Several come to mind, including Rias Baixas, Spain (for Albariño), but I’m going to go with Hungary. For any region to break out in the national market, I feel it has to 1) be in a position to produce enough wine to satisfy the market, 2) meet quality standards that appeal to consumers and drive demand, 3) the wines need to be accessible to consumers throughout the US, and 4) be backed by a well-executed and robust marketing campaign (@FurmintUSA gets the word out!). The twist in my pick: I’m not talking about the region’s famed, golden colored, lovely dessert wines from Tokaj—principally made from the native Furmint grape variety. I’m talking Dry Furmint (non-sweet white wine)—the region’s flagship white wine. I visit wine shops virtually every weekend, and surprisingly, Dry Furmint is many consumers introduction to Hungarian wine, and they like that they taste and are eager to explore more. This suggests new growth opportunities. While I’m not seeing a huge selection right now, I can walk into area wine shops and pick from several different producers. These wines are usually in the alternative white wine section. Some common characteristics I find are fresh fruit flavors, namely orchard and citrus blossom, along with pretty floral notes, a mineral edge, and a firm backbone of refreshing acidity—with the latter being most common across the board. These are interesting, if not unique, white wines—cerebral, in a sense. If for some (odd) reason your local wine shop or favorite restaurant does not carry Dry Furmint, the best thing you can do is ask for it by name. I encourage you to do so. For readers familiar with the wine, please leave one or two of your favorite producers in the comment section. Thank you, and have a great day.
Published on: 24/10/2017