WineTime Strikes Again!
by Gary Lukatch
Following the success of its January tasting at Le Meridien, WineTime scored yet another triumph of the vintner’s art two days before Valentine’s Day. The tasting, originally scheduled for the British Embassy’s Old Banking Hall, was forced to change its venue at the last minute due to winter snow damage; fortunately, one of Europe’s premier dining locations was able to accommodate the 160-plus group (as compared to last month’s 75 people), and Gundel’s Queen Elizabeth Ballroom (how appropriate!) was filled with happy and eager wine aficionados.
This month’s tasting featured wines from the vineyards of Kovács Nimród of Eger and Zoltán Demeter from Tokaji. Of the mixed selection of whites and reds available, the generally acknowledged star of the evening was the 2006 NJK red wine, a wonderfully complex, somewhat fruity vintage that caught the attention of all who tasted it.
WineTime’s owner and manager, Marianna Posfai, once again displayed her talents for selecting premium wine to please the most discerning palates. Combined with Gundel’s superb atmosphere, service and fabulous food treats, all of the attendees agreed this was one of the best events yet held by WineTime.
The evening began with a complimentary glass of champagne, and segued into an initial presentation of classical music by pianist Eva Polgár and mezzo-soprano Ildiko Gaal Weber, both rising stars in the Budapest music world. Participants were then free to choose any or all of the six wines available for tasting. Judging by the lack of glassware at the end of the evening, it appeared the wines were a hit.
Among the wines offered, the Chardonnay Battonage (2007), was the top white wine at the 10th Bormustra in 2009 and also received the Grand Prestige Reserve award, while both the Pinot and Syrah consistently score in the top ranges in blind tasting tests. The Syrah, in fact, just became the winner of a recent WSET blind Syrah test, surpassing Syrahs from California, Australia, South Africa, France, Toscana, Villany, Sopron, Szekszard and Eger. The NJK '06, Kovacs Nimrod’s flagship, received the Grand Prestige Reserve award as well!
Winetime also offered its Black Glass blind tasting, wherein covered wines are poured into a black glass and tasted to see if they can be identified. People who correctly identified the wines were awarded another whole deciliter of wine. In addition, British Pantry offered a food basket for a drawing, which was won by Orsolya Nagy. And, after missing the previous affair, WineTime’s Poster Girl, Ekaterina V. Naumenko, also mingled with the guests throughout the evening and, as always, brightened up the room and dazzled everyone with her magnetism and special flair.
All in all, the evening was a roaring success, and everyone looks forward to the next tasting in March, which, weather permitting, should be held at the repaired British Embassy’s Old Banking Hall.