Thursday, 30 May 2013

Kites and picnics!

Summer is here - and the May market was a fun fest of kite-making and flying, scrumptious picnic baskets filled with goodies from the stall-holders, and two of our favourite musicians - the tárógató and harmonium players who met for the first time at the market last summer, and who found wonderful musical companions within minutes.
(photo above courtesy of Szerencsi TV who are a great support to the market in terms of documentation and video. All others are by Zsolt Szentirmai.)

Kornél, Enikő and their children set up the kite-making table. They had brought a simple design that could be made within minutes - decorated for as long as you liked. It was a great sight seeing young and old dashing along under the vineyards and up high on the hill, long tails streaming behind their kites soaring above them. Many a child's dream - no matter what age ;)

Well, summer has certainly arrived after a long winter that, though at the time seemed it would never end, has since disappeared into faded memories, as the summer triumphantly presents itself. We though the lush green world perfect for a stroll into the vineyards, picnic basket in hand, to find a pleasant spot to enjoy some local delicacies and wine made on the estate.

A savoury basket with a bottle of chilled Disznókő Tokaji Dry Furmint to accompany cheeses and cured sausages, perec (crunchy bread rounds), tomato chutney, mushroom paté and Sárga Borház freshly baked bread; a sweet basket with honey and jams, gingerbread, and homemade cakes to go with a sweet yet refreshing Late Harvest. The baskets made by the Búzavirág Foundation, a community for the blind and partially sighted that offers integrated living and handcrafts such as weaving (basketry and rugs) and pottery, also included hand engraved wine glasses, a picnic rug, Tokaj-Hegyalja Market badges and even a special edition embroidered Market rug. Perfect - in fact so perfect that many of the baskets were bought as presents!

Many of the picnic basket items were traditional favourites on the market, but I would also like to show a couple of new products that I noticed for the first time.

Hungary meets Japan
The Tokaj Wine Vinegar producers have got together with local Japanese wine lover (picture of his grandfather above) to produce this special vinegar:

And local oyster mushroom grower decided to preserve his oyster musrooms as a tasty paste (garlic, thyme, etc.) Of course, one of the pleasures of the market is that you can talk to the producer - and taste before you buy... (These spreads were yummy!)

And, not exactly a new product as such, indeed a very ancient form: Grandmother and Grandson working together, creating wild-crafted cordials and jams, including diabetic products using birch tree sugar.

One creature not interested in any of the products...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Join László Alkonyi's tasting: Tokaj's Hidden Treasures - Pioneers of Tarcal

We are very lucky that Tokaj expert and writer László Alkonyi is conducting a series of guided tastings at the market. (All photos for this post by László.)

Taste wines from producers small and large and, as well as discovering their beauty and intricacy, you will be given an overview of the wonders hidden in the ground. The course offers new info on the wines, the classification map, photos and snippets of wine history inspired by personal adventures. A great way to find out more about the vineyards and the wineries and winemakers who work them, many of whom join the conversation, telling stories with László about the wines and the land.

This Sunday's tasting, Tokaj's Hidden Treasures - Pioneers of Tarcal, will be the second in the series which looks at the distinctive nature of each vineyard around a given town or village, taking us on a journey through the wine to discover the region, its vineyards, winemakers and, of course, the wines.

Tarcal: where everything started
Vineyards: the oldest and yet the youngest
Because: everything has to start somewhere. An example is set and others follow - sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. Tarcal was the example for every town and village in the Tokaj Wine Region; it was first to show its vineyards to the world.
Why: because it's worth discovering. Árpád-hegy Pince - Zafir, Basilicus Szőlőbirtok - Mestervölgy, Bott Pince Előhegy, Dorogi István - Thurzó, Gizella Pince Szil-völgy, Gróf Degenfeld - Terézia, Kikelet Pince - Lónyai.

The seminar and tasting starts at 11am in the function room abve the Sárga Borház Restaurant. The fee is 2000 HUF payable at the door. However, if you would like to participate, please write an email to, subject tarcali borkurzus so we know how many participants to prepare for.

Look forward to seeing you there at what should be another informative and fun event here in Tokaj-Hegyalja.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Garden delights: seedlings and picnics!

The poster for this Sunday's market is already up - below - and here is a translation!

So, this Sunday we have the market again. Seedlings and plants! Kites and tastings! It promises to be yet another fest for mind, body and soul with over 50 devoted and inspired artisans.

A focus on seedlings and fresh spring vegetables, a theme that is carried through into the GastroAdventure of the picnic baskets from the Sárga Borház Restaurant. A great selection from the producers, bottle of wine and the chance to explore the wonderful Disznókő estate and see the Tokaj Hill from a different perspective.

Kite-making expert Kornél will be showing you how to make and fly your own kite from 10am to 1pm. Locals remember days when kites were flying every weekend at the Belvedere at the top of the hill. Literally flying into summer!

Curious to know more about wine? You may want to join the second in the series of wine tastings held by Tokaj expert László Alkonyi. The tastings focus on a different settlement of the region each market and this time the title is "From where it all began: Tarcal". It will be in the upstairs room of the restaurant (entrance at the back) and we ask people to register for the event at

As always there will be music - accordion and tárogató (a traditional Hungarian wind instrument similar to a clarinet). This was the wonderful combination last summer when the tárogató player met the accordionist for the first time - and they played happily for hours together, teaching and learning, learning and teaching! A joyful encounter indeed.

Alex, our guest barista, will be joining us again to create coffees in the restaurant and the Wine Boutique of Disznókő will be open. Guided tours of the estate at 1pm - take the opportunity to travel through the vineyards and cellars accompanying the route of the grape on its journey to the bottle.

Here in the wine region there is a joy in our market. Tied together by wine, we have much to celebrate - and the market gives us all the chance to do just that!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Tarcali dűlők és borok - újabb piaci borkurzus Alkonyi Lászlóval

Várakozással telve állunk az újabb közös borkóstoló előtt, mely nemcsak a bor kínálta szépséggel, harmóniával kecsegtet, hanem rálátást enged a termő tájban  rejtőző csodákra. A kurzuson új felfedezéseket tehetünk a borok, a dűlő-térképek, -fotók és bortörténeti morzsák színes egyvelegében, saját kalandra isnpirálódva, ismeretséget kötve nemcsak a dűlőkkel, de a rajtuk munkálkodó borászatokkal és borászokkal, akik közül sokan maguk is csatlakoznak s Lacival vállvetve mesélnek a borról, s a tájról. 


Májusi piac a természet lágy ölén!

Megjött a virágba borító, kertbe csalogató május és vele hamarosan a piac is. Május 12-én palántákkal, piknik-kosarakkal, sárkányeregetéssel várjuk a piacozókat egy szabadban töltött napra. Teli hassal a fűben heverni, harmónika- és tárogatószólamoktól gondtalan álomba ringatva. Mi lehet ennél jobb?! Várunk mindenkit szeretettel!!! :)