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Bull's Blood (Egri Bikavér)

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Egri Bikavér ("Bull's Blood of Eger") is Hungary's most famous red wine. It comes from the Eger wine region of northern Hungary; the Szekszárd region produces a similar wine with similar name (Szekszárdi Bikavér) but with different character.

Egri Bikavér is a blend that has varied over the years, although the blend is anchored by the ancient Kadarka variety. Kadarka is believed to have arrived during the Turkish invasion of the 16th century, either by the Turks themselves or by Serbs displaced by them. It is a difficult grape to vinify, and has increasingly been replaced by Blaufränkisch, known locally as Kékfrankos.

Officially Egri Bikavér must contain at least three of the following 10 grapes: Kadarka, Kékfrankos (or Blaufränkisch in German), Blauer Portugieser (Kékoportó), Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Menoire (known as Kékmedoc, or Médoc Noir before), Pinot Noir, and the modern Austrian hybrids, Blauburger and Zweigelt.

In 2004 a new level, Egri Bikavér Superior was introduced. In this case, at least 4 out of the 10 recommended varieties must be used and also a lower yield must be applied.

High-quality Egri Bikavér requires two or three years of oak aging, and is best with game, beef, or other spicy food. Egri Bikavér should be served at 16-18°C

It has been suggested that the term Bikavér was coined by poet János Garay in 1846.

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References

Egri Bikavér, en.wikipedia.org

Egri Bikavér – Bull’s Blood, thebeachsideresident.com

Bull's Blood - Hungary's Legendary Red Wine, thehungariangirl.com