Friday, June 18, 2004

Goodbye, Tokay!

[This post was first made early this morning, but Blogger made it disappear.]

The name of most versatile and unique grape will disappear. In two and a half years the appellation "Tokay Pinto Gris" will disappear, and the unique Alsatian wine will disappear into the crowd of similarly name Pinot Gris.

According to an agreement between the European Economic Community and Hungary, that name belongs to the Hungarian region Tokaj, which also is a wine growing region. Alsatian viticulture tried to keep the name by appealing to an old legend that the grapes were brought back from Hungary in the sixteenth century by a soldier who fought against the Turks. However, tests showed that the Alsatian grapes were actually related to Pinot Gris grapes from Burgundy.

The winemakers can continue to use the name "Tokay Pinot Gris" only until the end of 2006.

[Added:] This is the best wine. There will be no discussion. None!.


At 9:27 AM, Blogger johnny two-cents said...

Nat, do kindly recommend affordable Tokays imported into the USA. Now that it's going to be gone forever, I need to be able to lament its passing like an old friend. Also, if it's that good I really need to try it before I can't any more.

Me, elitist? Naaaaaaaaw.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Nathanael said...

The finding Tokay Pinot Grises will become more of a question later when the name disappears: they will be perceived as better quality Pinot Grises. We will have to know labels, etc.

Finding a good Tokay Pinot Gris is not hard . Use the price. $18 is the admission for a good bottle. Even at $18 they are great, but quality improves with price, and bottle can be expensive. $15 is a good wine, but it lacks the charm I usually want.

Most bottle that make their way to the US come from upper Alsace (around Colmar), so you won't have to worry about location (if you are confused, look to a postal code that starts with 68).

My preference for a bottle of lesser expense ($22) is Louis Blanck. I also have a bottle of Albert Boxler on hand. You can drink Tokays with any food--Tokay's are amazingly versitile, and can stand up to heavy dishes. But I think that they are best with a meal than without--especially a slow, relaxing meal.


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