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Coronavirus Updates – No Tours. Yes Wine!

6 minutes read


Like all of you, the past few weeks have been stressful for us as we’ve seen how quickly the spread of the Coronavirus has changed daily life for people all over the world, and sickened so many. We’ve been closely monitoring the situation, as countries one-by-one close their borders (including Hungary, as of today), businesses halt operations, and schools close. Today Hungary announced restrictions on business openings, and the once busy streets of our city (and many others) are silent. The world has stopped traveling.

As a travel company, we could not have imagined that a week like this past one could be possible. Within the span of a few days our calendar of bookings emptied out for not only March and April, but for the entire year. We’ve spent the past week processing cancellations, issuing refunds, and making some tough choices about the future of our business. We’ve also been brainstorming our next steps, keeping the best interests of our staff and guests in mind.

We’ve been dedicated to food and wine tourism and education in Hungary since we founded our company in 2008—in the midst of the global financial crisis—and it’s painful to have to put our operations on a sudden pause, with the livelihoods of our team of guides, our staff, and ourselves up in the air. We are proud of what we have accomplished so far, and our mission remains the same. We have big plans for the future, so we are going to continue at full steam when it is safe to do so again! However, here are some temporary measures which we are taking:

  • Our tours are suspended until at least April 15th. We will resume tours when the environment is safe and enjoyable for our guests, guides, and vendors.
  • Wine tastings at The Tasting Table are suspended until at least April 15th. The Tasting Table will remain open as a wine shop with limited hours (continue reading for further details), and we will be following all of the recommended sanitization measures.

We know it will take the global travel industry—in particularly the small businesses like ours—a long time to come back after this. But we will do it!

And Taste Hungary is not shutting down entirely. Right now we are grateful for the thing that has been often making us crazy over the past year – that we spent the past few years expanding our focus on wine sales, to complement our tourism work. We’d love to share our Hungarian wines with you, and would be so appreciative of your support of our small business in the form of a wine purchase!

Buy our wine!

  • If you live in Budapest: For now the Tasting Table will remain open as a shop from 11am-3pm, following the restricted opening hours which were just announced by the government. We’d like to be able to supply our customers with wine (which we think you’ll appreciate during your social distancing/self-quarantining), while also making sure our staff is safe. We are offering free delivery in Budapest and curbside pick-up for advance orders. You can place orders with us over the phone (+36 30 720 8197) or through email (tastingtable@tastehungary.com). Here is our current list of available wines.
  • If you live in the EU: We also ship all of our wines in the EU! Check this page for our shipping prices and here for the wine list. Or, join our wine club to get a regular monthly shipment of fine Hungarian wine!
  • If you live in the US: We’d love to ship you some of our delicious Hungarian wines that we have imported. Join our wine club to get a quarterly shipments of 6 curated bottles (we can send you the first shipment right away), buy one of our mixed 6-packs, or make your own selection by choosing individual bottles.

In the US we are offering some shipping specials until April 1st:

  • Free delivery on purchases of 6 bottles or more to addresses in the DC metropolitan area, within 40 miles of DC (use promo code: DMV-FREE). Or free delivery on the first shipment of a Wine Club subscription (use promo code: DMV-FREE1)
  • $10 flat shipping to all other states (except Alaska), for purchases of 6 bottles or more (no promo code needed)

Support our tours …

  • Help us get through this unexpected interruption by buying a gift certificate for a future tour. They have no expiration dates and are valid for all of our food tours, wine tours, wine tastings, and history and culture tours. Buy a gift card now for a 10% discount (use promo code: COMEVISITLATER). We’d also urge you to do the same thing for your local restaurants, bars, and other small businesses that might be suffering at this time.
  • When you do plan your trip to Hungary, consider booking your tour directly through us (rather than a big online travel site), will help us rebuild after this is over. All small companies greatly appreciate when their customers book directly.
  • Got some time on your hands? If you’ve been on one of our tours or tastings at any point in the past, please consider leaving us a review! We’ve worked so hard for our good reviews, and they help us grow our business and give other travelers confidence to book with us.

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Tasting Table: Facebook | Google | TripAdvisor

Over the last twelve years we have loved bringing people from all over the world together through Hungarian food and wine. We have some ideas about how to do this virtually while we are all socially isolating ourselves … so stay tuned! We hope you continue cooking—maybe use this time to learn some new Hungarian recipes—and we’d love for you to tag us @tastehungary on social media so we can see what you are making!

Sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and instagram for updates on our situation. We thank you for your support and understanding in this difficult time. ️We hope to see you in Hungary as soon as this is over. Stay safe, healthy, and sane.

With thanks,
Carolyn & Gábor