“Sunflower” – the Cake of Hungary 2021
Try with Soproni Zenit, Badacsonyi Zeus or Tokaji Late Harvest
The 15th edition of “The Cake of Hungary” contest took place before the 20th of August, so that people celebrating the foundation of the country could taste the winner cake on the National Day. Though this year the celebration included a rather controversial parade with several kitsch elements, the Cake of Hungary is a sweet tradition in every aspect. This year Sándor Fodor confectioner won with a cake named sunflower, inspired by summer fields of the yellow flowers. The main ingredients include William pear, roasted sunflower seeds, honey and chocolate. We have tasted the cake, and recommend the following three wines.
Taschner Zenit 2020, Sopron
Zenit is a lesser known, but exciting Hungarian grape variety with great potential, a crossing between Bouvier and Ezerjó grapes. Kurt István Taschner winemaker in Sopron has released his first sweet Zenit this year – as he commented, an old dream of his had come true. Sopron wine region is situated in the north-west of Hungary, its climate is cooler and influenced by Lake Fertő (Neusiedler See). The region is ideal for elegant Zenit wines without any excess of aromas, without overwhelming perfume notes. Taschner Zenit is a single vineyard wine from Ranisch vineyard, one of the best plots of the region. The wine is ideal for people, who drink wine less often, since its alcohol content is only 9 v/v %. The residual sugar is 82 g / l, perfectly balanced with its 5.38 g / litre acidity. “Fresh and easy drinking wine with white fruits and citrus, vibrant acidity and medium aftertaste.” – commented Dániel Ercsey wine writer, editor in chief of WineSofa. The wine is bottled in small, 0.375 bottles – ideal to share with a partner in a restaurant with the dessert. The price is moderate: only around 5–6 euros in retail.
Borbély Zeusz, Badacsony
Zeus grape is another “child” of Ezerjó and Bouvier, the crossing was made in the same institute (Pécs University Research Centre). The grape is especially popular among winemakers of Badacsony wine region, the legendary late Huba Szeremley was one of the pioneers to explore the variety. Borbély Family Winery makes a late harvest wine of Zeusz, since this grape – thank to its parents – has the ability to concentrate sugar while retaining acidity. Harvest took place at the end of November, and the shrivelled berries turned into a dessert wine with 70 g / l residual sugar. Refreshing acidity, moderate sweetness, fruity aftertaste – the balanced wine pairs well with the moderately sweet, complex cake.
Béres Magita Cuvée 2016, Tokaj
William pear is quite dominant in the cake, the sweet honey and chocolate stay in the background along with the roasted notes of the sunflower seeds. The Hárslevelű and Furmint (and a touch of Yellow Muscat) blend boasts with some pear notes as well, perfectly together with fruitiness of the cake. And the oaky tones match smoothly with the roasted sunflower seeds in the aftertaste of the cake. “A wine of golden hue with lush texture and enticing aromas of stone fruits, honey and Christmas spice. Made using the classical varieties of Tokaj this is a complex and exciting late harvest blend.” The wine is named after a legendary young girl, who lived in the village of Erdőbénye (in Tokaj region, where Béres Vineyard is situated) in the 16th century, and her house was a shelter where – risking her life – she hid Hungarian refugees when the Turkish troops invaded the country.