The best thing in the Hungarian Parliament
Spoiler: it is the wine. When Hungarian politics appear in the news, recently it is rarely positive. EU politician escaping with drugs from illegal gay party, corruption, violation of human rights, and the list can go on. However, there is something undoubtedly good within the walls of the Parliament: a rigorous wine selection is held annually to pick the best wines in 9 categories. The world’s second largest Parliament building is worth a visit anyway, but if you are lucky enough to participate in an event in the glamorous historical building, you can be sure that the wines served are worth trying as well.
At the 5th annual Wine Selection of the House of Parliament evaluated 218 wines from 93 wineries to find the best examples of the indigenous varieties or styles.
1. Olaszrizling: Fodorvin Aszófői Olaszrizling 2020, Balatonfüred–Csopak
2. Furmint: Béres Tokaji Lőcse Furmint 2017, Tokaj (in the cover photo, photo by Zoltán Balogh / MTI)
3. Other white varieties: Tornai Top Selection Aranyhegy Juhfark 2019, Somló
4. Kékfrankos: Lelovits Villányi Kékfrankos 2019, Villány
5. Kadarka: Eszterbauer Nagyapám Szekszárdi Kadarka 2019, Szekszárd
6. Bikavér: Németh János Könnyű Szél Bikavér 2017, Szekszárd
7. Cabernet Franc: Lelovits Villányi Franc 2019, Villány
8. Rozé: Koch Premium Néró Rosé 2020, Hajós–Baja
9. Tokaji Aszú: Patricius 6 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú
An emperor in the house of representatives
While the names Bikavér or Tokaji Aszú sound familiar for most wine connoisseurs, Néró could be unknown for most of them. Néró is a grape variety selected in Hungary in 1965 by two oenologists, József Csizmazia and László Beleznai. The name refers to the deep colour of the berry, but also the crazy Roman Emperor. The grape is resistant, therefore chemical spraying is not needed. Another advantage of Néro is that it produces an excessed amount of antioxidant which is rescued in the wine, thus its wine is healthier then wines made of most of the other varieties (Sagrantino in Italy can boast with immense amount of antioxidant as well). Despite the positive characteristics, the grape Néró is still not very popular, probably because it was categorized as a species of table grape (but it is legally used for making wine, the only restriction is that it should not be labelled as PDO – Protected Designation of Origin – wine, but PGI – Protected Geographical Indication wine).
For Koch Premium Néró Rosé the grapes were picked by hand. “This rosé is much more than the usual rosé wines. “Incredibly pink colour, fascinating intensity and fruitiness. The first impression of the wine is its intense nose of strawberry followed by some more strawberries and blackberries on the palate. Medium acidity, good body and creaminess from the first sip to the aftertaste. Is is ideal to drink now, but we can keep it for 1–2 years. It may pair well with strawberry soup or dumplings of cottage cheese with strawberry dressing.” (Victoria Evans, the Sommelier Champion of Hungary 2020)