Countdown to MARKET TASTING NYC III

Today is Blue Danube Wine Co.’s break-out NY Trade debut at Terroir Tribeca. Too close for comfort, all the samples have arrived. Were it not for Zsuzsa’s hard work, Fed-Ex and customs would have never known how bad we needed these wines! Double luck: Frank Dietrich swang by JFK via SFO to pick up the J and J Eger Kekefrankos we were also waiting on! That means all our samples have arrived on time for the tasting. We are so proud to be a part of this vinous cultural process and so excited to share (drink) these wines we love so much. You soon will too! NYC, here we come!! Tokaji—Eden Abandoned—No region has impressed us at Blue Danube Wine Co. as the volcanic hills of Europe’s first protected wine region, Tokaj-Hegyalja. It is to us what Burgundy is to others. A chain of 400 volcanoes of impossible geological and microclimatological complexity, a long history as a wine region and a plethora of indigenous varieties and styles of wine, we can’t get enough of it. Some say there is a wine renaissance underway in Tokaj today; we are inclined to agree. All our samples have finally arrived from Hungary! Bodrog … Continue reading Countdown to MARKET TASTING NYC III

Countdown to MARKET TASTING NYC II

In honor of Blue Danube Wine Co.’s break-out NY Trade debut at Terroir Tribeca this coming Thursday, we plan to introduce a bunch of ultra special Hungarian wines that are being air freighted to NY as we speak. Days away, we are all wondering: will they make it in time??! The Jury is out, but the good news is that the 2nd of 4 deliveries has just arrived! Will the others make it? Hard to say! Let the count down begin, 2!! Here is a sneak peak: We, Blue Danubians, are accustomed to remarks noting the exotic names and natures of the varieties we source, so to praise the likes of a grape as common as Pinot Noir feels quite strange to us! Occasionally a wine demands it though. Vylyan Pinot Noir is possibly the most decorated wine in Hungary: awards and accolades cover the bottle like the pins of a military general. Vylyan planted Pinot Noir vines where fog gathers and grapes ripen slowly, in a belly button shaped depression smack dab in the middle of Villány, Hungary—basically their Cabernet country. It should be illegal to invoke Burgundy when talking about Pinot Noir that is not actually Burgundian, but … Continue reading Countdown to MARKET TASTING NYC II

Countdown to MARKET TASTING NYC I

In honor of Blue Danube Wine Co.’s break-out NY Trade debut at Terroir Tribeca this coming Thursday, we plan to introduce a bunch of ultra special Hungarian wines that are being air freighted to NY as we speak. Days away, we are all wondering: will they make it in time??! The Jury is out, but the good news is that the 1st of 4 deliveries has just arrived! Will the others make it? Hard to say! Let the count down begin, 3!! Here is a sneak peak: Little appellation, big WINES Millions of years ago, Somló, Hungary’s smallest appellation, was an underwater volcano. Now dormant, its southerly slopes of ancient sea sediment and basalt are home to some of Hungary’s steepest, most densely planted vineyards. Minutely divided, these rarely trellised parcels of vines are workable only by hand. The cellars and size of the production are also the smallest in Hungary, and again worked by hand. Somló’s exclusively white wines are typically made from Hárslevelű, Furmint, Olaszrizling, or the local rarity Jufark. The soil really “gets into the wines” and they are among the most distinctive wines we have ever encountered; aromas lean towards dried fruits, dried herbs and rare … Continue reading Countdown to MARKET TASTING NYC I

Blue Danube Tasting at Google

We have been pretty busy at Blue Danube Wine this spring. Several weeks ago, we were featured at Google’s Wine Wednesday, a biweekly tasting event organized by the Google wine club. To help the chefs of the hosting cafe prepare tidbits that could be paired with each wine, we had brought some wine samples to them ahead of time. We anticipated that few Googlers would be familiar with Central-Eastern European wines so we chose the following selection of wines from Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia, showcasing some of the best wines currently produced along the Danube river and the Dalmatian coast: 2010 Sommer Bergweingarten M Grüner Veltliner: founded in 1698, the Sommer Winery is now run by winemaker and Grüner Veltliner specialist Leo Sommer and his wife Silvane. The estate is located in the Neusiedlersee-Hügelland region near Lake Neusiedl in eastern Austria. The wine was dry, crisp, mineral with a good structure on the palate. The chefs chose to pair it with a creamy Morel and Aspargus Risotto. 2009 Kabaj Ravan: Kabaj Winery is owned and run by French-born winemaker Jean-Michel Morel and his wine Katja Kabaj. It is located in Goriška Brda in Western Slovenia, an appellation known as … Continue reading Blue Danube Tasting at Google

Hungarian wine tasting seminar with John Szabo

The tasting line-up The other weekend, we had the visit of John Szabo, Canada’s first Master Sommelier and also co-owner of the Hungarian winery J and J Eger Wine Company. During his stay in San Francisco, he co-hosted a Hungarian wine tasting seminar with Matthew Stamp of the Guild of Sommeliers at Morton’s Steakhouse. The tasting featured 13 wines covering 6 major wine producing areas including Mátra, Szekszárd, Sopron, Eger, Villány, and last but not least, Tokaj. Our first flight featured 2 whites from Mátra and 2 reds from Szekszárd. Mátra is a wine producing region located in the northeast part of the country, in the foothills of the Matra Mountains. Characterized by cold winters and volcanic soils, the area is noted for its white wines. • Szõke Mátyás Királyleányka 2010: produced by Szõke Mátyás, one of Matra’s most important family-owned wineries. Királyleányka means “little princess” and is a traditional variety of Transylvanian origin. Light golden color, attractive floral nose of acacia blossom. On the palate, crisp, slightly waxy with grapefruit flavors and mineral notes on the finish. • Szõke Mátyás Irsai Oliver 2010: Irsai Oliver is a hybrid grape variety from the Muscat family. Intensely aromatic with rose petal … Continue reading Hungarian wine tasting seminar with John Szabo

25 Grapes and Portfolilo Tastings in San Diego

Portfolio for the trade – 25 Grapes for consumers. We are very happy to bring our wines after San Francsico and Los Angeles, now to San Diego. Together with our friends from Vinos Unico who are importing Spanish and Portuguese wines we are inviting you to two tasting events on Monday, October 25th at 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro. The first one from 2 to 4pm is called ‘Portfolio’ and is addressed to the trade. The second one is open to the public from 5 to 7pm. We call it ’25 Grapes you have never tasted before.’ You are invited to explore with us new and exciting grapes with unique tasty flavors. Both events are not to be missed. We are looking forward to see you there.