Hungarian Wine Tasting In Budapest: Which Tour Should You Go On?

wine tasting budapest

Hungarian wine is said to be some of the best in the world, put simply, you must try a wine tasting in Budapest – but which one should you choose? Luckily, we've spent a lot of time in Budapest and, extra luckily, we are giant winos... We've put together this list of six wine tasting Budapest tours we've personally tried and loved to help you in your search for the best wine tasting in Budapest.

Hungarian Wine Tasting in Budapest

Taste Hungary offers many different culinary-based tours in Budapest, most of which are wine-centric or at the very least include three glasses of wine at the end. We've been on three of their tours: Thursdays at the Tasting Table; Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie Tasting (see below) and the Vegetarian Walking Tour. What we love about Taste Hungary is their beautiful location, their extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff and how they always serve the best Hungarian wine. Taste Hungary offer a two-hour evening wine tasting in Budapest where you can sample 8 delicious Hungarian wines: You can book your Hungarian Wine Tasting Evening in Budapest here.

1. Cultivini

wine tasting budapest

CultiVini has all the usual things you'd expect from a good wine tasting in Budapest – nice and knowledgeable staff, excellent range of good quality wines, snacks and water to go with the wine, classy setting and centrally located (right off popular Váci St). [Read more: Cool things to do in BudapestBut where Cultivini really stands a step above the rest is with their system: generally, with wine tastings, you are shown around three to eight wines. Whilst you often have a small say in what type of wines you'd like, there's not too much flexibility when it comes to when you'd like them, what order you'd like them in, how much you'd like, etc. Cultivini isn't like that because they have an ingenious system: firstly, you are shown to your table where you get your 'credit card' and tablet:

cultivini budapest

The card is pre-paid (by you) but can be topped up at any time. The tablet is to give you extra information and help you choose your wines. Next, you are shown the fridges: 

hungarian wine

Basically, you insert your card into the slot, and then choose which wine you'd like to try. You can go for a half, a quarter or just a smidge – and of course, you can go back for more. I absolutely loved the independence we had with this system: we could pick which wines we wanted to try, in any order we liked. We could decide how much we wanted to try, we chose when we were ready for the next one, it was all up to us. We still went for the usual white wine, rose, red wine, sweet wine path that is typical of all wine tastings, but as I don't like rose, I skipped the rose wine and had another white – it was so cool to be able to do this!! 

As for the members of staff, they were absolutely perfect when it came to getting the balance right between giving us recommendations and information, but also letting us discover things ourselves – I do like to know a little bit about the wines I'm tasting, but often on wine tastings it can be a bit of an information over-load for me. The Cultivini staff aren't like that at all and really made us feel comfortable. I felt like I could ask them questions at any time and that they knew what they were talking about, but equally I didn't feel like they said too much (although I believe they definitely would if that is your kind of thing). 

Another great thing was that there's no fixed time limit – you could stay as long or as short as you wanted to (but you should note, they often have large bookings, so it's probably worth you emailing or calling beforehand to reserve your spot).  All wine tastings in Budapest come with a try of the most famous Hungarian wine, Tokaj, and Cultivini Budapest is no exception. But as usual, Cultivini go a step above and beyond. Cultivini is where I got to try the best Tokaj wine of my life, and actually the best wine of my life.

hungarian wine

It was an Infusio from 2015, 14.5% and a bottle cost a whopping 119 900 forint (£350)! It tasted like the elixir of angels, and some say if you sip it every day you stay young forever. I'd sip it everyday just because it tastes amazing. It was served to us in the coolest looking cup we'd ever seen! All in all, Cultivini is super cool: modern, flexible, relaxed and the perfect wine tasting in Budapest. 

2. Doblo Wine Bar

doblo wine bar

Doblo Wine Bar offer a much more 'traditional' Hungarian wine tasting in Budapest. Again the staff are knowledgeable and fun and the wines are delectable. I really like the decor in Doblo, it's a fancy but comfortable place – the best of both worlds! We tried the Hungarian mini wine tasting, which meant that we got to try four different wines. Here some interesting facts about where and how they'd been made, and got to pair it with finger food:

wine tasting budapest

We started with a white wine from the Balaton – a region in Western Hungary famous for its beautiful scenery, the Hungarian 'Sea' (aka Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe), Balaton Sound (one of Europe's largest open air electric music festivals) and of course its epic wine. Next, as with most Hungarian wine tastings came a Rosé from Szekszárd, a city in Southern Hungary. Then came one of Hungary's most famous red wines – a Bull's Blood ('Bikavér'), also from Szekszárd. We ended the day as all Hungarian wine tastings should end: with a sweet wine from Hungary's famous Tokaj region. 

budapest wine tasting

There was finger food which came with the wine, it was predominantly cheese and meat from Hungary, really good quality, but I don't eat animal products so I stuck to the pickles and the bread – which were superb! Doblo is in one of the best spots in Budapest: super central in the heart of the Jewish Quarter. From Doblo Wine Bar it's just a short walk to the Synagogue, the Cathedral, the Cat Cafe, Szimpla and more.

3. Taste Hungary: Wine Tasting Budapest

tasting table budapest

One of our favourites by Taste Hungary is the Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie Tasting. Straight off the bat, one of the things I really liked about it was the fact that they were happy to edit their cheese and charcuterie menu to accommodate us, 'the vegans':

taste hungary wine tasting

Traditionally at the Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie at the Tasting Table, guests are served (you guessed it) high quality cheese and meats from Hungary. Luckily I told the Tasting Table ahead of time that we're not into that, because they went all out to accommodate us. Honestly, I'd have been happy with bread and oil, so I was super impressed that they made the effort to serve us something more interesting: we had a great selection of fruits, nuts, vegetables and pastes from Hungary. It was all delicious and they'd made a conscious effort to pair the snacks with the wine. It was great, job well done, thank you, staff! :)

Another thing I love about Taste Hungary is the atmosphere and decor: it's in a semi-underground cellar and is warm, inviting, relaxed... and not to mention super classy. The location is also superb: it's in a quiet area, and is easily accessible by public transport. The Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie Tasting involves five wine tastings, finger snacks and some expert information on the wines. What I particular like about it is you are given your five glasses all at once, at the beginning (as opposed to one by one, like most other wine tastings in Budapest). 

wine tasting budapest

This means you can choose the order you drink them, go back to one at the end if you prefer it etc. For example, I liked my sparkling wine and sweet wine the best, so it was great that I was able to save them until the end (as opposed to other wine tastings where you have to finish your wine/ get rid of your wine, before you're allowed your next wine). When we visited we had a sparkling wine from Hungary's famous Tokaj Region, a Juhfark (another famous Hungarian wine) from the Somoló Region, two reds (one from famous Eger, and the other from Villány), and of course a sweet Tokaj to finish, specifically, one from the Royal Tokaji Winery.

hungarian wine

Every time we go to Taste Hungary we're blown away by the quality of their wine tastings, I highly recommend you visit.

4. Budapest Wine Tasting Cruise

budapest wine tasting cruise

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. If you're pressed for time you could combine the Danube with Wine Tasting Budapest and go on a Budapest wine tasting cruise. Budapest River Cruise offer a number of cool cruises so we thought we'd try the Budapest wine tasting cruise. It was great! 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.

hungarian wine

Shortly after boarding, the band started playing traditional Hungarian music and the boat took off at a gentle speed. 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 a wonderful piece of architecture (originally inspired by the Palace of Westminster!)

budapest wine tasting cruise

Just as the sun was setting, we turned in the river.

wine tasting budapest

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 recommend it.

5. Thursdays at the Tasting Table Budapest

tasting table budapest

Thursdays at the Tasting Table are a regular series of food and wine events put together by Taste Hungary. This is what you go for if you're looking for more of a gastronomic and wine treat, as opposed to 'just' a wine tasting. Here you still get to try your fair share of wine (and brandy), with the added treat of a three-course meal and a chance to meet real Hungarian wine makers. When we went, the Hernyak Family were there to tell us about their family-run vineyard in the Etyek-Budai region (known as the 'vineyard of Budapest' thanks to its proximity to the capital). All the wines we tried at the Tasting Table on Thursday evening came from their vineyard. Our chef for the evening was Thomas, who also cooks for the Portuguese ambassador. He was very friendly and very talented in the kitchen.

hungarian wine budapest

Most guests had a traditionally Hungarian meal (read: meat-centric), but just like at the Cheese and Charcuterie evening, Taste Hungary and Thomas accommodated to our vegan needs which we were very grateful for. The meal was epic! As for the wines, we started with a dry, white citrusy wine, a Kiralyleanyka from 2015, which I loved. Next, we tried two Sauvignon Blancs (one from 2014 and one from 2015). Although they both came from the Hernyak's vineyard they were very different: the Hernyaks said that 2015 was an excellent year, very sunny, and 2014 was more 'interesting' (read: catastrophic). HOWEVER, I absolutely loved the 2014, it was very honey-like (both in taste and texture) with a sour after-taste, I loved it because I thought it was full of flavour and gave it a 10/10. Tanbay preferred the 2015 though. Both were dry and white, but that's where their similarities ended, it was incredible to hear that they were not only the same grape, but grown on the same vineyard, because they were so different!

hungarian wine

Next up came a sweet, super dry white Zold Veltelini from 2015 and a red smoky Pinot Noir from 2012. Then with dessert we had a Pinot Noir Blanc 2015, it was very nice, with the perfect sweet/acidic balance. After dinner, we were lucky enough to try out a sparkling wine and brandy from the Hernyak Vineyard. The sparkling wine was opened in front of us to make it sparkle. The correct amount of yeast & sugar had been enclosed in the bottle and then part of it had been frozen. We also learnt that a tyre has 2 units of pressure, but these bottles have 6! The brandy was 40% alcohol and had been aged for three years in a barrel, and then another three in a bottle. It was very yummy and the perfect end to the evening.

hungarian wine tasting budapest

There was a really nice crowd at the Tasting Table, with about 20 other guests. We sat with a lovely Hungarian lady and her lovely Hungarian/Australian partner who both gave us loads of tips about what to see in Budapest, and two Californians who were 100% darling! We went for a drink with them afterwards and they are super cool – hello to you guys out there! :) Whilst it's definitely not a traditional wine tasting, it definitely is a chance to try some perfect Hungarian wine and put candidly, I learnt more (and tried more wine) than I have on most other wine tastings. Put simply, the Thursdays at the Tasting Table are a treat we highly recommend. 

wine tasting budapest

Wrap Up: Wine tasting tours in Budapest

Hungarian wine really is some of the best in the world and I really hope you do a wine tasting in Budapest, here's a short summary:

Last but not least, here's a little Hungarian wine bingo for you to tick off on your wine tasting Budapest (and if you can't make it to Budapest right now, the links are clickable and lead to where you can buy them online) 

Are YOU Learning Hungarian?

All the wine gone to your head? Fallen in love with the city/a Hungarian? If you want to start learning Hungarian I highly recommend Catch Budapest's Smart Hungarian Audio Course. Click on that link to find out more, and if you're convinced use WEASELS30 for 30% off! 

wine tasting budapest

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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