A Bikavér for Halloween

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 red-berry flavor, worth chilling for a stew. Look for the Kadarka from Eszterbauer, a 10th-generation producer who also makes a very drinkable Bikaver (Bull’s Blood) blend (both around $20).”

So for Halloween, try the Eszterbauer Tüke Bikavér 2008 from Szekszard wine region in Hungary’s Transdanubian hills. It is spicy and deep, yet easy to drink, but beware, this bull’s blood may attract some vampires!

Read Comiskey’s article here.