The interest in and demand for wines from Central and Eastern Europe were given a boost this month with the results of the Winelovers Wine Awards in Budapest that looks to highlight and reward the best wines from across the two regions. A leading panel of international wine judges were given the task of assessing the 840 wines entered. Here we go behind the scenes to see which wines came out on top.
Sweet wines, a red from Villány and sparkling wines from Somló all stood out from the pack in the 2023 Winelovers Wine Awards.
The Winelovers Wine Awards has a clear goal. To be the most influential wine competition in Central and Eastern Europe and be considered one of the world’s leading wine awards. It has been created following the success and impact of the 100 Best Hungarian wine award and is now in its second year as the Winelovers Wine Awards.
An international panel of judges came together in Budapest between July 7-9 to assess the wines that had been entered from producers across 14 countries. The international jury was made up of 65 wine experts and winemakers from 19 countries and included several Masters of Wine and one Master Sommelier.
The highlights of the award reveal three Tokaji Aszús and one Villány red wine were selected as the best of the best. Ther were four Grand Gold award winners, with the highest scores of 96/100 points being achieved by Pajzos 6 Puttonyos 2017 Legend Aszú and Trifecta Szent Tamás 2017 Aszú.
The best red wine was Bodor Winery’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, the best dry white wine was awarded to Pannonhalma’s Cseri Winery’s VIII Octavus Riesling, and the best sparkling wine was Kreinbacher Prestige Brut Magnum 2020. A further 101 wines won gold medals.
Right time right place
Caroline Gilby MW, the highly respected wine writer and expert on Central and Eastern European wines, was delighted to be part of the judging panel: “I think there is a genuine interest in wines from Central and Eastern Europe in markets like the UK, where the traditional markets have been done, the New World has been done. In Central and Eastern Europe, there are authentic wines based on long history, based on unique grape varieties, and the best wines can be amazing quality now as well.”
She believes the authentic wines in the region have a special history and are enhanced by the fact that they are made from unique, local grape varieties.
Rose Murray Brown MW, who helped judge the sweet wines, added: “Hopefully more consumers are going to enjoy these sweet wines. A wine competition definitely helps. Tokaj has a really good reputation worldwide, and I think it’s got even better over the last few years. It is very impressive to see what’s going on there.
The Winelovers Awards also sees itself as building a bridge between East and West and hopes the winning wines will now have a platform to help promote their wines to buyers in key markets across Europe and the UK.
“It’s a win-win situation for winemakers, wine merchants and consumers. It aims to address the shortcomings of the wine world and the needs of current market players,” says István Tábor, founder-owner of the Winelovers Awards.
As well as the awards judging there was also a chance for buyers and professionals to attend the Winelovers X – Experts Exhibition side event held at the same time in Budapest where they could taste many of the wines entered in the competition, meet some of the winemakers and also talk to the competition judges about how they seen the wines progressing.
The publication of the results will be followed by an online brochure in English, which the organisers will distribute to thousands of wine merchants, wine experts and press colleagues worldwide. The print magazine Winelovers100, published in September, will feature the best performing Hungarian wines in the competition.
There will be a further chance to taste the wines and meet the producers at the Winelovers Wine Awards awards ceremony on September 16.
- If you would like to find out more about the competition then contact Istvan Tabor, competition director at email@example.com.
- You can find out more at the website: https://wineloverswineawards.com
- You can also follow the awards on social media at www.facebook.com/wineloverswineawards and www.instagram.com/winelovers_wine_awards/.
- The awards is founded and run by Trinety Media Ltd a leading publishing group in Hungary’s wine market with a complex portfolio including online wine portals, consumer events, WSET APP wine school and wine webshop.
- The Buyer is media partner to the Winelovers Wine Awards.