February 1st. Dry January is over; congratulations you made it! Speaking of dry, we often talk about wines that are dry. But what exactly does that mean? A dry wine is simply a wine that has no residual sugar, meaning it isn't sweet. When grape juice converts to wine, alcohol is produced in the fermentation process because yeast eats the sugar present in the juice. No more sugar, so no sugary sweetness; the wine is therefore dry. And now that January is over, it's time to pour yourself a nice glass of dry wine. February 1st is more than just the day giving us permission to imbibe again, however. It's also International Furmint Day! (Don't believe me? Check your wine calendar.)
Classically, Furmint was used to produce Tokaji Aszú dessert wines à la Bordeaux's Sauternes, and it still is. We're going to stick with the dry theme however and only indulge on dry styles of Furmint wines. Furmint is the flagship grape of Hungary and easily the country’s most important varietal.Taken from the French word ‘froment’ for the golden wheat color of the wine, Furmint is elegant and rich with aromas of white flowers and peach. The royal families of Europe named it “Vinum Regum, Rex Vinorum” (Wine of Kings, King of Wines), and one style of Tokaji Aszú—Esszencia—is proudly mentioned in the Hungarian national hymn. At one time Tokaji was one of the most famous wines in all of Europe and considered an Elixir of Life.
With the aim to draw the public's attention to such a lovable variety, International Furmint Day is the brainchild of Dániel Kézdy, Tokaj specialist and author of TOKAJ - people and vineyards. “I’ve been studying furmint for a long time and have learnt that in terms of winemaking styles it offers great variety. What is more the unvariably elegant acidity and the ability to transmit terroir characteristics makes it a worthy candidate for an important player in international markets. The majority of sommeliers, wine experts and wine merchants who have tasted Furmint formed a favourable opinion of it, so the next task ahead is to convince customers to make Furmint a regular item on their shopping lists. This can’t be too difficult to achieve”, says Dániel Kézdy.
We here at The Wine Shop completely agree with Mr. Kézdy - that getting you to fall in love with the golden goodness that was held in such high regard by the Kings and Queens of Europe shouldn't be too difficult to achieve. Come on out on Wednesday the 26th and find out for yourself! And this way you can stock up and be ready to celebrate come the first of February.
See you there!
The Wine Shop Team