Published: July 21 2023
Hungary is a country steeped in viniculture going back to the Roman times and a variety of unique wines are produced in various parts of the country. Yet, undoubtedly, when it comes to red wine, Egri Bikavér, commonly known as 'Bull's Blood,' sets a high benchmark.
Introduction to Egri Bikavér
Egri Bikavér is a robust, full-bodied red blend that originated in Eger, in the northern part of Hungary. The wine is designed to age well and is often sold two to five years after the vintage. The dominant grape varietals in the blend are Kékfrankos (Blaufrankisch), and Kadarka, with Bordeaux varieties also often present.
The wine earned its name 'Bull's Blood' from a legend wherein during the Siege of Eger in 1552, soldiers reportedly drank this red wine to strengthen their morale believing it was mixed with bull's blood.
While Egri Bikavér is the best red wine in Hungary, not all bottles are made equal. Here are four producers that have received international acclaim for their 'Bull's Blood.'
1. Thummerer Winery
The Thummerer Winery, a family-owned winery established in 1984, has won numerous awards for its Egri Bikavér, which is aged for two years in oak barrels.
2. St. Andrea Vineyards
St. Andrea Vineyards is renowned for its focus on quality. Their Egri Bikavér is often cited as one of the finest examples of this wine blend.
3. Bolyki Vineyards and Winery
Bolyki, a winery located in a former quarry in Eger, crafts a distinctive Egri Bikavér with intense spicy characteristics.
4. Gal Tibor Winery
Gal Tibor Winery is celebrated for their expressive and spicy rendition of Egri Bikavér, which manifests the power and elegance of the Eger terroir.
Pairing Egri Bikavér with Food
The high tannin content and full-bodied nature of Egri Bikavér mean it pairs perfectly with hearty dishes. Hungarian dishes like Goulash and Szekelygulyas, and meats such as beef, game, and lamb, make an excellent pairing.
Egri Bikavér is the red wine that truly defines Hungary's winemaking prowess. With its deep, ruby red color and complex, spicy flavor profile, it embodies the power and history of the country's viniculture. Whether for a hearty dinner or just to experience a part of Hungary's wine culture, a bottle of Egri Bikavér is a great choice.