Red Wine
  • Paula Stanca


Főbor’, which translates to ‘main wine’ in Hungarian, underwent a name change under Maria Theresa’s reign in the 18th century. Being the top wine import on the Polish market, Hungarian ‘Főbor’ was renamed by Polish vendors as ‘Szamorodni’ translating to ‘as it comes’, which alludes to a cheaper version of Tokaji Aszu. Furmint and Hárslevelű bunches with both healthy and botrytized grapes are cut off at the end of harvest and vinified together in either ‘édes’ (sweet) or száraz (dry) styles. Sweet Szamorodni lies between a late harvest and the lightest version of Aszú ‘5 Puttonyos’ with at least 30g/l of residual sugar and 2 years of aging. The sweetness of Szamorodni depends on the ratio of botrytized grapes to healthy grapes, specifically the more noble rot grapes, the sweeter the Szamorodni. On the other hand, dry Szamorodni is obtained by fermenting the wine to dryness under a layer of yeast ‘flor’ at room temperature until all the sugars are consumed. A thick veil of flor protects the wine from oxygen maintaining it fresh, light and delicate, more like a Fino Sherry in character. Today Szamorodni is a Tokaji traditional style at an affordable price, yet to be discovered on the international wine market. With no sugar level requirements and no exact recipe, it can be produced in lots of different styles. Along with attractive pricing and great global cross-marketing, the intriguing array of styles can place Szamorodni at a competitive advantage within a large range of worldwide sweet wines like German Auslese and Beerenauslese wines, Sauternes, late harvests from Loire and Alsace and ice wines. Szamorodni should be advertised as a method of production, a category of quality, a Tokaji wine that combines sweetness with freshness, and in some styles keeps alive the tradition of flor aging.

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