When I moved to the Bay area, I expected to find restaurants mostly focused on wines from nearby California wineries. What I didn't anticipate: a wine community with growing enthusiasm for lesser-known regions, thanks in no small part to Eric Danch, Northern California sales manager for Blue Danube Wine Company, an importer of wines from Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and other spots in Central and Eastern Europe. I asked Eric to share a bit of essential info about these unfamiliar wine regions. Shall we start with the part where he joins the circus?
'hungary' on Serious Eats
"I brought you a Juhfark," a friend announced when she arrived at a party. "Umm, what??" I asked, unsure if she'd just said something inappropriate.
I was sure that Pascaline Lepeltier would share a great new Chenin Blanc with me—she's obsessed with the grape, and she shares a hometown with its native stomping grounds in the Loire Valley in France. But she giggled over, eyes ablaze with a sense of mischief and excitement. A small, somewhat oddly shaped bottle appeared, and out poured the most incredible, fascinating, beautiful and bizarre wine I've had in a long while.
I knew I'd have no trouble making a pot pie. The problem was, I had no wine to go with pot pie. In the midst of my endeavor to try as many obscure grapes as possible, I found myself without the wine I always serve alongside this dish. Time to venture out of my comfort zone!