EP 941 Tokaji Tasting with Jean-Guillaume Prats

Gary Vaynerchuk meets with owner of Cos d’Estournel in Bordeaux to talk about a new project, Tokaj Hetszolo. They taste 3 different Tokajis from the estate and talk about the wine business (sorry about some of the background noise!).

Wines tasted in this episode:

2003 Hetszolo Tokaji Aszu 3 Puttonyos
2000 Hetszolo Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos
2001 Hetszolo Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos

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luca bercelli


one thing I wanted to know about this episode. Where was it?

Tags: dessert, review, Tokaji, wine, wines

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  • armco

    Terrific, well-spoken and passionate guest. It made me want to try one (3 or more P’s) with “Asiatic” food as he suggests. I really liked the surprise questions- court tennis, wine in Persia. Fascinating. Would love to meet this urbane guy at Cos.

  • Toddtemple

    Am totally in love with the dessert wines thanks to you G! I really liked your guests idea of it being a wine for anytime.
    QOTD- I went out and got me a 2000 Patricius tokaji aszu 6 puttonyos and had it with spicy prawns with scallions garlic and butter. It went very well! The clean and light feeling of the finish on the tokaji made it go really good with the shell fish. I am sold!

  • http://TheProvince.com/liveat5 vanguy

    Good guest!
    Go visit him in Bordeaux and tape some shows on the 2009s and 2010s.

  • Anonymous

    : (….HOW could you NOT taste cos d’estournel with jean-guillaume?!?!?!?!

    on another episode?!?! please!!!??

    I like the rapid fire questions!

  • Scott H Moore

    I am sure that you meant to write “dessert wines”. I disagree with both you and M. Prats about the wisdom of usomg the term sweet wine for Tokaji aszú. Sweet refers not just to the sugar level of a food or drink, but to the balance of sugars and acids. Lemons are not considered sweet even though they contain more sugar than oranges. That is because lemons they have a much higher concentration of acids than oranges. I believe this analogy can be applied to Tokajis in comparison with low-acid sweet wines such as Vin Santo and Oloroso sherry. Of course, neither is dessert wine a suitable term.

  • http://www.elloinos.com/ Markus Stolz

    Scott, point taken. But I think this was more of a general idea to find a name that changes the image people have with these wines. Too many folks think they are only meant to be enjoyed with desserts, which is only a logical conclusion to the reference “dessert wines”.

    Very much like how you caught my misspelling, desert wines would more likely be bone-dry :)

  • Scott H Moore

    As a long-term resident of Hungary, it was interesting for me to listen to an outsider’s view of Tokaji wines. Jean-Guillaume was impressively elegant and smooth, but he may not be as knowledgeable about Tokaji wines as some of the commenters seem to believe – witness his statement that szamorodni is the third of the main varietals in Tokaj (it is not a varietal but a style of wine). Gary’s enthusiasm is really refreshing and his mispronunciation of Hungarian words made me laugh out loud: “three pettunio azzoo”. Neither has Jean-Guillaume mastered basic Hungarian pronunciation, but I forgive him as he is French.

    I hope no Romanians were listening, as Jean-Guillaume parroted a line he must have picked up from a Hungarian about the “plain extending 500km to Transylvania which is the border of Romania” – that was the situation before 1920 and the dismembernent of Hungary under the Treaty of Trianon. Since then the border has been a lot further to the west (about 100km from Tokaj).

    Tokaji wine has been paired with various types of food for centuries. In recent decades Tokaji and foie gras has become a firm favourite of some ‘traditional’ Hungarian restaurants. A dry Tokaji such as a szamorodni makes a great aperitif, a dry furmint can go well with seafood, while the sweet Tokaji wines can be enjoyed on their own, with many types of dessert or (my favourite) instead of dessert. I should point out that aszú is only one type of sweet Tokaji. There is also sweet szamorodni, fordítás, late-harvest varietals (furmint, hárslevel?, muscat, kövérsz?l?) and aszú-style cuvées. The latter differ from aszú in having been matured for a shorter time in the barrel. My personal favourite among Tokaji wines is Szepsy Cuvée 2000. However, the most successful pairing I have experienced was a Hétf?rt?s Édes Élet 2000 with a home-made lime cheese cake.

  • Anonymous

    Good episode, good guest. Have heard of Tokaji, but never tried it yet. It is now on the list.

  • Dcaragher

    GV – Great guest, I love Tokaji!!! The stuff makes my bells whistle!

  • John D.

    Wonderful episode G.

    Very excited to see Jean-Guillaume Prats as a guest. A gentleman in every sense of the word. Thank you for having him on your show. Love Cos d’Estournel & eager to explore Takaji.

    John D.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Sorry, gonna keep havin’ them for dessert. I love them with shortbreads, cream cakes, that kind of thing. I might try a 3 Put. with seafood sometime, but I love my Tokaji at the end of the meal where the taste can just linger.

  • Anonymous

    This episode seemed like a bit of ad to me.. I think being the owner of Cos d’Estournel makes me wonder if he is all about promotion and hype.

    Never tried Tokaji with the kind of things he recommended – doesn’t sound like a match to me, but I would be interested to see how it works.

  • http://sites.google.com/site/afottr/ Adam

    Szamorodni is not a grape varietal. SargaMuskotaly is the 3rd most important Tokaji varietal.

  • Anonymous

    tokaji and blue cheese is for me.

    and like you said by itself is so nice just enjoy the wine for what it is

  • Scott

    When your out side like that you really need some serious wind protection on the mic and you really need to boom it. I may try with headphones, or download it and do some repair, it’s just to hard to listen to.

  • Teamskod80

    What’s the brand/name of the glass they are using ?

  • Andre_hm

    Well pointed Adam. Szamorodni is a wine made out of any of the 6 grape varieties in Tokaji (google them as I can’t really remember or spell them properly, if interested). It contains a quantity of botrytised grapes, so it’s sweeter and more alcoholic than average white wine.

    Just another piece of info, you also have Tokaji in Slovakia. When the Trianon treaty was signed after WWI, Hungary was broken up and its territory divided by neighbouring countries/ethnical minorities. Tokaji wine region suffered the same fate and ended up split between 2 countries.

  • Andre_hm

    Szepsy definitely one of the premium producers. Price tag matching well the quality.

  • Andre_hm

    QOTD: jean-Guillaume, you can call me old-school, but I think wines tend to pair incredibl with ocal food primarly. For me, thinking of Tokaji paired with Oysters (Tokaji is at least 700 km away from the nearest coatline) or Asian food is not the best choice.

    Foie-gras (as Scott mentioned just below, Hungary is actually one of the biggest producers of it), Hungarian desserts (surprisingly they’re not very sweet) or just by itself.

  • luca bercelli


    one thing I wanted to know about this episode. Where was it?


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