F.I.C.B. international wine tasting and rating Challenge in Hungary

The 2nd F.I.C.B. international wine tasting and rating Challenge took place in Budapest (Hungary) from 23 to 26 May 2024, followed by an extension to Eger and the region of Tokay from 26 to 28 May. The Order of the Ladies of Pannonia provided a perfect organization and a warm welcome. Some 40 participants from member brotherhoods of F.I.C.B. from 8 countries took part in this successful and beautiful event (from France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the U.S.A.).

The Ladies of Pannonia hosting the 2024 F.I.C.B. Challenge

The Challenge itself was placed under the supervision of a professional Jury ( Chair: Pr. Diana NYITRAINE SARDY, Member: Ms. Ildiko KONCZ , Sommelier) and comprised 2 parts:

  • An individual blind recognition of wine varietals. During 2 sessions, the contestants blind tasted wine samples from 2 sparkling, 5 white, 2 rosé and 5 red. For each wine, they had to answer the following questions:
  • Is the wine a mono varietal or an assemblage?
  • What is the dominant grape varietal in the wine?
  • Is there any oaking?
  • In which country was the wine produced?
  • In case of an assemblage, what is the second dominant varietal?

Individual competition: the tasting room

Individual competition: the Jury and the bottles with sleeves prepared for the blind tasting

click here for the individual blind tasting card

A collective rating by all the participants of the wines served during the 5 meals served during the 3 days of the Challenge. 25 different wines from 8 countries (France, Hungary, Japan, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, U.S.A.) were thus tasted and rated. This formula was well appreciated by the participants who enjoyed the excitement and fun of the blind tasting!

The collective rating : 5 different wines tasted and rated blind by all participants at each meal (25 wines rated in total)

click here for the wine appreciation card.

click here for the list of the 25 wines tasted

Ceremony to present certificates to the 3 winners of the individual challenge (with David Braszil, who was awarded the F.I.C.B. Diplôme of Honor).

The results of the 2 competitions were presented at a Gala dinner on 25 May evening:

Individual Challenge:

N°1 and Winner: Akihiko SAKAMA The Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine of Japan

N°2: Damien RHUMORBARBE La Noble Confrérie des Olifants en Pays de Neuchâtel (Switzerland)

N°3 : Ken HICK the Oregon Wine Brotherhood (U.S.A.)

Wines Challenge : Winners of the collective rating:

Preferred Red: Villányi Franc 2020 – Attila Gere Winery (Hungary)

Preferred White: Noria 2023 – Chateau Ruban, Ladislav Dord (Slovakia)

Preferred Rosé: Grands Annibals AOC Coteaux varois en Provence 2023 – Domaine Les Annibals (France)

In addition to these two competitions, the participants enjoyed an exceptional programme of visits, Hungarian gastronomy and wine discoveries:

Budapest city tour: at the Royal castle

Budapest city tour: at the Royal castle First in Budapest, with a city tour, a visit of the Royal Castle, an induction ceremony by the Order of the Ladies of Pannonia and a boat cruise and dinner on the Danube. A visit to the beautiful Castle of Godollo, Queen Elisabeth’s (Sissi) favorite palace in Hungary, followed.

Induction in the Order of the Ladies of Pannonia

Budapest: Chain Bridge and Royal castle, aboard the boat cruise on the Danube

Gödöllö Castle

Then, a 2 days’ extension led the participants to the beautiful baroque city of Eger, where they had a private visit to the local University. This renown university (Esterhazy Karoly Katolikus Egyetem), founded in 1774, teaches i.a. wine sciences and technology and cultivates its own vineyard, from which the participants tasted some wines. The program in Eger was complemented by a visit to Tibor Gal Winery and Fuzio Wine Bar.

Eger University Library

And finally to the world famous region of Tokay, where 3 exceptional wineries were visited and appreciated (Oremus, Patricius and Dereszla). At first dinner, the participants appreciated the wines produced by three other wineries, operated by exceptional ladies, Judit Bodo, Sarolta Bardos and Stephanie Berecz.

Tokay vineyards

The 3 wine ladies from Tokay

The extension was concluded by a farewell dinner paired with the wines of the Szepsy winery, elected BEST WINERY OF EUROPE in 2022, with the exceptional participation of Istvan Szepsy Junior.

The event was a great success and the Ladies of Pannonia were warmly thanked for the wonderful programme they had provided.

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