Winemaker of the Year
Article by Mr Tibor Meskál, Senior Duty Manager of Corinthia Hotel Budapest
According to ancient custom, we are now in carnival season… This is the time of glittering balls, the pre-fasting period of eating, drinking and merrymaking, which in 2014 officially extends until 5 March, but there will still be cause for celebration after this. I well remember the grand balls in the Royal during the 1960s. Of particular renown was the Gypsy Ball, where the greatest first violinists entertained each other. The Builders Ball and the Csepel Machine Engineers and Pipe Fitters Ball were outstanding because at that time, in the so-called ‘People’s Democracy’, it was with particular pride that the working class and labourers had fun at such a elegant venue. Naturally, there were also lawyers and doctors balls for professionals.
This year, however, our event calendar reveals a different trend. Business-type social gatherings such as the ‘celebrity’ get together organized by Story Magazine have become increasingly popular. I am proud of our extremely high quality events, which I find are a great experience these days.
The Hungarian Wine Academy’s Banquet in honour of the Winemaker of the Year attracted Hungary’s President János Áder who, accompanied by his wife Anita, graced our hotel with their presence for the second time. Corinthia hosted this prestigious event for the eighth time, which in line with our motto we hallmarked with Royal Luxus service. The title ‘Winemaker of the Year’, conferred by the Hungarian Wine Academy, is the highest professional award of Hungary that local winemakers can win. The winning wine producer is entitled to bear the title in perpetuity, although once a year has passed since being elected to the honour he/she may only use the title together with the relevant year. This year the award has gone to Mrs. Éva Dignisz Gál, so the lady from Szigetcsép is Winemaker of the Year 2013. It was a great experience sampling all the courses and accompanying wines. Szigetcsép Cserszegi Fűszeres was served to guests on arrival, and once in the Ballroom they could meet the five competition candidates and their selected wines. They then spent an hour chatting and getting to know each other while enjoying tasty entrees. The award ceremony was followed by the singing of the National Anthem and a toast (Szigetújfalu Rhine Riesling, late harvest, 2009). This was followed by lunch in the Valletta Room, with entertainment from celebrity performers and musicians. Serving was overseen and coordinated by Péter Bolyki, Executive Sous Chef, and his team, while Conference & Event Manager Miklós Szekeres provided continuous service.
Szigetújfalu Italian Riesling 2013
Creamy goat’s cheese with chervil essence, served with a fennel garnish
Chef Árpád Györffy, Aranykaviár Restaurant
Szent Márton Rosé 2013
Duck breast and liver with a hot duck infusion, pomegranate chutney
Chef Szilveszter Horváth, La Maréda Restaurant – Győr
Balaton Uplands Chardonnay barrique 2011
Cod fillet on a bed of sweet chestnut foam in a wreath of pulse beans
Chef István Pesti, Egykettő BistroPub
Szigetújfalu Blue Franc 2011
Roast venison fillet with a beetroot cavalcade and crispy mushroom rice
Owner-chef Csaba Ádám, Olimpia Restaurant
Chef Ferenc Rácz, Buda Castle Fortuna Restaurant
Once the main courses had been served the guest chefs and sommeliers were thanked, as were the staff of Corinthia.
After this, guests returned to the Ballroom where the relaxed socializing continued in the company of delicious wines, desserts, cheeses and coffee. The dessert selection created by our master confectioner, Executive Pastry Chef Attila Menyhárt, proved highly successful.
So on this sweet note, and the bouquet of a final glass of wine, I wind up my memories of an unforgettable winter day. Life is beautiful and it is joy that results in satisfaction, don’t you agree?