Monday, February 21, 2011

Turkish Wine

Kavaklıdere winesImage via Wikipedia If you didn't get the chance to enter yet, there was a giveaway for a signed copy of Across the Universe in Friday's post. Go back and toss your name in the hat! I'm closing the entries tonight at midnight (blogger time stamp) and I'll announce the winner on Wednesday.

So since I just crossed the 200 follower threshold, I thought I'd celebrate today with a little bit about Turkish wine.... I'm not a connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy the occasional glass, especially from a boutique vineyard.

(Vineyards are lovely setting for any sort of Just wait till you see the ones in Cappadocia! Early Chirstians were making wine in the underground cities there centuries ago.)

A little more history:

With the rise of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, winemaking in Turkey experienced a significant decline. Then in 1925, Ataturk (the first Turkish President) opened a state run vineyard and over the years, it's become a more viable business for entrepreneurs. Some successful Turkish wineries include Sarafin from the region of Thrace and  Kavaklidere from Cappadocia. Stateside, Total Wine stocks Kavaklidere for between $12-14 a bottle online.

Unique red varietals include:

Öküzgözü (ox eye): This unique ageable dry red wine – Öküzgözü ages well up to 10 years – has a bright red color, reveals intense fruity flavors of raspberry and cherry, and is rich with a well-balanced body with light tannins. The alcohol ratio of wine is between 12 - 13%. Öküzgözü is best served at 16-18 degrees C (61–64 degrees F) and is a perfect match with different dishes served with a cheese sauce, casseroles, red meat, grills, cheese and poultry. (wikipedia)

Boğazkere: The characteristics of this wine is strong body, very enjoyable long finishing, dark red color with dark blue hue, very rich and strong aromas of dried red fruits, spices. Good for aging up to 10 years. Recommended with red meat kebabs, turkey, salmon and cheese. Especially eastern Anatolian cheddar or Gruyere cheese. (again, wikipedia)

Winemakers grow standards as well, blending Anatolian varieties with European varieties like Shiraz, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet. A popular white is Narince, which is Chardonnay-like, supposedly with notes of fruit and white flowers. It's often mixed with Semillon grapes.

Here's a CNN report about the Revival in Turkish Wine:

I'll toast to that! Şerefe! (Sheh-re-fe)


Sarah said...

Goodness, Carolyn, I'm getting addicted to this blog! You have the most interesting posts--and thanks for the wine recs!

Old Kitty said...

I have to admit that I've never ever had Turkish wine!!! Ever!!! Now I want some!!! I can't wait to get home to play the clip and search where I may get a taster here!!! Thanks! Take care

Meredith McCardle said...

I've never had Turkish wine, but I'm going to try it now. We're very lucky to have a Total Wine nearby. That store is like heaven. :)

Unknown said...

I'm trying to get into wine but I'm still trying to acquire a taste for it. You really know your stuff.

Jules said...

I just cannot drink wine, I can whine though. If it isn't 100 proof why bother? BIG Congrats on 200, we seem to have hit it at the same time :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

LTM said...

we used to be in a wine club, and we'd get little boutique wines every month... I miss that. YES, vineyards are great settings for mischief~ :D <3

Colene Murphy said...

Mmm Not a big drinker but those sound soooooo good!! Congrats on the over 200!

jen said...

I love wine, and I'm not very picky. Very excited to find something new to try!! (and swinging to fridays to win!!)

Swinging by to say hi from the hop, and follow so I don't miss anything!
The Survival Mama

Grandpa said...

Congratulations for exceeding 200!

Your review is well-written for a person who drinks just the odd glass. Sufficient details - any more and you would become a connoisseur, Carolyn!

Thank you!

Missed Periods said...

Hmmmm. I've never tried Turkish wine. I didn't even know it existed. Turkish coffee, on the other hand, is one of my favorites. It makes me very talkative.

Ayak said...

I'm not terribly keen on Turkish wine, and I think on the whole they are very over-priced. So I more than make up for it on my trips to the UK...where there is so much choice...and so little time to try!

Carolyn Abiad said...

To add to Ayak's comment. The taxes on wine in Turkey are steep, but that's not the case for export products. Here $12 is not too bad and some Turkish vintages are noteworthy. They aren't a 90, though.

Hart Johnson said...

Yay! Nice celebration! So interesting to think of the Islamic influence stifling an entire artform for a while, but I guess it makes total sense. That fruity red one sounds really good to me. I drink wine like a high school kid. I prefer it a little sweet.

Carolyn V said...

200 Followers???? Sweet!!! Congrats Carolyn! =D

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations on passing 200 followers! Mmmm, now you've made me crave some Kavaklidere. There must be some place around here that imports it? Maybe in NYC?


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