Press & Reviews
For media enquiries, please contact Carolyn Bánfalvi.
Shortlisted for a 2016 Drinks Business Award for Wine Tourism!
We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for a prestigious Drinks Business Award in the category of Best Contribution to Wine & Spirits Tourism. The annual Drinks Business Awards have become an authoritative, internationally respected recognition of achievement in the wine and spirits industry. Drinks Business, a leading British drinks trade publication, has been recognizing and awarding the world’s top drinks companies for 14 years in categories ranging from retail sector and importers, to logistics and design and marketing. “The Drinks Business Awards are designed to recognize and reward top performers across the international drinks industry,” according to the magazine. “Unveiled each year at the London Wine Fair, it is a chance for outstanding companies and individuals to win high profile recognition in front of some of the industry’s most influential representatives.” The Tasting Table was in great company with other finalists in the wine tourism category: The Douro Boys, Sula Vineyards, and Susana Balbo Wines.
“Thanks for a FAB evening. What a great venue. It was not only fun meeting new people, but the food and wine were excellent. I’ll definitely be at the next wine tasting event in November.” —Kirsten
“Thank you, the wine tasting was excellent. Ferenc and Virág handled the chaos very well. People cannot stop gushing about the amazing wine AND food. I’m still recovering, because the party continued yesterday with more eating and drinking all day.” —Rita
“I know I'm speaking on behalf of everyone when I say I cannot thank you enough for a flawless evening. The wine, food, and ambience were absolutely perfect. I and all my guests had the best night. THANKYOU so so so much … I know we all had the best best time!” —Portia
“We're just back from a week away and were delighted to discover that both boxes arrived, safe and sound, while we were gone. Robert can attest to the excellence of the one bottle that he's started so far. Thanks for a lovely evening while we were in Budapest.” —Meghan
“I just wanted to tell you that I very much enjoyed my visit to the Tasting Table last week, and that the sommelier was extremely helpful and gracious as he educated me on the basics of Hungarian wine. I happily went home with a few bottles, and am looking forward to opening them for special occasions. Hopefully, I'll be able to join a tour on my next trip to the region.” —Remi
Award of Excellence 2016
Trip Advisor Reviews
Drinks Business Award 2014!
National Geographic Traveler recommends a 7-day itinerary taking in Budapest, Zagreb, and Sarajevo—with tips from Taste Hungary’s Carolyn Bánfalvi.
“Venture from the well-worn Prague and Vienna circuit to explore lands where prices are cheaper and flea markets plentiful. This insider-inspired European itinerary starts in Budapest to soak alongside locals at thermal baths, then south to Zagreb, with its artisans and eccentric Museum of Broken Relationships, and finally to Sarajevo, where the bullet-scarred Olympic bobsled track is a sobering reminder of the 1990s war. Throughout, an enterprising new generation gives visitors to the Old World a fresh welcome.”
Where Magazine (Budapest edition)
“Hungary is famous for its great wines but it is not easy to distinguish the best regions and winemakers. I always recommend guests to try wine tastings such as “Tasting Table Budapest.” This is a wine shop, tasting room and event space all in one, where guests sit at communal tables, sample wines, hear the stories behind them and are introduced to the best local and Central European grapes.” —Recommended by Miklós Mihály, concierge at The Four Seasons Budapest.
“Im Palastkeller der Familie Keglevich lagert ungarisches Gold: Die Weinbar The Tasting Table beherbergt Budapests größte Sammlung von Vintage-Tokajern. Aber auch Rotweintrinker werden hier glücklich. Die Sommeliers erzählen zu jedem Wein Geschichten. Etwa wie die Bürger von Eger sich 1552 gegen ein Heer von 40.000 Osmanen wehrten. So tapfer, als hätten sie Bikavér – Stierblut – getrunken. Rund zwölf Euro kostet eine Exkursion inklusive dreier Gläser Wein; weitere zwölf Euro kostet die Käseplatte dazu. Alle zwei Wochen richten die Besitzer der Bar, der Weinexperte Gábor Bánfalvi und seine Frau Carolyn, eine amerikanische Food-Journalistin, im Gewölbe ein großes Abendessen aus. Warmherzigere Gastgeber kann man sich kaum wünschen.”
Gábor talked to Eater about “The Rich History of Hungarian Wine” …
“But if Hungarian wines have long been held in such esteem, why is it that today one would be hard-pressed to find any at a local liquor store? The answer lies in the complex and varied history of Hungary.”
… they’re networked with in-the-know locals. This includes Taste Hungary’s Carolyn Banfalvi, author of Food Wine Budapest (£16.99, Little Bookroom), and a pro at getting guests to sample harder-to-find varieties of the nation’s excellent grapes. The company hosts a Tasting Table in the nearby Palace Quarter (€40pp), but it can dispatch knowledgeable young winemakers to Brody House to talk you through Montrachet-upstaging Tokaj and spicy ruby Bull’s Blood over antipasti platters of local cheese and charcuterie (€90pp).
“Tasting Table: Liten källare med stort urval viner: Carolyn och Garbor Banfalvi leder inte bara Budapests bästa guidade matturer (rekommenderas varmt!). De driver också vinkällaren Tasting Table där man kan handla och smaka på viner från Ungerns samtliga 22 vinregioner. Urvalet är gjort med fingertoppskänsla och merparten kommer från småskaliga vinmakare som regelbundet besöker källaren för att prata om sina viner.
Vinprovningar, föreläsningar och middagar arrangeras varje vecka, men det går också bra att bara slinka in en kväll i den intima källaren, beställa en tallrik kallskuret och låta den vänliga personalen välja ut ett par viner (allt går att få glasvis). Vi blev särskilt förtjusta i det nektarliknande dessertvinet från Tokaj.”
From The Press
“At Tasting Table it’s possible to forgo that step. The brand-new shop, at Brody Sandor utca 9, in the cellar of a 19th-century palace, features Hungarian wines and local specialty foods. It offers tastings of all its products, including Molnar and Hodi paprikas. “We spread goose fat from the foie gras we serve on bread, and sprinkle the paprika on that,” said Gabor Banfalvi, a co-owner. “Because paprika needs fat to come to life.”
“I found more convivial, communal eating at Tasting Table (& Shop), the Bánfalvis’ second venture. Located in the gritty Eighth District, it’s a rustic subterranean spot for locals to buy a bottle of, say, Pinot Noir-meets-Gamay-like Kadarka, but on most Thursday evenings it transforms into a restaurant. That’s when a predominantly English-speaking group of tourists, expats, and locals pack in for wine tastings and themed dinners.”
“Oenophiles descend into Tasting Table (& Shop), where husband-and-wife team Gábor and Carolyn Bánfalvi preside over a collection of quality bottles (and cheese and charcuterie) from small Hungarian producers like Heumann, Erzsébet, and Budaházy wineries. On Thursday evenings, little-known grapes such as Furmint, Hárslevelű, and Kadarka, indigenous to Hungary, are illuminated through guided tastings and convivial communal dinners.”
“In the gloomy early days of March in Budapest, some Istrian olive oil brought some sunshine to my soul. Tasting Table served up an Istrian dinner preceded by an introduction to olive oil tasting with guest Ted Chiavalon, from Chiavalon, one of Istria’s premium olive oil producers. With a glass of chilled Istrian Malvazija in hand, we learnt a little about tasting and selecting olive oil.”
“When first stepping into the comfortably charming brick-walled cellar that houses Tasting Table, it’s easy to imagine that you’re visiting friends who just happen to have an extraordinary collection of Hungarian and Central European wines, all of which they’re happy to share over delicious morsels and lively conversation. In fact, this initial impression is quite close to the truth, as Tasting Table is the recently opened culinary hangout of the convivial husband-and-wife tour-guide team leaders Gábor and Carolyn Bánfalvi, and they welcome everyone to discover the nation’s finest flavors here.”
Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to The New Old World (by Robert Smyth)
“Carolyn and Gábor Bánfalvi, the couple behind Taste Hungary (which won the Drinks Business Award in 2014 for the best contribution to wine and spirits tourism) offer wines by the glass and flights at their Tasting Table (Budapest VIII, Bródy Sándor u. 9)”
“When you go to Budapest the Taste Hungary is a must visit. It may seem unassuming but then you will be delighted by the offerings, warmth of experience and a picture into Hungarian’s artisan food and wine movement. Taste Hungary does tours—I so want to go on one of their tours or their wine maker dinners. My only regret was not taking a bottle of wine with me. I was carrying so many things through the 31 cities I visited I though I couldn’t take another bottle with me but I wish I did. Another trip to Budapest is in store for me and a tour and winemakers dinner and to sit down again and see what Ferenc and Tamás will serve.”
“Set in a basement in the Palace District, Tasting Table (Bródy Sándor utca 9, +36 30 551 9932) is a hybrid wine shop, tasting room and event space. You’ll find a broad selection of Hungarian wines, including Budapest’s largest selection of the famous Tokaji Aszú wines. Drop in on Thursdays for their weekly tastings.”
“There is one craft product I’m still keen to sample, and so as the book closes on my final afternoon I head to the pub. Hungarian craft beer has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past couple of years, fuelled by what Zsolt Baranyai calls “gipsy brewers” – talented amateurs who rent space from established breweries to make their beers available commercially. Zsolt leads a double life: by day, he is a sociologist but at night he transforms into a beer blogger and guide, like a sort of boozy Batman. And he has agreed to buy me a pint or two.
Zsolt scans the choices chalked on a blackboard behind the bar, and orders a glass of Werewolf, produced by a brew-pub in Miskolc. “Are you getting the hints of caramel?” he asks. I think I am, but like any self-respecting journalist I can’t rely on a single source, so I buy a second glass of Werewolf to corroborate the hints of caramel in the first.
Next we try Csupor Thermo Stout, a thick beer by a 25-year-old gipsy brewer from Budapest. Zsolt tells me that roasted (rather than malted) barley gives the smoky flavour, a smokiness that I corroborate with another glass as he runs through the difference between old and new-world hops (old world, subtler; new world, more floral).
It’s while corroborating a rice beer from eastern Hungary that my notes begin to swim, and I find myself losing track of Zsolt’s explanation of how to make sour beer (something to do with microbiology). Time to bid Zsolt farewell and zigzag into the night, as leathered as a newt-skin boot.”
Brody Art Yard’s Budapest Urban Survival & Pleasure Guide
“Hone your Hungarian wine skills whilst chomping on local cheese and charcuterie boards. You’ll be busy with more than 150 unique wines from Hungary and Central Europe to try.”
“Ideally, our first evening in the Hungarian capital was already reserved. Awaiting us through the din was the warm and welcoming tasting room of Taste Hungary, where we would spend the evening diving into the tumultuous history and poignant flavors of Hungarian wine … Knowing little to nothing about Hungarian wine, I was more than a little stoked to spend the evening with Gábor Bánfalvi, the co-owner of Taste Hungary and our expert-in-residence for the 2-hour Essentials of Hungarian Wine tasting. Eight wines were on the docket, ranging from a brisk sparkling white through punchy local reds and ending with Hungary’s famous sweet Tokaj whites.”
“Taste Hungary is owned by Gábor and Carolyn Bánfalvi, and both were great in making sure Charlie and I had a wonderful first visit to Hungary. Our stay in Hungary included a great visit to Tokaj, where Gábor led the way in our visits to three pincészets (or wineries; you will also see “pince” or “birtok” to describe a winery). Gábor also arranged an “old Aszús” tasting at his wine shop in Budapest – the Tasting Table.”
“Exploring Budapest through its gastronomy is always great, and when you can combine that with wine, then it’s one of those perfect travel experiences. Luckily, Tasting Table & Shop, run by Taste Hungary, offers wine dinners on a weekly basis, where you can both taste some delicious Hungarian foods and learn about Hungarian wines. … Thursday dinners at Taste Hungary’s Tasting Table & Shop offer a great way to learn about Hungarian cuisine and Hungarian wines. These dinners are also very interactive, so you can ask your questions about the food and the wines any time. We also got the full list of the menu with detailed recipes as well as the wine list. And of course, after dinner, you can also purchase the wines at the shop.”
“The Tasting Table is the perfect place to get your feet wet when it comes to Hungarian wine. I found myself here after a marathon culinary tour offered by the shop’s parent organization Taste Hungary, which offers a variety of gastronomical experiences, including culinary tours, wine tasting, and even a pop-up restaurant in one of the guide’s homes. It was here that our guide and sommelier-in-training, Virág, explained how fungus-covered grapes are picked by hand to create one of Hungary’s most popular and unique wines, the sweet yet drinkable Tokaji Aszú.”
“Tasting Table is a wine shop & hang-out in the nicest part of the 8th district. It’s the brainchild of Carolyn Banfalvi and her husband Gabor, who run a cool boutique tour company called “Taste Hungary” organizing food tours in Budapest and in the whole country.”
Download an article (in Danish) about Budapest and its food and wine scene, in which we were recommended.