We’re trying something a little different today! I was stuck in the middle of nowhere Hungary for work for a 10-day staff retreat…so naturally I was drinking. I was drinking a lot. It’s been 12-ish years since I was in Hungary and I knew zero about wine then which means that Hungarian wine made no impression on me (sorry, dudes). However I was happy to learn on this trip! That was about the only ting I was happy to do on that trip…
The village where we were sequestered had a festival of Hungarianness. Although (as one vendor explained to me) it was not Hungarianness that has always been Hungarian but things Hungairans have adopted which have, over time, become a “native” part of their culture. Perfect example: the paprika. Hungary and paprika are pretty synonymous but the paprika came to Hungary from the western hemisphere.
That’s a long intro to say there was a Biergarten-like place in the park: lots of wooden stalls with food and drink and tables between, all under the trees and charming villagey. The majority of the stalls are wineries so naturally I did all kinds of tasting. My first foray was to the Chateau Vazsonyi stall where a lovely girl and I discussed the merits of Hungarian wine in German. Well, she was speaking German, I was speaking some sort of weird mix of German and Turkish; Germish if you will. But I successfully tasted and bought wines, including the Chateau Vazsonyi 2014 Royal Victoria so it was all good!
^That’s my wine opener; it came in handy several times in Hungary. I travel with one. That’s how I roll.
The Royal Victoria is a ruby red Cabernet Franc with a lovely nose of pepper, raspberry, and maybe cassis. It’s a nice, medium bodied wine. Nothing particularly wow! about it but it’s well-crafted and nicely drinkable. On the palate the tannins are noticeable without being overwhelming with low-ish acid. The main flavors drop off pretty quickly but the tannins linger. I’m not sure if it’s odd or not but I found that the flavor of the Royal Victoria was really more in the nose than on the palate.
The best part? The bottle cost about $8.75. I ended up on a little bit of a buying spree and bought four bottles from my friendly German-speaking wine adviser and had to ask her twice if she were sure that all four bottles only cost 10,000 HUF ($35). I told her that was what I would pay for one bottle of decent wine in Turkey. She was as horrified as I used to feel about that. I’ve really rather become numb to the prices of decent Turkish wine.