The first thing that comes to your mind speaking of Eger is surely Bull’s Blood, though as we wrote about it, nowadays wine producers prefer to use the Hungarian name, Bikavér for this blend, and quality is really high, it has nothing to do with the late 20th century mass produced cheap blends. The quality control of the wine region works properly, they make a distinction of Bikavér Classicus and Bikavér Superior.
And once the question of Bikavér has been solved, the local winemakers realized that ‘this was fine, our red blend had returned to its glorious era, however we need a refreshing white wine as well’. So they made up a new blend in 2012 called Egri Csillag! According to the rule of the protected origin Egri Csillag, the wine has to be made of at least 4 grape varieties. The muscat or ‘aromatic’ type of grapes cannot exceed 30% of the blend. Half of the components should be Carpathian-basin originated grapes.
To read about the origin of the name of Egri Csillag, read our earlier article
One town, two blends, two seasons, two festivities
This spring you will two serious reasons to travel to the wonderful, historical town of Eger. One festival is dedicated to the white blend at the end of April, while another one is about nothing else, but the red blend and its gastronomic role. Eger is only 90 minutes drive from Budapest, or you can take a coach or the InterCity train to get there in a comfortable way. When you are in Eger, it is a must to see the castle of Eger and the renovated Turkish spa.
Egri Csillag Weekend
Date: 28 April – 1 May 2017
Location: Dobó square, Eger, Hungary
Type of event: outdoor wine festival with a masterclass
13 wineries will present the latest vintage of their Egri Csillag white blend, and trendy food trucks offer food to pair with the wines. During the 4 days of the festival 14 concerts will be organized to entertain the public. On the 29th an exciting masterclass will be held by Attila Fiáth (a student at the Master of Wine Institute), where all the new release Egri Csillag wines will be presented blind, each of them paired with a foreign white blend. Will you spot the local wines when tasted blind? Tickets for the masterclass cost 5000 HUF, if you are interested, write here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the exhibiting wineries you will find well known, great brands like St Andrea, Gál Tibor or Gróf Buttler, traditional family wineries like Egri Borvár with Ferenc Tóth, and young talents to discover, like Böjt winery.
The festival admission is free of charge.
Here is a video from last year Food Truck + Egri Csillag Weekend:
More information: www.egricsillag.hu
Egri Bikavér Ünnep
Date: 6–9 July 2017
Location: Érsek garden, Eger, Hungary
Type of event: outdoor wine festival
This festivity has been held annually for 20 years, and this 21st edition will be a genuine feast both for lovers of wines and gastronomy. The concept is simple and perfect: every Eger winery pairs with a local chef, who cooks his ideal dish for the Bikavér of the partner winery. Visitors stroll among the tents and taste Bikavér wines along with food to find the role of the wine in cuisine, and of course to enjoy. A wine and food example from last year’s edition:
- Egri Borvár Bikavér Superior 2013 by Ferenc Tóth
- Oxtail garnished with grape flavoured gnocchi and blue cheese by Zsálya Bistro, Eger
Stage programs and other activities, like tractor marching will entertain visitors (list of programmes is not updated yet). The festival admission is free of charge.