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Furmint: A versatile variety to watch

Hungary has established the reputation of this grape’s subtle, complex, food-friendly dry whites, but great Furmint wines can be found in other places too, says Caroline Gilby MW. Try a range of styles of dry Furmint this month and get some food pairing inspirations from Isa Bal MS.

Furmint is famous as the key ingredient in the amazing sweet wines of Tokaj, but over recent years it has quietly been building a reputation as a variety to watch: with multiple claims for joining the ranks of great white grapes.

Incredibly versatile, Furmint has some similarities to Riesling – able to go from bone dry, crisp and vibrant all the way to intensely sweet, though always with its hallmark steely acidity.

Scroll down for Furmint food pairing suggestions and top recommendations

At the same time, it has a touch of Chardonnay’s nature about it: capable of fine sparkling wines and able to respond well to oak and malolactic fermentation to give layered, complex, almost Burgundian-style wines.

This all makes sense, as genetic analysis shows it’s a half-sibling of both Chardonnay and Riesling.

See Caroline Gilby MW’s top Furmint wines in addition to our top picks for Furmint February 2021

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