From two nations that were once one empire, wines that are fit for royalty.
Before I fell in love with wine, I was enamored of history. When the former grew to capture my interest, the latter only fed into it; after all, to a wine lover who is also a storyteller, narrative carries as much weight as terroir.
The two countries that are represented here, Austria and Hungary, were once one empire known as the “Dual Monarchy.” But they are now unambiguously separate nations, and after staring at each other through barbed wire for the duration of the Cold War, they carry with them wildly disparate cultural associations. By most Americans Austria is seen as part of Western Europe, and its wines are well respected; its neighbor Hungary is commonly linked to the East, and its wines virtually unknown.
While certain volumes of Le Metro were created to showcase wines that I have come to know and love over the years, others have been developed to provide myself – as well as you – the opportunity to learn something entirely new. All six bottles in this collection were unfamiliar to me when they were submitted for my consideration, as I imagine they will be to many of you. And along with being delightful, all six of them are remarkably distinctive.
I rarely make space in these pages to credit the vendors from whom we source our wines, but this edition was only possible due to the courage of our suppliers. The folks from Blue Danube Wine and Old World Vines have bravely gone where no wine importers have gone before, and my friend Mike Tesarek – who represents Blue Danube in San Diego – has been a critical part of my own education on this part of the world. Mike has kindly offered to help out with food pairing suggestions for these wines as well, so keep a lookout on the blog!
Aaron Epstein, Curator