A Wine story

 

A Glass of Köverszőlő

 by Krzysztof Mróz

 There is one absolutely specific kind of journey that can be made still without moving from a comfortable armchair. No ticket is needed for it, no reservations planned well in advance. Just being relaxed, in a good company; or sinking into some mellow melancholy when listening to Beethoven's grandiose music, or Mahler's... or any other intelligent one that you like is all that's required. Wine offers such a journey! You take a glass of a subtle French Pinot Noir or a vibrant Spanish Verdejo, and within a minute you go into a different place – different than, for example, a place where it is windy or rainy sometimes, almost always not too warm, (that must be openly said); Scotland. Amazing travels may be done when you raise in your hand a glass of that noble drink! However, drinking winein its birthplace will always give a double pleasure. You will surely hear from many a wine amateur that a wine may be perfectly tasteful solely when savoured in the place of its origin.

a wine storyI could experience myself this unique truth about the nature of wine when I once went to Tokaji, a reputable wine region in Hungary. This north-eastern corner of the curious country of the Magyars – a solitary Asian nation who centuries ago settled in the very centre of the European continent – is a picturesque countryside crossed by the sleepily flowing river Bodrog, with its tiny towns and villages situated among the green hills and valleys, and painting altogether a quiet provincial scenery. It is the home of the very peculiar variety Furmint. What Riesling is for Rhineland or Merlot for the Bordeaux region, Furmint is for Tokaji indeed, as it gives substance to the eminent sweet wine of a beautiful golden colour, to which the region itself gave its name. This glorious Tokay was praised by Louis XV who called it 'the wine of the kings, the king of the wines'. No other wine, undoubtedly, has such a recommendation! This truly royal wine is a story in itself. And certainly tasting Tokays (as there are several 'levels' of Tokaji Aszù from 3 to 6;as far as Tokaji Essenzia) just there, in the caves of its many artisan winemakers is an incredible experience: the cold and humid caves cut into the hills of irregular shapes, being all of volcanic origines, provide the unique decoration for the so rich and artful flavours of the Tokays.

But, in my memory, I preciously keep another wine tasting that I had a the fantastic pleasure to make during my excursion to the birthplace of the prime and emblematic Hungarian wine. And that was not upon a late afternoon – little by little transforming into dusk, and then night, when the contemplation of Tokays is at that point absorbing – but in the morning, a lazy Sunday morning. There I enjoyed the tasting of a delicious and very delicate wine, still a sweet one, made uniquely from the rare variety Köverszőlő, produced by a small boutique winery which is entirely exceptional because of its owner: a woman, something quite uncommon in the masculine world of oenoculture! Sarolta Bàrdos is a charming lady in her mid thirties, and the poetical mildness of her feminine figure and character emanates from the lovely content of the bottles that she stores in her cave before setting them on the way to the wine amateurs in a few places across Europe. Mineral taste and flowers notes found a perfect balance in that wine. You may say: aless generous taste than the richness of those splendid famous Tokays. I instead will say: an amiable jazzy taste which fits to some creamy notes of a nice brunch. Why not?; and you will not find in a wine anywhere else such a combination of simplicity and elegance, latent energy and indulgence! Oh, it was so good, purely delightful tasted there, just a hundred metres perhaps from the soil where it had been born! A Lovely mid-spring Sunday morning on the outskirts of the historic town of Tokaji; pretty, not too modern  aproperty; Sarolta and her little daughter in arms; and that so lovable Köverszőlő! The Tokaji region seen and tasted from its modest yet unique side!

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Date last modified: Fri 27th February 2015