Hungary has an outdoor music festival called Sziget (meaning Island), which has won several awards so far. The monstre annual August event takes place on 9–16 August this year, but on the very first day (the so called zero day) the American star, Pink will give the first show. Around the main stage you will easily get a huge plastic cup os „rosé spritz” (rosé wine with fizzy water), which happens to be the second most popular drink of the festival after beer. Lajvér Winery from Szekszárd was the main supplier of wines at Sziget one year, this year’s supplier is not known yet. One thing is certain: if you want, you can enjoy Pink’s music with pink wine in Budapest, since the reductive rosé wine is still about to rise in popularity.
Furmint, Cabernet Franc, Tokaji Aszú – or rosé?
When Hungary is about to define itself and find its place on the world map of wine, we start with the white grape called Furmint because of its potential to give wines from fresh, reductive through aged, complex to aszú wines. Aromatic wines are also mentioned by some experts saying that Hungary produces a lot, we have many indigenous aromatic grapes (Irsai Olivér, Cserszegi Fűszeres and others). But when it comes to „serious” wines, Villány wine region producers claim Cabernet Franc to be the one, the grape variety that has found its home in Villány (as often quoted from Michael Broadbent). And it is true, that when it comes to giving a present, mostly red wines are gifted. Plus we have Tokaji Aszú, our national treasure, the precious dessert wine that had placed us on the wine map centuries ago.
But do the young wine consumers care about the slogans on the flag? No, they simply order another rosé spritz. Look at any of the bars of Budapest, you will see tables full of the pink wine. Look at the website of the wineries, you will hardly find one without rosé (except from Tokaj of course, where red grapes are not allowed). VinCE Magazine, Hungary’s leading wine magazine is just about to release their April issue with the rosé panel tasting: as they report, from year to year they get more rosé samples, more than for any other panel tasting.
A new Provence?
The winemaking „elite” seems to ignore the ever increasing popularity of rosé wines, they do not take the category too seriously, but produce it to their best knowledge. Some years are better, some years are lesser – 2016 vintage seems to be rather uneven in quality, but still the effort has made all over the country and winemakers keep making rosé. Should rosé be put among the slogans on the flag of Hungarian wine? Should be focus on the diversity of the 22 wine regions with countless grapes and styles? The question is hanging in the air.
What do you think?
We are curious about your opinion whether you are Hungarian or foreign expert and thus you see us from an outside perspective.
Do you think that…
A, Rosé is as important as any other style, it can have depth, so it might have a brighter (pinker) future in Hungary.
B, Rosé? No, thanks, I want only my duck breast done rosé.
C, Rosé is a simple wine to drink, refreshing when it’s hot, nothing else.
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