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10 Reasons to Love Furmint by Rebeka Győrfi

Rebeka Gyorfi (@rebekagyorfi) at Palinkerie gives you 10 reasons to love Furmint, Hungary’s premier native white grape varietal.

10.  It’s multi-faceted

Sweet, dry, salty, earthy, rich, citrusy, powerful: these words can all be used to describe Furmint. Let yourself be surprised by the varied expressions of this wonderful, thin-skinned, late-ripening beauty.

9.  No matter the style, Furmint is super versatile with food

The possibilities are endless, and the more creative the pairings the better. Try pouring an unctuous 6 Puttonyos Aszú with steak, a smoky Somlói Furmint with lamb, or a barrel-aged Furmint with salmon tartare.

8.  It’s a great way to escape your routine 

Typically drink Chablis? Get a dry, rich Furmint. Enjoy a Sauternes? Tokaji Aszú is the way to go. Unoaked, lighter Furmint styles are reminiscent of Grüner Veltliner, and Furmints with a bit of residual sugar can easily replace an Alsatian or Austrian Riesling in body and acidity.

7. You can impress your friends  

Many people well-versed in wine don’t know about Hungarian wine production.  Surprise the crowd with your knowledge of Furmint. Pro tip: keep a picture on hand of your favorite Furmint bottle.

6. It’s the perfect first date ice-breaker

Don’t know what to talk about? Try Furmint. Known to help break the ice and diffuse even the most awkward encounters.

5.  The European aristocracy loved it

“Rex Vinorum, Vinum Regnum” (“king of wines, wine of kings”) said Louis XIV about Tokaji Aszú, the famous sweet Hungarian wine that is usually composed of Furmint and one or two other native grapes. The Russian tsars were devotees of Tokaji Aszú, as were many members of the European nobility.

4.  It’s the flagship grape of Hungary

Hungary has been producing wines since the 6th century, and Tokaj was the first designated wine appellation in the world. Furmint is native to Hungary, and makes many of the country’s most exciting wines.

3.  It makes you do crazy things

… like trying other indigenous Hungarian grapes, like Kékfrankos, Kadarka, Hárslevelű and Olaszrizling. Best of luck: once you are in, you won’t be able to stop.

2.  It produces the best sweet wines in the world 

Furmint is highly susceptible to the botrytis infection. Sounds problematic, but in fact it is a great thing! Botrytis, also known as the noble rot, makes the grapes shrivel into tiny raisins, concentrating their sugar content. Harvested, pressed and fermented with Hárslevelű or Sárgamuskotály…match made in heaven. Or shall we say Tokaj?

This thin-skinned grape lends powerful minerality and grear acidity to the Aszú. Try the Fanni Kertje Tokaji Aszú from 2001.

1.  Because we love it

The Pálinkerie crew adores Furmint. We even have a month of celebration for it: Furmint February. Athena loves the explosive 2011 Lenkey Human Furmint, aged in old oak barrels, and Rebeka would do anything for a glass (or more) of the smoky, mineral Somlói Vándor Furmint 2015.