The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2018

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Page 73 of 108

april 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  73 USHERING IN THE "Year of Aszú" In collaboration with the Hungarian Tourism Agency and some leading Hungarian wineries, Vinum Tokaj International President Attila Balla and Wines of Excellence Project Director Eniko " Magyar have been serving as ambassadors for the Tokaj region's storied and utterly unique wine culture. Read on for more information on the "Year of Aszú" as they help introduce the campaign to the North American market. What is the message of the "Year of Aszú" initiative? As part of a three year-long campaign, we're educating the North American trade and consumers about Hungarian wines, with a special focus on the traditional Tokaji wine specialties. Followed by the successful "Year of Furmint" campaign in 2017, when wine buyers embraced the fine dry Furmint wines considered the new taste of the world, this year's focus will be on Aszú presented together with other sweet wine specialties. Our joint aim is to reposition Aszú in the world's wine market and strip away the limitations of its reputation as a "dessert wine." We want to see it as the wine of choice for consumers who seek high quality and uniqueness in wines, as well as a favorite wine of Millennial cocktail lovers. Ultimately, this campaign aims to present and communicate Hungarian wines as dynamic and youthful brands and make as many wine connoisseurs acquainted with them as possible in the U.S. and Canada. Several prestigious beverage programs serve Essencia in crystal spoons. What benefits does this serving method offer when introducing Aszú to American consumers? Serving rare Tokaji by the crystal spoon can transmit the story of the wines, and when it's offered by the crystal spoon in flights, it becomes an affordable way for people to taste wines from different vineyards and vintages side by side. Tasting by the spoon allows guest to decide which one they would like to choose by the glass or bottle, which can help restaurants increase sales. Each spoon is half an ounce, so when you buy a one-ounce flight, you can share it. It's a very romantic way to taste wine for couples, too. How can bars and restaurants interested in serving wine by the crystal spoon implement their own programs? The first message would be to understand and transmit the message of uniqueness: As the best natural sweet wines in the world, Tokaj wines with their balance and complexity offer a truly outstanding experience for guests that cannot be reproduced elsewhere. Bars and restaurants also shouldn't refrain from experiment- ing to discover the endless possibilities of food and wine pairing with Aszú and other sweet specialty wines. Aszú can be utilized as a fascinating pairing partner and finds its place in almost all nation's cuisines, being it Asian, Indian, Mediterranean, or, of course, traditional Hungarian. We are ready to help interested accounts with customized selections to meld seamlessly with their wine program. Aszú is an exciting product and we are looking forward to a great year of celebrating it with new partners. A distinguished selection of Aszú wines from Béres, Chateau Dereszla, Gróf Degenfeld, Grand Tokaj, Patricius and Royal Tokaji wineries was presented to a gathering of sommeliers, restaurant owners, and wine professionals to celebrate "The Year of Aszú" campaign. Considered to be the best natural sweet wine and among the greatest wine varieties in the world, Aszú embodies Hungary's rich winemaking history.

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