Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tokaj-Hegyalja Market Calendar 2014

Well, we were sitting in Kriszta's kitchen when we admired the Magyar Konyha foodie magazine's calendar for 2013. It inspired us to create this calendar for the Market as we have so many great photos - and it's always good to be reminded of the next dates. We also decided to add all the great festivals and days in the Tokaj Wine Region, part of the cooperation we're all involved with.
Kriszta has done a great job :) The calendar looks fantastic - and i can't wait to take some back to the UK for friends and family to enjoy too. A taste of the market throughout the year.

As promised here are the themes of next year's market:
January - Market in hibernation
February 9th Furmint February and Masked Ball
March 9th Chocolate doping
April 13th Easter ham parade
May 11th Design on the table
June 8th Grape flower festival
July 13th Picnic with apricots
August 10th Fröccs & cordial fest
September 12th Tokaj grapes
October 13th Bags and more bags
November 9th Must & quince delights
December 14th Christmas Fair

We hope you can join us!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Christmas preparations - Sweet as Pie

The last Tokaj-Hegyalja Market of 2013... December 8th 2013

We have a first! Producers can finally bring homemade cakes to sell at the market - provided they have made at least one of the ingredients. Yum! We all love cake, I think. So this should offer some special flavours as we get to taste what our talented artisans bake when they're not making their jams and cordials, oils and vinegars, hams or cheeses.

Sitting around together in Kriszta's kitchen, we admired the wall calender - and decided to make one to celebrate the market. We have plenty of photos to choose from and it looks great. It will be available at the market on Sunday 8th. As well as colourful and inspiring images from markets past, the calender also gives you the theme for next year's markets AND dates for the best festivals in the year. Truly a way to help make sure you know what's going on in the Tokaj Wine Region has to offer! (Next year's themes in our next post.)

Back to this December's programme:
- workshops: DECORATE HONEY CAKE and FELT FUN with Árokparti Patiká and Lilcsi milcsi
- we'll decorate the MARKET CHRISTMAS TREE
debut of the 2014 MARKET CALENDER
- GASTRO-ADVENTURE: festive MARKET MENU and MULLED WINE at the Sárga Borház
- music - as always - and with our favourite AGYAGBANDA ZENEKAR
- visits to the Disznókő ESTATE AND CELLAR starting from the WINE BOUTIQUE

Hope to see see you there!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

More about mushrooms!

 The September market had mushrooms and grapes in the focus and I wanted to continue what I started last year - interviewing the producers about their speciality. How did they get into it? What has their path been like so far? And where would they like to go? I asked a new face (who grows lingzhi mushroom or reishi mushroom) and a familiar one (oyster mushrooms) to tell us more about their journeys.

First our regular stall holder, the owner of Tokaj Gomba who started growing oyster mushrooms in his cellar five years ago. After starting with 70 bags, he learnt from experience about the need for oxygen and water - continuing despite a couple of setbacks. He now has 350 bags - one of which he brought to the October market for people to see. As I probably would have realised (had I thought a little longer) there are many strains of oyster mushrooms too - with different temperature requirements etc. And also that, as a fungus living on trees, it needs oxygen - so he had to ensure air-flow (not the case for button mushrooms). He told me a little about how he produces his strain...

First straw is chopped up and then steamed to sterilise it, before being put into large bags with holes for the oysters to come out of. After about a month - depending on the heat and time of year - these delicate mushrooms start to appear. The bags keep producing for a couple of months - until only about one third of the organic matter remains. (This is then perfect for amateurs as the bags still produce, just not as abundantly and, finally it makes excellent compost for gardens!)

And what does he do with the oyster mushrooms? Fragrant and deliciously silky.
Well, he sells them fresh....

And bottles them too, experimenting with different herbs and flavours. He makes parsley, rosemary, thyme garlic and mustar seeds - as well as the new product in the range: cooked in tomato and wine. Yum. They're great with toast, meats and cheeses. Definitely worth a taste!

Suri Attila and his wife decided they wanted a new start and a more relaxed pace of life. They knew that they wanted their business to reflect a conscious way of living, bringing health to themselves and those around them. After floating many ideas, they decided on the Lingzhi mushroom, the most well-known of the medicinal mushrooms which also has the greatest health-giving properties they say. It strengthens the immune system and helps prevent numerous conditions as well as being useful in detox. Not only that, it can be used in creams and soaps which can help treat excema.

 Lingzhi mushroom

They converted their cellar, so their workplace is also at home. Since the spores contain the highest quantites of the active ingredients, they wait for the mushrooms to open before drying them and grinding them to a fine powder. They have received many compliments on the fineness of the grinding - and said this was the result of much trial and error. This is what I love about artisans, their desire to experiment and attention to detail. The fineness means the powder is less noticeable in the drinks - they recommended coffee, milk and as a tincture as carriers. It can be used as a detox to give a general boost (1g a day for three months) or more intensively to treat existing conditions.

A little more about Lingzhi... It has been used as a medicinal mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest mushrooms known to have been used medicinally

This is an edited extract from Wikipedia on some of its benefits:
"Lingzhi possesses anti-tumor, anti-cancer, immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic qualities. It has also been found to inhibit platelet aggregation, and to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Laboratory studies have shown anti-neoplastic effects of fungal extracts or isolated compounds against some types of cancer, including epithelial ovarian cancer. (Lingzhi) Ganoderma lucidum extracts are already used in commercial pharmaceuticals. It is reported to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral activities. (...) to exhibit direct anti-microbial properties with the following organisms; Aspergillus niger, Bacillus cereus, Candida albicans, and Escherichia coli. Other benefits were studied such as the effect of lowering hypertension, cholesterol, and anti-inflammatory benefits through the ganoderic acid properties."

And just one final word of thanks to the ZGE, the local mushroom and fungus society, which joined us again this year with a wonderful variety - despite the relatively dry conditions)


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Mezőzombor - "The charm of the aristocracy"

The next in László Alkonyi's wine tastings - this time on home ground! The Tokaj-Hegyalja Market is here in Mezőzombor, set in the very vineyards from where the wines to be tasted this Sunday. Classified as First Growths in the first classification created around 1730, these have always been sought-after lands here at the southwest entrance to the Tokaj Wine Region. As in the past, these vineyards are owned by large estates rather than being numerous small parcels. This monopole situation is one of the subjects that will be discussed at the tasting no doubt. Wines from Gróf Degenfeld, Dereszla and host, Disznókő.

We hope you can join us for the tasting.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Cheese and must! 13th October

The next market focuses on must, the precursor to wines. There will be many a must to taste, a wide range of grapes - many of them old varities - as well as the finished product too. László Alkonyi will be presenting the wines of Mezőzombor - "The real charm of the aristocracy", and at the wine bar will be László Majoros (Tarcal) and, of course, the host Disznókő.

And what do we have for children? A puppet performance of one of Hungary's best-known stories, János Vitez, followed by a puppet-making workshop.
Horse riding with Nellie from the Hátas tanya. Let's hope she brings her beautiful dog again!
Running - well this is one for children and adults alike. Three distances (5, 10, 15 km) around the Disznkő estate. A superb run through the vineyards, round the back of the hil to see down into the Mád Basin and back round to finish at the market. Only 1000 Ft to enter - and every (adult) runner will receive a bottle of wine to enjoy!

Cooper presentation - see a master at work as he assembles and toasts a barrel. That the Tokaj Wine Region is famous for its wine is, in part, due to the high quality barrels made locally from the Sessile oak that grows in the Zemplén hills that shelter the vineyards from the cold northern winds. This traditional craft is thriving still, supporting the wines on their journeys as it has done for centuries.

Folk music and dance performance with a local group, the Tokaji Gyöngyszemek
More music? Of course! The spirited lads of Csángálló will be making music for us to dance to.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Bodrogkeresztúr - the magic of diversity - wine tasting and course with László Alkonyi

Hidden treasures of Hegyalja

Bodrogkeresztúr - the magic of diversity

wine tasting and course with László Alkonyi

Bodrogkeresztúr: the magic of diversity.

One of the communities with the greatest history in Tokaj-Hegyalja, and the only to have vineyards on the main volcanic mounts of the wine region and on Tokaji-hegy. Diverse, a mosaic-like village.

In the wine tasting: Tokaj Nobilis, Dereszla, Bodrog Borműhely, Zoltán Demeter and Patricius
We hope you can join us!
László Alkonyi and the market organisers

8th September 2013, 11:00am
In the function room above the Sárga Borház restaurant

Please register at
with „kersztúri borkurzus” as subject
Participation: 2000.- HUF

Monday, 2 September 2013

Specilaities of the Wine Region - Grapes and Mushrooms . 8th September

Two of the foundations of the Tokaj Wine Region are in the spotlight this market...

Specilaities of the Wine Region:
Grapes and mushrooms into the basket!

- table grapes and mushrooms in the spotlight: virtual mushrooming with the Zemplén Gombász Egyesület plus exhibition and sale of table grapes from János Pisák (Legyesbénye) collection
-11:00 "BODROGKERESZTÚR, the magic of diversity” - wine tasting and course with LÁSZLÓ ALKONYI
- Wine Bar: where the winemakers pours!
- BASILICUS and of course DISZNÓKŐ behind the bar
- GASTROADVENTURE: WILD MUSHROOMS and GRAPE delicacies on the market menu
and coffee specialities from our popular bronze-medalist BARISTA, Alexandrosz Takács
- special guest from the 6-7th September MÁDI FURMINT DAYS, the ELSŐ MÁDI BORHÁZ bring their terroir products
- 14:00 Estate visit and wine tasting with Disznókő
- CHARITY FLEA MARKET for the animal protection society, Miskolci Állatsegítő Alapítvány
- music with jazz from TRIO BRIDGE

More info and photos at

Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Sárga Borház Restaurant - Part 2

The new label for the Sárga Borház range of wines. The name? It comes from the original press house for the Disznókő estate, the stunning 19th-century building which is now one of the region's top restaurants.

More info about the Sárga Borház:
  • Sárga Borház, the original press house on the Disznókő estate, means "Yellow Wine House" in English.
  • It is a popular lunching place for winemakers and the Confrérie de Tokaj,
  • offers daily specials and seasonal dishes as well as
  • a wide range of wines primarily from Tokaj, but also a selection of leading Hungarian producers and the other AXA properties in France and Portugal (including Château Pichon-Longueville and Quinta do Noval. The new wine list will be available soon.
  • Disznókő wine dinners give guests the chance to explore traditional and less so food and wine pairings,
  • there are also special menus for groups
  • and in summer the terrace is a great place to chill out under the shade of the huge chestnut trees!

Sárga Borház and the market
One of the supporters of our local artisan market, the Sárga Borház always prepares a special market menu with foods from the producers.
The shady terrace? Great for the summer market wine bar where the winemaker pours their wine. A place to soak up the relaxed atmosphere and enjoy each other's company!

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Sárga Borház Restaurant

Vili and Jutka - head the friendly team that make the Sárga Borház the popular meeting and eating place it is. Behind them is the Market Menu for the Veggie Fest at the July market.They brought new seasonal dishes to the market on Sunday (more in the next post!).


Cukkinis, paradicsomtatár pirítóssal
Courgette and tomato tartar with toast

Málnás ruccola saláta, áfonyás balzsamkrémmel
Raspberry and rocket salad with blueberry balsamic cream


Kovászos uborkaleves, cukkini chipssel
Dill pickle cucumber soup with courgette chips

Sárgabarack krémelves, vanília fagylalttal
Apricot cream soup with vanilla ice cream

Grillezett érlelt sajtok, málnás salátával
Grilled mature cheeses with raspberry salad

Kakukkfüves, sült paradicsom kecskesaajttal, csuporban, házi kenyérrel
Thyme roasted tomatoes with goat cheese in a pot with homemade bread

Kapros tökfőzelék, fokhagymás tócsnival
Dill marrow sauce with garlic tócsni (potato cake)

Málnás panna cotta
Raspberry panna cotta


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Erdőbénye - the treasury of minerality

Hidden Treasures of Hegyalja 
Erdőbénye - the treasury of minerality
guided wine tasting and wine course with LÁSZLÓ ALKONYI
At the Market
11th August 2013, 11:00
function room above the Sárga BorházRestaurant

Erdőbénye: Life between the rocks
What is minerality? - many refer to the term, but as yet no one has defined exactly what we should understand by it. Possibly the wine makers working around Erdőbénye have come closest. It is no coincidence since many regard this village the greatest dry wine area of the Tokaj-Hegyalja region.

At the wine tasting: Ábrahám Pince: Diókút, Béres: to be confirmed, Csite: Toplec, H. Bardon: Meszes, Homonna: Határi, Karádi és Berger: Narancsi, Vissy László: Peres

We hope you can join us.
László Alkonyi and the Market organisers

Please register in advance
with the subject "bényei borkurzus"
Participation: 2000 HUF