RKS Wine: Hot For Hungary? Drinking outside the box

Hungarian wine dribbles into the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) at a slow pace. Shame.

While I enjoy the red Kéfrankos and the legendary Tokaji sweet white wine we really don’t see much more than that. This time it is a Zelna Bárka Red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Are we Barking up the right tree with this wine? At $23.95 it is quite pricey and is in the range of many lower priced Bordeaux reds.

It is black cherry in colour. On the nose a solid hit of blueberry, black cherry and blackberry. On the palate the tannins are mild and the acids are under control. You get on the palate what you get on the nose. A moderately long finish. All said and done a very good wine but considering its provenance a bit pricey which might frighten those looking for something different. I would think this wine would suit both a Mushroom or a Beef Wellington both very rich dishes. Drink until 2025 with its sweet spot being in 2023.It is organic.

Hungary was, of course, part of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire and as such has a long and noble wine tradition. Its communist period saw no great innovations in its industry but let’s excuse this blip for a country that has been producing wine since at least Roman times. In comparison Canada is the newbie on the wine block and not Hungary. Hungary ranks 15th amongst wine producing countries and Hungarians drink an average of 21 litres of wine per person annually. Canada by comparison ranks 16th amongst wine producing countries with the average consumption of 16.7 litres of wine per person.

Don’t gloss over Hungarian wine and hope we see more of it. It might be time to get that California monkey off our back.

(Zelna Bárka Vörös Cuvée 2017, Zelna, Laposteki, Hungary, $23.95, LCBO # 18463, 750 mL, 14%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 92/100).

Published by Robert K Sephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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