When planning your vacation to Budapest, you likely look forward to some culinary delights such as our well known Goulash soup, paprika-infused dishes, and shots of Palinka; but there is so much more to Hungary’s culinary experience, especially for lovers of wine. If you are not yet aware of the refined wine culture of Hungary, delightful wine bars and the best places for indulging in delicious local wine in Budapest, this article is for you!

 

Two half-filled glasses of red wine on a dark wood table surface, illuminated by the soft glow of candle light

Budapest is an exuberant and spirited city and a celebrated destination for wine-lovers. Hungary’s geographic location, climate, the angle of its hills and its volcanic soil are the perfect combination for successful wine production. Until not so long ago, Hungary was one of the most well-known wine regions of Europe, however, wine consumption, as well as production, fell significantly in the midst of a recent turbulent history.

Fortunately, they are both experiencing a revival within the past decade, and now locals and visitors alike can enjoy a great variety of supreme Hungarian wines. Besides the old companies, there are many new wineries that are offering the distinctive taste of the traditional wines with a new twist, and at a reasonable price.

Before we introduce some of the trendy restaurants to visit for wine-tasting, let us give you a short introduction to the major wine regions, as well as some of the best wine types of Hungary, so you can sound very knowledgeable when it comes to wine talk on your travels.

 

A short intro to Hungarian wine


There are twenty-two official wine regions in Hungary which are grouped into major regions. The four most well-known regions are Eger, Tokaj, Villány and the Balaton highlands.

 

Vineyards of the Tokaj wine region in Hungary
Vineyards of the Tokaj wine region


One of the most famous kinds of wine that you will find, not only in Hungary but around the Globe, is Egri Bikavér from Eger. The name translates as “Bull’s Blood”, which probably tells you enough about it - a rich, spicy, red blend full of body. From the same region, you can also taste brilliant white wines, such as Egri Leányka and Debrői Hárslevelű.
Tokaj is the oldest classified wine region in the whole world and it produces the world’s first noble rot wine; the sweet, dessert wine, Tokaji Aszú. King Louis XIV of France called it “the king of wines and the wine of kings”, and rightly so.
Villány region is famous for its luscious and aromatic red wines, such as Kékfrankos, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. On the other hand, the Balaton highland presents us with various fresh and fragrant white wines, for instance, Olaszrizling, Chardonnay, Szürkebarát, Cserszegi Fűszeres and Muscat Ottonel.

And now, some of the best places for wine in Budapest:

Faust Wine Cellar in Buda Castle


What could be a better start to our list than a medieval wine cellar in the Buda Castle district? Faust Wine Cellar offers a huge variety of quality Hungarian wines in an authentic atmosphere. As one of Budapest's more intimately- sized wine bars, reservation is recommended. The cellar’s owner, a professional sommelier, will introduce you to the best wines and the historical wine regions in the special ambience of the cellar, part of the labyrinth system underneath the Caste Hill which was carved out during medieval times.

 

candle-lit tables in the intimate Faust Wine Cellar in Budapest
Source: Faust Wine Cellar


Hess András tér 1, 1014 Hungary

 

Doblo Winebar


Doblo Winebar collects only “the best of the best wines”. It offers different types of tasting menus which include diverse wines and food platters at different price ranges, so even on a modest budget, you can enjoy a quality wine tasting experience.

 

Selection of red and white wines in wine glasses accompanied by a selection of cheeses and cold cuts in Doblo wine bar in Budapest
Source: Doblo Winebar


Budapest, Dob u. 20, 1072 Hungary

 

Galeria 12


Galeria 12 is a warm and cosy wine bar which exhibits local artists’ works, so it is an ideal place for wine and art lovers to indulge in both. Their food menu is short, but created with much thought and creativity and offers delicious meals and snacks, such as the savoury 'tarte flambée'. It is an excellent place to enjoy a quiet evening with friends, some wine, a cold platter and cake for a very reasonable price.

 

Selection of bottled red and white wines displayed on shelves in Galleria 12 wine bar in Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hajnóczy József u. 21, 1122 Hungary

 

CultiVini Wine Gallery


This centrally located wine gallery offers you a not so traditional type of wine tasting experience. Instead of going through a ready-made tasting menu, you can customise your own and taste the finest Hungarian wines in a nice environment with the help of professional staff. CultiVini is also a wine shop, presenting more than 150 kinds of wines which can be purchased or delivered to your home locally and abroad. They offer 56 wines on tap, so you can taste and choose your favourites before you buy them. You can pay a small entrance fee or select one of their tasting packages and enjoy the vast selection of excellent wines.

 

A customer pouring red wine from tap in CultiVini wine shop and wine bar in Budapest
Source: CultiVini


Budapest, Párizsi u. 4, 1052 Hungary

 

Bortársaság (Wine Society)


Okay, not strictly a wine bar, but Bortársaság is worthy of inclusion as one of the biggest and most successful wine distributors in Hungary. You’ll find them in thirteen locations in Budapest alone, and they have shops in every major city in Hungary. They work with more than a hundred wineries from Hungary and distribute an enormous amount of wine produce. If you discovered a favourable vino on a wine tasting experience, for example, you’ll most likely be able to pick up a bottle in one of their shops around the city before you head to the airport.

 

 

The vast and varied selection of wines for sale in Bortarsasag mammut in Budapest
Source: Bortarsasag mammut


Those are some of our top picks of the best wine bars in Budapest, but an ideal way to discover wonderful local Hungarian wines and delightful Budapest wine bars is to join a wine tasting tour experience here, such as the Wine World of Hungary tour. This is a 1.5-hour exploration of delicious Hungarian wines with a local Sommelier and expert guide who will acquaint you with local wine history and culture and guide you through tastings of five distinctive Hungarian wines at a central, quality wine bar.

 

A rustic candle-lit wine cellar with 12 different wooden casks of Wine in a row

Or you might prefer to spread your wine tasting out over a few hours and a few different wine bars, in which case the Budapest Wine Bar Tour is the perfect option. Over three hours you’ll visit a number of trendy local wine bars, taste five local Hungarian-produced wines, enjoy food and wine pairings, and explore some of Budapest’s must-see sights too, all with a knowledgeable and friendly local guide.
Whether you like your wine in a rustic wine cellar, on an organised wine tour, in a modern wine tasting bar, or in a homey art café, Budapest provides you with all the options. Of course, you should always ask your local tour guide after any Budapest city tour for their own recommendations on anything you’d like to see or do or know more about in Budapest, including wines and where to find them.
Hungarian wines are certainly under-celebrated, and what most of the world is missing out on, only the vino-savvy few know; you can easily join them though and, who knows, your new favourite wine just may well be a Hungarian one.