Budapest Airport best buys
Take home some elegance
By Ágnes Németh
With a little bit of exaggeration I “commute” between Barcelona and Budapest, thus I am really aware of the wine selection of both duty free shops. Even though Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world, I would not suggest to take home your memories in the form of cavas and wines purchased at El Prat. As opposed to the Barcelona range including mostly the mass produced cavas and the most well known wine brand, Budapest Airport duty free shop offers an undoubtedly high quality selection of Hungarian wines. For the hidden treasures, for artisan wines from small wineries you have to dig deeper, but you can easily pack a nice and elegant pack for example with a dry white from Etyeki Kúria, red from Vylyan Vineyards and Winery, bottle fermented bubbly from Sauska and sweet Tokaji from Patricius Winery.
Etyeki Kúria Chardonnay – bright and memorable
For those who would rather stick to the well known grape varieties, Etyeki Kúria is the perfect choice. The cool climate Etyek wine region gives elegant Pinots and Chardonnay to the country, and Kúria’s bottles are reasonably priced at 13.90 and 7.90 euro – even though they are one of the best examples of the varieties in Hungary. Bortársaság (the Hungarian ‘Wine Socierty’) about Etyeki Kúria Chardonnay 2019: “The classic of Etyeki Kúria made from the most popular international white varieties. In addition to the full flavours, it comes with the quintessentialcharacteristics of the variety, and the rich acid structure typical of the wine region. The selected, hand-picked bunches are cooled as early as during pressing, and only 30% of the fermentation and ageing is carried out in barrels. A medium-bodied wine with a yellow fruit, citrus, buttery character and the lively acidity of the calcareous soil.” And those, who have tried these two, can travel back and visit the estate near Budapest and taste the experimental range as well by Sándor Mérész chief winemaker – including the exciting MSP Zenit.
Sauska Brut – the champion at champion price
The team of Sauska estate has just been handed out the gold medals at the latest Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championshipin London. Sauska Brut, the non vintage, Furmint – Chardonnay – Pinot Noir blend, bottle fermented sparkling wine from Tokaj repeated its previous year success with a gold medal again. According to the jury, Sauska Brut is “full of energy, fresh, smooth and feisty sparkling wine, with ripe pear drops, and elegant, fine, soft mousse.” In the evaluation of Sauska Rose Brut, the wine`s “friendly, easygoing character and complex fruitiness” were highlighted. At the airport the medal winner of the most prestigious sparkling contest is available at only 14.90 euro and for the cautious tasters a demi format bottle of 0.375 L can also be found on the shelf.
Patricius Katinka – the most attractive little lady
Our cover photo above features one of the most sold wines of Budapest Airport (actually, in some years it was literally the No 1. most sold wine and is always in the top ones). The late harvest Tokaj sweet wine is an ideal and accessible wine to make the first step to the magnificent world of Tokaj. About Patricius Katinka 2018: “Selected bunches containing healthy, over-ripened and partly botrytized berries which were picked during the late – autumn harvest. The characteristic varietal notes of Furmint and Yellow Muscat form the foundation of this wine, braced by minerality and zippy acidity for great balance and topped off with an incredibly long finish and creaminess.“ The residual sugar is significant (127 g / l) and nicely balanced with the 6 g / l acidity – and this beauty costs only 12.90 euro (0.375 L)! Apart from Katinka, several other Patricius wines are available including Patricius Selection Furmint 2018, the lovely, juicy, aromatic Patricius Muscat 2021, 5 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú 2017 and the Decanter Platinum winner 6 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú 2017 – this latter one costs 44.90. According to Decanter judges: “A modern style Hárslevelű with a youthful, pure lemon nose. The palate opens into luscious ginger-tinged orange marmalade and brown sugar.”
Vylyan premium line – art bottled
The southernmost Hungarian wine region is famous for its red wines, and due to the ambitious winemakers who are eager to learn, the region is not a producer of only blockbuster barrique wines any more. On the contrary, more and more producers focus on fruit driven wines with vibrant acidity, balance, elegance. Vylyan Vineyards and Winery is one of them, and at the airport a wide selection of their wines is available. Kakas rosé and Ördög red wine are easy to drink entry level wines, and there is a story behind the names. Ördög means Devil, and according to a local legend the devil fell in love, but he was cheated and his love was never fulfilled. Kakas (‘Rooster’) is another key fugure in the story, which can be read here. The premium line includes Villányi Franc, Villányi Merlot, Villányi Kékfrankos, Villányi Syrah, Montenuovo Cuvée – all of them are available for something between 6.90 and 19.90. The labels are food for the eyes, especially on the shelf of the airport duty free shop, next to each other. The labels are the results of a team work between contemporary poets, writers and a visual artist. All the poems and stories are translated into English! Duennium, the flagship blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot is also available at Budapest Airport.