A friend of Chris’s family got married recently in Hungary. She had a lovely wedding near Lake Balaton, and Chris and I had a blast. Did you know that Hungarian wedding receptions last all night? Neither did we. Do you know what Pálinka is? We didn’t either, but we sure do now.
While we were “in the area,” we visited all the Hungarian, Slovenian, and Croatian wineries we could. We didn’t know much about wines from these countries, and neither of us had been east of Italy in Europe before.
We started by visiting Spiegelberg Artisan Winery in Hungary, where winemaker Istvan Stephan Spiegelberg welcomed us an poured a lot of wine for us to taste. It was all delicious, and the setting was beyond beautiful. We tried wines we had never heard of, including the Hungarian “wedding wine,” a yummy white wine that – in traditional lore – is supposed to lead to newly married couples to give birth to sons.
We had decided to visit the Spiegelberg Winery in the morning the day of our friend’s wedding. It was only an hour (or so) drive away, and Chris was sure we would make it back in time. Well, we didn’t quite count on getting lost and spending over two hours tasting (read: drinking a lot of) wine. We did make it to the wedding on time, but just barely.
Also while “in the area” (and after the wedding festivities) we drove over to Slovenia to check out the wines made there. After getting only a little lost, we managed to navigate through the small, unmarked roads into a fantastic vineyard and wine region. We stayed the night at the fabulous Kabaj winery, where we enjoyed a great meal and tried a bunch of their wines. Again, they were all delicious and all very different from what we’re used to in California.
We highly recommend checking out the fantastic varieties of wine made in Hungary and Slovenia. These areas don’t often get much press in the US, but they produce some great wine. For a little introduction to Hungarian wine, check out this Wine Folly article.
We also had some other great adventures on that trip. We spent more than a week hanging out in Baška, Croatia, where we enjoyed the stunning views, the Adriatic Sea, and hiking all over the place. This area is incredibly beautiful and really fun. Definitely check it out if you’re ever “in the area.”