Szekszárdi Vörös

We now make a final return to a paragraph we’ve visited twice before (first for Apricot Brandy in 2015, then Gewurtztraminer a year later). Yashmeen and Cyprian are fleeing some Hungarians, hiding out in Ratty’s safe house, inspecting the pantry. Here it is one last time:

By the unwritten rules of these transitory dwellings, the cupboards yielded a sketchy culinary history of those who had passed through—bottles of Szekszárdi Vörös, Gewürtztraminer and apricot brandy, chocolates, coffee, biscuits, tinned sausages, wine, boxes of dried noodles of various shapes and sizes, a white cloth bag of tarhonya from the previous century.

Against the Day, p. 718.

That the last occasion we found ourselves here was more than five years ago might indicate this bottle was a little harder to get a hold of than the other two. But thanks to everyone’s favourite Magyar merchant down under,, I’ve finally cracked a bottle of Szekszárdi Vörös.

Szekszárd is a city in southern Hungary, capital of the Tolna county. Google Maps shows a few wineries scattered around Szekszárd, including Takler, producer of my bottle. Vörös I had assumed at first was a grape variety, but in fact it is just Magyar for red. I have the Takler 2016 Kekfrankos, a Hungarian red grape otherwise known as Blaufränkisch.

This was a pleasant, not super inspiring wine. I really dug deep for some tasting notes though, and there are definitely plums and even a little apricot going on, plus quite a bit of something green and leafy, perhaps tobacco, as well as a sprinkling of peppery spice. Overall though, it tasted pretty dusty and a little dull, befitting its back-of-the-cupboard appearance in AtD.

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