More than just one glass... Bistro reds

We wanted to find out whether there really is a group of reds that can be labelled “bistro” reds. We sampled a few reds offering good drinkability in four bistros we like going to. Then, we got together and tasted another two dozen of them. We discussed them and our colleague Miklós Félix cooked up the pasta dish he had in an Australian bistro years ago. Eventually, we uncovered 12 fresh, fruity and vibrant reds. These we can call real bistro wines.

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The whole thing started with the Almuvedre story. We tasted a Tinto Joven from Spanish winemaker Telmo Rodriguez, who is known for his natural wines, when one of our colleagues said that it was such a … bistro wine. The main point was the feeling and the mood that can captivate anyone holding a glass of good Spanish wine. How can we describe bistro wine in one sentence? Well, we simply can’t.


What’s for certain is that:

a great bistro red can only be a good value wine costing no more than a couple of thousand forints.

It can be made in the tank or barrel but the emphasis should be on the fruit.

A bistro wine is fresh and feels good to drink – and indeed more than just a single glass of it. It’s a straightforward and direct wine without extremes, which is precisely what makes it a good choice any time. It’s neither heavy nor is it ethereally light, it has good but not exaggerated acidity and the tannins are not astringent.

It’s fruity, fresh, without too much body and slips down easily – and as we’ve already said, we can enjoy more than just one glass of it at a time.

A bistro wine is just the kind of wine (whether it’s from a single variety or a blend) which is good to have a few bottles of at home in the cellar, in the pantry or in the fridge, in case some friends pop around. Of course, it’s also great to drink bistro wine alone, especially after a long day or while cooking. In fact, since the subject of feeling came up, the easiest possible way to distinguish a bistro wine from a heavy, full-bodied red is to try to imagine a situation where we drink one or the other: the latter makes us deeper, more reflective and slows us down while the former shakes us up, energises us, making us ready to act. 

A bistro red is a real conversation wine; it’s just as laid back as a bistro itself, which doesn’t serve overly complicated dishes, overdo the design or formality, with the chilled and great atmosphere being the most important aspects. A bistro is a place where one can talk about anything at length and even though the topic may not necessarily be wine, it’s also nice to remember what you drank later. There is no recommended quantity for bistro wine; one should drink as much of it as feels good. Even though there is nothing particularly special about a bistro wine, one can fall in love with it for one or even several nights running. 


What we cooked>>>