Guest Review all the way from Central Europe!

Meet Heidi & John:

Heidi & John in Budapest

 Heidi & John live in Pécs, Hungary and decided to share some local wine with us! 

Heidi, James & Phil were high school friends but now lives with her husband, John, in her home turf of Hungary. 

James, Laura-Catherine, Susan & Heidi at friend Tate's Wedding

Heidi did her homework and wrote an awesome review for all of us Americans to enjoy! 

*Place setting was a gift from Jimmy and Melissa Summers, glasses were gifts from friends for our wedding

Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe happens to be in Hungary. Now the greatest attraction of the Lake is not only the kite surfing, windsurfing, sailing and leisure activities of the summer months but the fact that the northern region is composed of volcanic mountains filled with vineyards.

A special region of Lake Balaton is called Badacsony, a volcanic mountain on the northern part, which is a bitch to hike, but after a few drinks, can be done.  Grapes were cultivated in the area during the Roman Empire, when plantations were made.  Due to the proximity of the lake, the Southern slopes receive the sun light reflected from the lake’s surface, and this reflection makes the climate ideal for grape cultivation.

John’s favorite wine of all time is called the Badacsonyi Szürkebarát, which happens to be one of the best known varieties cultivated in this region. Szürkebarát is a descendent of the Pinot gris (brought to Hungary from France by monks around 1300, because our land was better quality for harvesting grapes). Those monks seemed to know good wine; therefore its name became “GreyMonk” if you translate it to English. Note: grey because their cloak was grey. Szürkebarát is a semi-sweet, rich tasting, refreshing white wine especially great in the summertime. After twelve years together, we still enjoy drinking it on a regular basis.

A tradition of Hungarians in the hot summer months is to mix 1/3 glass Szürkebarát with 2/3 glass soda water, and enjoy it as a light summer drink. Don’t judge before you try it!

Consumer: Heidi & John

Name: Badacsonyi Szürkebarát

Region: Lake Balaton, Hungary

Grape Varietal: Pinot Gris

Vintage: 2009

Price: 539 HUF (you do the math)

Alcohol content: 11.5%

Food pairing: Funny thing, we have never paired it with food, we usually open a bottle when friends come over

Color & Appearance: Somewhere between Straw Yellow and Golden Yellow

Nose/Aroma:  Oak, with a slight scent of citrus flower and honey

Mouth/Flavors: Rich in flavour,  spritzy, refreshing, slightly sweet, acidic. Awesome aftertaste.

Rating: (scale of 1 to 10) 8

Impressions: This wine is always refreshing, great for gathering of friends

Food Recommendations: I would pair it with tuna or salmon, or meats with high-citrus sauces.


The hillside of Badacsony


2007: John enjoying a glass of Szürkebarát in Badacsony


Small bar on the side of Badacsony


View of Badacsony


John and Heidi harvesting 2009

Thanks so much to Heidi & John for their hard work and hard drinking…hopefully we’ll have more reviews from abroad!  And to anyone else…we’d love to feature a review of your favorite wine!  Just let us know!


1 Comment

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One response to “Guest Review all the way from Central Europe!

  1. Heidi and John, Great review. I would love to taste this wine. I bet it might even go well with Heidi’s mother’s meatballs!

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