That’s quite a recommendation for a wine and region that many of us will not have heard of! So, let us guide you through the ever complicated yet equally interesting region of Tokaj. Situated east of Budapest, close to the border with Slovakia, and the main grape grown there; Fur-Mint.
In 1737 the Tokaj Wine Region was declared the first closed wine region in the world. Since 2002 it has belonged to the UNESCO World Heritage. The area of 15,325 acres lies in Northeastern Hungary, in a triangle between the Sátor hills of Abaújszántó and Sátoraljaújhely and the Kopasz hill in Tokaj.
Furmint is an incredibly interesting, versatile grape variety, capable of producing wines in a variety of styles. They vary from from light, crisp, bone-dry whites to oak-aged and full-bodied, as well as massively sweet and unctuous dessert wines. It is the dessert wines that caught the attention of some of the most well-known individuals; Bram Stoker, Voltaire, Napoleon Bonaparte and even Sherlock Holmes were well-known fans of Tokaj.
Times change, however, as do tastes, and in our day and age, the market wants dry wine, and Tokaj Furmint definitely delivers on all fronts. Wines created in the Tokaj Wine Region have a unique character, a distinct minerality. They have a wonderfully taut acid structure and offer wines perfect for a light or a heavier meal or simply to enjoy during a pleasant lunch.
Much is made of the grapes similarity to Riesling, but its versatility and ability to mould itself to the style that the winemaker wants to create, put us in mind of Chardonnay. Furmint is capable of creating sparkling wines and has an ability to respond well to oak and malolactic fermentation to give wines reminiscent of Burgundy and even the Rhone Valley.
It is safe to say that Furmint delivers something for everyone, so why not try something different this February and pick up a bottle of Tokaj!