Three days ago, while waiting at the train station, we started chatting with a fellow passenger about our RTW trip. Next thing we know he whips out a business card and…April Fools! That was just a ploy to get you to read our post. It’s about our wine tasting adventures in Eger, Hungary, and we promise if you keep reading you’ll enjoy it (especially if read with a glass, or bottle, of wine). And maybe if you tell enough of your friends about our blog, we might be on the Travel Channel someday 🙂
Eger is home to Hungary’s infamous “Bull’s Blood” red wine (Egri Bikavér). It is delicious stuff; a cuvee made from a blend of three or more grape varietals, many of which we had not heard of before our visit. You can taste Bull’s Blood, and many other red and white wines, in an area just outside of the old town called The Valley of Beautiful Women.
The cellars in the valley are lined up one right after the other and vary quite a bit in terms of their décor and seating arrangements. Some are very well appointed with great patios; others are simply holes dug into the side of the hill with standing room only. Either way “tastes” of wine, which are actually full glasses, start 90 HUF, which is less than 50 cents! The price and proximity of the cellars make this a gloriously dangerous place. The good news is that the walk back to Eger only takes about 15-20 minutes.
If countless glasses of wine haven’t quenched your thirst, the cellars also sell wine in bulk, poured straight from large tanks. You can buy plastic jugs to have filled with your favorite wine, or can bring your own container.
It is a funny sight to see locals and tourists alike carrying grocery bags full of wine in plastic bottles. We got our 1.5 liter bottle filled for just under $4 USD.
Aside from wine tasting, Eger is a fairly small town with few tourist attractions; easily covered on foot in a few hours. In our previous blog we talked about how much we loved the Hungarian food in Budapest, and the trend continued in Eger. We stumbled upon a fantastic restaurant near the castle called Imola and had one of the best meals of our trip thus far. The highlight was a smoked duck appetizer served cold with goose liver mousse and berry preserves. We aren’t usually huge fans of liver, but this dish was stellar! It was a bit shocking to find such an amazing and elegant restaurant in a small agricultural town.
Spending a few nights in the countryside was a perfect way to wrap up our time in Hungary and relax before a busy two days of train travel to our next destination, the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.