Published: July 21 2023
Hungary, with its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and a unique cultural heritage, is renowned for its distinctive, full-bodied, and aromatic wines. While Tokaj and Bull's Blood are commonly celebrated, the country offers a wealth of other delightful varieties you should consider.
1. Tokaji Aszú
Tokaji Aszú, a dessert wine, is arguably the most famous Hungarian wine. Originating in the Tokaj-Hegyalja region, Tokaji Aszú boasts an enticing blend of sweetness and acidity. Its hallmark is a lengthy aging process that can span decades, which lends the Tokaji Aszú its deep, complex, honey-drenched nuances.
2. Egri Bikavér or Bull’s Blood
Egri Bikavér, popularly known as Bull’s Blood, is a robust, spicy, red blend wine. As the legend goes, its nickname originated during a siege in the 16th century when Hungarian soldiers drank it for strength, and it appeared as if they were drinking the blood of a bull. With a minimum of three grape varieties, Bull's Blood encapsulates potpourri flavors melding in a harmonious savory taste profile.
Furmint is a white wine native to Tokaj, but now grown across Hungary. Furmint displays a high acidity, making it ideal for both dry and sweet wines. It is rich in flavors, unveiling layers of green apple, lime, pear, and in its more mature version, unveiling spicy and smoky notes.
Hárslevelű, translating to 'linden leaf', is another major wine produced in the Tokaj region. This white wine features a floral and aromatic profile accompanied by a zesty touch. Hárslevelű can be presented in a variety of styles – from late harvest wines, carrying a slight sweetness, to mature wines, boasting profound flavors of honey, quince, and spices.
Kadarka is a red wine grape variety that forms an integral part of the famous Bull's Blood blend but is also vinified as a varietal wine. When young, Kadarka imbibes vibrant red fruit, soft tannins, and a spicy kick. As the wine matures, it develops earthy, gamey undertones.
Juhfark, meaning 'Sheep’s tail', is a white wine that is chiefly grown in the volcanic soils of the Somlo region. Known for its unique mineral taste derived from volcanic soil, Juhfark exhibits flavors as distinct as dried fruit, roasted nuts, and a characteristic smoky trace, making it an intriguing experience for wine lovers.
Hungarian wines undeniably hold a vital place in the world of wines, and these are just a few of the many remarkable wines produced in the country. Whether you enjoy a lush dessert wine like Tokaji Aszú or a hearty red like Bull's Blood, these Hungarian wines will surely satisfy your palate. So, next time you're out wine shopping, don’t hesitate to pick up a bottle of Hungarian wine. You won’t be disappointed.