Monday, June 16, 2014

Two Great Hungarian Wines for Summer

This week our wine education on Hungarian and Slovenian wines brings us Hungary,the country where my grandfather is from. You can say I have a special interest in this. I must say I am continually impressed with what I am tasting.

 There are a few clarifications I want to get out of the way before I get into the wine.  Many people when hear Tokaj think it's a wine when it is wine region of Hungary. Furmint is the grape grown and when the wine is made sweet it is called Aszu which is the sweet Tokaj everyone talks about and labels "Tokaj"

The first wine of the evening is 2011 Erzsébet Cellars' Király dülö Furmint from the Tokaj region of Hungary. The more I taste the Furmint grape, the more I like it!  

The cellar, built in the 1700's is located in the heart of Tokaj and the vineyards are in the Mád wine district.  For many years the cellar was used by the Russian Wine Trade Company.  The cellar was dug into yellow soil and paved from the inside out with volcanic rock.  

The grape were harvested twice, on group the end of September the second the beginning of October.  The wine stayed on the lees for 24 hours and fermented in neutral barrels and aged for 4 months.  

The wine was very aromatic! Bright floral aromas giving way to some stone fruit filled the glass. The palate had flavors of apricot and tropical fruits with some minerality. There is a little bite on the finish.

The SRP is $31.95

The second wine of the evening was the 2011 Bock Cellars Kékfrankos which is what the grape is called in Hungary, but as we know it as Blaufränkisch or Lemberger.  This isn't one of my favorite grapes as my first experience with it wasn't pleasant.  As I explore other regions where the grape is grown,  I am beginning to enjoy it as so is Paul. (and that's a plus from my wine opinionated husband)

I prepared lamb kebabs to go with the Blaufränkisch.  The recipe will follow, and it was an outstanding pairing.  All the flavors blended nicely together.

The Kékfrankos is gown in Class A vineyards in  Black Mountain Vineyard, Villany, Hungary.  This status is equivalent to Grand Crus.  It ferments in stainless steel tanks and then is aged for 12 months in Hungarian oak barrique barrels. 

Berry aromas filled my glass. Most notably  raspberry and blackberry and a little earthy notes.  You get a hint of the limestone soil on the palate. The wine is more light in nature with some sour cherry and red berry fruit.  

When thinking about a pairing, think stew, pizza and hamburger, lamb. 

SRP $22.95

Lamb Kebabs
1 1/2 pounds of cubed lamb
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine (I used the Blalufrankish)
juice from 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic chopped
4 bay leaves
2 tbs fresh oregano
salt and pepper
Onion (cut for kebabs)
Green, Red or Yellow peppers (cut for kebabs)
Cherry tomatoes and mushrooms can be added. (I just used what I had available in my fridge)

Combine the oil, wine and lemon juice and whisk to blend.  Stir in bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt pepper.  Add lamb and let marinate in fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Put on skewers alternating lamb and veggies.  Grill and enjoy.



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