TASTE HUNGARY IS …
Taste Hungary is a multi-tiered company dedicated to showcasing Hungarian cuisine and wine. Our experiences educate travelers about the region through its cuisine and wine, history, culture, and context in the larger world. We draw on our experience, research, and deep personal connections to craft our tours, and choose our wines. We are also committed to making Hungarian wine accessible to our audience by offering services such as shipping in the EU, retail, importing to the US, and wine clubs.
- Taste Hungary Experiences — Taste Hungary is the leading culinary and wine tour company in Hungary. We offer daily food and drink walks, wine tastings, wine tours, and private and custom tours for groups. Armchair travelers can learn about Hungarian foodways and wine culture by perusing our blog, written by a team of talented local writers in Budapest.
- Tasting Table Budapest (Wine Cellar) — Our independent wine shop and tasting room is located in central Budapest (Bródy Sándor utca 9), where our sommeliers lead daily wine tastings, our wine store stocks 200+ labels, and we offer wine by the glass and flight. We have Budapest’s best selection of Tokaji Aszú, including rare and old vintages.
- Tasting Table Budapest (Wine Shop) — Our wine shop (Bródy Sándor utca 22) features our curated selection of fine Hungarian wines and spirits. We feature pours of different wines every week—new arrivals and staff favorites—so you can discover new wines while browsing.
- Wine Clubs and Online Shops
- In the US — We directly import Hungarian wine to the US! Join our quarterly Wine Club, or choose your own selection! (Free shipping on purchases of 12 or more bottles.) We are also a wholesaler/distributor, and we self-distribute in Washington, DC, focusing on small-batch, high-quality Hungarian wines.
- In the EU — Our entire Tasting Table selection is available for shipping in the EU. We have four monthly Hungarian Wine Clubs.
Travel has been a part of our lives together from the time we met working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean more than two decades ago. We share a special passion (and an appetite) for the food and wine of Central Europe, as well as the people, places, and stories that make this region so fascinating. We founded Taste Hungary—our Budapest-based food and wine tour company—in 2008, and ever since have loved doing this deep dive into the foodways and wine culture of Hungary. After spending years researching and writing Carolyn’s culinary guidebook to Hungary—Food, Wine, Budapest (Little Bookroom, 2008)—we started Taste Hungary with the intention of sharing their passion for Hungarian food and wine with like-minded travelers who want to experience the region’s authentic flavors and experiences. At our independent wine shop and tasting cellar in Budapest’s Palace District, The Tasting Table Budapest, our team of sommeliers leads daily wine tastings, introducing wine lover’s to the (often unknown) treasures of Hungary.
Read this interview with us about our Hungarian wine importing activities!
— Carolyn and Gábor Bánfalvi
ABOUT TASTE HUNGARY
We believe Hungary and Central Europe are undiscovered culinary gems—a culinary paradise which is slowly being (re)discovered. Hungarian food and winemaking have deep traditions, and a complex (and complicated) history. Decades of Communism caused many of these unique food traditions and industries to suffer terribly. But these days Budapest is a hot restaurant city (it even has four Michelin-starred); local food artisans and growers around the country are reviving old traditions; and Hungarian wines are increasingly available around the world. Our ultimate goal is to show guests that there is plenty of good food and wine here. We want to break down the language and cultural barriers that could make people feel uncomfortable. We want our guests to go home feeling like they discovered things they didn’t even know existed, and that it was well worth their while to dig deeply into new flavors, a new country, and meeting new people.
Taste Hungary has grown consistently every year, and we are proud to have introduced thousands of guests to Hungarian food and wine over the past decade. Taste Hungary is consistently ranked highly on Trip Advisor. In 2014 we won a prestigious Drinks Business Award for “Best Contribution to Wine and Spirits Tourism” (and we were shortlisted again in 2015). In both 2017 and 2018 we won the “Best Wine Tour Operator” award from VinCE.
ABOUT THE TASTING TABLE
We opened The Tasting Table opened in late 2014, after much dusty renovations and planning. We had long dreamed about having their own space in the heart of Budapest, where they could offer memorable wine tasting experiences, delicious hand-picked wines, an extensive selection of old and rare Tokaji aszús, and opportunities for guests to learn about Hungarian wine culture. So on a winter day when we happened to find a small cellar space—which was in horrible condition (and had no plumbing)—we had a crazy visualization of transforming this cellar into a cozy wine tasting space so we could expand Taste Hungary’s wine tasting options.
Located in the cozy vaulted cellar of a 19th-century palace, The Tasting Table is a hybrid wine shop / tasting room / event space / education center / online shop. We focus on Central European grape varietals and specialties and have 200+ unique wines, many of which are not widely available elsewhere. We buy our wine mainly straight from the winemakers, from good people who make good wine, who we know and trust. Every wine we offer has a reason to be here—whether it is simply an outstanding wine, comes from a special terroir, or tells an important story about Hungarian winemaking. Our goal is to introduce these special wines, and our wine is always paired with lots of insight into Hungarian winemaking.
The Palace Quarter is a neighborhood which has been praised as one of Budapest’s hippest up-and-coming neighborhoods in publications such as Vogue, The New York Times, and Condé Nast Traveler—where aristocratic families of the Austro-Hungarian Empire had their residences here. Between 1867 and World War I there were nearly three dozen palaces and mansions built in this small area (including our building). The Tasting Table is located in one of these: in the cellar of the Keglevich Palace, built in 1871 for Count Stefan Keglevich, a member of parliament. Keglevich was a Croatian count who created a vodka brand in 1884, the Keglevich Classic, which was distilled from pure grain and remains popular today. Perhaps he stored his vodka and other experimental drinks in our little cellar? We like to think so.
An episode of a recent Facebook Live tasting in which Gábor, Tamás, and Sebastian talk about their life in wine, and what inspires them about Hungarian wine.