Furmint ‘the next great white variety’

Affordable, pronounceable, adaptable and delicious, Furmint is the next great white variety wine lovers need to get behind was the message from a tasting dedicated to the grape held in London this week.

Taking place yesterday (30 January) at 67 Pall Mall, the tasting organised by Wines of Hungary was held to kick off a new campaign dubbed ‘Furmint February’, designed to drive awareness of Hungary’s signature grape.

Over 20 producers showed off their wines – both dry and sweet – to a packed room yesterday evening.

Towards the beginning of the tasting Caroline Gilby MW addressed the room saying that Furmint was, “the next great white variety and one you should be paying attention to and have on your wine lists.”

Like Riesling, she continued, it excels at bone dry and lusciously sweet styles, and always with a trademark acidity; while, more like Chardonnay, it lent itself well to sparkling wines or oak regimes and malolactic fermentation for fuller bodied, textured wines.

And this is no surprise given it’s a half sibling of both varieties. Furthermore, like both it is able to “transmit terroir very well, which is what all great wine should do”, and both dry and sweet versions were capable of ageing very well too.

Speaking to the drinks business, Lilla O’Connor of Wines of Hungary said that while Furmint was “not what Hungary is all about,” it was nonetheless “a useful step” when it came to introducing Hungary to a wider audience.

She added that both the Hungarian and UK trade should “get behind it a bit more and today shows they are 100% willing”.

Furmint February begins tomorrow (Friday 1 February) with both the trade and consumers invited to take part, with a trip to Hungary (for the trade) and winning cases of Furmint (for consumers) up for grabs.

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