The Hungarian Government declared 2017 as the year of Furmint, with the aim to raise the attention of the international and domestic markets and the consumers on one of the most important native Hungarian grape varieties.

What’s the Furmint Grape Variety like?
A late-ripening, vigorous variety with mid-sized bunches and yellow-green, spotted, thick-skinned berries, Furmint is a variety with lively acidity and a good capacity to reach high levels of sugar.

Furmint thrives on volcanic, chalky soils and the mineral character of the terroir is reflected in the wines. A variety with neutral aromas Furmint is a great transmitter of terroir. In expert hands it can produce a poignant expression of the style and philosophy of the winemaker.

Furmint lends itself to a wide range of wine making styles starting from racy sparkling wines, light dry wines and more substantial terroir wines to late harvests, szamorodnis and the famous aszú.

One of the distinctive features of Furmint is the quantity and quality of its acidity that makes the wines elegant with great aging potential. Sweet wines made of Furmint – aszús in particular – are among the longest-lived wines in the world.

Furmints are often characterized by notes of apples, pears, quince, flowers, peaches, citrus, honey, herbs and sweet spices complemented by a distinctive saline, mineral streak. Barrel aged examples show classic aromas of vanilla, smoke and tobacco in addition.

Furmint and gastronomy
With its wide range of styles Furmint offers a lot of options for matching wine with food.

Furmint made in a youthful, fruity style goes well with fish and dishes with herbs and vegetables, while more mature styles with a few years of bottle age can hold their own with game birds or even steaks.

The choice is not dictated by the basic ingredients – you can find suitable match for almost any kind of food – it is much more a matter of the spicing and the gravy served with the dish.

The classic wine & food pairings for sweet aszús are foie gras, blue cheese and desserts. It is great with Asian dishes too. Thanks to its complexity and concentration aszú can also function as a dessert on its own.

The Furmint is a local grape variety which is worthy of representing the Hungarian wine sector at the International and domestic markets as well – Kiss Eliza Ministerial Commissioner of the Ministry of Agriculture responsible for wine sector affairs emphasized at the opening event of the Furmint February program series in Budapest.

Photo: Pelsőczy Csaba/FM