There are two drinks for which Hungary is most famed: Unicum and Tokaj. I detest the taste of Unicum. When the King of the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared that it was ‘unicum’ or unique, he was right. Actually, many East European tipples do have a similarly distinctive and herbal taste but this is quite frankly, truly revolting.
Tokaj, on the other hand, is perfectly pleasing. I am not normally a huge fan of dessert wines, but the Royal Tokaj Blue Label from the Royal Tokaji Wine Company 25cl, from Waitrose, £10.99, is by far my preferred choice. I particularly like to enjoy it with plum dumplings, a traditional Hungarian dessert (the recipe of which I will post soon!)
The bottle is small and perfectly formed.The glowing amber tone is beautiful and reminiscent of autumnal leaves; its taste is warm and rich.As I said, this wine is enjoyed with desserts, such as the traditional plum dumpling, and is perfect for cold evenings in.
However, for me, it reminds me of the warm summer morning breeze in Lvov. After arriving at 7 AM on an overnight train from Kiev, having been mugged (not violently thankfully), my travelling companion and I got horribly lost and spent three hours wandering the streets desperately trying to find the main boulevard. At 10 AM we finally reached the main squares and, more importantly, the boulevard which boasts many restaurants serving fantastic Ukrainian cuisine. We settled in a restaurant for a few hours and, looking at each other, believed, despite it being 10 AM, considering our ordeal, it was not too early to begin drinking fortified wine. This particular bottle of Tokaj tastes similar to what I consumed on that day in Lvov and so reminds me of a pleasing, satisfying time, combined with an incredible sense of relief.