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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. Disznoko Tokaji Late Harvest 2013

    Disznókő Tokaji Late Harvest 2013

    £15.00

    £15.00

    We love a Tokaji here at Oddbins. Why's it late though? Is it in a Lewis Carroll style nightmare, desperately trying to make a date with a god awful, Jonny Depp performance. Seriously, why is it that he can put on some make-up and assume a slightly effected character and we're all supposed to compare him to Laurence Olivier. Thankfully that's not why Disznókő is called "late." The grapes are harvested later in the year so they become sweeter and more concentrated, giving the wine, expressive notes of marmalade and apricot. So, next time you see a tardy white rabbit, tell him to take his time, he'll probably be better off for it.

  2. 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.

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