And now we come to my traditional holiday dessert. My mother is Hungarian, and all my life I've looked forward to my grandmother's Beigli for the holidays. While Nonna (the other half is Italian, go figure) is no longer here to bake our Beigli, we still make sure to have some each year.
A rolled cake with a thin crust, apricot preserves as a sweetener, and either walnut or poppy seed filling (poppy seed for me), Beigli is a moderately sweet dessert with a lovely interplay of earthy and sweet flavors.
Being Hungarian, it's not surprising that I would reach for a Tokaj to pair with this. In particular, I am quite partial to the wines from the Royal Tokaji Wine Company. Their wines have an extra layer of complexity that some think of as dirty in comparison to the squeaky clean, more modern versions of this luscious dessert wine. I just find that added level of complexity to add interest to the palate.
Tokaji comes in varying levels of sweetness, from the modestly sweet 3 Puttonyos, to my preferred 5 Puttonyos, and on to the hyper sweet and concentrated, yet impeccably balanced Essenzias. I am a big fan of the 2006 Royal Tokaji 5 Puttnoyos Red Label and look forward to sharing a bottle this Christmas!