From Fungus to Fabulous
“Tokaji Aszu, the sweet, botrysized wine for which Hungary has been famous since the 17th century, is grown in the hills of Hegyalja, in the region of Tokaj. Made from white wine grapes, such as Furmint and Hárslevelü, the wine’s sugar content and sugar-free extract is indiated by its puttony, which appears on the label.
Ben Hawkins, who co-founded Royal Tokaji Wine Company with Hugh Johnson in 1993 to restore the reputation of the world’s original botrytized wines from Hungary, sees chefs and sommeliers taking to the category with growing enthusiasm. ‘As sweet as they are,’ he says, ‘botrytis wines have the acidity to be refreshing, the viscosity to be a dessert all on their own, and the versatility to work at almost any stage in a meal. They are wonderfully sexy wines.'”