Exclusivity, outstanding cuisine, exceptional flavours and magical food are the essentials of Michelin star restaurants. The menus are as well composed as a Mozart symphony with wines that are perfectly matched to the cuisine. Knowing as we do that Hungarian wines of the highest quality most certainly do exist, it’s no surprise to find some of them on the wine lists of fine-dining restaurants.
We delve a little deeper and found Hungarian gems at the top of the culinary league table, on three Michelin star restaurants’ menus in London and New York.
The Fat Duck’s Hungarian Selection
Voted Number 1 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2005, rated with three Michelin stars, hallmarked with Heston Blumenthal’s world-famous culinary knowledge, it’s fair to say that it’s an honour to be on the Chubby Poultry, sorry, the playful, inventive and experimental Fat Duck’s wine menu.
Badacsonyi Kéknyelű, Huba Szeremley, 2005
Kéknyelű (“Blue Stalk”) is an indigenous and very rare white grape variety, today only planted in the Badacsony area of Hungary, near the shores of Lake Balaton. A really unusual aroma and taste – dry, crisp acidity, high mineral character, notes of gun powder with a light floral, white blossom touch.
Irsai Olivér, Garamvári Szőlőbirtok, 2010
Irsai Olivér is a fine wine with an aroma and bouquet reminiscent of Muscat.
Tokaji Hárslevelű, Király, Szepsy, 2008
A brilliantly balanced wine, seamlessly combining enduring ripe yellow fruit perfumes and flavours with a delicate velvety texture and a delicious minerally crisp elegance.
Tokaji Furmint, Urbán, Szepsy, 2007
Superb structure, higher than usual though not overpowering acidity, which expands the rich flavour profile. Tight, powerful and dense.
Per Se’s Magyar Menu
The restaurant is legendary chef Thomas Keller’s second 3 Michelin-starred property in New York. The chef has won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation, notably the Best California Chef in 1996, and the Best Chef in America in 1997. The restaurant is a perennial winner in the annual Restaurant Magazine list of the Top 50 Restaurants of the World.
Királyudvar, Tokaji Furmint Sec, 2012
This innovative dry wine wonderously balances Furmint’s viscous intensity and bright acidity.
Királyudvar, “Lapis Vineyard,” Tokaji Aszú, 6 puttonyos, 2005
The Lapis vineyard is one of Tokaji’s Grand Cru vineyards sites. Its dessert wine, produced only in exceptional years, rivals the greatest Sauternes.
Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester’s Hungarian wine list
Ducasse is also only one of two chefs to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career and became the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three cities. We always look for Hungarian wines on foreign wine lists, do you?
Tokaji Furmint Betsek, Szepsy 2011
Bright lemon-yellow color. Aromas of grapefruit pith, smoke, crushed stone and flint, lifted by a lavender topnote. Penetrating, juicy and very dry, but with plenty of supporting body.
Szamorodni, Szepsy 2009
Aromas of apricot, bitter orange peel and honey-roasted nuts. Very sweet and glyceral, with a flavor of apricot nectar joined by notes of walnut and almond. Extremely rich wine with ripe, harmonious acidity.
6 Puttonyos Aszú , Szepsy 2006
Wild aromas of dried apricot, pineapple, quince, white raisin, honeycomb and toffee, lifted by a floral topnote. The slowly building, endless finish features great palate-cleansing minerality.
5 Puttonyos Aszú, Disznókő 2006
Intense and elegant at once, this is smooth, harmonious and vibrant. The citrus pate de fruit, apple and lemon candy flavors are long and permeating.
5 Puttonyos Aszú, CHÂTEAU Pajzos 1993
This honeyed, late-harvest white offers a lush, pillowy texture and rich flavors of dried apricots, toffee and vanilla. It’s very sweet, yet quite fresh and still lively.