With a name like “BULL’S BLOOD” you just know there must be an interesting story behind the name.  Bull’s Blood, or Egri Bikaver, is Hungary’s most famous red wine. It comes from the Egir wine region of northern Hungary.  It’s a blend that has varied over the years, although officially it must contain at least 3 of the following grapes:  KADARKA….KEKFRANKOS (Blaufrankisch in German)…..BLAVER PORTUGIESER…CABERNET SAUVIGNON….CABERNET FRANC…MERLOT….MENOIRE….PINOT NOIR….BLAUBURGER….ZWEIGELT

Okay.  Let’s get on to the interesting part of “The Bull.” According to legend, the name originates from the invasion of Suleiman the Magnificant, on the Castle of Egir, around 1552.  2000 soldiers led by Captian Istvan Dobo withstood a month long siege to successfully defend the fortress from 150,000 Turkish troops.

Castle of eger (BULL'S BLOOD)Egri Bekivar castle

Legend has it that to motivate and support the small group of soldiers during the Siege of Egir Castle, they were served delicious food and a lot of red wine.  The wine spilled over their beards and armor, coloring them blood red.   Among the invading Turks, rumors spread that bulls’ blood was mixed into the red wine of the small group of soldiers, otherwise, the strength and firm resistance of the town and Castle of Egir could not be explained.  Finally, the enemy gave up!  The superstitous Turks were fearful and demoralized.

Just a little something you never thought you’d know.

Marie Griffin, West/Northwest Florida Wine Supervisor

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