Last night we were visited by a great friend of mine, Emma, who I used to work with in a former life. She brought many gifts with her, and had gone to great lengths to find drinks that were the perfect match for Christmas pudding, and chocolate brownies! She brought Madeira for the brownies, and Tokaji dessert wine for the puddings. Here is the Tokaji Aszu.
I know - I'd never heard of it either, but here are some facts I unearthed, courtesy of Berry Bros.
The Tokaj wine region is found in Hungary, 240 kms north-east of Budapest. The wines were so well regarded by the end of the 17th century that Prince Rakoczi was encouraged to classify the vineyards surrounding the 28 villages of the region, and it therefore has the distinction of being the first classified wine region in Europe.
If you look closely at the label you will notice it has 5 ‘Puttonyos’ – this refers to the sweetness, 2 being the driest, 6 the sweetest. In the very best years they are able to produce wines of 7 Puttonyos, known as Aszu Essencia, deemed to be one of the best dessert wines found anywhere in the world. So there we are, knowledge which could stand you in good stead ahead of a family round of Trivial Pursuit come Boxing Day! We will be quaffing this on Christmas Day with our own pudding, and I will be sure to report back on how it goes down. I’m also conscious I post pictures of bottles of alcohol with alarming regularity in my blogs...however in my defence two have been Christmas pudding related – I’m just keen no-one ends up with a glass of Rioja, or worse, Blue Nun, in front of them come 3pm on 25th December. Think ahead, people.
This week I made the difficult decision to stop doing my regular monthly markets for the time being. I’m still all over the Christmas ones, but it’s become too taxing trying to make muffins into the early hours with 3 very small children, who would love nothing better than to join me at said markets, but in reality are completely feral and not good for business.
Puddings are available to order on the web-site – and they can be sent as presents with a hand-written gift-note for no extra charge. I sent lots last year, and the feedback was great. So be more Emma - if you’ve hit the Christmas jackpot and have an invitation to visit someone else, take the pudding, and something decent to drink with it.