Friday, 17 August 2012
Published in the current edition of the New Law Journal (vol 162, 17 August 2012, p 1094)
In 1976, the famous “Paris Tasting” took place in the French capital. Organised by an Englishman, Steven Spurrier, a selection of judges drawn from the haute société of French wine undertook a blind tasting and found, to their amazement, that they preferred unknown Californian wine to some classic French offerings. The event amounted to a watershed in the history of non-French wine: more than thee decades on, the shelves of wine merchants now heave with offerings from across the globe. As well as the New World, the event also benefited older regions, with the realisation that perhaps France did not have a monopoly on the best terroir after all.
One such older region was Hungary, whose tradition of wine making dates back to Roman times. In fact, Magyar has the distinction of being the only language apart from Greek which has a name for wine that is not derived from Latin. Hungary is best known for a dessert wine, Tokaji, and the arrestingly named red wine Egri Bikavér, or “Bull’s Blood of Eger.”
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