Taste great wines right “from the Press”
Though Tokaj wine region is an UNESCO World Heritage, for decades it has not been the dream of a tourist. It was hard to find a good restaurant or a nice hotel to stay. The situation has significantly increased, now there are really top quality restaurants, like Guestau in Mád, Oroszlános Hotel and Restaurant in Tállya or ‘Anyukám mondta’ (‘My mum said’), a superb quality pizzeria in Encs. However, when you just wanted to have a glass of wine between visiting wineries, you were in trouble. Dirty village pubs offering low quality wine with locals drinking beer and spirits. The contrast between word class wineries and these pubs is huge. Thanks God some great initials are introduced as well. The town of Tokaj has a speciality coffee house, which has been run for a few years, and this spring a premium wine bar opened finally!
Run by an Angel
The owner of the new wine bar called Prés (the Hungarian world for press) runs a winery as well called Angyal Winery (angyal is the word for angel, and the surname of the founder grandfather), but he is aware that a wine bar with only one portfolio is not a viable place. The staff of Prés has a strong concept of showing Tokaj region at its best AND widest, thus they aim to offer more than 100 wines. They hope to be the starting point for visitors, who can start their discovery of the wine region from here. The wine bar is open all year, and since the opening hours are friendlier than the usual in the region, it is getting to become a meeting point for bar goers late in the evening. The bar is appropriate for greater tastings, for example the young and ambitious László Majoros has already held a tasting here, and the owner Angyal Winery had an event with 120 guests, too.
Family wineries welcome
If you take a look at their wine list, you might ask: what’s the common in these wineries? Béres Winery, a quite large enterprise founded by inventor grandfather of Béres drop medication, Zoltán Demeter, a determined, artisan winemaker, István Szepsy, the iconic figure of Tokaj or Erzsébet Winery, where Ronn Wiegand American Master of Wine and Master Sommelier helps his wife and family. Yes, the world family is the key. All the wines in the portfolio of Prés are made by family wineries, who pass their knowledge and the love of the vineyard from parents to children. And one more argument for Prés: they have some wines from other wine regions, including some red wines. Believe me: if you spend a week in Tokaj, now matter how magnificent the whites are, you will die for some red wine…
Start with the sun!
The wine list is really impressive, you will want to taste a lot. But still, if you have time for one glass, start with Béres Naparany, a dry white wine, which shows the complexity of Tokaj and its grape varieties. The acidity and minerality of Furmint, the fruitiness of Hárslevelű and the short oak aging adds up in a harmonious, refined, rounded wine. The name of the wine, ‘Naparany’ means Gold of the Sun. The expression is taken from a renowned Hungarian poet, László Nagy. A poem written by him in the 70s was dedicated to senior doctor József Béres, founder of the winery. In the poem with the title ‘In the Footsteps of Late Fools’ ‘Gold of the Sun’ was used as a synonym of values forever – and it ‘rhimes’ with the colour of this wine as well.
Press till midnight!
So now you don’t have to have an early night in Tokaj, Prés is open every day from 2 pm to mindnight. In summer they open in the morning. The bar serves as a wine shop as well, you can buy the wines you like at store prices. Illy coffée is served and a good selection of drinks are available, plus local cheese and meat products are also served. The website is under construction, so you can find them on Facebook at the moment.