A superbly focused, fresh Kekfrankos from Wetzer

I just love this wine. It’s not expensive (early teens in GBP), but it delivers complexity, precision, freshness and vitality. There are two streams in Hungarian red wine it seems: big, very ripe, oaky wines (such as many of the Merlots and Cabernet Francs from Villany) and then fresher, more precise, balanced wines (such as [...]

A Christmas treat - a remarkable Tokaji

I can’t think of many wines more appropriate for this festive season that this little beauty. It’s a Tokaji, from the wonderful Disznókő estate. Lovely complexity, with a bit of evolution, and lots of detail in the flavours. It was a warm year, but the region was less affected than many in Europe, and harvest [...]

Selfie wine tasting video 1 - Tokaji Eszencia four times!

I thought it might be quite fun to do some ‘selfie’ videos of wine tasting, taken on my camera phone, in situ.

Here I taste Tokaji Eszencia, a remarkable, intensely sweet wine made from the free run juice from aszu berries. It’s very low in alcohol, amazingly high in sugar, and rare and very expensive.

This is [...]

Tokaji in Tokaj, the film

Here’s the film from my visit to Tokaj, featuring Disznoko, Lazlo Meszaros the Director of Disznoko, and the wonderful Aszu berries being harvested one at a time.

Some more pictures from Tokaj

Just back from my lightning trip to Tokaj. I enjoyed it a great deal, and learned a lot. I thought I knew a little about Tokaji (the wine), but visiting and seeing the grapes as they are ready for harvesting, tasting the wines, and seeing how they are put together exposed just how little I [...]

On the road in Tokaj, Hungary

It fills me with a sense of childish excitement when I visit a new wine region. I’ve said it before, and likely I will say it again, that it is when you visit a region that the penny drops: all the book learning and knowledge of the wines falls into place, and you begin to [...]

Dinner at Zona in Budapest

Dinner last night was with Agnes Herczeg and Gaia Gaja at Zona in Budapest. It’s a new restaurant that’s only been open four months, and it’s based around the idea of small plates. The name Zona refers to the portions. In communist times, apparently, if you weren’t very well off you could go late to [...]

In Hungary

I’m in Budapest for the VinCE wine conference, where this morning I am giving a talk and conducting a tasting on biodynamic wines.

I arrived yesterday afternoon, and spent a good bit of time focusing on the wines of a special Hungarian terroir, Somlo, guided by Omar Honigh-Csizmadia of Royal Somlo (www.royalsomlo.com). In particular, I was [...]

A brilliant Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos

A big dinner last night at home with friends. For me, this was the stand-out wine. It’s truly wonderful. Expensive, but one of the world’s great sweet wines.

Királyudvar Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2002 Hungary
10.2% alcohol. Exotic, powerful nose of spice, raisins, apricot and peach. Lovely purity. The palate is spicy, honeyed, rich and taut with [...]

Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2005

Not much chat, just a quick note on an utterly brilliant sweet wine. Sold in a handy 25 cl bottle which makes this world class wine relatively affordable at around £11.

Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2005 Hungary
10.5% alcohol. Lively, intense aromas of marmalade, apricot, spice and citrus. The palate is concentrated with lots of sweetness but [...]