Brie cheese with Hungarian wines
Wine Enthusiast writer Layla Schlack has recently published an article about the French soft cheese and its best wine partners. As she says, this popular cheese is “mild, but still plenty layered, boasting nuttiness, sweetness, creaminess and more, and the wine you choose to drink with it can make all the difference in the flavors you perceive.” Layla Schlack gives ideas – and we can suggest alternative solutions, certainly from Hungary.
Layla says: Creaminess
With a fairly high fat content, Brie’s primary character is rich and gooey. Chardonnay has plenty of body to match that creamy sensation. Plus, its bright acidity will cleanse the palate to keep the richness from becoming too overwhelming. We say: Kovács Nimród
We say: Battonage Chardonnay 2016, Eger
This Chardonnay from Eger has all: the creaminess, the body, the bright acidity. Made in a classical Burgundian style, our 2015 Chardonnay Battonage expresses the unique terroir of our Nyilasmár and Nagyfai Estates (Monopole) with distinct minerality, fresh fruit flavours of pears and apples with light buttery and toasty oak notes. Aged on its lees in small French and Hungarian oak barrels, our Chardonnay has elegant freshness, vivid acids and long harmonious finish.
Available in several countries from the USA to China.
More about Kovács Nimród Winery
Layla says: Sweetness
Like fresh-churned butter, Brie can have a delicately sweet flavor. A slightly off-dry Riesling will really highlight that fresh dairy sweetness, while still maintaining plenty of acidity to keep the pairing out of cloying territory.
We say: Sabar Rhine Riesling Hercegföld 2019, Badacsony
A virgin vintage from Hercegföld vineyard (Prince ‘s Land). Summer apple, citrus notes, vibrant acidity, firm structure. The tasting experience is accompanied by a pleasing saline minerality and the fresh scent of the flowers of the meadow. A charismatic wine. Thanks to its good acidity and balanced residual sugar, this wine pairs well with more complex, fattier dishes or with cheeses of distinct character.
Available in: Belgium (Qwine), Italy (Alternavino), Slovakia (Beer&wine Depot PWR s.r.o.), UK (Novel Wines)
Layla says: Earthiness
Brie’s got a mushroom-like hint of earthy funk that will be more prominent in aged offerings. An Old World Pinot Noir is the perfect option to match that funk, as it’s also light-bodied enough that it won’t overpower the cheese.
We say: Etyeki Kúria Pinot Noir 2016, Etyek
Hungary was not the best student at Pinot Noir a decade ago, but now there are amazing examples! Etyeki Kúria makes one of the best Pinots in the country. An elegant Burgundy-style Pinot Noir. A complex and layered wine with excellent aging potential. An intensive bouquet of sour cherry and blackcurrant, with spicy notes of clove and cinnamon.
Available in the Czech Republic (wwwine.cz), Germany (BorStore), Romania (BigWine, InDiVino), Slovakia (Beer & Wine Depot, Vinobro), Switzerland (Balatoni Ungarische Weine, Scherer & Bühler), UK (MALUX Hungarian Wine & Spirits), USA (Hungarian Wine & Spirit (SC), Citadella Imports (NJ)
Layla says: Tanginess
Beaujolais has lots of bright, fresh red fruit notes. The inherent tartness in those will bring out the tang of this cheese, which is a good idea if you want to downplay Brie’s creaminess.
We say: Vylyan Bogyólé 2020, Villány
Guess what: in Hungary you can even find a Beaujolais-like wine! Bogyólé is the nouveau wine from the Villány slopes, the first red wine of the vintage, made in observance of the winemaking traditions of the French Beaujolais Nouveau. The Hungarian brand name “Bogyólé” refers to this origin (Bogyólé means ‘Berry Juice’). Zesty, lively, cheerful, explosively fruity: full of scents and aromas of raspberry, red berries and rum punch.
More about Vylyan Vineyard and Winery
Layla says: Nuttiness
The nutty notes in this cheese are fairly delicate; think almonds and pine nuts, rather than toasted walnuts or pecans. A lightly oaked Chenin Blanc will have similarly subtle nutty notes, as well as apple characteristics that contrast and highlight nuttiness.
Okay, this time give the floor to the French and South Africa… In Hungary some winemakers experimented with Chenin Blanc (for example Szászi and Bencze in Badacsony wine region), but at the moment we could not find any Hungarian Chenin Blanc wines in the market.