I'm told that bikaver is Hungarian for "bull's blood", and in the Hungarian town of Eger they make a red wine by that name from the native Kadarka variety of grape (and others; the wine is blended, according to the sources I've found on the web).

I'm told that there's also a Spanish red wine called "Sangre de Toro", which means just the same thing. Due to inexperience I can't comment on the Spanish version, but the Hungarian stuff will put hair on your chest. I usually see it for four or five bucks, in a black bottle with a bright red stylized bull's head on the label. Frequently, it'll be labelled "Egri Bikaver", "egri" being indicative of the town of Eger. One source says Eger is in Transylvania, but I wouldn't make too much of that -- and besides, Transylvania is in Romania now.

Once upon a time I went to Hungary and was amazed and questioned why they say Hungary has the most alcoholics; well it became apparent when I realized everyone I visited had their own wine cellars and breweries.

In America the popular choice of Hungarian wine is Egri Bikavér, or an occasional bottle of Tokaji wine.

Egri Bikavér is a red wine - you can pick from a sweeter or tarter version in most wine stores - this is not a typical wine from my experience that can be purchased in your local supermarket.

Egri Bikavér is made of several grapes including the: Kadarka, Kékfrankos, Kékoportó, the Cabernets, and Medoc Noir. Unfortunately prior to 1990 before the communist era ended in Hungary the Kadarka grape was eliminated from the recipe due to it's hard to cultivate and grow. Since the 1990s Hungarians have put back the kadarka grape back into the recipe to re-gain it's exquisite bold wine color and flavor.

The cities of Szeged and Eger are the manufactures of this wine. Szeged in the south-eastern part of the country and Eger is in the north-eastern, when looking at a map they are almost directly in line with one another. Eger is not nor was in Transylvania.

My grandmother also noted in her book that this is a good medicine for stomach problems and helped against ulcers and such.

And of course like any good wine it's best served aged and chilled.



determined exact location of cities: http://www.gotohungary.com/budapest/hungarymap.shtml

All information from grandma's recipe book and reprinted with permission.

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