in the world to sing about their wine in their National Anthem. That said, the Communist period that followed World War II focused on quantity over quality and the greatness of the many regional wines were largely forgotten. Today, only 20 years after the re-establishment of private and family wineries, Hungary is in the midst of a wine renaissance. The potential of its 22 distinct appellations and breadth of indigenous varieties and traditions of winemaking are only now being truly (re)discovered."
I'll have to admit, that the Kadarka, Furmint, and Olaszrizling just didn't do it for me when first tasting them. But, in all 3 cases, they warmed up and we warmed up to them. Definitely wines that needed to be tasted on the warmer side of the scale. Modern Hungarian wines have come a long way from “Bulls Blood,” and are worth seeking out, not just for their novelty, but because they offer a chance to try something you're unlikely to find anywhere else.
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