A summertime wine recommendation usually includes items that don’t require deep mediation, wines that don’t need to be solved in intimate silence, that you don’t need to dwell on. They have to work with soda water, ice, frozen fruit, lime, but who knows, maybe even with lavender or elderflower syrup. We can do anything with wines these days, there aren’t any rules set in stone – and if someone says the opposite, feel free to push them into the water from the pier to cool them down among the swans. Now, here are eight, easily obtainable, cool wines that are perfect for the beach.
Büttner Winery – Grüner Veltliner 2016
With almost 12 hectares of vineyards at Tóti-hegy, Badacsony-hegy, and Örsi-hegy, Büttner Birtok is a relatively new player on the market. The business that was founded in 2015 is – according to their self-definition – equipped for making fruit-centric and harmonic wines. Their selection mostly includes light wines, all of them have screw caps – their 2016 Grüner Veltliner is a very amazing item. It has great acids, a light body, and refreshing flavors in every sip. It stands great on its own when it’s chilled, but it can be taken to the next level with a little lime, two pieces of frozen gooseberry, and some soda water.
Price: 1,800 HUF (ButtnerWine.com)
The wines of Péter Váli are recurring guests on our lists: what can we do if they’re so good that we can’t ignore them even in summer just to make our top list more varied. Péter made another vintage from the Budai Zöld variety of the Badacsony wine region, and there’re only 2,200 bottles of it. The wine was never in barrels, this liquid was embraced by pure steel, that’s partly why it’s so vivid and vibrant with flavors of green apple and citruses. Its contents makes it stand out from the crowd of the usual reductive wines, but it shouldn’t scare anyone: it’s great with soda water and ice cubes as well.
Price: 2,590 HUF (DemiJohn)
Káli Balázs – Olaszrizling 2016
Balázs Káli’s name isn’t well known yet, as his wines appeared in the selection of one of the largest Hungarian vintner companies only last year. The young, adventurous winemaker, as his name also shows it, a native to the area, and he makes wonderful wines from the terroir of Szentbékkálla. His 2016 Welschriesling was harvested from 30 years old plants and delivers the typical, slightly sour, apple and almond flavors of the variety. It’s a wine well made, one of our personal favorites.
Price: 1,690 HUF (Bortársaság)
Konyári Wine Cellar
János Konyári passed away this year, leaving a huge void behind on the south shore of Lake Balaton. He was the first brave winemaker of that region who presented the consumers with red wine from an area that was traditionally making white wines around the regime change. Back then, red wines primarily came from the Villány region. However, János, as he put it, was always more of a white wine person. And South Balaton was able to do wonders with white varieties, just look at Zenit. This is one of the lightest, most summery wines of the cellar, a true bomb of fragrances in the form of meadow flowers and fruits with white flesh. This variety is one of the best bases for a wine cocktail. A drop of elderflower syrup, two fresh mint leaves, an extremely thin slice of cucumber, a lot of ice, half cup of Zenit, a cup of soda water, all of this slightly stirred – this is the recipe.
Price: 2,200 HUF (Radovin)
Nagy&Nagy Winery – Irsai Olivér 2016
Besides the typical, native varieties of the Balaton Uplands, the family winery of Lajos Nagy also has some international varieties. His winery is another screw cap one; his wines are all reductive, and are made in stainless steel tanks His Irsai Olivér was barely ready when he sent it to the country’s largest new-wine contest before it was bottled, and it immediately won its category. No wonder, as its perfumed nature and airy elegance captures lovers of light white wines at once. It is rather irresistible when it’s paired up with green salads, fresh cheese, or sheep milk cheese. Plus, its price is shockingly great!
Price: 800 HUF (Nagy&Nagy Webshop)
Szent Donát Manor
The Csopak estate with one of the most beautiful views and terraces of Lake Balaton expanded its selection with a great rosé – this wine is basically the little sister of their Magma Blaufränkisch that they harvest from their vineyards in Tihany. Fresh, rounded, tastes like berries, and it begs for soda water. We can also throw in some frozen currants or blueberries as well; human experiments proved that the mix of half cup of wine, 2 centiliters of lavender syrup, a cup of soda water, and half a handful of ice will cause a slight, good kind of addiction.
Price: 1,950 HUF (Finesse)
Folly Arboretum and Winery
Located on the top of Örsi-hegy, Folly Arboretum is a family institution we’ve already written about, and every time we mention them, we must also add that their cedar and cypress collection is unique in Europe – those who aren’t fans of wines should still visit them for this reason. And for the wine-lovers: the winery’s carbon dioxide-enriched rosé from merlot and pinot noir varieties (with a little residual sugar to make the sip round) is one of the best of the sparkling genre. The greatest way to have it is when it’s chilled down to 7-8 degrees, spiced with blood orange slices, and consumed on a terrace.
Price: 2,000 HUF (Folly Arborétum és Borászat)
It’s a great success for Kreinbacher that they won the platinum award at the most prestigious wine competition of the world for their champagne made from the marriage of Furmint and chardonnay with 10 g/l dosage. Who cares about gold, right? That’s already behind them. Classic, with its sour taste, grapefruit, citrus, and smoky Somló character is a true celebratory drink. This is why it’s absolutely all right to open a bottle of it every day during summer to celebrate the thousand colors of Lake Balaton.
Price: 4,500 HUF (Bortársaság)