Aftersummer

Aftersummer feeling is always a strange mood for me, but I have to realize that autumn brings the best programs in wine world. We are happy because grape berries ripened, harvests are in progress and a lot of new wine waiting for us. And immediately reminds me another reason for women, new fall/winter collections of fashion designers. The weather is a little cloudy now but a glass of white wine outdoors in a maxiskirt and a sweater is not a bad idea I think.

autumn2013

One of the programs in September is Etyek Picnic will be held next weekend and it is worth to leave the city. (only 30 km from Budapest) Instead of the previous wine festival in Etyek, Picnic is held four times a year and this family-style event wants the seasons to show, the best Hungarian wine and gastronomic delights. If you do not heard about the region it is important to know that excellent fresh, reductive wines it has. White wines have exciting acids so especially suitable for making champagne. Hungarian champagnes and sparkling wines based on these vineyards.

Other buzz is the Wine Festival in Buda Castle which is THE wine festival in Hungary. The theme of the 2013 festival is “Woman and wine – Beauties on their own right!” At this event the whole wine maker society is presented, so the best place to taste anything we want! My best practice that two weeks before the fest I make a list collected over the year, otherwise the 200 exhibitor and more hundred wine swallow me! Wine University, prestigious music events, the day of Hungarian jazz, folk dance gala and Portugal as guest country also add color to the event.

I think I convince myself, that fall is not so bad, hope you agree!

My nose became rose colour…

Long break, but my excuse is lot of work and experience with wines, which kept away from my computer and from worldwideweb. I m coming from the most beautiful items, to share with you.

bárdos rosé

First beauty is a Rose from Mátra Historical Wine Region (Otherwise Mátra is our highest mountain which saves the southern slopes.)

The wine won a silver medal in VinAgora International Wine Festival in June. (The jury is composed of highly experienced individuals who have a long background in judging samples at international wine competitions.) The truth is this bottle didn’t get to me intentionally. I tasted it by coincidence, but the random will be the greatest success, won’t it?

Smell is so deep with raspberry orgy, they had to say me to “hurry” taste because it warm up, but I would have been with fragrance long-long time… I felt as inside my nose became rose colour… as I would sniff its colour. Beautiful! Taste is also deep, and my picture from the bottle is not the best because its colour is more darker! The depth of this rose grabbed me, want to drink it everyday.

Nice experience from Argentina

After a few week offline period, lot of wine tasting we are recharged! Some of them a Chardonnay and a Malbec from Argentina with sooo many positive experience, what I didn’t expect. I hit a wall many times with new world’s wines when met them first, because I had high expectations. Today I know that it should be looked a little different view by a lokal patriot as me. I often make a mistake to search our domestic habits, flavours, and therefore important to look around beyond the borders.trapiche ch

These wines from Trapiche winery (Mendoza) and all of them were pleasant adventure. Fragrance of Chardonnay 2011 was a “beneficent slap in my face” to invite me to drink more from Argentina! Rich and strong aromas, which do not allow to smell long, because we want to taste immediately. It is an oak cask winefamily, and altough alcohol is a little bit high and usually we fear the number 13,5% I have to say that it is so round!

Point of wine

When I first saw Sauska Winery’s logo, my first impression was the James Bond gun barrel. It may seem like a fool idea, moreover I am not even a big fan of 007. I know already since then, that the “holy” label, and the “point” on the top of the capsule shows the Sauska clean and simple design and quality, not only on the skin. My imagination wasn’t so much wrong because Sauska style is elegant, many-sided and patriotic-international at the same time… like the spy.

sauska furmintSimmons-Gun-Barrel-2

They have vineyards on Tokaj and Villány wine regions also. The two area have completely different properties, climate and grape varieties. That’s why Sauska has wide range of excellent white, rosé, siller and red wines. Beside tradtional varieties they focus on global vines also, as they say to represent the terroir. That was the most interesting for me, because I prefer the Hungarian types in our wine regions. In Tokaj not so many winemaker work with global varieties, which is not surprising. This is one of the oldest, and the famous region with historical traditions, and with regulation which doesn’t alowed global varieties as “Tokaj wine” to trade. I think this is all right, we have to save our world heritage, but it’s a special aspiration to try new things.

On Tuesday I was in a Sauska wine tasting, in Most-Jelen Winebar, and we met the Cuvée 113 from Tokaj.
This wine is a novel blend of the local and global vines. Furmint, Hárslevelű and Yellow Muscat are the locals who got partners as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. At the tasting said that the company’s aim to get closer the colorful world of Tokaj to foreigners using these French varieties. I have to agree with this, because in my experience, the fact that many foreigners, who aren’t familiar with local wines not dare to take it off the shelf. This cuvée is interesting and thought-provoking. Nice wine, with Tokaj style and something new, and I like a little wood in it (And yes, I know too much barrel is not popular today, but my taste buds don’t know it!)

sor
Red wines, and Sauska in Villány wine region deserve a new post next time, with more “Bond logo-like” labels.

Eat, drink in March

After a long absence I face some great gastro program in March.

11/03 PASTA opening
More hundred of students in Budapest could be grateful for LEVES – take out restaurant, means ‘SOUP’- which save our stomach from unhealthy fast foods, and give some “flavourful and delicious warmth” every day. (If you haven’t try it, don’t be afraid of the crowd at the entrance.) What could be better news that the team open a new restaurant PASTA, tomorrow! (Location: Kálvin 2.)
16-17/03 Wineferry Festival
Wine tasting on boat… Sounds good, and this is new for me. As I read we can enjoy our 22 wine regions’ flavour and the view of the Danube and meet with wine makers. (You can board the ship at Jászai Mari square station)
I want to go.
Macaron trend is billowing across Europe. I was suprised when I know that it is a French cake, because one of my teacher in the collage talked us about its history from Venice. Today I know that in Italy in the Middle Ages maccaron was every tiny cookies with almond and albumen. And the French confectionery culture developed it to a “cult” sweet.
20/03 will be the Hungarian macaron day in Budapest, Akvárium Klub. Yes, I know it isn’t a hungarian special, but several qualitative pastry shop show their beauties, so why we miss it?

One of them is Eger…

Last week I attended Borjour Magnum, a monumental wine tasting in Budapest, where 200 wines can be tasted, from the bests. It’s not easy to selected, what kind of wonder would we like to be experienced… The honeyed, floral, peach world from Tokaj? the oak barrel aged, salty wines from Somló? the mediterranean thrills from Villány? a smooth, mineral, round Beauties from Badacsony? or a considerable historical nectar from Eger, which represents our more hundred years history in every gulp…

No, it is a mission impossible to choose! My momentary favourite was Eger, and Vili Papa Cuvée 2006 from Thummerer Winery. We don’t drink it everyday, the top wine from Vilmos Thummerer winemaker. Barrique-aged wine made of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties. The aroma first and a spicy elegant taste make me take a break and reflect on. This is also necessary, because it has soooo long aftertase. I love it. What a wonderful comlexity! I taste and wish all people in the world can drink it. Maybe they can do it 🙂 because I am sure that it will best for 10-15 years! vili papa cuvée

Eger one of our historical wine regions, has thousand years traditions and numerous monuments of art history, and dotted by thermal waters. For many years it have been mentioned as a red wine region, but nowadays fortunately it seems to return its original abilities. Eger wine region is located about in the same latitude as Burgundy, so the facilities are as favorable as in the French region, pinot and white types are also has beautiful faces in these vineyards. Egri Bikavér (the meaning is “Bull’s Blood”) is a historical cuvée, and two years ago its white pair, Egri Csillag (“Star of Eger”) was born. (This name refers to a big Hungarian literary work from Géza Gárdonyi, Stars of Eger, but it was published in English as Eclipse of the Crescent Moon. This is an iconic book about siege of the town agains the Ottoman Empire.)

Egri Bikavér (the meaning is “Bull’s Blood”) is a historical cuvée, and two years ago its white pair, Egri Csillag (“Star of Eger”) was born. (This name refers to a big Hungarian literary work from Géza Gárdonyi, Stars of Eger, but it was published in English as Eclipse of the Crescent Moon. This is an iconic book about siege of the town agains the Ottoman Empire.)

This region more than history, it is the future also. Winemaker masters talk about the potentials of that:

Egri Csillag Festival is at 8th April 2013 in Eger Castle, where you can meet with the Stars! 🙂

Celebrities’ wines or wine celebrities?

When I heard that Roger Federer is the new brand embassador of Moet & Chandon I think how perfect brand partnership. Federer’s humble, elegant gentleman style is the best pairing with the 270 years old champagne house, as they wrote “the most exciting partnerships ever between two worldwide icons”. Previously Scarlett Johansson was also a good character with her deeply rooted feminity.

anta-banderas-antonio
Nowadays you can read about Angelina Jolie’s winery in Provence, which is a surprise for me, unlike Antonio Banderas’ Bodegas (Spanish name of winery) or Sting owned Il Palagio winery from Tuscany (also produced honey, olive oil and other bio products).
About wine I always looking for authenticity. There are many of platitudes and cliches in connection with wine marketing, which distort the image. Lot of people say wine sell itself and I agree with it partly, but this is unimportant. Sometimes big items has modest advertisement and inversely. It is not easy to seek credibility, but I think we need to walk with opened eyes (and taste buds) to discover the best products for us. They may be found in an international wine tasting, or on a holiday where could not be expected. And this is the most beautiful in wine world, you can always count on novelties.

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Perhaps actors and performers looking for their authenticity in wine world?

Winemaker of the year

Yesterday was held the Gala for the Winemaker of the year 2012, where Károly Áts (winemaker of the Royal Tokaji Wine Company) was honored by this award.

He is one of the most placid and kindly man I have ever met. Speaks about wine as a priest for his charge… and yes, when we taste them our faith in Tokaj wines became stronger.

The menu was creative and individual, created by well-known chefs. One of the most interesting is the Spelt risotto with camomile marrow (pith). Its loving pair was Royal Mézesmály Furmint 2009, a dry white beauty, vineyard selection.

Károly Áts Royal wines you can find several wine shops in Europa like United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Belgium…More infromation here.

In the future the Winemaker start his own work, so I am sure that future posts will coming!

áts cuvee
I was a volunteer sommelier at the event and our present was an Áts Cuvée 2009 from the Master (with his sign).

What is happening in Central Europe?

Good news that design competitions and awards nowadays shake up the cultural life of Hungary. Some fashion brand became popular in a short time, and the number of followers increasing.

One of the most popular and succesful competetion is “Gombold újra!” – Fashion days, which this year thouch the whole Central Europe.

“The aim of the initiative is to give the opportunity to the most talented designers from the Central European region – more specifically the ‘Visegrád Group’ of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary – to showcase their work on a platform to which international buyers and managers of concept stores and showrooms are invited. In this context our goal is to connect them to the mainstream fashion world by giving them the chance to have their collections purchased around the world.”
www.designterminal.hu

The essence of the competition is to create high-quality clothes inspired by Central European traditions.

The competition start in 2011 on the occassion of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU and today it is one the of most famous fashion event. I think the secret of succes is the fresh and the multicolour ideas. Plus we love our national motifs and colours of course.

Last year’s the winner Anett Farkas, who was inspired by the shingle and a famous Hungarian architect Imre Makovecz.

This is only one from the best inspirations (more: 2012 tenders) and I can’t wait the 2013 tenders!
If you are in Budapest at 8 June 2013. you can visit Millenáris Exhibition Hall to see the fashion show.

An other grandiose program is VinCE Budapest, the biggest wine exhibition with wines from Hungary and Central Europe.
More hundred wine can be tasted, experts hold masterclasses, sommeliers, restaurant owners, wine merchants, wine makers and we who love wine! No matter whether we are professionals or consumers, this program is enjoyable for everyone.

I think about beneficial effects of these programs. In the furure we may talk about CE brands, we can get to know the materpieces of our neighbours, we can form our relationships…
Our knowledge is a little bit gappy, because we are up in French gastronomy or Italian fashion designers but e.g. croatian wines, and polish designers not really. And the main point is not that we “have to know CEs” but are we curious? My answer is yes because there are many hidden cultural treasure, and what is the best if not the diversity of wine and design world.
In 2012 Buda Castle Wine Festival guest was Croatia. We tasted a red wine from Dalmatia, savour a special salty taste, as I walking near the sea… It was completely different from somló wines salty flavour or any of our mineral wines.
This memory is floating in front of me when imagine undiscovered “CE treasures”.

February is the month of furmint

This is February, I am Hungarian and I love furmint. This grape is one of the base wine of Tokaji Aszú but this is not the only reason why we love it.

Many people think that Tokaj wines are always sweet and diggestiv drinks. Furmints from Somló or Tokaj can show how respectable a long-lived white wine.

FURMINT

I am fond of its pear and nutmeg nose, and long flavour. It has more faces in different soils, and regions. Furmints from Somló have temperate fragrance but dense and minerally. Tokaj furmints have more fruit aromas, but both of them well balanced and complex, multi-dimensional white.

Februar is the month of Furmint so we can enjoy these gems in numerous restaurants and wine bars. The top of the programms is a Big Furmint Ferbuary Taste in Vajdahunyad castle.

It’s a fabled castle for me, and especial place for wine tasting. When you arrive, it is a prince/ss feeling, like in a fable, because of the castle, the milieu, beautiful wines…

The castle represented the mansion in Vajdahunyad, Transylvania. Even more uniqe are the historical monuments details, from Cathedral from Pécs, Catherine’s Gate in Brassó, Charles’ Gate from Gyulafehérvár, Gödöllői Royal Palace, Church in Ják and many others.

Oh yes, I know that a tasting with near 70 wineries is a hard work even for a prince/ss, but this is the most extensive possibiliti taste furmint, you mustn’t miss out!