A Bikavér for Halloween

“As we leave our outdoor grill to gather dust and cobwebs and start dressing our house for Halloween, it is time to cozy up with harvest reds,” says Patrick Comiskey, a senior contributor for Wine & Spirits Magazine, in his latest article for the Los Angeles Times. Harvest reds are wines that taste like early fall, warm without being too bold, fruity with savory flavors that evoke wood smoke, fallen leaves, and wild mushrooms. But where to find them? “Lately there is no better place to start than the lap of Europe, which on my map is Austria and Hungary”, says Comiskey. “Both countries are enjoying a resurgence among their red wines; each has an interesting collection of oddly named indigenous (or nearly so) varieties that are being revived.” In Hungary, he adds, “your options are more limited but potentially more exciting. Importers such as Blue Danube are bringing small-production wines into the market, like the Soproni Kekfrankos made by Pfneiszl (about $15). Kekfrankos is Blaufränkisch, a bit more gripping and rustic than Austrian versions. Hungary is also the continent’s last great repository of Kadarka, a thin-skinned red variety thought to have originated in Romania, with a clean and peppery … Continue reading A Bikavér for Halloween

Making Shrimp Curry for a glass of Bott Határi Hárslevelű

2009 Bott Határi Hárslevelű It was close to dinner time and I had just opened a bottle of 2009 Bott Határi Hárslevelű. As I swirled the wine in the glass, catching the wine’s fragrant aromas, I realized that it was screaming for South Asian spices, rich spices like turmeric, clove, ginger, coriander, nutmeg, cumin. The Bott Határi Hárslevelű is a dry white wine from Tokaj, home to Tokaji Aszú, the world’s oldest botrytized wine, although Tokaj is increasingly well-known for its distinctive dry wines. It is produced by Bott Pince, a small winery founded by Judit and József Bodó in March 2006. Bott is Judit’s maiden name and she is the one crafting the wines while her husband focuses on the vineyard. The majority of the region’s vineyards are planted with Furmint but Hárslevelű is Judit Bodó’s favorite varietal as she explained in a recent New York Times interview: “Sometimes the furmint is too harsh,” she said, “too ‘gerade’ in German, too ‘straight’ and harslevelu has more play. It’s more layered, it has more nose, it has more nuance.” The Bodó family has 1.5 ha of vines on a west facing terraced slope in the classed vineyard of Határi. The … Continue reading Making Shrimp Curry for a glass of Bott Határi Hárslevelű