Wine Tasting

Private cellars (pincék) and restaurants for wine tastings are scattered throughout town. Start with 100mL glasses; you may swallow more than you think! If you're serious, the correct order is to move from dry to sweet: furmint, dry Szamorodni, sweet Szamorodni and then the Aszú wines. The last, dessert-like wines have a rating of four to six puttony (a measure of how much of the sweet essence of noble rot grapes has been used). A basic flight of three/six Tokaj wines costs from 1500/3500Ft; an all-Aszú tasting of four wines can run between 4100Ft and 6500Ft.

The grandaddy of tasting places is the 600-year-old Rákóczi Cellar, where bottles of wine mature in long corridors (one measures 28m by 10m). Erzsébet Cellar is a smaller, family-run affair that usually needs to be booked ahead. There's also tasting (four wines, 1800Ft) at their Tokaj Coffee Roasting Company cafe. The most friendly of the central tasting places is Hímesudvar, with an atmospheric 16th-century cellar and shop northwest of the town centre. Smaller cellars line Hegyalja utca, off Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca, at the base of the vine-covered hill above the train station, including Benkő Borház.