On the 10th of December we are celebrating Tokaj Aszú one of the most exclusive and greatest sweet wines of the world for the second time. The International Aszú Day is an excellent opportunity to savour the wines with their classic match: foie gras. #aszuday
„The first Aszú Day was surprisingly successful, we received unexpected feedback from all corners of the world. Many people remarked on how they were not really keen on sweet wines before but having tasted an exceptional aszú on this day made them change their opinions. It just goes to show what I have often encountered personally: after the first experience with aszús you are bound to re-evaluate the whole category”, says Dániel Kézdy about the debut year of his brainchild, Aszú Day.
„Following last year’s more adventerous choice, Sechuan cuisine, this year our focus is on something more traditional but at the same time highly exclusive: foie gras. There are many different ways to prepare foie gras and if you follow our recipes you can surely find and prepare the perfect match for aszú wines on the 10th of December.”
Though most people consider it a dessert wine Tokaj Aszú partners well not just with desserts. Hungary is among the top producers of quality goose liver so it is only natural that in Hungarian cooking one of the traditional matches for aszú wines is foie gras.
The slightly sweet flavour of foie gras beautifully complements the residual sugar of aszú and the vibrant acidity is the perfect antidote to the rich texture. When preparing the food one should also take into consideration the character of the aszú. Young aszús are best matched with fruit and herbs, older, mature bottles pair well with dried fruit, jam and caramelized dishes. Due to the variations in vintages, vineyards and technology aszús show great diversity providing ample room for bolder experiments with flavours when cooking.
The Tokaj wine region is situated in North East Hungary. It has a long tradition of making wine and actually it was the world’s first delimited wine region with records dating back to 1737.
The secret to its exceptional sweet wines with their incomparable character lies in the coexistence of five factors: soil, microclimate, botrytis, native varieties and technology.
The bedrock is of volcanic origin and it endows wines with minerality and tight structure. In autumn the microclimate influenced by wet weather and the humidity generated by the rivers is conducive to the onset of Botrytis cinerea or noble rot responsible for the shrivelling of berries.
In the autumn these aszú berries with high sugar concentration are picked manually over an extended period lasting for months. All winemakers have to follow a carefully stipulated technology and the wines can only be made from the six permitted varieties grown within the region. The aszú berries are macerated in the fermenting juice or base wine of the same vintage, residual sugar content must reach at least 120 gramm/liter and the wines have to be aged in wooden barrels.
On the 10th of December, 2018 we are celebrating the second Aszú Day. Be an ambassador of Tokaj Aszú on this day, purchase a bottle of Tokaj Aszú, ask for it in your favourite restaurant or uncork one at home and prepare a dish with foie gras to accompany it. Finally share the experience with others. #aszuday
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Photo credit: Furmint Photo