A pour for a guest ready to take notes. Last Monday on November 12th, we hosted a private tasting event for the trade of all our new arrivals. Frank with wines. This is a fun time for us because it allows us to share the wines that we’ve carefully selected to import for the first time with our colleagues in the trade and the media. This event was particularly enjoyable because we had new wines from all areas that Blue Danube Wine Company imports including: Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro. The well known Bacar Restaurant and Wine Salon provided a most suitable setting for this tasting event. This restaurant in the heart of SOMA in San Francisco is hip and modern, yet at the same time inviting and warm; a perfect place for sipping exciting new wines amongst others who love wine. Joining us for the invited tasting were the wine buyers and sommeliers of local wine shops, restaurants and wine bars as well as wine writers and critics. Checking the list It was great to see such a diverse crowd because everyone tasted the wines differently and they’re all looking for something unique to match whatever exciting plans … Continue reading Blue Danube Wine Co Shows off its New Wines
Today, we are the recipient of a lucky double whammy: This morning we read in the Sacramento Bee Mike Dunne’s favorable notes about the Irsai Olivér made by the Hilltop Neszmély Winery, then the letter carrier delivered the new Newsletter edited by bottle shop owner and tasting bar manager Victor Pugliese of Vin, Vino, Wine, our favorite wine shop in Palo Alto. Victor has published the VVW News for almost two decades. During that time it has been a monthly guide for us into the wide world of wine. You can imagine how proud we are when he surprised us by selecting one of the Hungarian wines we distribute as his featured White Wine Value of the Month. Here is what he had to say about the Királyleányka: “The world is a big place. One of the cool things about it is that you’ll never master it, you’ll never know everything. There are always new discoveries. In that spirit, and in the spirit of bringing you the best, most interesting wines we can find, here is a new discovery for us, a Hungarian white, from an Eastern European grape called Kiralyleanyka. It comes from the Neszmély district along the Danube, … Continue reading Victors Wine of the Month: Our Királyleányka
Thanks to Mike Dunne, restaurant and wine editor of the Sacramento Bee, we have the honor to publish our first Blog-Back. You may ask: What’s a Blog-Back? Well, in his wine column, Dunne on Wine – Blogging through a week in the life of a wine writer, just out today, Mike writes about a tasting of the Irsai Olivér. This is a new Hungarian white wine which he tasted at the famed Corti Brothers store in Sacramento. Blue Danube Wine Company happens to be the distributor of this fine wine, one in a line-up of eight fresh and fruity wines from the Hilltop Neszmély winery in Hungary. And he is so kind to link to our wine blog, the very one you are reading here. So we take the opportunity to say: “Egéségedre, Mike, i.e. Good Health to you (in Hungarian) and Thank You, too.” And Blog-back to his column at the Sacramento Bee so that our readers might check out his informative writings. We also want to make sure you are aware that you can purchase a bottle of the Irsai Oliver at Corti Brothers in Sacramento and a few other places around the Bay Area. Just look here … Continue reading Blogging Back: Dunne on Wine in the Sac Bee
Prof. Dr. Tim P. says: One of the hazards of wine writing is watching bottles pile up all over the house waiting to be tasted. (Somebody has to do it.) Since I firmly believe that multiple opinions are always better than one, I periodically pull together an informal panel to work through the backlog. I recently did a miscellaneous session—some wines I needed to write about, some I might mention somewhere, some I just felt duty-bound to sample because they had shown up at my door. My two tablemates were a serious student of wine somewhere on the trail of a Master of Wine certificate and the co-author of a forthcoming book on pairing desserts and desert wines. All the bottles were wrapped in brown paper bags (showing what a high-class event this was). The whites were a particularly odd quartet: two Hungarian whites from indigenous grapes (the Woodsman’s White and Carpenter’s White in the Craftsman series) and two barrel-fermented California Chardonnays. Trying to be helpful, I noted that the four wines were really two and two. “We noticed!” my pals chimed in unison; the contrast between the pale straw of two glasses and the golden oak tones of the … Continue reading Three Blind Hungarians
Just a short while ago we visited Tokaj, the historic Hungarian wine region, for the very first time. Here we witnessed a window into the very dynamic renaissance of wine making, fueled by highly motivated and very competent wine makers, the financial interests of (often foreign) investors, and the existence of a rather unique terroir and a proprietary style of wine making. As my time allows I will report on this trip in short installments, today, let me introduce my co-travelers: my wife Zsuzsa Molnar, and our dear new friend, capable trip organizer, and wine collector extraordinaire, Charles Cruden. Zsuzsa is holding a new publication on Tokaj’s Terroir in her hand, while Charles is making arrangements for the next appointment on his indispensable cell phone. Of course the man in the center of it all is Istvan Szepsy, the wine maker of Kiralyudvar who has been providing so much guidance and leadership for the emergence of the contemporary Tokaj. Our Thank You goes to him and all of his colleagues who are extremely hospitable, cheerful, and passionate in their mission to show the world: THIS IS TOKAJ.
Hungarian wines seem to crack their decade long ‘Sleeping Beauty’ spider web. These days even the English speaking world is starting to take note. At least the PR engines are starting to spit out English material about the topic. In any event, the Hungarian wine scene is certainly pretty dynamic today with more and more interesting wines being produced by a growing number of capable and very committed wine makers. You can catch up on the fast moving events try by reading either one of the following magazines: The UK’s Decanter Magazine contained a special booklet in their printed April 2004 issue, a US start-up named Wine Country International featured Hungary in its first edition, and a newly formed Hungarian group has posted a long introduction to contemporary Hungarian wine making as a 6MB Acrobat pdf file. It’s entitled Hungary Uncorked and is probably the most informative of the bunch. Well worth the download. Be aware that this will be more than 120 printed pages so keep an eye on your printer and keep some extra paper handy!!
Blue Danube Wine Company is proud to introduce the Craftsman series of wines from Hilltop Neszmély Winery of Hungary to California and the West Coast. This exciting new line brings the refreshingly flavors of some of Hungary’s finest grape varietals to American palates. The six whites, two reds and one sweet wine have been carefully selected to capture the flavor and character of Hungarian wines. The varietals include Királyleányka, Irsai Olivér, Olaszrizling, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio (Szürkebarát), Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) and Tokaji Aszú. Hilltop Neszmély Winery is at the forefront of the renaissance of Hungarian wine making and internationally renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson terms the winery “one of the country’s leading wine exporters”. Focusing on importing top wines from Central Europe, in particular from Austria, Croatia, and Hungary, Blue Danube Wine is pleased to expand its portfolio of sophisticated flavorful food friendly wines. Our winemakers combine old winemaking traditions and indigenous grape varietals typical of their regions to produce distinctive wines. more
What a big surprise when we read the recent Wine Spectator in which Bruce Sanderson conducted a major tasting of Tokaji wines imported to the U.S. Here is what he said about the Hilltop-Neszmely 5 Puttonyos Tokaj Aszú 1993: Lush and smoky in aroma, with flavors of orange marmalade, apricot and smoke, this is elegant, with a vibrant structure coaxing the flavors to a lengthy conclusion. Really hitting its stride now. Drink now through 2010. 125 cases imported. Wine Spectator, June 15th, 2004 Well, we had just received our alotment of a few cases as part of taking on distribution of the dry Hilltop wines in California. BTW we do sell the Hilltop Tokaj for only $39.95, not bad considering its excellent quality. This is your chance to give it a try if you have never tasted a Tokaj Aszú.