Drop Shop - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Drop Shop

photo by John Szabo, MS

One of the first wine bars in Budapest, Drop Shop is also among the most serious—a place where you can ask for a “minerally” wine and the staff will give you a knowing wink. Owner Adam Hébenstreit established his shop and importing business in 2010 to capitalize on growing interest in premium wines not typically available in Hungary. It quickly grew to include a wine bar, “so I could pour by the glass what most could not afford by the bottle,” Hébenstreit says. His wide-ranging list is especially strong in Austrian and Italian selections, as well as in small-production Hungarian bottlings. Classics, from furmint to kékfrankos are covered, and Hébenstreit also champions rarities such as csókaszolo, balafánt and feketefájú bajor. He offers a daily-changing selection of 60 wines by the glass, the bottles kept under vacuum seal; his light reds are properly chilled. The limited menu features cheese and charcuterie.

Balassi Bálint utca 27, Budapest, Hungary

Wine Bar


John Szabo, MS, has been traveling to Hungary since the late 1970s—first to visit relatives, and later to start J & J Eger Wine Co., where he makes kékfrankos with partner János Stumpf. But his day job is writing about wine and researching the world’s best wine bars.

This story appears in the print issue of February 2019.
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