Posted by: tomciocco | June 23, 2011


I believe I’ve rung a bell or two for Stan’s here on Central and South in Jersey City, but having it close by as an option on days that I’m not really cooking is no small blessing, and tonight was one of those days (evenings really). But more about the comestibles in a bit…

The evening’s drink was actually the starting point for this Eastern European  foray because that drink was nothing less than a screwcapped bottle of Blaufrankisch (sounds like a string of curses)…from Austria. Burgenland (on Austria’s extreme eastern edge) to be precise, though the wine is labelled with the name of its town of origin, Horitschon. Horitschon lies directly on the Hungarian border (the present one at least) and though Blaufrankisch is grown all over Middle and Eastern Europe (under the name of Lemberger in Germany, for example) Burgenland on the Austrian side, and nearby Sopron on the Hungarian side of the border are zones long known for the quality of their Blaufrankisch. The name, which translates as “Blue French”,  might suggest a Gallic origin for the variety, but it is in fact completely unknown in France, and no definitive connection to France has ever been made. This is a variety that should, and I believe will become increasingly popular; it is deeply colored, big-boned, with juicy berry fruit, bright acids, fine, moderate tannins and a great spicy character.

So back to the grub…Stan’s “Russian Salad” (potato, carrot, peas, apple, etc.) spread on whole grain pumpernickel points, and then plates of kielbasa and sauerkraut with potato and cheese pierogis fried in butter with onions, and a good dusting of paprika. 

Iby Rotweingut Horitschon (Mittelburgenland) Blaufrankisch Classic 2009

Youthful, barely translucent purple/garnet color. Big and quite intense nose of mixed spices, dried fruit, balsamic notes, blackberry, “barnyard”, roasted chestnuts, and dark flowers. The medium body has a chewy texture with clean, modern, and vivid flavors of ripe blackberry, prune and watermelon fruit with a zippy acidity and solid tannin structure. Quite long and well balanced finish. 




  1. What is your take on “Blauer Zweigelt”? A mix of BF and Zweigelt….

    Russians call “Russian salad”: “Salat Olivier”
    In my family it’s called “Ruskaya Krasavitsa” (“Russian Beauty”) because it’s fatty-healthy

    • Hey Jon-

      To my understanding, “Blauer Zweigelt” is just another name for Zweigelt. Zweigelt is a cross of Blaufrankisch and Sankt (St.) Laurent, and in my opinion, it didn’t get any of the good quality from either parent, both of which I like very much. I find Zweigelt a bit simple and “rustic”. My advice is to stick with the parents. If you’re looking for an example of a successful cross, and if you can find any, check out a grape called Dornfelder which is a German creation grown mostly in Baden, Saarland, and Rheinhessen.


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