We’ve been living it up in Central Europe, having fun in Austria and Hungary, whilst we’ve walked miles and ticked off plenty of sights and artworks from our list, we did find some time to eat and drink well too. I didn’t expect Budapest to be a centre of fine dining, but we found some great places to eat.
If you get the chance to try the taste sensation that is cold sour cherry soup with sour cream ice cream at Aszu, then do, your taste buds will thank you (other soups are available, and delicious). The staff at Bouchon are a delight and their Tokai grape salad is too. We had this bottle of St Andrea Aldas Egri Bikaver ’15 there.
I remember Hungarian Bull’s Blood wine from my youth. Sam’s 8 ’til Late Supermarket sold bottles of it at about the same price of a strawberry jelly, a tin of tuna and a pack of Super Noodles, the latter two of which could be blended together to create a fine meal to serve with your equally fine bottle of Bull’s Blood. There was a small chance that your tongue, lips and mouth could be stained deep red for 24 hours, I guess your insides could be too, by Sam’s fine wine labelled “Bull’s Blood, Hungary”.
St Andrea may be a similar rape blend, but it’s a different wine. Slightly lighter in colour and much less opaque. It smelled almost Italian, with lots of fruit and something almost meaty, not so much actual bull as a little Bovril. It was just dry with a medium acidity that had just a hint of balsamic about it. The tannins were soft.
It tasted fruity, fresh black fruits, lots of plums and damsons with a little red fruit at the top. There was a cinnamon like spice at the end. The alcohol level was on the high side, but it didn’t dominate, the fruitiness carried it along.
W happily ordered another bottle at a different restaurant on another evening, and it was good, the only difference we noticed was that sitting outside in a candle lit area with white cloths and white umbrellas above us the wine looked brighter.
There don’t seem to be any retailers selling St Andrea Aldas Egri Bikaver in the UK, which is a shame, as I’d have picked up a bottle or two for home, but as we all already know, it wouldn’t be quite the same on a day when I’ve been at work and tangling with traffic. Wine always tastes better in its home country, particularly after a relaxed day of new galleries, churches and parks.