Zoltan Szabo

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Hi From Zoltan!

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By Zoltan Szabo

Well, well, well…Gremolata bloggers, fans, readers and anyone in between! It's been a while...! How's everyone?

I have been traveling the world, eating, drinking and meeting interesting people! And I have been loving each and every second of it...!

Since I have last posted here, back in June about the Pannonhalmi Bormustra, Hungary's most respected wine competition, where I judged, lots happened to me on both, professional and personal level...!

I've met the woman of my dreams, got engaged and married! This info may be irrelevant to the world of food and wine, but wait a second...! My wifey's name is Boroka Johanna...! "Bor" means "wine"...! How can I not love her...?! "Wine" is in her name...!

Butterfield & Robinson's Black Sea gastro-yacht-adventure in August was great, we all ate, drank and walked our ways through a fantastic "route" and discovered many interesting wines, especially in Turkey; popped the cork of a few bottles of 1964 Massandra Portwine at Livadia Palace...1964 is the founding year of Butterfield & Robinson; had Romanian fish soup deep inside the Danube Delta...where it was hot, lots of sand dunes and trees...How do trees grow in a semi-desert area just God knows...! Gorgeous...! The Danube Delta that is! A biosphere reserve, those small canals with crystal clear waters, birds and fauna nowhere else found in the world...! ...And there was "rachiu"...! A distillate made from fruits, plums, grapes, pears and apples, most likely...! We should have skipped the second or third jar of it considering the steamy conditions..., but hey, we just jumped into the Danube after lunch to cool down...!

We had spit roasted lamb in Bulgaria and drank Mavrud; Yalta onions are the best and there's plenty of sparkling wine to be made in that area; after much caviar eating in Odessa we went to a night club, drank Vodka and danced...! Lots of fun! You should all take one of these trips meticulously organized by Butterfield & Robinson! I know I would do it again, and again, in a heart beat!

After this trip, I spent some time in Transylvania with my mother, sister, bro-in-law and their children, the 1 1/2 year old Anasztazia and 8 year old Richard.

Drank plenty of home made "cseresznye palinka" (cherries well sugared soaked in alcohol) for breakfast...! Realized that my mother's cooking is still up there...top notch, for sure! My dear friend, Zoltan Kovecsi is a hobby-winemaker for the last almost 20 years, and he became really good at it! Makes dry whites from Rhein Riesling, Italian Riesling, some Sauvignon Blanc, Leanyka and Kiralyleanyka, once pressed, lightly sulphured, aged in 50 liter glass jars; also "produces" a second press Aligote with some added sugar for partying...! They are delicious, especially considering the place where he makes and keeps these fine wines...the basement of his condo building, building apparently built back in the communistic era and the bunker-like underground should resist the devastating effects of an atomic bomb...! Would that make or qualify Zoltan Kovecsi a "garagist" winemaker?! You go figure! And what about this = He also makes a cognac...double distilling Aligote and ageing it in glass with oak wood pieces deeped in it! And it is not bad at all! He says it needs to age for about 5 years to show its full potential....Tones of innovative things in Transylvania, to say the least! "Froccs" is in vogue...Kovecsi's whites go with mineral water from the near by springs of Tusnadfurdo! And yes, him and I could drink gallons! Also a good cook, Mr. Kovecsi many times prepared food for me as well...most of the times open fire-roasted pork loin...succulent and delicious...by the foothills of Sugasfurdo, a picturesque, wooded area, with so clean air, stone-thrown away from Sepsiszentgyorgy, where I am from! And there was some dancing on the top of the picnic table, but only Dracula remembers the rest!

So, stayed tuned, more to come! My adventures in Shanghai, The People's Republic of China; Canadian wines on Paradise Island of The Bahamas: Chef Michael Pataran's Palmex Foie Gras torchon and paella, both to die for and best in world; Shogun Revolver; the top 20 ultimate ingredients of lust and desire as per Johnny Szabo, Pataran and yours truly...; best and worst of 2008...; Szabo & Szabo at the Gourmet Food & Wine Show; and Osteria, an Italian restaurant in Shanghai...and much MORE!  


I'm really proud of you!You are also the man of my dreams!I love you so much!
Your wife, Boroka
Post Reply By Szabo in Sepsiszentgyorgy on 11/28/2008 3:54:29 AM

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