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Mar 18, 2013 07:59 PM

Help! Hungarian menu - wine pairings??

A friend is organising a birthday party for her boyfriend. He has Hungarian ancestry, so she is making a Hungarian menu, as follows:

Cold plate (winter salami slice, curd cheese spread /körözött/, pork cracklings /töpörtyű/ with red onion garden salad, and eggplant cream

Cold blueberry soup (with hungarian acacia honey)

Pancake Hortobágy style

Buns with cocoa

She has asked me to help with wine pairings, but I have little experience with the above dishes so am slightly lost. Any help would be much appreciated!!

Thank you.

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  1. Assuming you want Hungarian wine:
    With the starter, I would recommend Tokaji Furmint--a slightly off-dry white that resembles Chenin Blanc. (If you stretch Hungary to include what was Austro-Hungary, then a Gruner Veltiner from Austria.)
    Nothing with the soup.
    With the pancake (which is meat filled), Egri Bikaver from Hungary or Blaufrankish from Austria.
    For dessert, Tokaji Aszú, preferably 4 Puttonyos, which can be very expensive so if you can find 3 Puttanyos, I think that would be fine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Thank you very much!

      I would love Hungarian wine, but am not sure if it is available here (I live in Japan). Of course they have Tokaji Aszu (anything from 3 to 6 puttonyos), but that's about it I think, unless the Hungarian embassy can help. For the pancake, Blaufraenkisch is a great idea. One of my favourite grape varieties, no idea why I didn't think of it, thanks for the tip! They do have quite a lot of Blaufraenkisch from Austria here, I'll go for a Moric.

      I still have a dry Furmint I brought back from my last European trip so will bring that. I thought with the starter cold cuts something like a simple Hungarian Zweigelt would work, like Raspi's. Or an Austrian. But, again, availability might be an issue. They have tons of Gruner Veltliner here though, which is a great idea - also hadn't thought about that so thank you for reminding me of this great grape variety.

      Can you think of any international grape varieties that would work well if I cannot find the Hungarian wines?

      1. re: Asomaniac

        Well, it's sort of tough to advise since I have no idea what's available in Japan--but here's some "international grape varieties" for the courses:
        1) Riesling (and actually, I think a junmai sake would work, too!)
        2) no wine that I can think of with the soup
        3) Moric is a great maker but if you want something else, maybe a syrah/grenache Rhone type wine
        4) dessert, why not an off-dry sparkling wine?

        1. re: penthouse pup

          These all sound good, thank you!

          The way I wrote about availability of wine here may have been misleading - Tokyo has the best selection of wine from an incredibly broad range of global wine regions I have seen anywhere in the world - certainly better than London or New York, which are pretty good, and definitely better than in most great wine regions, becasue those focus on their own wines, have an unparalleled selection but their selection of the rest of the world tends to be less impressive. Some specialist shops here blow my mind, like two shops (unrelated to each other) which just sell German Rieslings, includging gems from vintages from 1915 onwards..

          However, Hungarian wine other than Tokaji Aszu is pretty obscure from most consumers' perspectives (it shouldn't be, but it is), so I was worried about availability here. In Europe, I would expect to find pockets of it because of Hungarian immigrants, but there aren't many in Tokyo. Having said that, I have in the meantime done some research and got help from the Japan chowhound board, and it turns out that there is plenty of availability here!