Zwack Open, 1 June, Budapest
Zwack is definitely one of the most well known brands of Hungary, and is usually mentioned together with the most famous Zwack product: Unicum. This unique herb liqueur, based on a secret family recipe and distilled from over forty different herbs and spices, was originally conceived as an aid to digestion at the royal court of Austria Hungary in 1790 but over the centuries it has become a drink for any time of day, either as a shot or warmed by the hand in a cognac glass or enjoyed chilled. In the Zwack family distillery in Budapest, Unicum is aged in large oak casks before being bottled in the distinctive round bottle that has been a hallmark of this historic brand for nearly two hundred years. Still in family hands after six generations, Unicum in Hungary is not just a drink but a national treasure. On the 1st of June the courtyard of this legendary factory will open its gates for the visitors. Once you are there, Zwack Museum is unmissable.
And how are the wines coming here?
Péter Zwack, the leader of the company until his death in 2012 was a most intelligent man – he also held the position of the ambassador of Hungary in the United States for a while. He also lived in Italy with his second wife and two children, Sándor and Izabella. The family developed a subtle taste for fine wines, therefore upon their returning to Hungary it was obvious that wine will play an important role in the family business. Now Sándor Zwack is the leader of the Zwack spirit brand, and Izabella Zwack is in charge of the wine selection of the company. They have a quality winery in Tokaj called Dobogó Winery, while Zwack Izabella Borkereskedés is a wine store offering mainly artisan wines from carefully selected wine producers of Hungary. At the tasting on 1 June their portfolio will be presented by 14 winemakers pouring 50 wines. You can discover less known winemakers, like the young Miklós Tamás Rácz from Villány or Gabriella Palkó from Tokaj, but there will also be iconic wineries like József Bock from Villány Bock Cellar. Bock Cuvée is the cellar’s flagship wine, a cuvee of Bordeaux wines: Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Merlot (10%). It is matured first for 24 months in new, small oak barrels after which it develops further for at least another year in bottles. Characterized by shades of deep dark red tending to crimson. It is a velvety, full-bodied wine: in its bouquet can be sensed ripe cherries and tobacco, while in flavour chocolate and vanilla appear alongside overripe fruit.
Where, when and how much?
The venue is within easy reach from the centre of Budapest (1095 Budapest, Soroksári út 26.) by tram from the Pest side of Petőfi Bridge.
Ticket costs 6500 HUF (20.50 euros) and include unlimited tasting and a bottle of fresh white wine (Zenit & Irsai Olivér) by Kislaki Wine Manufacture from Géza Légli in South Balaton wine region. The event is from 16.00 to 21.00.