In terms of international recognition Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) is second only to Tokaj Aszú among Hungarian wine brands. It is just as popular domestically as internationally and part of its appeal derives from its versatility when it comes to matching food.

Bikavér is traditonally made in two Hungarian wine regions: Eger and Szekszárd. The two terroirs may be quite different but Bikavér in both wine regions is made from at least four different varieties and the wines come in several quality categories.

Leading winemakers in both regions are working hard to raise the profile of the brand. They have put their faith in this historical wine category and believe that this substantial but not too heavy, kékfrankos based blend is well suited to the needs of today’s customers. Each year winemakers from Eger and Szekszárd join forces to show the latest vintages of their wines in a tasting event in Budapest called the Eger-Szekszárd Bikavér Duel. The continuous consultation and cooperation guarantees that Bikavér will attain the status it deserves.

Photo: Furmint Photo

Most foreign customers meet Bikavér in Hungarian restaurants therefore sommeliers are also „ambassadors” of this brand with a mission to rekindle international interest in Bikavér. Sommeliers working in the best Budapest restaurants report that many guests have fond memories of Bikavér however not many of them would choose it from the wine list without recommendation. It takes the expertise of a well-qualified professional to persuade them to give it a chance. Many sommeliers emphasize the importance of price for customers in making their decision. Fortunately Bikavér is competitively priced at 3-4 euros a glass which is perceived by visitors as below the risk threshold. The reasonable cost makes the experience even more pleasant.

Photo: Furmint Photo

Sommeliers also report that being a kékfrankos based blend Bikavér works well with a wide range of dishes which further enhances the positive experience. There are many different kinds of red meat which go well with Bikavér including mangalitsa and wild boar tenderloin, veal and lamb rump steak. These red meats can be partnered with pumpkins, green lentils, sweet potato puree, kapia pepper sauce and king oyster mushrooms. As the above examples show chefs are being provided a rather wide palette when it comes to creating dishes to match Bikavér.

If you want to find out which Eger or Szekszárd Bikavér might be the best match for your next dinner then you should visit the Eger-Szekszárd Bikavér Duel in the Ballroom of Corinthia Hotel on 2 March 2018. Here you can sample wines from thirty-three Eger and Szekszárd wineries carefully selected by a professional jury.


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