New Hungarian Wine Guide in English
“BOR” means wine, and the cover of Wine Guide Hungary 2023 reveals what is inside: a lot of good “bor”. The author, Dr Gabriella Mészáros is a wellknown wine writer, a dipWSET wine expert, wine educator, the founder of the first Hungarian wine school, a tireless taster and speaker. The new, 370 page wine guide is a must have for those, who would like to get up to date in the Hungarian wine scene.
How to order
Sixteen Wine Guide volumes were published in Hungarian, English and German between 1995 and 2011. In 2022, the author Gabriella Mészáros republished the tasting notes of the Hungarian wines she considers the most exciting. With wine region and grape variety descriptions, focusing on the positive qualities of the wines, we can discover the latest Hungarian offerings. Her tasting notes will guide those interested in Hungarian wines but need a reliable compass.
The volume is now available in English on 370 pages. The excellent translation is the work of MW aspirant Sue Tolson.
Available to order: firstname.lastname@example.org
Price: 5990 HUF (about 16 euros) + postage
Giving wine words to a country – some personal thoughts
Back in 2004, when I started my career as a wine magazine editor, my knowledge was far from being appropriate for the job. My only merit was to admit my deficiency, so I was eager to learn and grow up for the duty. When I got the job, on the way home I went to a bookshop. Among the heavy hard cover – and expensive – books I found a handy little guide called “Borkalauz”. On the back cover with the photos of the two authors, Dr Gabriella Mészáros and Dr Gábor Rohály. A couple, as I learnt later. As soon as I got home, opened the book and a bottle of white wine, the wine had a fairly good review in the book. Then I realized that this job would be more difficult than I had expected. How can a wine have “butter” notes and what on earth are the “polished tannins”? How can get “wood” integrated into any liquid?
Later I had the honour to have our very first magazine panel tasting at Borkollégium, Gabriella and Gábor’s wine school. She helped me a lot at the tasting and also after, when I had questions. And I had a lot… I remember, the first issue of that wine magazine was a disaster in many ways, there were so many mistakes – most of them happened due to my lack of wine knowledge. I was disappointed and the negative opinions made me desperate. I called Gabriella and she was again immensely helpful. Patiently calmed me down, gave some advice and cheered me up. So I went on learning (3 WSET courses at her school) and know, after nearly 20 years I can say I became a more sophisticated wine drinker…
The Wine Guide was the first of its kind in Hungary and taught a nation to speak about wine. I am so glad that after a long break Gabriella published the book again in 2022 and now in English as well. Sue Tolson, the translator is also a great wine writer, and since she lives in Budapest, she has a deep knowledge of Hungarian wines. Dr Gábor Rohály is not with us any more, but his heritage is certainly within the book.
By Ágnes Németh
Excerpts from the Wine Guide Hungary 2023
(the photos are not from the book)
Barta Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos Öreg Király Dűlő 2016
A rich and intelligent nose. Warm tones mingle with a hint of vegetal, minty undercurrent. The acidity is lively and the palate full but not overpowering. A balanced structure, with well integrated sweetness. The finish is long and persistent.
Bock Cabernet Franc Fekete-hegy Selection 2015, Villány
We have tasted many vintages of this wine. It is a warmer style of Cabernet Franc, perhaps a wine that seems purposeful, with excellent balance, even now boasting quite powerful tannins, which are, however, ripe and smooth. It’s worth opening and tasting slowly. The aromatics start with a hint of eucalyptus, followed by cedar, graphite and a slightly herbal character. A long, persistent wine that is still very young.
Csányi Selection Villányi Vesper 2017, Villány
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Kékfrankos and Merlot. The presence of the Kékfrankos is very noticeable and helps preserve the nose and palate, yet it is still a little reserved, thanks to its youth and high concentration. Almost black in colour, with aromas of juniper and delicate fruit, raspberry, sour cherry and oriental spice. Rich Cabernet character on the palate with a touch of cassis and a slight, subtle vegetal note.