Elizabeth Gabay MW

Wines of a spicy nation

Elizabeth Gabay MW on Hungarian varieties and their spicy characters

Eric Danch of Danch & Granger Selections (US) has recently written about the wide range of spices he can discover in Hungarian wines due to the Eastern origin of Huns and to the long occupation of the Turkish. Elizabeth Gabay MW has visited Hungary several times, gave masterclasses, judged at contests and tasted at wineries countless times, so she checked her tons of tasting notes to see if Eric Danch was right. Her article on the topic is featured in the spring issue of Sommelier India wine magazine.

She also cited fellow Hungarian wine specialist, Caroline Gilby MW and many Hungarian wine writers. As Elizabeth points out, spice is the number one descriptor in wine reviews all over the world, and Hungary even tops the average – to prove that the MW lists numerous examples.

india Sommelier Magazine

From ginger to smoked paprika

Sour cherry production is important in Hungary, we have more than 300 species, no wonder these nuances, the different sour cherry types appear in our tasting notes especially when it comes to black Kadarka, one of the spiciest wines of the world. Kékfrankos, our most planted black grape can feature clove among other spices, for example Heimann Family Estate’s Alte Reben “has smoked paprika with violet and white pepper”. Paprika is the most used spice in Hungarian kitchens, no wonder it appears in wines as well.
Certainly Elizabeth Gabay’s writing is much more detailed and elaborate than this short summary, you can get a glimpse of it below (the first page). And, as she closes her article: “A chance to taste 300 sour cherry varieties, different paprika styles and different Hungarian oak barrels will surely reveal an even greater range of spice notes.”
More about Hungarian grape varieties

Photo on the right
Victoria Evans Hungarian sommelier champion has also shared her thoughts with Elizabeth Gabay MW on the spicy notes of Hungarian grape varieties. In the photo she is holding a flagship wine of Koch Winery, 899 Villányi Franc from 2015, the result of the cooproduction of the sommelier and Csaba Koch.




Victoria Evans and Koch Villányi Franc

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