The Danube is the second largest river in Europe, it runs through Budapest splitting the Buda side from the Pest side. It's an important part of Budapest and thus you must include it in some way or another on your own Hungary trip.
Budapest River Cruise offer a number of cool cruises, we went on the Wine Cruise and this is what we thought:
We were seated on the top deck of the boat next to the window. We were pleased to see that our table mats doubled up as a useful guide to the wines.
We sat with a lovely Romanian couple and two sweet Austrian business men. We taught each other how to say cheers in our separate languages and struggled to say it in Hungarian too.
There was also plenty of water, breadsticks and a huge jug on our table. The jug was for any wine we didn't want. But the wines were all excellent so we didn't use it.
Shortly after boarding, the band started playing traditional Hungarian music and the boat took off at a gentle speed.
First on the menu were the white wines. We tried a Tokaji Furmint Grand Selection from the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine territory (North-East of Hungary). This one was absolutely delicious, it was dry with a long finish and had a lime like taste. This was actually my favourite wine of the evening, I gave it a 10/10, Tanbay gave it a 6/10.
One of the great things about the tour was that our waitress gave us some tips for the wine: she recommended that this one be served with starters: salads, smokey fish or grilled meat.
The second white wine was a Bardos Wine Cellar Pinot Grigio from the Matra wine territory (North of Hungary). Although I didn't like it as much as the first one, it was still really delicious, with a bitter herby flavour. I gave this one a 7/10 and Tanbay gave it a 5/10.
Just as we were finishing the whites, the Hungarian Parliament Building came round the corner, it was awesome to see it from this angle, it really is one of the prettiest buildings in the world.
Next up was the rose. We tried a Juhasz Kekfrankos Rose from the Eger region (North-East Hungary). Usually I am not a fan of Rose but I was pleasantly surprised by this one - it was delicious! It was fruity, sparkling and refreshing. I gave it an 8/10 and Tanbay gave it a 7/10.
Our waitress recommended that this one be served with fish and white meat.
Just as the sun was setting, we turned in the river.
Then came the reds. We tried a Hilltop Premium Merlot from the Neszmely wine territory (North-West of Hungary). This was probably my least favourite wine of the evening, but then I've never been a Merlot fan. It had a red berry taste and was very fine. I gave it a 5/10 and so did Tanbay.
Next we tried a Bodri Szekszardi Civilis Cuvee wine from the Szekszard wine territory. This one was very nice with a fruity vanilla taste, I gave it a 7/10 and Tanbay gave it a 8/10.
Our waitress said that this one goes very nicely with red meat and spicy pepper dishes.
Finally were the sweet wines, these were also really delicious.
First we tried a Tokaji Szamorodni Sweet from the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine territory. This was probably my second favourite wine of the evening. It was very tasty and not too sweet for a sweet wine. I gave it a 9/10 and Tanbay gave it a 10/10.
Next was a Tokaji Aszu 3 Puttonyos from the Tokaji-Hegyalja wine territory. This one was a lot sweeter than the first, but still very nice. I gave it a 8/10 and Tanbay gave it a 9/10.
Finally there was the option of trying a small shot of Unicum a bitter herbal Hungarian liquor - similar to Jagermeister.
All in all, we really enjoyed our wine cruise. We were expecting it to be more of a wine tasting, but were pleasantly surprised with the generous glasses. It was the perfect way to learn more about Hungarian wine, experience the Danube, make new friends and hear traditional Hungarian music and we highly recommend it.
To book your ticket, head over to their website: budapestrivercruise.com/budapest-wine-tasting-booking and to see what other cruises they offer, go to their main page: budapestrivercruise.com. They offer day and night cruises, with or without food, with or without wine and even a cocktail cruise!
And don't forget to pin this to your bucket-list!
Disclaimer: Travelling Weasels were invited as guests, but all opinions are our own as always.
We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!