Posts Tagged ‘újbor’

Excuse us if we seem a little tipsy. It’s November which means that while it may be a difficult time for sunbathers, it is a great time for wine lovers. That’s because November is ‘new wine’ season, when vineyards release a limited amount of the year’s vintage. ‘Újbor’ in Hungarian, it is better known by its French name, Beaujolais nouveau. The product of early harvest red grapes (though to a lesser degree you will see whites and rosé) Hungarian újbor is usually light, fruity, and highly potable.


The celebrations of the new wine go hand in hand with St. Martin’s Day. As such, two of the reasons we think Hungary has become the second top tourist destination in the world converge in November: wine and festivals. Hungary is a country that celebrates all its culinary niches with festivals, and újbor is no different. How St. Martin himself became identified with the release of new wine is largely speculation. Some say it is due to his generous nature, while others maintain it is merely because he is from the town of Tours in France, the nation traditionally identified with a finicky wine culture.


St. Martin’s new wine festivals happen in the middle of the month, taking place across the country. In Budapest we have the Saint Martin’s Day Festival that unfolds over three days at the ever-glamorous Gellért Hotel. If you want a less ritzy venue, the Hungarian Museum of Agriculture in Budapest’s City Park also sponsors a November 9th St. Martin’s Day celebration, offering tastings of goose dishes as well as újbor, along with a program of folk crafts and dancing. Both venues have goose on the menu: in Hungary the bird is traditionally served with new vintage wines, as it is believed to bring good fortune for the coming year.


So don’t feel too bad as autumn transitions into winter – do as the Hungarians do and celebrate new beginnings and the great things to come.

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