Bull’s Blood and Revolution

by on January 24, 2008 · 2 comments

The scene is Central Europe. It’s 1990-something. After a bicycle tour of the Czech Republic’s Bohemian countryside, Jim Harper and his girlfriend have traveled into Hungary and a town called Eger, two hours by train northeast of the capitol.

In a small valley not far out of town, there are dozens of underground wine cellars where vintners store and sell the local wine, Egri Bikaver, also known as “Bull’s Blood.” As the evening winds on and the cellars close, visitors concentrate themselves more and more tightly into the remaining open cellars. The wine and proximity make for good conversation and new friendships.

Late on, this particular evening, as our table edged toward overstaying, one of our group stood up and sang his country’s national anthem. He was Estonian.

It was a very long song. I’d like to say otherwise, but his singing wasn’t all that good. And he was quite overly serious about it. With the song going on so long, and the wine having its full effects, the scene edged toward the comical.

Since that evening, the Bull’s Blood wine and our Estonian friend have provided the touches of mirth and memory that interesting travel will. The Estonian singer has been the subject of some affectionate joking, I’ll admit.

That’s a little bit regrettable, because I now know that there’s more to the story. Watch the trailer here.

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/ enigma_foundry

    My acquaintance with Egri Bikaver goes back to May of 1986, having caught the overnight train from Warsaw to Budapest, and coming across this excellent wine at a restaurant there; it was an odd time, just after Chernobyl accident.

    Then, at Trader Joe’s in St. Louis, suddenly what do I find on sale? Egri Bikaver, still in almost the same bottle!

    Of course, the story about Estonia could also be about Latvia, Lithuania, or Poland…

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    My acquaintance with Egri Bikaver goes back to May of 1986, having caught the overnight train from Warsaw to Budapest, and coming across this excellent wine at a restaurant there; it was an odd time, just after Chernobyl accident.

    Then, at Trader Joe’s in St. Louis, suddenly what do I find on sale? Egri Bikaver, still in almost the same bottle!

    Of course, the story about Estonia could also be about Latvia, Lithuania, or Poland…

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