Welcome to our next installment of #WinephabetStreet. In this series, Debbie Gioquindo and I will be working our way through the wine world by way of the alphabet. Each month we will take the next letter in the alphabet and learn the characteristics and history of the grape, as well as suggested wine pairings. So uncork, unscrew or saber that bottle and connect with us as we chat, laugh and drink wine all in a laid back atmosphere.
F is For Furmint
Furmint is considered a superior Hungarian white grape variety and is
indigenous to the Tokaji region. Over 70% of all plantings in this region are Furmint. Tokaji, itself, dates back tot he early 18th century, but according to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Tokaji-Hegyalja, which is located in the northeastern region of Hungary and the southeastern region of Slovakia had been established hundreds of years prior.
The history of Furmint, is a bit cloudy. No one seems to be able to definitively depict where the grape originated. According to grape geneticist, Carole Meredith, “Furmint is either a parent or offspring of Gouais blanc. There is no definitive genetic evidence to prove which is the parent.” Literature research leads to the belief that Gouais is the parent of Furmint, since historically it is mentioned in writings prior to Furmint. If this is true, it also makes Furmint a half sibling to Chardonnay, Gamay and Riesling.
Some believe that King Béla IV brought Furmint to Hungary in the 13th century. This theory has been somewhat defeated since DNA evidence now shows that Furmint is believed to be native to the region and identical to Moslavac (of Croatia).
Furmint is, in my opinion, most known as a sweet wine. These are known as Furmint Aszú. Aszú and are recognized for their acidity, tannins, and the fact that it’s prone to botrytis (the noble rot.) Furmint USA was established in 2014 as an educational program dedicated to promoting the dry versions, which are produced from ripe, unbotrytized grapes. You can expect to get a wine that is pale straw to light amber in color, with aromas of pineapple, lemon blossom, orange rind, ripe pear, white peach, yellow peach and apricot.
In My Glass; 2015 Patricius Dry Furmint (SRP: $14.99)
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Our next episode of Winephabet Street will air on Monday, December 18th at 8pm EST. You can sign up for a reminder here. (It’s free!) The letter of the day will be G and it stands for Gruner Veltliner.