Wines of Hungary & Slovenia


Have  you ever wondered how wines from overseas are brought to the United States for consumers to taste and enjoy?   The wines don’t just magically appear on store shelves instead they are specially selected and brought to the United States by importers who seek out wines of amazing quality that they want to share with others.   Katy Bendel Daniels is one of those importers.  Katy & her husband John started Old World Vines after travelling thru Central Europe.  They enjoyed the people cultures and wines of the region so much that Katy quit her corporate job and decided to start her own company importing Central European wines.

Old World Vines specializes in importing authentic old and ancient varietals from Greece, Hungary, and Slovenia to the United States. Many of the wines they carry are varietals which the average wine drinker may not have tried or even heard of as they are indigineous to the regions they are brought in from and often not grown in the United States.

I recently had the opportunity to taste four of the wines from the Old World Vines portfolio as part of #Winestudio a weekly tasting on Twitter hosted by Tina Morey of Protocol Winestudio.  #Winestudio is an online twitter-based educational program where participants engage their brains and palates.  It is part instruction and part wine tasting, with discussions on producers, grapes, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food and wine matching and what all this means to wine drinkers.

In the last #winestudio installment, over the course of 4 weeks we learned about the history, people, culture and wines of Hungary and Slovenia, because part of enjoying a wine is knowing it’s story and that includes the people who made it and also background information on where the wine came from.

Katy’s passion for the wines of Slovenia and Hungary shines thru in the wines that she and her husband have chosen to import to the United States.  These wines are unique lesser known varietals and because of their small and or limited production are not inexpensive but once you try them you will understand just how unique and good they are.

Hungarian Wines

2011 Király dűlő Furmint  This single vineyard wine is made from 100% Furmint.  It is a dry wine with great acidity and minerality with medium body and a nice mouth feel.  The wine is fermented and aged in Hungarian oak.  It has light citrus and stone fruit flavors and is a great alternative to Chardonnay.  SRP $32

Bock Kékfrankos 2011  Made from grapes grown in the Black Mountain Vineyard in Villány, Hungary near the Croatian border, the grapes for this wine are grown in limestone soil, and then fermented in steel tanks before maturing for 12 months in second use Hungarian oak barrels.  Kekfrankos is fun to pronounce and even more fun to drink.  This wine has lots of  tart cherry berry and chocolate flavor with hints of spice.  Because the wine does not have any oak  it has a nice lightness and is a perfect red wine for summer.   SRP $32

Slovenian Wines

Vino Kupljen 2011 Muškat Rumeni  This wine which translates to “yellow muscat” is a pale yellow color and has a great floral aroma it tastes of honey and lemon with a slight fizz.  It is semi sweet and its acidity provides a nice balance.  This wine is perfect for dessert, an aperitif or to enjoy with spicy foods.  SRP $23

Erzetič Rebula 2011  Very pale and almost clear in color, this wine is crisp and refreshing with flavors of green apple, white peach, lemon and hints of clove.  In Italy this varietal is know as Ribolla Gialla.  This wine has all the delicious flavors of apple pie but rather than being sweet it is dry with nice acidity and light body making it a great wine to sip alone or enjoy with food.  SPR $24

More information on Old World Vines and wines of Hungary and Slovenia can be found at where all the wines described above are also available for purchase.

And, if you want to learn more about wine, come join the fun of #winestudio on Twitter on Tuesdays from 6-7pm  The #winestudio schedule can be found at




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