I wanted to release this article sooner but a large part of this year I was studying cultivars and since I couldn’t download a table of all wine grape cultivars I had to create my own. This endeavor took a very long time and I can see how I decreased my output of material for a period of time. I have always thought it is my duty as a wine writer to know all of the cultivars. The cultivar estimate of 10,000 seemed to be too even and I wondered if it was correct. So far and I am still analyzing the results is that number of cultivars is north of 10,300 and there are over 31,000 synonyms (the estimate I had seen previously was 25,000). I feel a sense of relief and more than relief a sense of excitement of knowing some baseline information on cultivars. I drilled down further in my data set found there are at least 282 Hungarian cultivars and this number could be revised based on further analysis of my data set. I feel a more profound sense of the Hungarian wine experience–282 Hungarian cultivars is not published anywhere. It felt so special to be close to this knowledge. The Hungarian wine experience is a long tradition with probably many more varieties than most people might suspect.
There are moments of tasting great food and wine where that experience is transcendental. Judit & Jozef Bodó visited San Francisco (3-March-2013) sharing their wines with great Hungarian food. The Bodó’s produce Furmint and Hárslevelű wines. While Hungarian wines paired with Hungarian food is a fantastic experience-I urge you to think broadly with high quality and beautiful signatures of Tokaj wines that there are many cuisine styles that can be beautiful paired with Hungarian wines. While this dinner was optimum world class Hungarian food in San Francisco—yes–world and California class. Local products mainly, however, Hungarian paprika was required of course. This dinner made a great impression upon me as it was one part great food (Bar Tartine), one part great wine (Botts) and the environment and timing made for a lock in time of me always recalling this meal.
Pair Bott’s wines with Bar Tartine’s Hungarian fare prepared by Nicolaus Balla was a match made in heaven. The Bodó’s wines were expressive and superbly crafted; not stealing the show but in harmony with the cuisine. Their vineyard site is a superb location for Furmint and Hárslevelű– traditional varities in Tokaj. The Bott Furmint is a clear and exciting representation of acidity, floral-spice characteristics with a variety of essences of citrus notes; peeled, zested and sliced. The Hárslevelű leaving an indelible impression; dry wine with essence of wild flower honey, freshly picked flowers, Cardamom and pear and green melon notes. Each variety (Furmint and Hárslevelű) cannot be mistaken for any variety other than what it is.
I sat next to Judit and it was a great way to learn about her and her husband’s winery. There was an absolute at-ease and yet excitement to talk about their little corner of central Europe. Tired–yes, a long flight–which I always too get sleepier going west than east. I was completely amazed at Judit and Jozef’s energy level. Judit and Jozef Bodó were excited to talk about their experience in Hungary and their new found experience and first time being in the US. While San Francisco might be many kilometers away Bott’s wines exemplify high attention to detail, quality and artistic impression. San Francisco’s love for great cuisine commands excellence in wines from all regions on the planet. I am so glad Bott wines are available here in San Francisco and equally importantly to hear from the winemaker of their great love of their art form. Be sure to pick up both Bott wines and pair with you next meal (and these wines can be paired with a large array of cuisine styles).
Blue Danube Wines – importer of Bott wines:
Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.
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