Attila Fiáth is a committed lover and educator of sophisticated wines, an acknowledged economist and international wine academic, and professor at Corvinus University of Budapest, where he has also recently received the Professor of the Year award. An eternal traveller who, besides having been around the world and seen the most important wine regions, has studied at Harvard University in Cambridge, and presently is a student of the Institute of Masters of Wine, therefore candidate for the extremely prestigious Master of Wine title. Our wine program is led by him.
Read his thoughts about the wine concept of our restaurant, he let us cath a glimpse behind the scenes:
“Baraka runs a French-Asian fusion cuisine. Evidently, they must keep French wines, since these match French dishes in the most authentic way. Because of the Asian flavours, certain varieties and styles become, in a good sense, dominant compared to a traditional restaurant. We will probably have several types of Riesling coming from a variety of places, so even subtle differences can be beautifully shown. This is a really special experience.
The residual sugar will also have more significance here, since this harmonizes well with Asian cuisine. From among Tokaj wines, aszú and szamorodni will represent the more exciting lines. We will more probably keep hárslevelű than furmint.
The situation will be interesting on the Hungarian wine front as well. When a restaurant runs Hungarian cuisine, it will keep a narrow range of Hungarian wines and, in this case, I only allow Hungarian varieties, and mainly terroir wines with a strong personality – that is, Somló, Tokaj, Badacsony, Csopak, etc. I don’t need a chardonnay because it wouldn’t fit in with that restaurant, that concept. But, in Baraka, I do allow a few Hungarian wines that are really good international varieties. We can keep a Cabernet Franc from Villány, but a Rhine Riesling is also welcome, or even a good Chardonnay because I say that, since we have French cuisine, we can keep French varieties, but only those coming from Hungarian vintners. A foreign customer can find this markedly exciting. Through it, I can show what we know. In a different concept I would not allow this.
The essence is that there is a concept and I stick to it. Each dish on the menu should have at least one, preferably two, wines, that perfectly harmonize with the dish – and, if you want to be elegant, one should be Hungarian and the other one foreign.
It is part of long-term thinking to also collect wines. You need to have a very good „ordinary” wine list which presents the main styles that can be recommended to go with any type of dish, and these may also be served in a glass. You then need to start collecting super premium wines. Attention must be paid to which apellation and which vintage you purchase them from. This can be nice businesswise, too. For example, a wine from a little-known apellation in Burgundy will cost three or four times less on average, so its price-quality proportion is better than if we buy the overpriced wine of a well-known apellation. There are competent customers who will see this and appreciate it.”