I have to admit, I’ve always found it rather hard to get enthused about Olaszrizling, which is in fact the most widely planted white grape variety in Hungary. I generally associate it with being one of the constituents of fröccs in the summer, although admittedly I tend to the rosé or a more aromatic grape, such as Irsai Olivér or Cserszegi fűszeres, or even a nice Siller. In addition, it tends to be the plonk of choice at most underground borozó or kocsma, the kind of place you see people staggering into and out of in the morning, having imbibed some cheap gut rot, perhaps for as little as HUF 80 for 1dl (that’s 100ml to you and me). That aside, I generally think of it as a rather neutral-tasting variety. Crisp and fruity at best, horrible at worst; rarely my grape of choice.
So, as it was Olaszrizling October in Budapest and indeed the rest of the country, I decided to give Olaszrizling a second chance. First port of call, Nagy Olaszrizling Kostoló and three masterclasses: Grasevina (Croatian name for Olaszrizling), then and now, Olaszrizling around the Balaton and Csopak Codex.