JWL Issue #092: Some Notes on Hungarian Wines

April 7, 2020

One thing I’ve noticed at the moment is that we’re forced into the present. But one of the day to day impacts of that is sometimes you forget to step above the parapet and take in the wider world around you.

We are in spring. When did that happen?

At Christmas, I got Anna Jones ‘A Modern Way To Cook’, which as someone who loves spending hours in the kitchen, has fast become my favourite vegetarian cookbook. So far, we have managed to cook only with the seasons with it.

As a result, this weekend, I leafed through the spring section with joy. New ingredients – wild garlic, morels, and then soon, peas, and asparagus – new recipes, new styles of eating. I can’t wait. All driven by this change in season as things get warmer and everything gets a bit brighter.

I was asked during one of the Wine List for Teams events recently, if there were seasonal wines.

While grapes are harvested twice a year, depending on the part of the world you’re in, I notice seasonal changes in what I drink.

I enjoyed the first rosé of the season last week, written up in today’s Taste. And have started to reintroduce more weekday whites where previously there were reds. Other styles like sparkling and petnats too have started etching their way up higher in my to-drink list.

With the current end state of our collective situation still unknown, I’ve found some small comforts in look up and see the world around me. And for me, that means food and wine, and all the exciting changes that this new season bring with it.

Taste

Hattingley Valley have some of the most renowned sparkling wines in Britain, but it was fantastic to taste their still rosé recently (£14 direct). English rosé, like English red, can I find be quite an acquired taste. But this should please Provençal purists a lot. Floral strawberries and a long finish made this an instant winner.

I’m so sadly bored of most sauvignon blanc, so when I find a good one I’m very happy. Trust Lidl to come up with the goods. From Etyek-Buda in Hungary, Haraszthy at £6.99 is a steal. Nettles, gooseberries and elderflower on the nose, and a balanced mouthfeel invite you to keep coming back for more.

Springtime isn’t all about light flavours. As the cold nights come in, we sometimes want something more robust. Domaine la Couquihado Rhône (£6.49, also from Lidl) is your answer to that. Here you’ve got plummy black cherries and red currants delivered in comforting style.

Learn

Hungarian Wines

Ever since visiting Budapest a few years ago, I’m convinced that Hungary will be big in Britain within the next few years. Lesser known regions, mean lower prices, meaning better value to be found.

Hungary has 22 wine regions which are grouped together under: Balaton, Duna, Eger, Észak-Dunántú, Pannon, Sopron, and the most renowned Tokaj.

Etyek-Buda falls under the Észak-Dunántúl region, and is most recognised for its dry styles of wine – as per our SB above.

All of the regions have some great wines to them, and are well worth digging in to on Hungarian Wines.

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