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Hungarian Wines

The sweet Hungarian wine Tokaji used to be the celebratory beverage of choice for aristocrats throughout Europe, that was until the widow Clicquot spread the word about Champagne. However, despite their unusual patriotic pride in being miserable and pessimistic, the mighty Magyars don't seem too aggrieved about this, maybe because it means that there's all the more for them. They love their wine, it features in their national anthem (why doesn't a pint of mild or a dram of whisky feature in ours?) and they even managed to make a Frenchman, a royal one at that, describe it as the “Wine of Kings, King of wines”.

Unfortunately Hungarian wine was battered by phylloxera (a bug that devastated much of Europe's vineyards), wars and communism. But the good news is that there has been much investment recently in both the sweet and dry wines, and now both are starting to return to some of their former glory.

In our eyes the wonderfully versatile Tokaji is still the King of wines, faultless with stinky cheese, chocolate, anything with raisins in (except maybe muesli), minced pies, Christmas pudding, pâté, duck, liver, foie gras  or even marmalade on toast if you’re really set on having it for breakfast. Also, with its great aging potential it is still perfect for celebrating, whatever Veuve Clicquot tells you. Egészségedre (that’s cheers in Hungarian)!

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  1. Dry by Tokaj 2013 Hungarian White Wine

    Dry by Tokaj 2013

    £12.50

    £12.50

    There are two 'wowzer' elements to this white. Firstly, it's Hungarian, which is as rare as hen's teeth on UK wine shelves. Secondly, it's a dry version of the world-renowned amber nectar that is Tokaj dessert wine.

    The grape in question - Furmint - is usually left to go mouldy and 'botritise', which concentrates the sugars. But what happens if you don't let the wine go mouldy and you make a dry wine in the usual fashion?

    Well, Dry Furmint is a new phenomenon and we are happy to say that Dry by Tokaj is leading the way with this crisp, mineral, quince and orange blossom firecracker.
  2. Tokaji Aszu Patricius 6 Puttonyos 2006 Hungarian White Wine

    Tokaji Aszu Patricius 6 Puttonyos 2006

    £29.00

    £29.00

    Tokaji Aszú falls under a ranking system labelled as Puttonyos, the higher the Puttonyos the higher the percentage of botrytized grapes used; making the wine richer and sweeter. This wine is the top dog, 6 Puttonyos. In fact, the only more premium category of Tokaji is called 'Eszencia,' it's so sweet that typically, it's served with a spoon and is pretty much reserved for the Hungarian Royal Family, when they're on their deathbed, believing the wine will revive them. You don't have to serve this wine with a spoon and we doubt it will prevent death but with its beautiful full-body, succulent flavours of apricot, marmalade, honey, white blossom and enlivening acidity, you might forget about mortality altogether.

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