Croatian Hilton star chef loves Hungarian artisan wines

Rijeka is a seaside holiday resort in Croatia, and its brand new restaurant called Nebo Restaurant and Lounge of Hilton Hotel employed a star chef called Deni Srdoč. The young chef can boast several acknowledgements: in 2018 he was selected the best young chef of Croatia, Gault&Millau named him “the best young talent of the year” and he managed to gain a Michelin star for his previous workplace, Draga di Lovrana Restaurant. It was his wish to include Hungarian wine in the wine list of the new place.

A devoted young lady in a red car

‘Babette’ (Mária Antoanett Crab) is an enthusiastic young, Hungarian wine expert with sommelier experiences gained both at home and abroad. She believes in the power of wineries united for a common objective, therefore her company, BoReTT offers a portfolio of wines of small, artisan wineries. She has put a lot of effort into tastings recently, and her efforts have been rewarded: she managed to organize a tasting with 62 wines for the team of Deni Srdoč, and as a consequence 12 Hungarian wines have been listed!

The listed wines are the following ones:

– Sparkling: Homola 2017, Wassmann Morizz 2017

– White wines: Balassa Kakas Furmint 2018, Balassa Szent Tamás Furmint 2018,

Somlói Vándor Juhfark 2018, Somlói Vándor Öregtőkék Nyugat Juhfark 2019, Somlói Vándor Celi 2019, Villa Sandahl Wet Stones 2015, Villa Sandahl Rabbit Periscope 2017, 2HA Olaszrizling 2018

– Red wine: Wassmann Samo Cuvée (Cabernet Sauvignon–Merlot)

– Sweet wines: Majoros Tokaji 6 Puttonyos Aszú 2013, Zsirai Tokaji Fordítás 2017

Let us introduce two of the listed wines.

babette deni srdoc
Babette with chef Deni Srdoč in Rijeka

Zsirai Fordítás: an old style revived in Tokaj

Zsirai is a family winery run by two young ladies, the Zsirai sisters. ‘Fordítás’ was made under their father’s management, who died suddenly. Our beloved father raised us along these principles, and he established the Zsirai Winery based on them. These are the values we follow when fulfilling his dream and his legacy. We started this winery in 2005. Nowadays we work on 15 hectares in the Tokaj region. Our center is in Mád, in the heart of Tokaj. We only produce wine from the grape we grow. We believe that the secret of good wine is excellent soil, proper selection of grapes varieties, and diligent care.

Fordítás is a wine speciality made of the second maceration af the aszú berries. It has the structure and character of a 4 ‘puttonyos’ Tokaji Aszú. However it is lighter then an Aszú. Besides the fruitiness it has firm acidity in perfect balance with the residual sugar.

More about Zsirai Winery

zsirai tokaji forditas
Photo: Weinhandlung.chop

Villa Sandahl: the superstar of the year

The Hungarian Sommelier Association gave Par Excellence award to the estate in December 2020. In January this year at the 5th annual Hungarian Wine Grand Prix Circle of Hungarian Winewriters has selected Villa Sandahl Rhine Riesling Rabbit Periscope 2017 as the best white wine. In March Villa Sandahl won the second position at the panel tasting of volcanic wines of market leading VinCE Magazine. Now two wines of Villa Sandahl was selected for Croatian Hilton’s new restaurant. Wet Stones is a gold coloured, mineral Rhine Riesling with fabulous aromas resulting from bottle ageing. The minerality coming from volcanic Badacsony mountain is accompanied by notes of ripened summer fruits and citruses. The varietal character is complemented with a hint of botrytis both on the nose and the palate. A harmonious wine easy to love.

More about Villa Sandahl

vince magazine cover villa sandahl wet stones
VinCE Magazin cover with Villa Sandahl Wet Stones