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In a green bottle, please

Landing in the town of Mór in northwestern Hungary on a Saturday afternoon in early November, you’d be justified in thinking that the world had ended. Loud calls of ‘Hello – anyone home?’ brought no one running to the streets. The place was deserted. Mind you, according to the Net, the place rocks at other times of the year so it’s worth keeping (or putting) on your list of places to visit.

We’d come in search of some Ezerjó – in a green bottle, please. This Hungarian white wine grape is peculiar to the region and, by all accounts, could give Tokaj a run for its money in the desert wine stakes… in a good year! The direct translation – thousand good. It doesn’t sound nearly as inviting… But you have to love a town that weaves empty wine bottles into its holiday garlands.

Having done a quick spin of the main square (and a rather lovely square it is – even if was completely devoid of life), we managed to find a man to direct us towards the wine museum, where, summoned by the front-door bell, our host and guide ran us through the cellars. Turns out, he is none other than Mr Bozóky himself – a first-generation winemaker issued of banking parents. The harvest is late this year apparently, so there was lots of empty space waiting to be filled. And he had wine ranging in price from 900 forints  to 100 000 forints. Something for everyone.

We didn’t do much to endear ourselves to him. My Hungarian saved me from dissing cuvee as a glorified punch (something the ill-fated MI failed to leave unsaid), but he seemed to enjoy the rather idiotic questions and our insistence on having our Ezerjó out of a green bottle, please. It was a pleasant way to spend 45 minutes or so and despite some earlier misgivings, we parted friends. So much so, in fact, that he presented Ireland (via mise) with a bottle of his award-winning dessert wine. I was suitably humbled. Of course, hindsight being 20/20 vision (thanks to Google and its ilk) had I known then what I know now, I’d have traded one of my bottles of Ezerjó for one of his 2011 sauvignon blancs…