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Past Events @The Tasting Table

Thursdays @The Tasting Table

Winemaker dinner with Ádám Molnár from Bardon Winery (Tokaj)
Thursday July 27th

In the heart of the summer, we love to drink Tokaj wine. So we’ve invited winemaker/ estate manager Ádám Molnár from Bardon Winery as our guest this week. Bardon is located in the village of Erdőbénye—a special place in the middle of the Tokaj wine region, surrounded by forests. The winery owns nine hectares of vineyards and was founded in 2007 with the mission of making dry and crisply elegant white wines, along with the some of the traditional Tokaji sweet wines like szamorodni and aszú. Ádám will introduce us to a number of Bardon’s wines, starting with the single varietal furmint and hárslevelű, followed by different vintages of the blends Alpha and Omega. We’ll finish on a sweet note with special tastes of their sweet szamorodni and aszú, which are from vintage 2013 and have not been released yet. Ádám has traveled around the world as a student of winemaking, working vintages in vineyards from Burgundy to New Zealand. He’ll share some of his international wine adventures with us, and relate how he brought home what he learned abroad to apply here at home in Hungary. Of course, he’ll also introduce us to life in the beautiful village of Erdőbénye, the different vineyards which Bardon works (like Lapis, Meszes, and Sarkad), and the various types of wines made in Tokaj. In our open kitchen Chef Tamás will be preparing dinner to match these food-friendly wines. Join us for another special evening of learning, tasting some special wines, and enjoying a great dinner with new friends!

Salad with duck breast, balsamic vinaigrette, and berries
Crispy pork belly with layered potatoes, mushrooms, and spinach
Gerbeaud torta

Bardon Meszes Furmint, 2015
Bardon Hárslevelű, 2015
Bardon Alpha, 2013
Bardon Alpha, 2012
Bardon Omega, 2012
Bardon Szamorodni, 2013
Bardon Aszú, 2013

Thursdays @The Tasting Table

Winemaker Dinner with Tamás Kovacs of Szent Donát Winery (Balaton)
Thursday July 13th, 7pm

When it’s summer in Hungary thoughts (including ours) turn to Balaton. So we’ve invited Tamas Kovács, the young winemaker from Szent Donát Winery in Csopak, a lovely village on the northern side of the lake. We are excited to bring this iconic Hungarian lake and its vineyards closer by welcoming Tamas at The Tasting Table. His family has deep roots at Lake Balaton and the nearby Káli Basin region, having been involved in making wine there for centuries. His own winery was founded in 2001, and it has grown to include more than ten hectares of vineyards in Csopak and on the nearby Tihány Peninsula (which is famed for its fields of lavender). The winery produces 25,000 to 30,000 bottles a year, and is considered to be amongst one of the best in the region (and the country), particularly noted for its Olaszrizlings (Welschriesling). What we especially love about Szent Donát is that it focuses on the old school varietals of Csopak, and it makes a number of terroir-based wines from the signature varietal of the region: Olaszrizling. Olaszrizling is the most widely planted white grape in Hungary, and it’s also a wine which we wish more winemakers would take seriously. For Hungarians it is associated with Northern Balaton, long summers at the lake, and drinking fröccs (spritzers) in the sun. Szent Donát’s wines prove that there is much to appreciate about this terroir, and that Olaszrizling can be much more complex than the easy-drinking summer wine it’s often categorized as. Tonight chef Tamás will also bring the Balaton feeling to the kitchen. We’ll start with chilled fruit soup, another Hungarian summertime favorite. And we’ll feast on fogas, Hungary’s delicious pike perch (served with Olaszrizling sauce and seasonal vegetables). Join us for this special evening of learning about (and tasting) Balaton, and getting to know Olaszrizling through one of its winemakers who does it best.

Cold fruit soup
Whole baked fogas (pike perch) with spinach, mushroom, potatoes, and Olaszrizling sauce
Linzer with cream cheese and summer berries

Csopak Olaszrizling, 2015
Meszes Olaszrizling, 2015
Márga Furmint, 2015
Slikker Olaszrizling, 2015
Kishegy Olaszrizling, 2015
Magma Kékfrankos, 2015

 Winemaker Dinner with Kreinbacher Winery (Somló)

Thursday June 29th, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with Kreinbacher Winery (Somló)

“These are wines of consequence; demanding and authoritative. The best can age for decades,” writes John Szabo, a Canadian-Hungarian Master Sommelier, about Somló wines in his recently published Volcanic Wines book. Tonight we will taste some of these wines with Kreinbacher Winery, one of Somló’s largest. Kreinbacher was founded in the early 2000s and now own 40 hectares of vineyards on Somló hill (which is a rarity in this region where most producers work on just a few hectares). Somló’s history started four to five million years ago when solidified volcanic lava emerged from the soil of the ancient dried-out Pannonian Sea, creating a basalt hill made of steel-hard volcanic rock. This is today’s Somló hill, which sticks out from the rest of the landscape because of it’s flat cap. Its hillsides are covered with vineyards and small houses, mainly used as weekend houses for the vineyard owners. There are just a handful of permanent residents. In addition to making lovely versions of signature Somló varietals like furmint, juhfark, tramini, and olaszrizling, Kreinbacher has also become well-known for some its wines which are not typical of the region. Its syrah (one of the few reds made on the hill) has been widely praised, and lately Kreinbacher has been in the limelight for its traditional method sparkling wines (made with the help of a French consultant from Champagne). This sparkling wine is a favorite at The Tasting Table, and we are in full agreement (with many others) that it’s probably Hungary’s best sparkling wine. We’ll taste these delicious bubbles, among others. For dinner tonight, Chef Tamás will be highlighting some of our wonderful local cheese with a special cheese menu. Join us to taste these beautiful volcanic wines, and to learn about the Somló region from the perspective of its largest winery.

Cheese soup with croutons and paprika salsa
Trio of grilled gomolya trio (natural, smoked, and sheep-mil) over a mixed salad
Buttermilk cake

Brut Classic NV
Furmint 2015
Juhfark 2015
Öreg tőkék bora 2008
Syrah 2013
Prestige Brut Magnum 2011

 All About Furmint: Master Class and Tasting with Wine Writer Robert Smyth

Thursday June 15th, 7pm
All About Furmint: Master Class and Tasting with Wine Writer Robert Smyth

Join us as wine writer Robert Smyth, author of the book Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World, introduces furmint, one of the flagship wines of Hungary. Hungarians have always loved furmint, but these days it’s more popular than ever. It grows in several regions in Hungary (as well as in other nearby countries), but really dominates in Tokaj and Somló. We’ll taste several furmints in various styles from these two regions, as well as one from Northern Balaton, where it grows in small quantities. Robert will explain how furmint’s characteristics—being a late-ripening varietal with sharp acidity and strong tannins—make it excellent for sweet wine production (it is the backbone of the world famous aszú, Hungary’s famed sweet wine). As one of Hungary’s leading wine writers, Robert has tasted countless furmints, and has seen how styles have evolved over the years as dry furmint has boomed in popularity. The real beauty of furmint is its versatility. It’s a grape that can result in very different wines depending on its terroir, when it was harvested, the winemaking process, and its aging. Some furmints have crisp acidity and grapefruit aromas, making them perfect aperitifs. Furmint can also result in medium-bodied, oak-aged wines which go well with roasts or stews. In Somló’s volcanic soil, furmint makes a heavier wine with flinty aromas that recall the smell of wet stones after it rains. Tonight we’ll sample a range of these furmint styles, as Robert explains why this year has been dubbed “the year of furmint” in Hungary.

A variety of local cheese, charcuterie, and tapas

8 Furmints from Tokaj, Somló, and Balaton

Winemaker Dinner with Jackfall Winery (Villány)

Thursday May 4th, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with Jackfall Winery (Villány)

While the name Jackfall might suggest a big winery in California, Australia, or some other English-speaking country, the name Jackfall is actually the old Swabian name of the Kisjakabfalva village, located in the Villány region. Tonight we welcome the Jackfall Winery as our guests. Owner Gábor Jandrasics and winemaker András Koszeli will join us to present the winery, the region, and a selection of their wonderfully elegant wines (to accompany the meal prepared by chef Tamas). Founded in 2001, the winery took the name Jackfall (pronounced Yaackfahl), and now works on more than 13 hectares of vineyards. This southernmost Hungarian wine region is known for its elegant full-bodied red wines, particularly Bordeaux varietals and blends. Jackfall produces about 100,000 bottles of wine annually, in a wide range of styles from light chardonnay and crisp rosé to elegant Portugieser and heavier reds like cabernets and merlots. Winemaking in Villány actually traces back to the ancient Roman times, but the region’s modern wine culture goes back to the German-speaking settlers sent here in the 1700s by Maria Theresa. Many of the descendants of these settlers still live in the region, and some are winemakers—like József Bock, who was actually born in the house where the Jackfall winery is located today, who became one of the pioneers of modern-day Hungarian winemaking in the 1990s after the fall of Communism. Join us for an evening of good food and Villány wines from Jackfall!

Guinea fowl consommé with vegetables
Roasted pork tenderloin, egg barley with lecsó, and pickles
Plum pie

Prémium Chardonnay 2015
Classicus Rozé 2016
Prémium Portugieser 2013
Prémium Grand 2009
Classicus Villányi Syrah 2012
Prémium Pillangó (Cab Sauvignon) 2009

Hungarian Craft Beer Pairing Dinner

Thursday May 18th, 7pm
Hungarian Craft Beer Pairing Dinner

We talk a lot about Hungarian wine, and not enough about another exciting part of the drink scene in Hungary—the rise of craft beer. While big name beer companies dominate the market, drinking beer in Hungary has become more interesting because of the recent boom in small-scale brewing. Our beer expert (who also guides our beer tours and leads beer tastings at The Tasting Table), Carsten Olm, is our guest tonight. He has immersed himself not only in all aspects of the local beer scene—like knowing all of the best beer joints and the latest product releases—but also in the science of beer brewing (he’s a home brewer). Carsten will introduce us to nine really special local beers which are barely found outside of Budapest. In addition to telling us about how this craft beer revolution started in Hungary, he’ll also go into some background about beer production and methods, the differences between styles, and unusual ingredients (such as coffee and Tokaji aszú). There are micro-breweries across the country, too many craft beers to count, craft beer festivals, bars (and trucks) dedicated to craft beer, and legions of loyal fans. There’s everything from pale ale, stout, and wheat beer to a variety of fruit beers and local specialties. By the end of the evening you’ll have a good understanding about how this all happened. You’ll be able to answer the questions: how is beer made, what makes good beer, and who makes good beer in Hungary? Wine and food pairing gets plenty of attention, and tonight chef Tamás will prepare us a meal proving that beer and food pairing is an equally exciting idea.

Selection of sausage (white, chorizo, mini Debreceni) with mustard, horseradish, bread, and arugula salad
Crispy beer roasted pork tenderloin, sage roasted potatoes, roasted tomatoes and fennel
Chocolate linzer cake with tonka beans and berry sauce

Hedon Vertigo (lager with Amarillo hops)
Horizont Japanese Wheat (German style wheat beer with Japanese Sorachi Ace hops)
Hedon Credo (IPA, SMaSH — single malt and single hop)
Legenda Sour Trois Cuvée (sour beer)
Coffee beer (TBA)
Hedon Charlie Firpo (rye APA)
MONYO Black Alligator (dark Saison with alligator pepper)
Horizont Vanilla Milk Porter
Imperial Stout (TBA)

 Winemaker Dinner with Krisztina Csetvei (Mór)

Thursday June 1st, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with Krisztina Csetvei (Mór)

Northwest Hungary holds some of Hungary’s smallest wine regions—namely Somló, Etyek, Pannonhalma, and Mór—and this week we’ll be focusing on the tiny Mór region. Though Mór is only about an hours drive from Budapest, in the rolling Transdanubian hills, it’s still little-known (even in Hungary). This week we are welcoming our first-ever winemaker from this region, Krisztina Csetvei, who is seen as one of the region’s rising stars. In her previous life Krisztina studied engineering and business, and had a short and successful corporate career. In 2011 she decided to follow her passion for wine and started a winery in Mór which is now in its fifth harvest. Chef Tamás has long been telling us about the big feasts he cooks for Krisztina at an annual party at her cellar in Mór.. Mór is a largely white wine producing region, and Tamás likes to prepare light dishes that really let the wine shine. As we taste six of Krisztina’s wines—including ezerjó, the flagship wine of this obscure region—she’ll tell us the story of what it takes to build a winery from scratch, and why she chose to do it in the Mór region. If you never heard of these grapes, come and join us to taste and learn about these local curiosities!

Asparagus salad with herbs
Roasted chicken with tarragon butter and lime, new potatoes and chives
Vargabéles cake

Móri Királyleányka 2015
Móri Ezerjó 2015
Móri Chardonnay 2015
Móri Szürkebarát 2015
Napholdcsillag 2015
Nagy-Somlói Olaszrizling 2015

Blind wine tasting dinner

Thursday March 9th, 7pm
Dinner and Blind Wine Tasting with Wine Writer Daniel Ercsey

Join us for an evening devoted to Central European wines with one of Hungary’s leading wine writers, Dániel Ercsey. Dániel has a special interest in wines from the entire Central European region, and he is a fantastic storyteller. He travels widely (and often) throughout the region to research and write articles for his award-winning web site, Wine Sofa, among others. Tonight we will serve eight wines—two furmints, two olaszrizlings, two kékfrankos, and two sweet wines (plus a few surprises)—along with a meal prepared by chef Tamás. To illustrate the many unique terroirs in this part of the world, we’ll serve the wine blind in pairs. Each pair will include one Hungarian wine next to a wine made from the same grape from another Central European country. By drinking wines made from the same grape varietal from two different countries, you’ll taste both the differences and the similarities in them. Just as the histories and cultures of Central and Eastern European countries are so often interconnected, so too are the grape varieties, the winemaking traditions, and the styles. Daniel will tell us about the wines we are drinking, the regions where they originated, and the winemakers who made them. He’ll also reveal the inspiration behind Wine Sofa, as well as stories from his travels (including his long kayaking wine journeys). Daniel is also a co-author of The Great Hungarian Wine Atlas, has contributed to many other wine publications, and is a frequent judge at international wine competitions.

Smoked trout with horseradish sauce and green salad
Lamb paprika with sztrapacska
“Emperor’s crumbs” with apricot sauce

Blind pairings will include:
2 furmints
2 olaszrizlings
2 kékfrankos
2 sweet wines

Winemaker Dinner with Erzsébet Winery

Thursday March 23rd, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with Erzsébet Winery (Tokaj)

Though Tokaj is famed for its sweet wines, but it’s a region with more intricacies than practically any other region in the world, and is becoming increasingly appreciated for its dry furmints. Hajni Prácser, from Erzsébet Pince, is one of the best people from Tokaj to explain these layers of detail, which have been evolving over centuries. Erzsébet is one of Tokaj’s leading small wineries. It’s a true family-affair, run by Hajni, her brother (Miki), and their parents. It also doesn’t hurt that Hajni’s husband is a Master of Wine and a Master Sommelier, who helps behind the scenes. While Hajni sells the wine, Miki is busy in the mould-covered cellar making the wine, and their parents (Miklós Sr. and Erzsébet) reign over the vineyards. Both siblings are well-traveled, but decided to remain in their hometown to focus on making top-notch wine and build the family business. Hajni will present a selection of her family’s wines (ranging from dry to sweet), while chef Tamás prepares a meal to complement these extraordinary volcanic wines. Erzsébet Pince is located in the center of Tokaj, in an 18th century building which once belonged to a Russian wine merchant. Their wonderful cellar is a magical place, filled with bottles in all shades of gold. Hajni is an exceptional storyteller who is talented at converting wine drinkers to Tokaj lovers. She’ll introduce the region and the terroir, while telling us her family’s story and explaining the winemaking process in Tokaj, including all of the aspects that make it so unique in the world of wine.

Chicken liver paté with pistachios and green salad
Roasted mangalica with potatoes and roasted vegetables
Rákóczi túrós (Hungarian pastry with curd cheese, meringue, and apricot jam)

Lunée 2015
Zafír 2011
Zafír 2012
Betsek 2014
Fordítás 2013
Tokaji aszú 6 puttonyos 2010

Winemaker Dinner with St. Andrea Winery (Eger)

Thursday April 6th, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with St. Andrea Winery (Eger)

There are iconic winemakers, wines, and wineries in every country. These icons are important because they set high standards both for winemakers and consumers. Icons play a big role in inspiring travelers to come visit, and they can really boost the development of an emerging region. One such example in Hungary is the St. Andrea winery in Eger and its winemaker, György Lőrincz Sr. The winery and winemaker are icons, and so are many of their wines. For those who live in Hungary, the names of St. Andrea’s wines—such as Napbor, Áldás, and Merengő—are instantly familiar. They have become iconic labels that set standards and expectations high. Tonight György Lőrincz Jr. will present the family’s wines and tell their stories. György is one of those young winemakers who set out for years of traveling and making wine around the world, and then returned to Hungary to rediscover his heritage and work full-time at the winery. We’ll learn about these iconic wines straight from the source. He’ll tell us about Eger’s famed red wine blend, Bull’s Blood, and it’s newer white wine blend, Egri Csillag. He’ll also explain the history of winemaking in Eger, and tell us why it is once again on the rise. Easter is approaching and chef Tamás will prepare a Hungarian Easter-themed lamb dinner. Join us to taste some of Hungary’s most sought-after wines, introduced by one of the country’s most promising young winemakers.

Selection of local ham (dried, cured, and boiled) with horseradish cream and smoked quail eggs
Roasted leg of lamb with anchovies and rosemary, rosemary potatoes, roasted tomatoes and zucchini
Chocolate linzer cake with tonka beans and berry sauce

Pinot noir

Winemaker Dinner with Somlói Vándor Winery (Winemaker Tamás Kis) from Somló

Thursday April 20th, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with Somlói Vándor Winery (Winemaker Tamás Kis) from Somló

We first met Tamás Kis several years ago when he was an assistant winemaker at St. Andrea Winery in Eger. As he masterfully discussed the Eger region, he revealed his dream of starting a boutique cellar in a very different wine region. He wanted to make wine in Somló—his favorite region in Hungary—and it didn’t take him too long to realize his dream. Tamás made his first barrel of wine in Somló in 2010, and has increased the quantity every year since. He split his time between Somló and Eger for years, which is how he came up with his winery’s name—Somlói Vándor translates as “The Wanderer of Somló.” The region is Hungary’s second smallest wine region, and it pretty much comprises one vineyard-covered hill. Somlói Vándor is a promising winery to watch. Somló produces some of Hungary’s most exciting wines, yet it’s also a region which is steeped in traditions. Somló is one of the two volcanic Hungarian regions where furmint is a dominant grape variety (Tokaj is the other). It’s also home to unique local grapes like olaszrizling (welschriesling), juhfark, and hárslevelű. Though almost exclusively white wines are produced in Somló, don’t assume that these are lightweight wines! These are full-bodied and complex wines. With their heavy minerality and sharp acidity, these wines stand up to the roasted duck which chef Tamás will serve. Join us to learn about this undiscovered terroir with winemaker Tamás Kis, while tasting wines from his portfolio.

Duck breast salad with balsamic vinaigrette and berries
Rabbit in game sauce with bread pudding
Aranygaluska (yeast-raised dumplings) with wine sauce

Sauvignon blanc 2015
Hárslevelű 2015
Furmint 2015
Olaszrizling 2015
Juhfark 2015
Kabar 2015

Thursdays @The Tasting Table

Thursday March 17th, 7pm
Hungarian Spirits Tasting (with Cheese & Charcuterie) with Attila Petzold (Brill Pálinka Distillery)

This week will be devoted to Hungarian spirits. We’ll taste a variety of Hungarian spirits, and learn about pálinka expert Attila Petzold, who will bring a selection of pálinka from the Brill Distillery for us to sample. We will top off the tasting with three special small-batch whiskys from Scotland (12-18 years old), which have been aged in Tokaji casks. Our artisan cheese and charcuterie boards will be served with the tasting.

Thursdays @The Tasting Table

Thursday March 31st, 7pm
Tasting and Dinner with Winemaker Willi Opitz (Burgenland, Austria)

Willi Opitz has hosted a sitting US president (Bill Clinton) at his winery, and Formula One champion Kimmi Raikönnen is a regular guest. Located in Illmitz, a tiny town on the eastern shore of Austria’s Lake Neusidler, the success of Opitz’ winery is not just due to the quality of his wines, but to his charming personality. Opitz (who is somewhat of a celebrity winemaker in Austria) will join us to present his wines, tell us about the unique Burgenland terroir, and share some fascinating stories about his career in wine (which includes also managing wineries in Romania and Spain).

A selection of Opitz wines from Austria (including Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner, and Ausbruch), as well as samples from his Spanish and Romanian wineries.

Catfish paté with chives and salad
Pork loin, spätzle, porcini ragout
Apple strudel with ice cream

Thursdays @The Tasting Table

Thursday April 14th, 7pm
France Meets Hungary: Tasting and Dinner with Winemaker Samuel Tinon

How did a winemaker from a Bordeaux winemaking family end up living in Tokaj and making some of the finest sweet and traditional wines in the region? Samuel Tinon’s story has become one of the legends of Tokaj. He arrived in the early 1990s, along with first wave of foreign investors who came to rebuild the region after Communism ended. He has worked for many big wineries in the region, but his own wines—which can be found in Michelin-starred restaurants and fine wine shops in many countries—are made in small quantities from just five hectares of vineyards. His wines have the perfect balance between tradition and modernity, and he is known as the king of dry szamorodni. Though the szamorodni style has fallen out of style, Tinon has remained one of its few champions. Tinon also makes one of the best dry furmints in the region (though he was skeptical about making modern-style dry furmint for many years).

This will be a unique opportunity to taste Tinon’s wines (which are not sold at many places in Hungary), and learn about Tokaj from his perspective as an outsider who has become an iconic winemaker in the region. The menu will be a French-Hungarian dinner paired with Tinon’s wines.

The range of Tinon’s Tokaj wines, from dry furmint, to dry szamorodni, and the sweet aszús.

Escargot ragout with garlic and spinach
Ginger-crusted foie gras, celery mashed potatoes, baked apple
Gerbeaud cake

Thursdays @The Tasting Table

Thursday April 28th, 7pm
Natural Wine Tasting with Terra Hungarica, Seasonal Dinner

Winemaking is essentially a simple process, in which not much technology and chemistry is needed—you pick the grapes, crush them, collect the juice, and let it ferment. In other words, you allow its natural yeast turn the grape’s sugar into alcohol. However, just a fraction of the world’s winemakers allow the process to stay so simple (usually enzymes, cultured yeast, and sulphur are added in the winery, and fertilizers, and pesticides in the vineyard). Terra Hungarica is a movement, and a wine shop, focusing on these natural wines. It champions the philosophy, and has a growing profile of wineries abiding by it. Our guest, Peter Hajsz, is one of the founding members of Terra Hungarica, and he will guide us through the the Hungarian natural wine movement and introduce us to a few of the great wines that has come out of it.

6 natural from Terra Hungarica (from Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia)

Amuse bouche of ham and sweet onion
Ramp salad with honey, yogurt, and with walnuts
Lamb stew with “sztrapacska” (sheep cottage cheese with dumplings)
Forest fruit tart with vanilla ice cream

Thursday May 12, 7pm
Tasting and Dinner with Winemaker Michael Liszkay (Lake Balaton)

Lake Balaton, and the wine regions which surround it, is an iconic destination for summer fun and relaxation in Hungary. Of the many gorgeous places dotting the lake, one of the truly special is the Káli Basin on the northern side. This is where winemaker Michael Liszkay has his heavenly estate. The terroir is unique, and with the Káli Basin’s special micro-climate and volcanic soil, Liszkay produces more reds than whites. While that may seem unusual for Balaton, the area was once a primarily red wine growing region. After escaping Hungary in 1956 as a teenager, traveling the world as a pianist, and running restaurants and businesses in several countries, Liszkay returned to Hungary to settle and make his wine. As he pours his award-winning wines along with a Balaton-inspired spring dinner, Liszkay will tell us about winemaking in the Káli Basin, and about how he ended up in this special place.

A selection of wine from Michael Liszkay’s portfolio

Marinated strawberries
Asparagus with chervil mayonnaise, salad
Perch filet in Riesling sauce, spring vegetables
Chocolate brownie with berries

Thursday May 19, 7pm
New Israeli Wines, Hungarian Mezze

While evidence of wine production in Israel may date back millennia, its wine industry is a young but exciting one that’s just starting to acquire the know-how to express itself and the secrets of this ancient land. Israeli winemakers face a task of biblical proportions to channel fine wine from such a hot climate, but they are proving to be a creative lot who are more than up to the task. Come and join local wine writer Robert Smyth as he shares his experiences from his recent visit and presents some of his fine finds.

Around 10 Israeli wines, hand-picked by Robert

A variety of Hungarian mezze

Thursday June 23, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with the Hernyák Family (from Etyek), Summer Dinner

Etyek’s close proximity to Budapest makes it the perfect place to start exploring Hungarian wines. In Etyek, we have been enjoying the Hernyák family’s hospitality (and their wonderful wines) for many years. But this time, they are coming to us! Vali and Laci, the husband-wife pair who built the winery, will be our guests for the evening. They will introduce Etyek and their wines, and tell us the story of how ended up making wine (and brandy) at their beautiful boutique winery after immigrating here from war-torn Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. They will bring their wine for us to taste, including sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot gris, pinot blanc, and pinot noir. We are especially excited that they will be bringing their sparkling wine—which has not yet been released, and has been ageing on the lees for more than four years. It is made with the traditional method in cooperation with a family winery in Champagne. With dessert we will taste their brandy, which they distill at their estate in Etyek.

A selection of Henyák wine, and their brandy

Grilled peppers and feta cheese
Wild mushroom salad with Parmigian and parsley
Duck confit with summer cabbage and pasta
Strawberries with mascarpone


Thursday August 4, 7pm
Volcanic Wine with Robert Smyth, Mangalica Dinner

Join us as wine writer Robert Smyth, author of recently-published Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World, introduces the white wines of two of Hungary’s most distinctive volcanic wine regions, Badacsony and Somló. With its stunning volcanic landscape, basalt soils, distinctive indigenous grapes, choice lakeside setting on Lake Balaton’s northern shore, and gifted winemakers, Badacsony is a hot vinous destination any time of year. Not far, the Somló region also boasts basalt soils, a stunning volcanic panorama, and its own set of indigenous grapes. It is one of the smallest wine regions in Hungary but the slopes of Somló Hill produce some of the country’s biggest and most complex white wines. Badacsony possesses ideal conditions for making complex white wines of great drinkability, which have typically savoury ‘mineral’ character, vibrant acidity, and a wonderful combination of fruitiness and saltiness. Smyth will bring the dazzling and distinctive wines of two of the most exciting Badacsony talents, Szászi and Válibor. He will also contrast Badacsony with nearby Somló. We will introduce the Furmint and Hárslevelű of Somlói Vándor, made by Tamás Kis—one of the region’s hottest young prospects, as well as typically concentrated Olaszrizling from Kolonics and then a Juhfark by the mercurial Spiegelberg. Legend has it that drinking wines from the latter grape can help induce male offspring, and was apparently the favourite wine of Queen Victoria.

Since we’ll be tasting some truly unique wines from grapes which are grown practically nowhere else (Rózsakő, Budai Zöld, and Kéknyelű), we are pairing these wines with another special Hungarian delicacy—Mangalica pork. Our chef, Tamás, will be preparing a meal featuring Mangalica in every course! Join us for some delicious food, some stunning and rare wines presented by Robert Smyth, and good company.

Szászi, Olaszrizling, Szent György Hegy, Badacsony
Szászi, Rózsakő, Badacsony
Váli Péter, Budai Zöld, Badacsony
Váli Péter, Kéknyelű, Badacsony
Somlói Vándor, Furmint, Somló
Somlói Vándor, Hárslevelű, Somló
Spiegelberg, Wedding Night Wine, Somló
Koloniccs, Olaszrizling, Somló

Mangalica cracklings, mangalica cheeks, pickles and salad
Mangalica loin wrapped in ham, rosemary potatoes, fennel, and tomatoes
Hájastészta (similar to puff pastry, but prepared with Mangalica fat) with plum jam


Thursday August 18, 7pm
Introducing the Wines of Erdőbénye (in the Heart of Tokaj) with a Regional Zemplén Dinner

In celebration of the Bor, Mamor, Bénye Festival (Wine, Shine, Erdőbénye), held a few days before this tasting, we are focusing on the wines from the up-and-coming village of Erdőbénye, in the heart of the Tokaj region. The village is surrounded by the wooded Zemplén hills, and the main street is lined with elegant houses from the 19th and early 20th centuries, some of which were once owned by Armenian or Jewish wine merchants. Cooperage is an old trade here, and there are several coopers in the village who still make barrels by hand (from oak from the Zemplén hills) the traditional way. It has been called the most beautiful village in Hungary, and there’s a vast multi-level labyrinth of a wine cellar under the village (which is mostly unused), built by the Rákóczi family, Transylvanian royalty who came to this region in the late-16th century, acquired most of it, and played an important role in the region’s sweet winemaking history. Tasting Table owners, Carolyn and Gábor, have a house in Erdőbénye and spend a lot of time in there, tasting the wines and meeting the winemakers. Tonight Gábor will introduce the village’s wines, talk about its history and impressive wine pedigree, its terroir, its wineries, and its future. We’ll be tasting wines from five of the villages wineries, and chef Tamás will prepare a meal featuring regional dishes and ingredients.

Vayi Frizzante 2015
Bardon Hárslevelü 2012
Bardon Omega Ferment / Hárslevelü 2012
Karadi-Berger Palandor Furmint 2013
Karadi-Berger Dry Szamorodni 2010
Budaházy Fekete Kúria Hárslevelü 2013
Karadi-Berger Birtok Furmint 2007
Homonna Édes Hármas 2011

Grilled porcini mushrooms with grilled gomolya cheese (from Erdőbénye)
Wild boar pörkölt (stew) with polenta
Strudel with farmer cheese and dill

Nimrod Kovacs

Thursday September 1, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with Nimród Kovács from Eger

We say goodbye to the summer by introducing Eger—one of Hungary’s best-known wine regions—through the wines of Nimród Kovács, a Hungarian-American businessman, entrepreneur, and winemaker. Eger produces a good variety of whites (including furmint, chardonnay, and the Egri Csillag blend), but it is best known for its signature Bull’s Blood blend (Egri Bikavér). We are lucky to have Nimród as our special guest this evening, and with him we will taste a number of his iconic wines, including his award-winning chardonnay battonage, his Monopole reds, one of his top NJK label wines, and two of his Bikavérs. Nimród’s winery is now around 30 hectares in size and is one of the key players and pioneers of the region. It is also probably the most active winery from Eger on the international market. Throughout the course of the evening we’ll learn about the Eger terroir, the variety of wines produced there, and the winemaking history. Join us to taste these special wines in the company of Nimród, along with a wonderful meal prepared by our chef.

Grilled goat cheese with almonds and caramalized figs, green salad
Deer Ragu with prunes, truffles, dumplings
Chocolate cake with crumbled pecans and blueberries

Furmint Nagy-Eged 2013
Battonage Chardonnay 2012
Rhapsody 2012
Superior 2012
Soul 2012
NJK 2009

Esterhazy Winery

Thursday September 29, 7pm
Wine Dinner with Eszterházy Winery (Burgenland, Austria), Austrian-Inspired Dinner

If you’ve traveled around Hungary and Austria, the name Esterházy (or Eszterházy) will ring a bell. The Hungarian noble family has long been a part of the area’s history. During the times of the Habsburg Empire they were great landowners, and they were well known for their support (and employment of) composer Joseph Haydn. One of the most spectacular of the family’s many palaces is in Eisenstadt, Austria. Nearby, the Esterházy Winery is one of the top wineries in the Burgenland region. Owned by the Esterházy foundation, which manages the remaining properties of the family, the winery is situated in a beautiful modern building, surrounded by vineyards. Aristocratic families were known for their love of wine, and the history of the Esterházy family and wine goes back to at least the mid-18th century when Prince Paul II. Anton Esterházy’s wife had Pinot Noir vines from Burgundy planted at their Burgenland estate. Burgenland winemakers today are still creating beautiful pinot noirs next to their Blaufrankish and Zweigelt. Joseph Haydn even took part of his salary from the family in wine! Located in the very special Lake Neusiedl (Neusiedlersee) region, the Esterházy Winery makes diverse wines expressing the variety of soils and climates found in this region. Our guest from the Esterházy Winery will present seven different wines, and discuss the family’s fascinating history, the region, and the different wine styles and vineyards. Our chef Tamás will prepare an Austrian-inspired dinner to pair with these delicious wines.

Farmer cheese with pumpkin seed oil and brown bread
Smoked duck breast, grapes, plums, pine nuts, and salad
Eszterházy roast, potato dumplings, roasted vegetables
Eszterházy Torta

Esterházy Grüner Veltliner Sekt
Esterházy Estoras Grüner Veltliner
Esterházy Welschriesling
Esterházy Blaufrankisch
Esterházy Zweigelt
Esterházy Leithaberg Blaufrankisch
Esterházy Reed Wine/ Schilfwein (sweet wine)


Thursday October 14, 7pm
Stories & Spice: Paprika Dinner with the Molnár Family,
Paprika Manufacturers from Szeged

If there is one ingredient that Hungary is associated with, it is paprika. It is indispensable in any Hungarian kitchen and symbolizes Hungarian cuisine. It’s what gives some of the best-known Hungarian dishes—such as gulyás, pörkölt, and chicken paprikás—their brilliant orange color and intense peppery flavor. Our special guest this week is Anita Molnar, whose family has been producing paprika for generations in Szeged. Chef Tamás will prepare a dinner featuring paprika in every course, and Anita will tell us all about paprika—from how it arrived in Hungary in the 16th century and how it became so beloved, to how it is grown, dried, and transformed into Hungarian “red gold.” We’ll pair the meal with wines from around the country that can stand up to the paprika, and we’ll top the evening off with a taste of paprika pálinka!

“Paprika found its second, and at the same time, true home in Hungary. It was in this country that such a high level and veritable cult of the growing, the processing, and the use of paprika has been achieved, the like of which cannot be found anywhere else.” — Zoltan Halasz, Hungarian Paprika Through The Ages

Körözött (paprika-spiced curd cheese dip) with fresh bread and vegetables
Grilled pepper and goat cheese salad with paprika oil dressing
Catfish paprikás with túrós csusza
Chocolate torta with hot paprika and paprika jam

Gál Zweigelt Rosé 2015
Somlói Vándor Furmint 2015
Hummel Portugieser 2014
Wassmann Kékfrankos 2012
Brill Paprika Pálinka


Thursday October 27, 7pm
Tokaj Terroir: Winemaker Dinner with Szabolcs Újfalussy (Oremus Winery), Paired Dinner

If you are a fan of Tokaj (or if you are not a fan yet, but want a crash course), this is an evening you will not want to miss. Our guest, Szabolcs Újfalussy, is from the Oremus Winery, one of Tokaj’s greatest wineries. Szabolcs is also one of the best Tokaj educators we know, and this evening will be a masterclass in the wines of this world-renowned region. We will not only taste a range of dry and sweet wines from Oremus, but we’ll also crack open a bottle that few people (even in the world of wine) have ever had the opportunity to taste: a 4 puttonyos Tokaj aszú from 1956, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution. As the grapes for this wine were ripening and being harvested in Tokaj, bloody battles were being fought on streets all over Budapest. In fact, the revolution started right next door to The Tasting Table in the headquarters of the Hungarian Radio.

Szabolcs lives in Tokaj and knows its history, production, and people inside out. If you thought you already knew everything about Tokaj, you will realize that there is always still so much to learn. If you ever had any questions you were afraid to ask, this is the perfect chance. Szabolcs will present seven wines beginning with three vintages of dry furmint, followed by four sweet wines. Chef Tamás will prepare dinner in our open kitchen. Oremus (which is owned by Vega Sicilia) is a benchmark winery in Tokaj. It was one of the pioneers in the early 1990s to start building a serious international brand and to start making quality wines again in Tokaj. Their Mandolás furmint and their creamy, rich and perfectly-balanced aszús are amongst the best sweet wines in the world. Their 500 year old cellar system is one of the biggest in Tokaj (and is worth seeing for yourself, if possible!).Tokaj aszús are famous for their aging potential, and as they get older they become darker and darker, and their fresh citrusy and apricot jam character changes to more nutty, caramel, Madeira-like flavors. There are few bottles left of these old aszús, so our taste of the 1956 Tokaji aszú tonight will be a truly unique opportunity, and it will be a treat to see how it has developed over the past 60 years.

Roasted foie gras and apple, basil and fresh salad
Roasted spiced pork belly, celeriac mashed potatoes, fennel, and tomatoes
Vargabéles (Hungarian noodle cake)

Mandolás Furmint 2015
Mandolás Furmint 2009
Mandolás Furmint 2007
Édes Szamorodni 2013
5 puttonyos aszú 2007
5 puttonyos aszú 2000
4 puttonyos aszú 1956!


Thursday November 10, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with Tomi Dúzsi Jr. (Szekszárd)

This week we welcome Tomi Dúzsi Jr. from Szekszárd. The Dúzsi family started their winery in the early 1990s with a 3.3 hectares of land which Tamás Dúzsi Sr. purchased with the family’s compensation coupons which he received in the aftermath of Communism. Naturally, since they are from Szekszárd, the Dúzsis focus on making red wines, with the emphasis on kékfrankos and kékfrankos blends. However, due to a logistical snag with steel tank capacity one year, the winery ended up making an unexpectedly amazing rosé, and ever since has been unofficially known as the “king of rosé.” in Hungary. Dúzsi makes single varietal rosé from many varietals, and they are associated with their crisp, fruity, acidic rosés. But they also make very nice reds, which we will taste a few of. We’ll taste a rare variety called menoire, a barrel aged kadarka from old vines, a kékfankos, and their signature red blend from the Görögszó vineyard. Tomi Dúzsi will tell us all about the Szekszárd terroir, the family’s winery, and the unique wines which we will taste. Our chef Tamás will prepare a traditional cellar dinner to accompany the wines.

Cured ham, grilled pear, and green salad
“Cellar” stew (beef and pork) with parsleyed potatoes
Poppy seed and sour cherry strudel

Fürtike (Ezerfürtű), 2016
Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, 2015
Marci (Márton’s Day New Wine), 2016
Menoire, 2014
Kadarka, 2013
Kékfrankos Selection, 2012
Ó Estate Wine, 2012
Görögszó, 2012


Thursday November 24, 7pm
Hungarian-Inspired Thanksgiving Dinner, with Some of The Wines We Are Most Thankful For

Though Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Hungary, we’ve decided to celebrate with a Hungarian-inspired Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll serve a selection of the six Hungarian wines which we are most thankful for, paired with a Thanksgiving-inspired dinner (prepared with Hungarian ingredients). Our sommelier will tell stories about the wines which we will be tasting, illuminating us on the regions and the people who produced them.

Smoked goose breast with pomegranate salad
Duck leg confit with layered potatoes, grilled vegetables, and blueberry sauce
Chestnut pie with pecan crumbs

Samuel Tinon, Tokaj, Birtok furmint, 2014
Szászi Pince, Badacsony, Olaszrizling, 2015
Berger Pince, Tokaj, Dry Szamorodni, 2010
Stier Pince, Villány, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013
Vylian Pince, Villány, Cabernet Franc, 2011
Holdvölgy Pince, Sárgamuskotály, Late Harvest, 2012


Thursday December 15, 7pm
Traditional Christmas Dinner, with Stories and Wine

While every Hungarian family has its own Christmas culinary traditions, there are a few classics which no Christmas is complete without. Join us for a traditional home-cooked holiday dinner to get an idea about how the locals celebrate! Dinner will be served with six wines, and we will share our memories of Hungarian Christmas celebrations while we introduce what Hungarians eat and drink at Christmas.

Smoked trout with horseradish foam and green salad
Stuffed cabbage
Màkos guba

Gál, Zweigelt Rosé, 2015 (Alföld)
Szászi Pince, Badacsony, Rózsakő, 2015 (Badacsony)
Bott, Határi Furmint, 2015 (Tokaj)
Sebestyén Pince, Iván-völgy Bikavér, 2012 (Szekszárd)
Kovács Nimród, Superior Bikavér, 2012 (Eger)
Oremus, Sweet Szamorodni, 2012 (Tokaj)

Thursdays @The Tasting Table

Thursday March 3rd, 7pm
Istrian Dinner, Olive Oil Tasting, and Croatian Wine Launch!

We kick off our 2016 Thursdays @The Tasting Table season with guest Ted Chiavalon, one of Istria’s premier olive oil producers. Starting from just a few olive trees in Vodjan (a small town in Southern Istria), Ted and his brother have turned Chiavalon into one of the peninsula’s top brands. Ted will be bringing his newest olive oil vintage (which will be sold exclusively in Hungary at The Tasting Table) for us to taste. A great storyteller (perhaps since he is formerly a politician), he’ll talk about Istria’s past and present, olive oil production, his family’s story, how to taste olive oil, and the local food and wine traditions. Of course, there will be wine! This evening will be the launch of our portfolio of Croatian wines, and we’ll introduce you to six great new Croatian wines from our shelves. The Istrian-style dinner will, naturally, feature Ted’s olive oil in every course!

Malvazija (Veralda winery)
Debit (Bibic winery) (orange wine)
Debit (Bibic winery)
R6 (Bibic winery)
Cabernet Sauvignon (Benkovac Winery) (single vineyard)
Plavac mali (Ivan Dolac Winery) (organic wine)

Olive oil, fresh bread, charcuterie, olives
Whole baked trout, with potatoes, capers, olives, parsley and garlic
Chocolate mousse with Ted’s olive oil and sea salt

Traditional Christmas Dinner

December 17 (7pm)Traditional Hungarian Christmas Dinner. While every Hungarian family has its own Christmas culinary traditions, there are a few classics which no Christmas is complete without. Join us for a traditional home-cooked holiday dinner to get an idea about how the locals celebrate! Dinner will be served with six wines, and we will share our memories of Hungarian Christmas celebrations while we introduce what Hungarians eat and drink at Christmas. 
Francia saláta (“French salad”) and kaszinó tojás (deviled eggs)
Catfish paprikás with túrós csúsza (pasta with curd cheese and cracklings) Mákos guba (Poppyseed bread pudding)
8,000 HUF for wine tasting and dinner

Tokaj Oremus Masterclass

December 10 (7pm):Tokaj Masterclass with Szabolcs Újfalussy from the Oremus Winery, one of the greatest wineries in the Tokaj region. Szabolcs is the best Tokaj educator who we know, and this extra-special event will feature rare wines which cannot be tasted anywhere else. Szabolcs lives in Tokaj and knows its history, production, and people inside out. If you thought you already knew everything about Tokaj, you will realize that there is still so much to learn. If you ever had any questions you were afraid to ask, this is the perfect chance. Szabolcs will present eight wines beginning with two furmints (a young one and an aged one), followed by a vertical tasting of aszús (including several decades-old aszús, from as far back as 1972). We will serve a selection of cheese, foie gras, and other delicious bites which pair well with each wine. Spaces are limited for this very special event.

2011 Mandolás Furmint, dry

2003 Mandolás Furmint, dry

2010 Sweet Szamorodni

2005 Aszú 5 puttonyos

1999 Aszú 5 puttonyos

1993 Aszú 5 puttonyos

1975Aszú 5 puttonyos

1972 Aszú 5 puttonyos

15,000 HUF for wine tasting (with pairings for each wine)

Bull's Blood Blending

December 3 (7pm): Bull’s Blood Blending and Dinner. You may have heard about Bull’s Blood (Bikavér), the iconic Hungarian blend whose reputation was trashed by low-quality exports bearing its name. But do you know what goes into the blend, and why winemakers use the grape varieties that they do? At this event you will learn not only learn all about Bull’s Blood—from where it is made, to which varieties go into it and what each variety does for the blend—but you will make your own Bull’s Blood blend using the information that we give you. After all of the hard work of playing winemaker, we’ll sit down and enjoy a meal prepared by our house chef.
Artisan cheese selection
Slow-cooked beef cheeks, lecso (stewed peppers and tomatoes), and potatoes
Mikulás (St. Nick’s Day) chocolate selection
8,000 HUF for wine tasting and dinner


November 19 (7pm): Book Launch, Wine Tasting, and Home-Cooked Dinner with Peter Csizmadia-Honigh and Omar Honigh, winemakers at Royal Somló. Peter is also the author of the newly-released book The Wines of India, and the two are brand-builders at Studio Hansa. We have wanted to invite Peter and Omar to The Tasting Table to present their unique wines from their family vineyards in Somló for awhile. But when we found out that Peter’s book, The Wines of India, would also be released, we were thrilled to turn the event into a combination book launch party! During this very special evening Peter and Omar will discuss the wines of their home region—the magical Somló hill—present us with three vintages of juhfark (which are served at many Michelin starred restaurants), and present three wines from other Somló winemakers. Peter will also discuss his book and why he wrote it, and as an added treat, he will bring two Indian wines to serve! Peter and Omar will be preparing one of their favorite curries (vegetarian) for dinner, and there will be Indian appetizers and dessert. 8,000 HUF for wine tasting and dinner


October 15 (7pm) Book Launch and Guided Wine Tasting with Robert Smyth. Robert is a Budapest-based wine journalist who has just authored a new book on Hungarian wines, Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World. The book is a must-read for any wine enthusiast who wants to explore the world of Hungarian wines, and get to know the country’s best regions and producers. Robert has been immersed in the Hungarian wine scene for the past 15 years, and his deep knowledge and passion for Hungarian wine comes through in the interesting back stories that he provides on both well-known producers, and up-and-coming ones. For those using the book as a basis for their own wine explorations, there are also handy restaurant and accommodation recommendations. Robert will join us tonight to introduce his new book and lead us on a guided tasting of ten Hungarian wines. Telling the story of Hungarian wine in one night is a tall order, but Robert has carefully chosen the wines in order to give us a picture of the Hungarian wine scene: where it has come from, and what we can expect in the coming years. Along with the wine we will be serving our signature cheese and charcuterie boards. The book will be available for sale (and signing by the author). 8,000 HUF for wine tasting, cheese & charcuterie

Read our review of Robert’s book!

Hajni Pracser invite

October 22 (7pm): Hajni Prácser, from Erzsébet Pince in Tokaj will be our guest. One of the leading small wineries in the region, Erzsébet is a family-affair, mainly run by Hajni and her brother, Miki. Both siblings are well-traveled, but decided to remain in their hometown to make top-notch wine. For this wine dinner she will present seven of her wines (ranging from dry to sweet) and she will introduce Tokaj and the terroir in detail.Our chef will prepare dinner.
* 7 wines from Erzsébet Pince in Tokaj
* Parfait of chicken liver and quince, fresh baguette
* Mixed platter of roasted chicken, pork ribs, spare ribs, roasted vegetables, grilled potatoes, and salad

* Aranygaluska (raised “galuska” with walnuts and custard)
8,000 HUF for wine tasting and dinner

October 29 (6pm): Cooking Class & Dinner Party
Learn how to cook Hungarian style at the open kitchen in our wine tasting room. This upbeat event combines a casual cooking class with a dinner party, plus adds a wine tasting (naturally, due to the location). You’ll start with an aperitif while our instructor explains the menu plan (a three-course meal) for the evening, and what needs to be done as a team to get a delicious dinner on the table. To whet your appetite, we will offer nibbles of local artisan cheese and charcuterie as we cook. As we progress with the cooking, through conversations with our instructor (who is not a professional chef, but a fabulous home cook), you will learn about Hungarian culinary traditions, kitchen secrets, how to work with important local ingredients, and signature (and seasonal) Hungarian flavor combinations. We believe that wine and food are best enjoyed together, so our sommelier will pour samples of different wines throughout the course of the evening so you can taste and learn. Dinner should be on the table at around 9pm when we will sit down (with a well-deserved glass of wine) and enjoy the fruits of our labor together. $90 USD per person for cooking, wine, and dinner
Hungarian Pumpkin Soup
Pork Pörkölt (Stew) with Nokedli (Dumplings)
Gundel Style Palacsinta (Pancakes)


October 8 (7pm)A Taste of Transylvania: Food, Wine, and Culture. Transylvania is a region where the food is influenced by the history of the many different people who live in this unique region, including Hungarian, Romanian, Armenian, and German. People here have maintained their traditions in their daily life, and are doing their best to preserve their cultural heritage. We will have two special guests this evening. Our guest cook will be Sári néni, who will prepare us a Transylvanian feast starting with some appetizers (including homemade zakuszka), Transylvanian-style stuffed cabbage for the main course, and two types of palacsinta for dessert. Sári is from Szék, a tiny village which is about a 1.5 hour drive from Cluj (Kolozsvár), the capital of Transylvania. The village is inhabited by ethnic Hungarians who have a distinctive folk dress style (as well as a great talent for folk music and dancing). Our other guest will be local photographer Peter Mayer, who grew up in Transylvania (and has an unbelievable story of escaping during Communism), and now frequently travels back to explore and photograph the people and places. Peter specializes in photographs of people preserving their cultural heritage in different ways. In addition to being a photographer, Peter is an amazing storyteller, and his stories will accompany the variety of photographs that he will present. We will serve six wines from Romania and Transylvania over the course of the evening. 8,000 HUF for wine tasting and dinner

October 1 (6pm): Cooking Class & Dinner Party
Learn how to cook Hungarian style at the open kitchen in our wine tasting room. This upbeat event combines a casual cooking class with a dinner party, plus adds a wine tasting (naturally, due to the location). You’ll start with an aperitif while our instructor explains the menu plan (a three-course meal) for the evening, and what needs to be done as a team to get a delicious dinner on the table. To whet your appetite, we will offer nibbles of local artisan cheese and charcuterie as we cook. As we progress with the cooking, through conversations with our instructor (who is not a professional chef, but a fabulous home cook), you will learn about Hungarian culinary traditions, kitchen secrets, how to work with important local ingredients, and signature (and seasonal) Hungarian flavor combinations. We believe that wine and food are best enjoyed together, so our sommelier will pour samples of different wines throughout the course of the evening so you can taste and learn. Dinner should be on the table at around 9pm when we will sit down (with a well-deserved glass of wine) and enjoy the fruits of our labor together. $90 USD per person for cooking, wine, and dinner
Mushroom Soup
Roasted Duck with Dödölle and Red Cabbage
Túrógombóc (Curd-Cheese Dumplings) With Sour Cream and Apricot Jam

September 24 (7pm): Home-cooked Roma Dinner. Though there’s a sizable Roma population in Hungary, the cuisine of the Roma (known also as Gypsies) remains practically unknown. Roma food is simple, and that it uses only uses very basic ingredients is due to the fact that the Roma have long lived on the move and in extreme poverty. Our friend, Magdi néni, a wonderful Roma home cook, will join us to prepare a traditional Rome dinner (bodag, cigány túró, Gypsy-style stuffed peppers, and cinnamon kalács). A few musicians will be there (using the simple traditional rhythm “instruments,” such as the tin can and wooden spoons) to teach us some songs. Dinner will be served with several types of wine. 8,000 HUF for dinner and wine. 

September 10 (7pm): Kalman Jandl—a winemaker from Sopron, Hungary—will be our guest. After our summer event hiatus, Jandl, who is the 6th generation of winemakers in his family, will introduce Sopron, the varietals in the region, the fascinating history of this border region, and the terroir. The family works on about ten hectares of vineyards, which are scattered around the region, with some of the best hills overlooking lake Fertő. Jandl will present eight of his wines (from light whites to rosé, kékfrankos, syrah and a lot more). Dinner, prepared by our chef, will feature regional Sopron specialties: a marinated bean and mushroom appetizer, homemade Poncichter ragu (a bean and meat stew which is only found in the Sopron region), and prosza for dessert. (Poncichter refers to the German-speaking Hungarians in the Sopron area, including the Jandls, and as you can see, beans play a major role in the region’s cookery). 8,000 HUF for wine tasting and dinner

Thursday May 28 (7pm) A Wine-Filled Year Book Launch Party Budapest based photographer, Brian H. Neely, will be joining us tonight to celebrate his recently launched book, A Wine Filled Year, a gorgeous book which documents the making of a bottle of wine. Brian is not only going to discuss his book, but he will also be cooking for us! Over the course of the evening, Brian will present the book, tell us how the idea was born, share some stories about the wineries featured in the book, and tell us a few stories from the road.

Signed copies of the book will be available at a discounted price on this evening.

About the Book:
Sitting in a winemaker’s backyard one late summer evening near Tokaj, looking at the stars, waiting for a folk-punk band to play during a wine festival, I was inspired to capture the feeling of sharing great wine with my friends and the passion that Hungarian winemakers have for their craft. I realized I didn’t know much at all about how wine is made, but I had loved the previous year I had spent talking with Hungarian winemakers and capturing some of the moments with my camera, so I launched this project to explore the further photographic possibilities.

Brian H Neely is an American fine-art photographer, originally from Seattle, who has lived and traveled on 4 continents. In his travels he has learned one important lesson that he tries to put in every photo: we are all part of the world, and whether your favorite breakfast is pho, or cold cuts and cheese, or nasi goreng, or ham and eggs, someone will think it’s exotic.

Tasting Table appetizers 
Green salad 
Roasted lamb, couscous, mixed vegetables 

Wine will be served from the wineries featured in the book, from the Balatonlelle, Villány, Tokaj, Eger, and Pannonhalma regionsPrice: 7,500 HUF per person

Thursday May 14 (7pm) Taste Austria!. We spend quite a lot of time in Austria exploring the wine regions … and we are huge fans. Because we hope that everyone who travels to Austria gets to experience its wines, and learn about its fascinating (and fun) wine culture, we have just launched two new wine tours in Vienna: The Vienna Wine Walk and The Vienna Vineyard & Wine Tour.

To celebrate this, we have invited Jeffery Peterson—a US sommelier now living in Vienna, who leads our Vienna tours—to come visit the Tasting Table and present some Austrian wines, talk about the wonderful heuriger tradition, and give us some insight into the country’s varietals, history, and traditions.

We will taste eight wines over the course of the night, from Vienna, Burgenland, and Wachau. We’ll also feast on Austrian heuriger-style food, which means a spread of delicious Austrian cheese, charcuterie, and dips, sausage, and salads. Come join us for a fun evening spent learning about Hungary’s neighbor, and tasting some of the top wines coming from Austria. Price: 7,500 HUF per person (includes “heuriger” dinner and wine)

Sparkling Grüner Veltliner, Szigeti Winery
Gemischter Satz, Wieninger Winery (from Vienna)
Riesling, Tegernseerhof, Wachau Region
Grüner Veltliner, Hans Nehrer Winery, Leithaberg DAC
Blaufrankisch, Hans Nehrer Winery, Leithaberg DAC
Zweigelt, Mariell Winery, Burgenland
St. Laurent, Mariell Winery, Burgenland
Sweet wine TBA, Burgenland

Thursday April 2 Talk and wine tasting with winemaker Tamás Dusóckzy from Tokaj. Dusóckzy is a fascinating man who grew up in Mád, Tokaj, but left the country as a teenager, became a physicist, and lived in Switzerland and the US. Before the Holocaust about 20 percent of the Tokaj region’s population was Jewish, and many of them were involved in making and selling wine. Over centuries, Jewish wine merchants had set up sales channels throughout Europe (and the world). They sold millions of bottles of wine and contributed greatly to the success and fame of the region. Dusóckzy was in Tokaj when a quarter of the town’s residents were deported to Auschwitz. He was also in Budapest during the 1956 Revolution, and one of his life’s adventures was setting a biking world record (500 km distance in 15 hours, 37 minutes and 12 seconds).

After retiring in the early 1990s, Dusóckzy moved back to Hungary with the intention of bringing the family’s old wine estate in Tokaj back to life. He partnered with Mihály Hapsburg (yes!) and they started a five-hectare vineyard. Dusóckzy is a founding member of the Confrerie de Tokaj, the association of Tokaj wine knights. His latest initiative is building a memorial at the synagogue in Mád to honor the Jewish winemakers and merchants, and making them posthumous members of the Confrerie de Tokaj.

Dusóckzy is not only a winemaker and a witness to Hungary’s tragic 20th-century history, but he is a fascinating storyteller. During the discussion he will share five of his traditional-style Tokaji wines with us, as he shares his memories.

Five wines from Dusóckzy’s winery
Generous platters of Hungarian-style Tapas

Price: 5,000 HUF

Thursday April 23. Swiss Dinner and Wine Tasting with the Heumanns from Villány. Erhard and Evelyne Heumann are a German/Swiss couple who were seemingly led by fate to settle in Villány and make wine. After Evelyne’s father travelled to Villány and ended up buying some vineyards, the Heumanns started making wine there in 1993 and have steadily been building on their wine business since then. What started as a hobby, is now a full-time passion, with both of them devoted to the success and quality of the winery. Villány, located in the southernmost part of Hungary, is one of Hungary’s most prized red-wine-producing regions. It’s a region filled with whitewashed wine cellar rows, and beautiful vineyards. The Heumanns’ wines are not widely available in Budapest (they export most of them), but the ones that we sell at The Tasting Table are some of our most popular wines. Their reds—including Kékfrankos, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah—are opulent, concentrated, and dreamy. Since their vineyards are locates in Siklós (the section of Villány where white wine was traditionally made), they also make lovely whites such as Riesling, Chardonnay, and an easy-drinking blend named for their father-in-law. We are great fans of the Heumanns’ elegant wines, and we are sure you will be too after tasting them.

We are excited to host Erhard Heumann at The Tasting Table, where he will be preparing the dinner himself, and introducing us to a wide selection (9!) of his wines. Please join us for this very special evening.

Light Appetizers
Heumann Rhine Riesling 2013
Heumann Eric’s Dream 2012 (a Rhine Riesling and Chardonnay blend)
Heumann Chardonnay 2014

Swiss Cheese Quiche, Served with Salad
Heumann Rosé 2014
Heumann Lagona 2012 (a Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Kékfrankos, Cabernet Sauvignon blend)

Swiss Stew Martha*-Style, Served with Mashed Potatoes
Heumann Kékfrankos Reserve 2011
Heumann Cabernet Franc 2011
Heumann Syrah 2012

Carrot Cake
Surprise sweet wine from Villány

• The stew is inspired by Evelyne Heumann’s mother.

Price: 7,500 HUF per person

March 12, 2015: Slow Food Dinner and Wine Tasting with Budaházy Winery’s Gabó and Ákos. When we visit Tokaj one of our favorite stops is the Budaházy Winery in the lovely village of Mád …. especially if Gabó happens to be cooking! Owned by the Budaházy family, winemaker Ákos Szokolai makes small quantities of unique wines here. With only about two hectares of vineyards, Budaházy is one of the smallest commercial wineries in the Tokaj region, yet its vineyards occupy some of the most prized sites. Budaházy is especially proud of its Makovicza vineyard which is the south-facing slope of the historically first class Szent Tamás hill, and is one of the few wineries in the region to produce single-varietal Kabar (an indigenous local varietal). While Ákos focuses on the vineyards and the wines, Gabó follows her own passion for food and gardening, and creates spectacular meals, inspired by the regional products, as well as her Transylvanian-upbringing. Most of her ingredients come from her organic permaculture garden, or from her neighbors, who raise animals and produce cheese.

We are excited to host Gabó and Ákos at The Tasting Table. They will be preparing the dinner together, and Ákos will present Budaházy’s wines. Please join us for this special evening of good food, wine, and company.

Budaházy Furmint/Hárslevelű 2011
Pork Loin Roasted in a Spice Crust,
Served with Artisan Bread and Home-Made Chutney
Budaházy Szent Tamás Furmint 2009
Free-Range Coq au Vin Blanc with Polenta
Budaházy Furmint/Hárslevelű 2011 (late-harvest)
Budaházy Furmint/Hárslevelű 2012 (late-harvest)
Darazsfészek (Wasp’s Nests)
Surprise wine

Price: 9,000 HUF per person

January 22, 2015 (7pm): DiBonis Wine & Spirit Tasting. Never tried a Serbian Shiraz before? Here is your chance to try a lovely one from the Subotica region, as well as several other fine wines from this rather close, but under-the-radar region. Join us for a special tasting of a variety of wines and spirits from Serbia’s DiBonis Winery. David from DiBonis will present the wines, the region,and the unique varietals and wine styles. While the wines themselves are fantastic, DiBonis is perhaps just as well-known for its spirits, and the Calvados style apple brandy, Almados, is a real treat. The Tasting Table’s signature cheese and charcuterie boards will accompany the tasting (held in English).

MENU: Sauvignon blanc, Rozé, Vranac, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Shiraz, 2 Fruit Distillates, 1 Apple Brandy (Almados), and the Tasting Table’s signature cheese and charcuterie board

Sebestyen Winery Szekszard

Thursday January 26th, 7pm
Disznótoros-Themed Wine Dinner with Sebestyén Winery (Szekszárd)

BÚÉK! We’re starting 2017 with something that many Hungarian families look forward to doing over the winter—feasting on pork meat! We are hosting a disznótoros-themed dinner Tasting Table style! While chef Tamás prepares the pork feast, our guest, Csilla Sebestyén, will present the Sebestyén family’s wines from Szekszárd. Csilla and her brother, winemaker Csaba Sebestyén, are the first generation of their family to be involved in the wine business, but have made big names for themselves in this up and coming region. They focus on reds (kékfrankos, kadarka, and some blends) as do all winemakers in the region. However they do make a lovely cserszegi fűszeres and rosé.

The disznótor (pig slaughter) is a Hungarian countryside tradition), which often takes place on a freezing winter day. The grapes and plants are sleeping, the soil is frozen, but the clean cold provides the perfect conditions for butchering and sausage preparation. This evening we’ll prepare a traditional disznótor menu like you would have if you were invited to somebody’s house.

The Sebestyén wines will be the perfect complement. This family came to winemaking through other very different careers, and they now work on about 12.5 hectares of vineyards. Csilla is bringing a good selection of their wines along with stories from Szekszárd. Join us for some great wine, food, and insight into Szekszárd.

Orjaleves (consommé with pasta, meat, and vegetables)
Hurka (blood pudding) and kolbász (sausage) with steamed red cabbage and onion mashed potatoes
Plum jam “hájas” pastry (similar to puff pastry, but prepared with Mangalica fat)

Cserszegi fűszeres 2015
Kadarka 2015
Nánai Kékfrankos 2013
Iván-völgyi Bikavér 2012
Gradus Cuvée 2011
Görögszói Franc 2013

Heumann Winery Villany

Thursday February 9th, 7pm
Winemaker Dinner with Erhard Heumann (Villány)

Erhard and Evelyne Heumann are a German/Swiss couple who were led by fate to switch careers and settle in Villány to make wine. After Evelyne’s father travelled to Villány and ended up buying some vineyards, the Heumanns started making wine there in 1993 as a hobby, bottled their first professional wine in 2003, and have steadily been building on their wine business since then. What started as a hobby is now a full-timejob, with both of them devoted to the success and quality of the winery. Villány, located in the southernmost part of Hungary, is one of Hungary’s most prized red-wine-producing regions. It’s a region filled with whitewashed wine cellar rows, and beautiful vineyards. The Heumanns export most of their wines (The Tasting Table also sells several of them). Their reds—including kékfrankos, cabernet franc, and syrah—are opulent, concentrated, and dreamy. Since their vineyards are locates in Siklós (the section of Villány where white wine was traditionally made), the Heumanns also make lovely whites like riesling, chardonnay, and an easy-drinking blend named for their father-in-law. We are great fans of the Heumanns’ elegant wines, and we are sure you will be too after tasting them. Join us for this evening with Erhard, a great storyteller and ambassador for the Villány region.

Porcini cream soup with smoked goose breast
Roasted spiced pork belly, mashed potatoes and celeriac with fennel
Hot paprika-spiked chocolate cake

Rajnai Rizling 2015
Chardonnay 2015
Kadarka 2015
Lagona 2013
Kékfrankos Reserve 2013
Villányi Franc 2012
Terra Tartaro 2011

Brill Pálinka tasting dinner

Thursday February 23rd, 7pm
Hungarian “Tapas” Dinner with Pálinka Pairings

We’ve long been fantasizing about devoting an entire dinner to pálinka. While we’ve hosted dozens of wine dinners (and even olive oil and paprika dinners), it’s now time to focus on pálinka. This national Hungarian drink is so omnipresent that it’s served from morning until night, from vessels ranging from re-used plastic soda bottles to fancy customized long-stemmed glassware. It may be even more ubiquitous than wine in Hungary. Pálinka can be described as Hungarian fruit brandy, and since it can be made from any fruit grown in Hungary, there are dozens of varieties. For this pálinka-dedicated evening we are partnering with the Brill pálinka distillery from Szekszárd. We’ll be sampling eight types of pálinka, which we will match with small courses of traditional Hungarian dishes (prepared by our chef Tamás). We’ll enjoy delicious Brill pálinka in flavors ranging from traditional plum and apricot to more unusual ones like pepper and barrel-aged cabernet franc marc pálinka. Attila Petzold—an independent wine and spirit consultant who knows more about pálinka than anyone else we know—will be our guest. This is your chance to become a pálinka expert, so bring all of your questions for Attila! We’ll learn about the fermentation and distillation process, the characteristics of the different types of fruit, and the history and traditions surrounding Hungarian pálinka. Join us for this tasty experimental dinner bringing together Hungarian flavors and pálinka.

Traditional Hungarian spreads and bread (eggplant spread, foie gras, Liptauer cheese, crackling cream)
Charcuterie board
Grilled peppers and goat cheese
Grilled sausage with potatoes
Roasted pork spare ribs with polenta
Selection of strudels

Apricot, grape (Írsai Oliver), lepotica plum, pepper, elderflower, cabernet franc, barrique marc, blueberry “bedded”, quince

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