There is every chance that at this summer’s Gere Jazz festival the crowd’s favourite is going to be the new FriciSpritz coming in several different flavours. Guests arriving in the garden of Gere Attila Winery can enjoy the Villány party spirit while sipping these fruity and refreshing drinks.
2010 was a rather challenging vintage for red wine makers however it was more than excellent to craft sparkling wines and Attila Gere had taken the opportunity to produce his first sparkling wine. The style he wished to emulate was that of the Italian frizzante and the name Frici is also a reflection of this inspiration being a humorous take on the original Italian. The base wine is made in stainless steel tanks, then CO2 is added and it is filtered in order to dissipate the raw bubbles and thus to achieve a creamy but still vivid texture.
In the blend of Rosé Frici the more intense, floral, rose scented and peppercorn spiced menoir is complemented by the suave fruit character of merlot. With the white Frici the aim was not to make it too perfumy, too obvious, that is not to let királyleányka or muscat ottonel become overbearing but to come up with a blend where the inviting character goes hand in hand with elegance.
The Fricis have recently received a „facelift”. „The image we had in mind when looking for the new bottle and label design was something youthful and dynamic. We are very happy that compared to the older version the new outlook has retained the lightheartedness that characterizes our sparkling wines but that has been complemented by a bit of southern French, carefree, Côte d’Azur feel”, says Andrea Gere.
The idea of FriciSpritz is also connected to this update. The Gere Family has turned to Klára Koroknai for expert advice; having gained valuable experience in London and New York Mrs. Koroknai offers her services for large beverage companies. She was the one who provided assistance in coming up with a drink that is refreshing, chock full of delicious fruit and enticing herbs and can still be easily reproduced at home. She has created six different versions of spritz, but you can adapt the ingredients to your own taste and develop new versions. For her creations she was looking for the kinds of fruits and herbs which are widely available so that anyone could make these drinks for their own pleasure or to entertain guests.
„I would gladly have the strawberry FriciSpritz everyday, it’s so addictive. It’s important to choose fruits of intensive flavours because that’s the best way to bring out the best from the mix with the bubbly. You crush the strawberries in the glass, if you want you can add some lemon juice and sugar to highlight the fruit flavour, then pour the Rosé Frici on it and also some soda water. It’s that simple. Whether you add some mint or basil leaves on top it’s up to you”, says Klára Koroknai about her current favourite spritz.
Besides the strawberry version there are pear-sage, cucumber-elderflower, kiwi-mint versions and also a variant made with Airone Rosso Aperitivo a liquer coming from Veneto in Italy which is then spiced up with some orange and basil.
„It was really easy to craft spritzes with the Fricis, as they proved to be perfect partners in bringing out from the fruits and herbs the kind of aroma profile we were looking for. Likewise the collaboration with the Gere Family went smoothly in a cheerful, unforced manner. Perhaps the fact that they turned up for our first meeting with two cases of Frici goes some way to explain why the project got off to a good start”, says Klára about their cooperation. „I’m not a control freak, I tend to work out the details spontaneously in a piecemeal manner. It was an interesting challenge to create something that was formed by the differing tastes of several people and to arrive at something that is liked by all of them. I think in the end we have cracked it.”
This summer Gere Jazz Festival brings authentic funky feel in the vineyards of Villány. While enjoying the music visitors can savour culinary treats and sample Gere wines, Gere Frici sparkling wines and also FriciSpritz drinks which make their debut at this event and provide a glitzy and refreshing alternative to fröccs in the summer heat.
The recipe for strawberry FriciSpritz
10 cl Rosé Frici
2-3 fragrant strawberries
1 drop of fresh lemon juice
1 drop of sugar syrup
a bit off soda water
2-3 fresh mint or basil leaves
Preparation: Crush the strawberries with a wood muddler in the glass, as an optional step add some lemon juice and sugar according to taste (this will help to highlight the fruit flavours), fill the glass with ice, then pour the Rosé Frici on it and also some soda water. Finally add some fragrant mint or basil leaves on top.