Royal Tokaji, 1999


Royal Tokaji! The Hungarian dessert wine of legend, Tokaji Aszú, from the region of Tokaj-Hegyalja. This is, after all, where the concept of appellations originated. It is the wine of kings and emperors, topaz or golden amber in the glass, with tangy honey nougat and caramel in the mouth. It has strident acidity, making it both sweet and dry at once. Low in alcohol, and almost syrupy in texture. This was the first wine to be intentionally made from botrytised grapes (grapes afflicted with the “noble rot,” caused by botrytis cinerea, a mold that serves to concentrate their sugar). Glorious. $30 a bottle when I tried it in 2006, but well worth every penny. Definitely serve chilled. I would not pair this with anything. It is also important to note that you would be unlikely to find a bottle of this at $30 now, but there are lesser Tokaji wines that can still be found at this price point.

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