I am a perennial student and wine is one of my most favorite subjects! I love expanding my knowledge of winemaking and wine regions, as well as tasting new wines. In the month of June I have had the pleasure of participating in #WineStudio, a four week wine learning and tasting experience hosted by Protocol Wine Studio. This post is the first of a two part review of the wines tasted in June’s #WineStudio.
What is #WineStudio? PROTOCOL wine studio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! It’s part instruction and wine tasting, with discussions on producers, grapes, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food and wine matching and what all this means to us as wine drinkers. (Follow the hashtag #WineStudio on Twitter Tuesday nights at 8pm CST!)
The June 4 week #WineStudio session has been sponsored by Old World Vines, a wine importer co-owned by Katy Bendel Daniels. Katy’s story is one of passion for the Old World countries of Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. Katy explored these countries and fell in love so much with the culture, people and wine that she ended a long and successful career in corporate America to open Old World Vines. I encourage you to learn more about Katy as well as her portfolio of exquisite wines by visiting Old World Vines web site.
Week 1 of #WineStudio was spent getting to know Katy and an introduction to the wine regions of Hungary and Slovenia. Week 2 we tasted two wines from Hungary: Erzsebet Pince Kiraly dulo, and Bock Pince Kekfrankos.
Erzsebet Pince 2011 Kiraly dulo: This wine was comprised of 100% Furmint, a Hungarian white grape grown in the Tokja-Hegyalja region. It met the eye with a soft golden color and the nose with the smell of wet stone and minerals. On the palate it opened with the taste of graphite, minerals and wet stone accompanied with faint citrus flavors of lemon and orange along with toasted almonds. This was a complex, dry white wine that was long on the palate. It had a nice, full acidity (I enjoy this quality) that demonstrated it would pair nicely with food. It was suggested as an aperitifs wine that would pair well with creamy cheese, shellfish, salads, vegetables and roasted pork. I paired the wine with two types of creamy cheese: Meadowdass Uniekass and Drunken Goat cheese. Both paired very well with the wine, softening the acidity and bringing out the terroir of the wine. The Erzsebet Pince also paired well with boiled shrimp, fresh strawberries (which brought out a slight sweetness in the wine) and almond paste, lemon cookies. Overall it was a refreshing white wine perfect for spring and summer that offered a lovely alternative to chardonnay or pinot grigio.
The Furmint grape vines were originally planted in the Kiraly vineyard in 1992. They grow in compact clay soil with Rhyolithe volcanic base, providing the distinct graphite and mineral smell and taste to this wine. The wine contains 13% alcohol. SRP $31.95. Erzsebet Pince has a rich winemaking history; I encourage you to visit their web site to see their beautiful vineyards, learn more about them and see their entire portfolio of wine.
Bock Pince 2011 Kekfrankos: The Bock Pince 2011 Kekfrankos was the second wine sampled for the #WineStudio. The wine was made up of 100% Kekfrankos grapes that met the eye with a lovely garnet color and the nose with a fantastic bouquet of baked cherries and chocolate. On the palate it delivered the cherries and chocolate with a hint of toasted oak and leather, in a manner that tasted like a Black Forest Cake. I paired the Bock Kekfrankos with meatballs in a pesto sauce with shredded fresh parmesan cheese and a sourdough French roll. It was a nice pairing that worked well with the wine; however, I found this wine to be so enjoyable I sipped an additional glass by itself. The next night we had a big graduation party for my daughter; while all our guests were sipping on some excellent wines we provided I enjoyed another glass of this wine with a delicious grilled hamburger. The Bock Kekfrankos was a full palate wine, dry with a well balanced acidity, yet light enough to be enjoyed on a hot summer’s night without the weight of heavy tannins. I thoroughly enjoyed this wine and highly recommend you contact Katy at Old World Vines to order some for yourself. 14% alcohol. $22.95 SRP.
The 100% Kekfrankos grapes were grown in limestone soil, and then fermented in steel tanks before matured for 12 months in second use Hungarian oak barrels. Bock Pince is a family run winery with a unique history and great story to share. I encourage you to visit their web site to learn more about the winery and see their entire portfolio of wines.
My Song Selections: The song I paired with Erzsebet Pince 2011 Kiraly dulo is Take It Easy by The Eagles. I selected this song because it is an easy, relaxed song. It is fun to sing along to the simple lyrics and tells an entertaining story. The Erzsebet Pince 2011 Kiraly dulo is an easy, refreshing white wine, it is an excellent food wine, and (as was evident from #WineStudio) is a wine that appeals to many palates.
The song I paired with the Bock Pince Kekfrankos is Your Love is King by Sade. I choose this song for its sultry nature, soft rhythm and relaxing feel. The sultry sound of her voice delivers a melody with passion in a soft yet alluring manner. The Bock Pince 2011 Kekfrankos delivers the same passion for great wine making in a way that delights with flavor and aroma without overpowering the palate.
Get your own Erzsebet Pince 2011 Kiraly dulo and Bock Pince 2011 Kekfrankos and let me know what songs you would pair with them. Cheers!