I thought I knew how to do Christmas: decorate some cookies, write a few cards, sing along with Bing Crosby, hold back tears when nearly all of Bedford Falls packs into Jimmy Stewart’s house at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. That is until I moved to Hungary. Hungarians take Christmastime to an entirely new level. And they have a couple of wintertime pleasures that just might keep me in Hungary forever.
What do Frederick the Great, Beethoven, and Thomas Jefferson all have in common? They all loved their Tokaji Aszú. This famous, full-bodied, amber-colored dessert wine comes from Hungary’s Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region, a World Heritage Site honored with the oldest classification of vineyards in the world. Tokaji Aszú is made from late-ripened grapes affected by a mold that concentrates sugars into marmalade-like sweetness. Highly esteemed, the region’s vines are even heralded in the Hungarian national anthem. Continue reading