Thursdays @The Tasting Table
This is when we get to introduce some of the fascinating people who we cross paths with while exploring the region’s food and wine. We invite them into our open kitchen to cook, or into our tasting room to share their wines. Our guest hosts can include chefs, winemakers, authors, sommeliers, photographers, food enthusiasts, or others who are doing fascinating things in the food and wine world. At these casual evenings, with somewhat of a speakeasy vibe, everyone gathers around our two big communal tables. Tamás (our chef) prepares the meals and food is served family-style. Wine is poured generously. These Thursday evenings are all about enjoying great food, wine, and company.
Price: 9,900 HUF per person
Note: We are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions, food allergies, and vegetarian substitutes, but we must know in advance! All of our events are always in English. Menus may be changed due to availability of ingredients.
All guests receive 10% off of all wines purchased at the Tasting Table on the night of the event!
Join us for an evening devoted to Central European wines with one of Hungary’s leading wine writers, Dániel Ercsey. Dániel has a special interest in wines from the entire Central European region, and he is a fantastic storyteller. He travels widely (and often) throughout the region to research and write articles for his award-winning web site, Wine Sofa, among others. Tonight we will serve eight wines—two furmints, two olaszrizlings, two kékfrankos, and two sweet wines (plus a few surprises)—along with a meal prepared by chef Tamás. To illustrate the many unique terroirs in this part of the world, we’ll serve the wine blind in pairs. Each pair will include one Hungarian wine next to a wine made from the same grape from another Central European country. By drinking wines made from the same grape varietal from two different countries, you’ll taste both the differences and the similarities in them. Just as the histories and cultures of Central and Eastern European countries are so often interconnected, so too are the grape varieties, the winemaking traditions, and the styles. Daniel will tell us about the wines we are drinking, the regions where they originated, and the winemakers who made them. He’ll also reveal the inspiration behind Wine Sofa, as well as stories from his travels (including his long kayaking wine journeys). Daniel is also a co-author of The Great Hungarian Wine Atlas, has contributed to many other wine publications, and is a frequent judge at international wine competitions.
Smoked trout with horseradish sauce and green salad
Lamb paprika with sztrapacska
“Emperor’s crumbs” with apricot sauce
Blind pairings will include:
2 sweet wines
Though Tokaj is famed for its sweet wines, but it’s a region with more intricacies than practically any other region in the world, and is becoming increasingly appreciated for its dry furmints. Hajni Prácser, from Erzsébet Pince, is one of the best people from Tokaj to explain these layers of detail, which have been evolving over centuries. Erzsébet is one of Tokaj’s leading small wineries. It’s a true family-affair, run by Hajni, her brother (Miki), and their parents. It also doesn’t hurt that Hajni’s husband is a Master of Wine and a Master Sommelier, who helps behind the scenes. While Hajni sells the wine, Miki is busy in the mould-covered cellar making the wine, and their parents (Miklós Sr. and Erzsébet) reign over the vineyards. Both siblings are well-traveled, but decided to remain in their hometown to focus on making top-notch wine and build the family business. Hajni will present a selection of her family’s wines (ranging from dry to sweet), while chef Tamás prepares a meal to complement these extraordinary volcanic wines. Erzsébet Pince is located in the center of Tokaj, in an 18th century building which once belonged to a Russian wine merchant. Their wonderful cellar is a magical place, filled with bottles in all shades of gold. Hajni is an exceptional storyteller who is talented at converting wine drinkers to Tokaj lovers. She’ll introduce the region and the terroir, while telling us her family’s story and explaining the winemaking process in Tokaj, including all of the aspects that make it so unique in the world of wine.
Chicken liver paté with pistachios and green salad
Roasted mangalica with potatoes and roasted vegetables
Rákóczi túrós (Hungarian pastry with curd cheese, meringue, and apricot jam)
Tokaji aszú 6 puttonyos 2010
There are iconic winemakers, wines, and wineries in every country. These icons are important because they set high standards both for winemakers and consumers. Icons play a big role in inspiring travelers to come visit, and they can really boost the development of an emerging region. One such example in Hungary is the St. Andrea winery in Eger and its winemaker, György Lőrincz Sr. The winery and winemaker are icons, and so are many of their wines. For those who live in Hungary, the names of St. Andrea’s wines—such as Napbor, Áldás, and Merengő—are instantly familiar. They have become iconic labels that set standards and expectations high. Tonight György Lőrincz Jr. will present the family’s wines and tell their stories. György is one of those young winemakers who set out for years of traveling and making wine around the world, and then returned to Hungary to rediscover his heritage and work full-time at the winery. We’ll learn about these iconic wines straight from the source. He’ll tell us about Eger’s famed red wine blend, Bull’s Blood, and it’s newer white wine blend, Egri Csillag. He’ll also explain the history of winemaking in Eger, and tell us why it is once again on the rise. Easter is approaching and chef Tamás will prepare a Hungarian Easter-themed lamb dinner. Join us to taste some of Hungary’s most sought-after wines, introduced by one of the country’s most promising young winemakers.
Selection of local ham (dried, cured, and boiled) with horseradish cream and smoked quail eggs
Roasted leg of lamb with anchovies and rosemary, rosemary potatoes, roasted tomatoes and zucchini
Chocolate linzer cake with tonka beans and berry sauce
We first met Tamás Kis several years ago when he was an assistant winemaker at St. Andrea Winery in Eger. As he masterfully discussed the Eger region, he revealed his dream of starting a boutique cellar in a very different wine region. He wanted to make wine in Somló—his favorite region in Hungary—and it didn’t take him too long to realize his dream. Tamás made his first barrel of wine in Somló in 2010, and has increased the quantity every year since. He split his time between Somló and Eger for years, which is how he came up with his winery’s name—Somlói Vándor translates as “The Wanderer of Somló.” The region is Hungary’s second smallest wine region, and it pretty much comprises one vineyard-covered hill. Somlói Vándor is a promising winery to watch. Somló produces some of Hungary’s most exciting wines, yet it’s also a region which is steeped in traditions. Somló is one of the two volcanic Hungarian regions where furmint is a dominant grape variety (Tokaj is the other). It’s also home to unique local grapes like olaszrizling (welschriesling), juhfark, and hárslevelű. Though almost exclusively white wines are produced in Somló, don’t assume that these are lightweight wines! These are full-bodied and complex wines. With their heavy minerality and sharp acidity, these wines stand up to the roasted duck which chef Tamás will serve. Join us to learn about this undiscovered terroir with winemaker Tamás Kis, while tasting wines from his portfolio.
Duck breast salad with balsamic vinaigrette and berries
Rabbit in game sauce with bread pudding
Aranygaluska (yeast-raised dumplings) with wine sauce
Sauvignon blanc 2015
The Heimann family from Szekszárd is one of Hungary’s most esteemed new-old winemaking families. Like many Szekszárd families, they are of Swabian origin and have been living in Szekszárd since the mid 1700s. The wine estate was only founded in the early 2000s, but it quickly took off and the family—particularly Zoltán Heimann Sr.—have become well known personalities in the local wine scene. Tonight, Zoltán Heimann Jr. joins us to introduce us to Szekszárd and his family’s wines. Zoltán works closely with his father and mother, Agnés, in running and building the family’s winery, which now comprises 23 hectares of vineyards. In the past Szekszárd has been in the shadow of it’s neighbor, Villány, but the region has worked hard to catch up. And it shows. Like Villány, red wines dominate in this region, and they are among the country’s finest examples. Like all good Szekszárd producers, the Heimanns make kékfrankos, kadarka, crisp rosé, and a number of different premium blends using merlot, syrah and local varietals. Zoltán Jr. previously spent six years building his winemaking knowledge by studying in Geisenberg, and working in Montpellier and Udine. He’s bringing a good selection of the family’s wines along with his stories from Szekszárd. Chef Tamás will prepare a meal to complement these wonderful wines. Join us for some great wine, food, and getting to know Szekszárd.
Guinea fowl consommé with vegetables
Roasted pork tenderloin, egg barley with lecsó, and pickles
Alte Reben kékfrankos 2014
Stílusgyakorlat tannat 2014
Szekszárdi Bikavér 2014
We talk a lot about Hungarian wine, and not enough about another exciting part of the drink scene in Hungary—the rise of craft beer. While big name beer companies dominate the market, drinking beer in Hungary has become more interesting because of the recent boom in small-scale brewing. Our beer expert (who also guides beer tours for Taste Hungary and leads beer tastings at The Tasting Table), Carsten Olm, is our guest tonight. He has immersed himself not only in all aspects of the local beer scene—like knowing all of the best beer joints and the latest product releases—but also in the science of beer brewing (he’s a home brewer). Carsten will introduce us to nine really special local beers which are barely found outside of Budapest. In addition to telling us about how this craft beer revolution started in Hungary, he’ll also go into some background about beer production and methods, the differences between styles, and unusual ingredients (such as coffee and Tokaji aszú). There are micro-breweries across the country, too many craft beers to count, craft beer festivals, bars (and trucks) dedicated to craft beer, and legions of loyal fans. There’s everything from pale ale, stout, and wheat beer to a variety of fruit beers and local specialties. By the end of the evening you’ll have a good understanding about how this all happened. You’ll be able to answer the questions: how is beer made, what makes good beer, and who makes good beer in Hungary? Wine and food pairing gets plenty of attention, and tonight chef Tamás will prepare us a meal proving that beer and food pairing is an equally exciting idea.
Selection of sausage (white, chorizo, mini Debreceni) with mustard, horseradish, bread, and arugula salad
Crispy beer roasted pork tenderloin, sage roasted potatoes, roasted tomatoes and fennel
Chocolate linzer cake with tonka beans and berry sauce
Hedon Vertigo (lager with Amarillo hops)
Horizont Japanese Wheat (German style wheat beer with Japanese Sorachi Ace hops)
Hedon Credo (IPA, SMaSH — single malt and single hop)
Legenda Sour Trois Cuvée (sour beer)
Coffee beer (TBA)
Hedon Charlie Firpo (rye APA)
MONYO Black Alligator (dark Saison with alligator pepper)
Horizont Vanilla Milk Porter
Imperial Stout (TBA)
BÚÉK! We’re starting 2017 with something that many Hungarian families look forward to doing over the winter—feasting on pork meat! We are hosting a disznótoros-themed dinner Tasting Table style! While chef Tamás prepares the pork feast, our guest, Csilla Sebestyén, will present the Sebestyén family’s wines from Szekszárd. Csilla and her brother, winemaker Csaba Sebestyén, are the first generation of their family to be involved in the wine business, but have made big names for themselves in this up and coming region. They focus on reds (kékfrankos, kadarka, and some blends) as do all winemakers in the region. However they do make a lovely cserszegi fűszeres and rosé. The disznótor (pig slaughter) is a Hungarian countryside tradition), which often takes place on a freezing winter day. The grapes and plants are sleeping, the soil is frozen, but the clean cold provides the perfect conditions for butchering and sausage preparation. This evening we’ll prepare a traditional disznótor menu like you would have if you were invited to somebody’s house. The Sebestyén wines will be the perfect complement. This family came to winemaking through other very different careers, and they now work on about 12.5 hectares of vineyards. Csilla is bringing a good selection of their wines along with stories from Szekszárd. Join us for some great wine, food, and insight into Szekszárd.
Orjaleves (consommé with pasta, meat, and vegetables)
Hurka (blood pudding) and kolbász (sausage) with steamed red cabbage and onion mashed potatoes
Plum jam “hájas” pastry (similar to puff pastry, but prepared with Mangalica fat)
Cserszegi fűszeres 2015
Nánai Kékfrankos 2013
Iván-völgyi Bikavér 2012
Gradus Cuvée 2011
Görögszói Franc 2013
We’ve long been fantasizing about devoting an entire dinner to pálinka. While we’ve hosted dozens of wine dinners (and even olive oil and paprika dinners), it’s now time to focus on pálinka. This national Hungarian drink is so omnipresent that it’s served from morning until night, from vessels ranging from re-used plastic soda bottles to fancy customized long-stemmed glassware. It may be even more ubiquitous than wine in Hungary. Pálinka can be described as Hungarian fruit brandy, and since it can be made from any fruit grown in Hungary, there are dozens of varieties. For this pálinka-dedicated evening we are partnering with the Brill pálinka distillery from Szekszárd. We’ll be sampling eight types of pálinka, which we will match with small courses of traditional Hungarian dishes (prepared by our chef Tamás). We’ll enjoy delicious Brill pálinka in flavors ranging from traditional plum and apricot to more unusual ones like pepper and barrel-aged cabernet franc marc pálinka. Attila Petzold—an independent wine and spirit consultant who knows more about pálinka than anyone else we know—will be our guest. This is your chance to become a pálinka expert, so bring all of your questions for Attila! We’ll learn about the fermentation and distillation process, the characteristics of the different types of fruit, and the history and traditions surrounding Hungarian pálinka. Join us for this tasty experimental dinner bringing together Hungarian flavors and pálinka.
Traditional Hungarian spreads and bread (eggplant spread, foie gras, Liptauer cheese, crackling cream)
Grilled peppers and goat cheese
Grilled sausage with potatoes
Roasted pork spare ribs with polenta
Selection of strudels
Apricot, grape (Írsai Oliver), lepotica plum, pepper, elderflower, cabernet franc, barrique marc, blueberry “bedded”, quince
Erhard and Evelyne Heumann are a German/Swiss couple who were led by fate to switch careers and settle in Villány to make wine. After Evelyne’s father travelled to Villány and ended up buying some vineyards, the Heumanns started making wine there in 1993 as a hobby, bottled their first professional wine in 2003, and have steadily been building on their wine business since then. What started as a hobby is now a full-timejob, with both of them devoted to the success and quality of the winery. Villány, located in the southernmost part of Hungary, is one of Hungary’s most prized red-wine-producing regions. It’s a region filled with whitewashed wine cellar rows, and beautiful vineyards. The Heumanns export most of their wines (The Tasting Table also sells several of them). Their reds—including kékfrankos, cabernet franc, and syrah—are opulent, concentrated, and dreamy. Since their vineyards are locates in Siklós (the section of Villány where white wine was traditionally made), the Heumanns also make lovely whites like riesling, chardonnay, and an easy-drinking blend named for their father-in-law. We are great fans of the Heumanns’ elegant wines, and we are sure you will be too after tasting them. Join us for this evening with Erhard, a great storyteller and ambassador for the Villány region.
Porcini cream soup with smoked goose breast
Roasted spiced pork belly, mashed potatoes and celeriac with fennel
Hot paprika-spiked chocolate cake
Rajnai Rizling 2015
Kékfrankos Reserve 2013
Villányi Franc 2012
Terra Tartaro 2011
Willi Opitz has hosted a sitting US president (Bill Clinton) at his winery, and Formula One champion Kimmi Raikönnen is a regular guest. Located in Illmitz, a tiny town on the eastern shore of Austria’s Lake Neusidler, the success of Opitz’ winery is not just due to the quality of his wines, but to his charming personality. Opitz (who is somewhat of a celebrity winemaker in Austria) will join us to present his wines, tell us about the unique Burgenland terroir, and share some fascinating stories about his career in wine (which includes also managing wineries in Romania and Spain).
A selection of Opitz wines from Austria (including welschriesling, grüner veltliner, and ausbruch), as well as samples from his Spanish and Romanian wineries
Catfish paté with chives and salad
Pork loin, spätzle, porcini ragout
Apple strudel with ice cream
Note: We are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions, food allergies, and vegetarian substitutes, but we must know in advance! The events are always in English (in the case that one of our featured guests does not speak English, everything will be translated). Menus may be changed due to availability of ingredients (though we will always announce changes here).
How did a winemaker from a Bordeaux winemaking family end up living in Tokaj and making some of the finest sweet and traditional wines in the region? Samuel Tinon’s story has become one of the legends of Tokaj. He arrived in the early 1990s, along with first wave of foreign investors who came to rebuild the region after Communism ended. He has worked for many big wineries in the region, but his own wines—which can be found in Michelin-starred restaurants and fine wine shops in many countries—are made in small quantities from just five hectares of vineyards. His wines have the perfect balance between tradition and modernity, and he is known as the king of dry szamorodni. Though the szamorodni style has fallen out of style, Tinon has remained one of its few champions. Tinon also makes one of the best dry furmints in the region (though he was skeptical about making modern-style dry furmint for many years). This will be a unique opportunity to taste Tinon’s wines (which are not sold at many places in Hungary), and learn about Tokaj from his perspective as an outsider who has become an iconic winemaker in the region. The menu will be a French-Hungarian dinner paired with Tinon’s wines.
The range of Tinon’s Tokaj wines, from dry furmint, to dry szamorodni, and the sweet aszús
Escargot ragout with garlic and spinach
Ginger-crusted foie gras, celery mashed potatoes, baked apple
Winemaking is essentially a simple process, in which not much technology and chemistry is needed—you pick the grapes, crush them, collect the juice, and let it ferment. In other words, you allow its natural yeast turn the grape’s sugar into alcohol. However, just a fraction of the world’s winemakers allow the process to stay so simple. Terra Hungarica is a movement, and a wine shop, focusing on these natural wines. It champions the philosophy, and has a growing profile of wineries abiding by it. Our guest, Péter Hajsz, is one of the founding members of Terra Hungarica, and he will guide us through the the Hungarian natural wine movement and introduce us to a few of the great wines which have come out of it.
6 natural wines from Terra Hungarica (from Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia)
Amuse bouche of ham and sweet onion
Ramp salad with honey, yogurt, and walnuts
Lamb stew with “sztrapacska” (sheep cottage cheese with dumplings)
Forest fruit tart with vanilla ice cream
Lake Balaton, and the wine regions which surround it, is an iconic destination for summer fun and relaxation in Hungary. Of the many gorgeous places dotting the lake, one of the truly special is the Káli Basin on the northern side. This is where winemaker Michael Liszkay has his heavenly estate. The terroir is unique, and with the Káli Basin’s special micro-climate and volcanic soil, Liszkay produces more reds than whites. While that may seem unusual for Balaton, the area was once a primarily red wine growing region. After escaping Hungary in 1956 as a teenager, traveling the world as a pianist, and running restaurants and businesses in several countries, Liszkay returned to Hungary to settle and make his wine. As he pours his award-winning wines along with a Balaton-inspired spring dinner, Liszkay will tell us about winemaking in the Káli Basin, and about how he ended up in this special place.
A selection of wine from Michael Liszkay’s portfolio
Asparagus with chervil mayonnaise, salad
Perch filet in riesling sauce, spring vegetables
Chocolate brownie with berries
While evidence of wine production in Israel may date back millennia, its wine industry is a young but exciting one that’s just starting to acquire the know-how to express itself and the secrets of this ancient land. Israeli winemakers face a task of biblical proportions to channel fine wine from such a hot climate, but they are proving to be a creative lot who are more than up to the task. Join local wine writer Robert Smyth as he shares his experiences from his recent visit and presents some of his fine finds.
Around 10 Israeli wines, hand-picked by Robert
A variety of Hungarian mezze
Etyek’s close proximity to Budapest makes it the perfect place to start exploring Hungarian wines. In Etyek, we have been enjoying the Hernyák family’s hospitality (and their wonderful wines) for many years. But this time, they are coming to us! Vali and Laci, the husband-wife pair who built the winery, will introduce Etyek and their wines, and tell us the story of how they ended up making wine (and brandy) at their beautiful boutique winery after immigrating here from war-torn Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. They will bring their wine for us to taste, including sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot gris, pinot blanc, and pinot noir. We are especially excited that they will be bringing their sparkling wine—which has not yet been released, and has been ageing on the lees for more than four years. It is made with the traditional method in cooperation with a family winery in Champagne. With dessert we’ll taste their brandy, which is distilled at their estate.
A selection of Hernyák wine and brandy
Grilled peppers and feta cheese
Wild mushroom salad with Parmigian and parsley
Duck confit with summer cabbage and pasta
Strawberries with mascarpone
Join us as wine writer Robert Smyth, author of recently-published Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World, introduces the white wines of two of Hungary’s most distinctive volcanic wine regions, Badacsony and Somló. With its stunning volcanic landscape, basalt soils, distinctive indigenous grapes, choice lakeside setting on Lake Balaton’s northern shore, and gifted winemakers, Badacsony is a hot vinous destination any time of year. Not far, the Somló region also boasts basalt soils, a stunning volcanic panorama, and its own set of indigenous grapes. It is one of the smallest wine regions in Hungary but the slopes of Somló Hill produce some of the country’s biggest and most complex white wines. Badacsony possesses ideal conditions for making complex white wines of great drinkability, which have typically savoury ‘mineral’ character, vibrant acidity, and a wonderful combination of fruitiness and saltiness. Smyth will bring the dazzling and distinctive wines of two of the most exciting Badacsony talents, Szászi and Válibor. He will also contrast Badacsony with nearby Somló. We will introduce the Furmint and Hárslevelű of Somlói Vándor, made by Tamás Kis—one of the region’s hottest young prospects, as well as typically concentrated Olaszrizling from Kolonics and then a Juhfark by the mercurial Spiegelberg. Legend has it that drinking wines from the latter grape can help induce male offspring, and was apparently the favourite wine of Queen Victoria.
Since we’ll be tasting some truly unique wines from grapes which are grown practically nowhere else (Rózsakő, Budai Zöld, and Kéknyelű), we are pairing these wines with another special Hungarian delicacy—Mangalica pork. Our chef, Tamás, will be preparing a meal featuring Mangalica in every course! Join us for some delicious food, some stunning and rare wines presented by Robert Smyth, and good company.
Szászi, Olaszrizling, Szent György Hegy, Badacsony
Szászi, Rózsakő, Badacsony
Váli Péter, Budai Zöld, Badacsony
Váli Péter, Kéknyelű, Badacsony
Somlói Vándor, Furmint, Somló
Somlói Vándor, Hárslevelű, Somló
Spiegelberg, Wedding Night Wine, Somló
Koloniccs, Olaszrizling, Somló
Mangalica cracklings, mangalica cheeks, pickles and salad
Mangalica loin wrapped in ham, rosemary potatoes, fennel, and tomatoes
Hájastészta (similar to puff pastry, but prepared with Mangalica fat) with plum jam
We say goodbye to the summer by introducing Eger—one of Hungary’s best-known wine regions—through the wines of Nimród Kovács, a Hungarian-American businessman, entrepreneur, and winemaker. Eger produces a good variety of whites (including furmint, chardonnay, and the Egri Csillag blend), but it is best known for its signature Bull’s Blood blend (Egri Bikavér). We are lucky to have Nimród as our special guest this evening, and with him we will taste a number of his iconic wines, including his award-winning chardonnay battonage, his Monopole reds, one of his top NJK label wines, and two of his Bikavérs. Nimród’s winery is now around 30 hectares in size and is one of the key players and pioneers of the region. It is also probably the most active winery from Eger on the international market. Throughout the course of the evening we’ll learn about the Eger terroir, the variety of wines produced there, and the winemaking history. Join us to taste these special wines in the company of Nimród, along with a wonderful meal prepared by our chef.
Grilled goat cheese with almonds and caramalized figs, green salad
Deer Ragu with prunes, truffles, dumplings
Chocolate cake with crumbled pecans and blueberries
Furmint Nagy-Eged 2013
Battonage Chardonnay 2012
If you’ve traveled around Hungary and Austria, the name Esterházy (or Eszterházy) will ring a bell. The Hungarian noble family has long been a part of the area’s history. During the times of the Habsburg Empire they were great landowners, and they were well known for their support (and employment of) composer Joseph Haydn. One of the most spectacular of the family’s many palaces is in Eisenstadt, Austria. Nearby, the Esterházy Winery is one of the top wineries in the Burgenland region. Owned by the Esterházy foundation, which manages the remaining properties of the family, the winery is situated in a beautiful modern building, surrounded by vineyards. Aristocratic families were known for their love of wine, and the history of the Esterházy family and wine goes back to at least the mid-18th century when Prince Paul II. Anton Esterházy’s wife had Pinot Noir vines from Burgundy planted at their Burgenland estate. Burgenland winemakers today are still creating beautiful pinot noirs next to their Blaufrankish and Zweigelt. Joseph Haydn even took part of his salary from the family in wine! Located in the very special Lake Neusiedl (Neusiedlersee) region, the Esterházy Winery makes diverse wines expressing the variety of soils and climates found in this region. Our guest from the Esterházy Winery will present seven different wines, and discuss the family’s fascinating history, the region, and the different wine styles and vineyards. Our chef Tamás will prepare an Austrian-inspired dinner to pair with these delicious wines.
Farmer cheese with pumpkin seed oil and brown bread
Smoked duck breast, grapes, plums, pine nuts, and salad
Eszterházy roast, potato dumplings, roasted vegetables
Esterházy Grüner Veltliner Sekt
Esterházy Estoras Grüner Veltliner
Esterházy Leithaberg Blaufrankisch
Esterházy Reed Wine/ Schilfwein (sweet wine)
This week we welcome Tomi Dúzsi Jr. from Szekszárd. The Dúzsi family started their winery in the early 1990s with a 3.3 hectares of land which Tamás Dúzsi Sr. purchased with the family’s compensation coupons which he received in the aftermath of Communism. Naturally, since they are from Szekszárd, the Dúzsis focus on making red wines, with the emphasis on kékfrankos and kékfrankos blends. However, due to a logistical snag with steel tank capacity one year, the winery ended up making an unexpectedly amazing rosé, and ever since has been unofficially known as the “king of rosé.” in Hungary. Dúzsi makes single varietal rosé from many varietals, and they are associated with their crisp, fruity, acidic rosés. But they also make very nice reds, which we will taste a few of. We’ll taste a rare variety called menoire, a barrel aged kadarka from old vines, a kékfankos, and their signature red blend from the Görögszó vineyard. Tomi Dúzsi will tell us all about the Szekszárd terroir, the family’s winery, and the unique wines which we will taste. Our chef Tamás will prepare a traditional cellar dinner to accompany the wines.
Cured ham, grilled pear, and green salad
“Cellar” stew (beef and pork) with parsleyed potatoes
Poppy seed and sour cherry strudel
Fürtike (Ezerfürtű), 2016
Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, 2015
Marci (Márton’s Day New Wine), 2016
Kékfrankos Selection, 2012
Ó Estate Wine, 2012
While every Hungarian family has its own Christmas culinary traditions, there are a few classics which no Christmas is complete without. Join us for a traditional home-cooked holiday dinner to get an idea about how the locals celebrate! Dinner will be served with six wines, and we will share our memories of Hungarian Christmas celebrations while we introduce what Hungarians eat and drink at Christmas.
Smoked trout with horseradish foam and green salad
Gál, Zweigelt Rosé, 2015 (Alföld)
Szászi Pince, Badacsony, Rózsakő, 2015 (Badacsony)
Bott, Határi Furmint, 2015 (Tokaj)
Sebestyén Pince, Iván-völgy Bikavér, 2012 (Szekszárd)
Kovács Nimród, Superior Bikavér, 2012 (Eger)
Oremus, Sweet Szamorodni, 2012 (Tokaj)
In celebration of the Bor, Mamor, Bénye Festival (Wine, Shine, Erdőbénye), held a few days before this tasting, we are focusing on the wines from the up-and-coming village of Erdőbénye, in the heart of the Tokaj region. The village is surrounded by the wooded Zemplén hills, and the main street is lined with elegant houses from the 19th and early 20th centuries, some of which were once owned by Armenian or Jewish wine merchants. Cooperage is an old trade here, and there are several coopers in the village who still make barrels by hand (from oak from the Zemplén hills) the traditional way. It has been called the most beautiful village in Hungary, and there’s a vast multi-level labyrinth of a wine cellar under the village (which is mostly unused), built by the Rákóczi family, Transylvanian royalty who came to this region in the late-16th century, acquired most of it, and played an important role in the region’s sweet winemaking history. Tasting Table owners, Carolyn and Gábor, have a house in Erdőbénye and spend a lot of time in there, tasting the wines and meeting the winemakers. Tonight Gábor will introduce the village’s wines, tell stories about its history and impressive wine pedigree, its terroir, its wineries, and its future. We’ll be tasting wines from five of the villages wineries, and chef Tamás will prepare a meal featuring regional dishes and ingredients.
Vayi Frizzante 2015
Bardon Hárslevelü 2012
Bardon Omega Ferment/Hárslevelü 2012
Karadi-Berger Palandor Furmint 2013
Karadi-Berger Dry Szamorodni 2010
Budaházy Fekete Kúria Hárslevelü 2013
Karadi-Berger Birtok Furmint 2007
Homonna Édes Hármas 2011
Grilled porcini mushrooms with grilled gomolya cheese (from Erdőbénye)
Wild boar pörkölt (stew) with polenta
Strudel with farmer cheese and dill
If there is one ingredient that Hungary is associated with, it is paprika. It is indispensable in any Hungarian kitchen and symbolizes Hungarian cuisine. It’s what gives some of the best-known Hungarian dishes—such as gulyás, pörkölt, and chicken paprikás—their brilliant orange color and intense peppery flavor. Our special guest this week is Anita Molnar, whose family has been producing paprika for generations in Szeged. Chef Tamás will prepare a dinner featuring paprika in every course, and Anita will tell us all about paprika—from how it arrived in Hungary in the 16th century and how it became so beloved, to how it is grown, dried, and transformed into Hungarian “red gold.” We’ll pair the meal with wines from around the country that can stand up to the paprika, and we’ll top the evening off with a taste of paprika pálinka!
“Paprika found its second, and at the same time, true home in Hungary. It was in this country that such a high level and veritable cult of the growing, the processing, and the use of paprika has been achieved, the like of which cannot be found anywhere else.” — Zoltan Halasz, Hungarian Paprika Through The Ages
Körözött (paprika-spiced curd cheese dip) with fresh bread and vegetables
Grilled pepper and goat cheese salad with paprika oil dressing
Catfish paprikás with túrós csusza
Chocolate torta with hot paprika and paprika jam
Gál Zweigelt Rosé 2015
Somlói Vándor Furmint 2015
Heimann Szekszárdi Bikavér 2013
Wassmann Kékfrankos 2012
Brill Paprika Pálinka
If you are a fan of Tokaj (of if you are not a fan yet, but want a crash course), this is an evening you will not want to miss. Our guest, Szabolcs Újfalussy, is from the Oremus Winery, one of Tokaj’s greatest wineries. Szabolcs is also one of the best Tokaj educators we know, and this evening will be a masterclass in the wines of this world-renowned region. We will not only taste a range of dry and sweet wines from Oremus, but we’ll also crack open a bottle that few people (even in the world of wine) have ever had the opportunity to taste: a 4 puttonyos Tokaj aszú from 1956, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution. As the grapes for this wine were ripening and being harvested in Tokaj, bloody battles were being fought on streets all over Budapest. In fact, the revolution started right next door to The Tasting Table in the headquarters of the Hungarian Radio.
Szabolcs lives in Tokaj and knows its history, production, and people inside out. If you thought you already knew everything about Tokaj, you will realize that there is always still so much to learn. If you ever had any questions you were afraid to ask, this is the perfect chance. Szabolcs will present seven wines beginning with three vintages of dry furmint, followed by four sweet wines. Chef Tamás will prepare dinner in our open kitchen. Oremus (which is owned by Vega Sicilia) is a benchmark winery in Tokaj. It was one of the pioneers in the early 1990s to start building a serious international brand and to start making quality wines again in Tokaj. Their Mandolás furmint and their creamy, rich and perfectly-balanced aszús are amongst the best sweet wines in the world. Their 500 year old cellar system is one of the biggest in Tokaj (and is worth seeing for yourself, if possible!).Tokaj aszús are famous for their aging potential, and as they get older they become darker and darker, and their fresh citrusy and apricot jam character changes to more nutty, caramel, Madeira-like flavors. There are few bottles left of these old aszús, so our taste of the 1956 Tokaji aszú tonight will be a truly unique opportunity, and it will be a treat to see how it has developed over the past 60 years.
Roasted foie gras and apple, basil and fresh salad
Roasted spiced pork belly, celeriac mashed potatoes, fennel, and tomatoes
Vargabéles (Hungarian noodle cake)
Mandolás Furmint 2015
Mandolás Furmint 2009
Mandolás Furmint 2007
Édes Szamorodni 2013
5 puttonyos aszú 2007
5 puttonyos aszú 2000
4 puttonyos aszú 1956!
Though Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Hungary, we’ve decided to celebrate with a Hungarian-inspired Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll serve a selection of the six Hungarian wines which we are most thankful for, paired with a Thanksgiving-inspired dinner (prepared with Hungarian ingredients). Our sommelier will tell stories about the wines which we will be tasting, illuminating us on the regions and the people who produced them.
Smoked goose breast with pomegranate salad
Duck leg confit with layered potatoes, grilled vegetables, and blueberry sauce
Chestnut pie with pecan crumbs
Samuel Tinon, Tokaj, Birtok furmint, 2014
Szászi Pince, Badacsony, Olaszrizling, 2015
Berger Pince, Tokaj, Dry Szamorodni, 2010
Stier Pince, Villány, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013
Vylian Pince, Villány, Cabernet Franc, 2011
Holdvölgy Pince, Sárgamuskotály, Late Harvest, 2012