The first official episode of my Hungarian Furmint jaunt has finally been released!
In the inaugural vid, I get down in the dirt – literally – with István Balassa, the man behind Balassa Winery in Tokaji. We talk about his stones – also literally – and their effect of those various interesting soil types on the resulting Furmint grapes (and, of course, the wines, which I get to drink during the video and you don’t… sorry!).
Interspersed among the important and interesting facts about Tokaji, Balassa, and Furmint are my usual annoying antics, including a very, very, very sad attempt at juggling.
For more background on the video series and the FurmintUSA project, see my introductory post at http://www.1winedude.com/the-furmintation-of-the-nation-kicking-off-furmint-usa/.
The official press release is below (only because I lack an online version to which I can link) after the jump (sorry, the interview wasn’t my idea!)…
FurmintUSA Launches the REAL STORY of Dry Furmint Wine in Tokaj
Video Series with Joe Roberts of 1WineDude
January 6, 2015 (Napa, CA) — Think you know Tokaj? Every wine trade individual should—it’s one of the most historic and the first classified wine region of Europe. Furmint USA announces the launch of a wine video series with Joe Roberts of 1WineDude.com. Education and entertainment come together in this twelve-part series called Furmint Adventures as Joe takes viewers into the vineyards and cellars of Tokaj, introducing them to the intriguing people behind the region’s premium dry white wines.
Each video, to be released at weekly intervals, highlights an individual winery while focusing on a particular aspect of Furmint winegrowing and production. From vine to bottle, at the end of the series the viewer will have taken his or her own personal journey through Tokaj, Hungary.
Joe Roberts, CSW, authored a popular freelance wine column for Playboy.com; he is the wine expert for Answers.com; and proprietor of the 1WineDude.com blog and website, a virtual “edu-tainment site” for wine lovers. To create the video series, Joe spent nine days in Hungary’s Tokaj region, meeting the producers, walking the vineyards, visiting the cellars, and tasting the wines.
We invite you to get to know Joe Roberts better, through a Q&A, not only on his trip to Tokaj but also his entry into the wine business and how he came to be a voice for the industry:
Q: Any thought about dry Furmints before you visited Tokaj, and then afterwards?
JR: I had little idea what to expect, apart from having really enjoyed the vibrancy of a small handful of dry Furmint wines before working with the folks in Tokaj. I was blown away with the quality and potential of what they’re doing now over there, and impressed that they’ve been able to do it through sheer force of will. I’m excited to see whether wine lovers will get as geeky over these wines as I have!
Q: How did you become interested in wine? Why wine?
JR: I was making good money with a promising career, and sort of found myself with the disposable income to start overcoming my fear of wine. I’d loved craft beer, and started exploring wine in much the same way that I approached beer. Then I went off the deep end, getting wine certifications and digging into wine’s various amazing sub-topics, like geography, history, and chemistry.
Q: Why did you become a wine blogger?
JR: I more or less couldn’t help myself. I was so passionate about the topic that I felt compelled to share that passion somehow. Blogging was the cheapest way to get started!
Q: How have your views of wines changed since you made it a profession?
JR: For one, I tend to care much more about how to convey the soul of an interesting wine than I do how it tastes. And I get more excited now about unique and interesting wines, the kind that remind me of why I fell in love with the stuff in the first place. And I hate rating wines more than ever now!
Q: What do you say to people who ask you, “What is your favorite wine?”
JR: “Do you mean now, or ten minutes from now?” :-)
Ready for that first video? On the homepage here: http://www.furmintusa.com/
And then read below for Joe’s pick on a song that best describes Furmint and the full schedule of videos:
Q: You used to play in a band. Name a song that best describes Furmint.
JR: These Furmint wines are lively, classy, and deceptive; they come off as energetic at first, but there’s a timelessness and lots of complexity going on underneath all of that in the best examples. So, I’d pick a jazz standard, only one that’s an electrifying remake: the live version of “Devil May Care” by Diana Krall—edgy, competent, complex, sexy, and above all else, lively.
Episode Two takes you to a winery property previously owned by the King of Hungary and dating to 1502. See the room where grapes arrived by chariot! The estate was awarded “Most Beautiful Wine Estate of Hungary” in 2012. This next episode of Furmint Adventures, titled “Hetszolo Winery: Fine wines since 1502,” will be released in the next week. Look for it on FurmintUSA.com and on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/FurmintUSA.
Keep visiting FurmintUSA.com for wine tasting event notices. Furmint USA looks forward to sharing dry Furmint wines with you in 2015. Expect to see us at tasting events and major wine conferences around the country.
Started this year, FurmintUSA is a promotional campaign to promote the dry Furmint wines from the Tokaj region. FurmintUSA strongly believes that the dry Furmint wines will be the flagship wine for Hungary in the future.