Tokaj wines are brought to market only after maturation in cask and additional storage time in bottle. So once a bottle is bought, it is generally ready to be consumed. Having said this, all good Tokaji can still be stored for many years; the higher qualities can be cellared for decades, and true essencia will last for two centuries or more: the greatest Tokaji wines are almost immortal. Together with the wines of Château-Chalon (also the result of oxidative winemaking), Tokaji is the longest-lived unfortified wine in existence. For this reason 19th century and even 18th century bottles are keenly sought after by collectors and fetch enormous prices.
Tokaji Aszú and Essencia is best consumed at a temperature between 11 to 14 °C (52 to 57 °F). Warmer temperatures enhance its flavour, but make it appear less fresh. A Szamorodni can be enjoyed at slightly cooler temperatures than an Aszú or Essencia.
Tokaji Aszú, if it has been made in the traditional, oxidative style, can be stored in a tightly sealed bottle in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks after opening without any loss in quality. High quality Aszú and Aszú Eszencia, as well as pure Essencia, will make it even a couple of months. This way you can easily open several bottles at the same time for parallel tasting! Many restaurants like that fact, because it enables them to serve a dessert wine per glas rather then per bottle. Once opened, the Sommelier doesn´t have to hurry to sell the rest of the opened bottle. However, after you finished more then a half of the bottle, you should consider to decant it into a smaller one. Reductive, less oxidized Aszú wines or Szamorodni should be consumed within two weeks.
A Tokaji Aszú is an elegant companion to many desserts. As a rule of thumb. make sure that the sweetness of the wine is greater than the sweetness of the dessert. As with Sauternes, Tokaji wines also compliment blue mold cheeses, especially Roquefort. Because of its firm acidity, the Tokaji Aszú is considered to be the perfect companion to fine chocolate. For some more food match ideas, check our section Tokaji & Food.
A beautiful Essencia from the outstanding Danczka vineyard. Behind the beauty of this Essencia lies a powerful golden goddess, whose soul and magic is contained within the orange blossom honey nectar.
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„I do not like the sour, I'd have you know; Give me a glass that's really sweet!” - „You'll see, at once Tokay will flow.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe