Thursday, December 30, 2010

House Wine = Home made wine?

Kitchenette Narince 2008

I had a lovely dinner with friends that I have not seen for ages at Kitchenette. I did not choose the wine but I supported the choice only because the expression "house wine" was included in the name of the wine: Kitchenette House Wine Narince (2008). Not that I know what it means, it is only due to curiosity!

I certainly was not expecting something similar to the one in Bozcaada, a wine served in a plastic bottle that was originally a water bottle of a well known brand (it was a very delicious wine by the way). That would be inappropriate considering the fancy concept of the restaurant. Nevertheless, I expected something like boutique style production at least. At the end, it appeared that I was quite unfamiliar to Kitchenette's concept. I captured the point only when I saw this sentence by Doluca (major wine producer in Turkey) on the bottle: "Produced in our facilities in Mürefte-Tekirdağ".

Kitchenette Narince 2008

The wine was fine. It was a refreshing white wine with flawory and fruity aroma. I understand the bitter feeling of high acidity which I encounter in most of the white wines is not very strong in wines made of Narince (a generalization computed from one exapmle only!).

So tell me, what does House Wine means at the end? Please enlighten me, because for some reason I did not remember to ask the waiter!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How old should your wine be?

How do you know the best time to open a wine bottle? If you have read my previous post about this subject, you would remember that many of the wines in the market are produced to be consumed when they are rather young. However, this is not true for all wines of course.

We can have a brain storming here togehter, but don't ask me to to tell my experiences on this subject, because I do not have any. I have never kept a wine at my home for more than a few months. Since I don't have a wine cooler refrigerator at home, I don't think that I can preserve wines in proper conditions for years. You may read about the proper conditions here.

Let's start with the information that is disclosed by the producer. You may see a year in the front side of the bottle. This is the year of the grape's harvest. It can also be mentioned  how long the wine has been kept in oak barrels or steal tanks or when it was bottled. These information may not be sufficient to judge when to drink the wine as there is not any general rule telling us how long to wait after bottling or production.

If I'd like to buy a wine that is young, but I doubt it would be wise to open it immediately; or, if I'd like to buy a wine that has been produced years ago, I look carefully on the bottle to see something like "this wine can be consumed best by ..." If we have not passed the year .... yet, and if I am confident that the wine has been maintained in proper conditions, I buy the wine. Actually, I have never seen someone selling a wine that should have been  drunk years ago. I guess we find such wines only in forgotten spots of our own houses.

Sometimes, there are no information on the bottle at all. Previously, I would evaluate this as a sign for drinking immediately, but I saw that this turned wrong recently for more than once. Based on my limited experience, I can tell you that French wines' bottles do not provide you with much information on the wine. They do not even need to mention the grapes from which the wine is made of, let alone the best year to drink it or the best food to match with. These wines can be produced with a potential to age for years.

In such hopeless situations, I try to ask someone in the shop to give information. As a last resort, I google it! I write the name of the wine and read the information which appears reliable to me. If still no usefull information, I try to guess :) I have to admit that I usually can not wait so long to open a wine bottle since I am curious about it.

I can summarize the basis of my guesses as follows: Producers generally use fancy expressions to indicate that the wine has a certain quality, so it is woth to age it. Those expressions include "premium", "special collection", "reserve" etc. If you find out that you have such sort of wine at home that is a few years old already, do not panic! It is very likely that it is still in good conditions.

Besides, it is known that a wine with relatively higher acidity and stronger tannins can be aged for more years compared to others. So, you may consider that a Cabarnet Sauvignon has more potential to age than a Merlot, and a Merlot has more potential than Chardonnay in that sense. However, you should not overlook the fact that the quality of the grape and the stages of the production process may affect the potential of a wine for aging. You see that this last sentence proves that all my brainsrorming conversation here is useless :)

If you believe you learned something from this post, I suggest you better buy wines to drink young and enjoy them. Let's drink younger wines. There is a lot to learn until we can age our wines.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kutman Özel Kav Papazkarası 1994

Kutman Özel Kav Papazkarası 1994

I mentioned this wine previously here with admiration, when I was very inexperienced in wine tasting.  I tasted it once more, recently. This time, before I wrote this posted, I looked at Kutman's website and I was literally enlightened with what I saw there.

This wine is made of a grape called Papazkarası, which is described there as Turkish version of Pinot Noir. I understand from this that there is a serious similarity between these two grapes either in terms of genetic or at least in terms of taste. You may read this to understand how important is Pinot Noir for me.

When it comes to tasting notes, I have to admit that I believe the wine glass has a big impact on the taste of the wine and the sense on the palate. As I had to drink the wine from a tiny glass, I could not smell anything and could not enjoy the aromas in it. I guess I drink wine not only with my mouth, but also with my nose.

Despite the improper circumstances, I could not even notice how fast the first glass of this silky wine was gone. I noticed that I did not sense any fruity or flawory aromas in this wine. This may be due to the small glass, but anyway it is not a negative thing for me. It is a delicious and balanced (neither acidity nor tannins are too much) wine at the end.

My sole negative thought was that this wine had a stronger and more intense taste when I tasted it almost a year ago. Considering how new was wine drinking to me then, this thought does not deserve much attention.

I did not buy this wine, but I know it is possible to order it online following the above link. I had to chance to drink it as a friend of mine brought it to us. Thanks for her kindness for the second time :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Kayra Vintage by the glass

Kayra has a collection called Vintage. This collection's wines are described as "Kayra's collection serial" on their website. I have one of them at home, but have not tasted it yet. I bought it once upon a time, when I had no idea about Kayra Vintage. I bought it for a special occasion, because the bottle's design reveals that this wine is special. Anyway, we drank another wine at that special occasion and this one is still waiting to be tasted.

I'd like to share an announcement about this collection of wines. There will be a special campaign between 17-31 December in certain restaurants in Istanbul. You will be able to order the wines of this collection by the glass in those restaurants. I doubt that you may normally have the chance to order any of these wines by the glass. That's why I think it may be worth the take this chance.

The wines that you may order during this campaign are: Kayra Vintage Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Kayra Vintage Merlot 2008, Kayra Vintage Boğazkere 2008, Kayra Vintage Shiraz 2009, Kayra Vintage Öküzgözü 2007 single vineyard, and Kayra Vintage Chardonnay 2009.

The places where you can order these wines: El Besso, Fratelli la Bufala, Park Şamdan, Urza, Zazie, Nusr-et, Obika, Midpoint, Beymen Brasserie, Mavi Balık, Happily Ever After, Oben Şarap Evi, Lacivert, Bistro 33, CKM Hayal Kahvesi, Antochia, Smyrna, Kahvedan, Susam, Develi Restoran Levent, Develi Restoran Samatya, Pano Şarap Evi.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Turasan Bogazkere 2006

Turasan Bogazkere 2006
I already knew that Boğazkere can make great wines by itself. Turasan Bogazkere 2006 was an additional proof for me.

The burgundy color still has a certain brightness, but there was a little sediments in the bottle. Since I did not think of dekanting the wine before I drank it, I had sediments in my last glass.

Despite the strong tannins that emphasize the existence of Bogazkere, this can be considered as an easy to drink wine. I was actually expecting stronger tannins and more permanent flavor on the palate, but it is still fine. In fact, better than what I was expecting. It attracted me mostly with its black pepper aromas in the nose.  If you are also one of those who can enjoy the tannins of Bogazkere wines, I believe you would not regret to give a chance to  Turasan Bogazkere.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kavaklıdere Kalecik Karası Syrah 2009

Kavaklıdere, Kalecik Karası Syrah 2009
We opened this bottle of Kavaklıdere Kalecik Karası Syrah 2009 to add joy to an ordinary dinner at home. It has a lively burgundy color, red fruity (cheery mostly) and spicy aromeas, soft tannins and moderate acidity. These all make it a light and almost sweet tasting wine. It does not stay long on the palate, but this does not prevent it from having a lovely ending. This was a good choice for our end.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Illusion of Aged Wine

This post may depress you if you believe that a wine definetely gets better as it rests in the bottle for years.  In fact, not all of the wines in the market are suitable for aging.  Besides, buying a bottled wine and not opening it for years does not mean aging a wine. If you have a wine that has a potential for aging, you may of course trey to age it at home, but this would not be so easy.

It is useful to know the conditions required for maintanence of wine at home. Since it has not been a long time since a began to buy and to drink wine, I remember how useful it was to me. I do not have a wine cooler yet (I hope I will get it as a gift one day :) ) and therefore, I do not age wines for years (for now), but it is still usefull to know the best conditions for the wine even if you keep it only for a few months.

One of the necessary conditions is dark surroundings, which means that you should keep away from wines that are displayed in the extremely highlighted display of a store. If you buy wine in Bozcaada, you should avoid leaving it at the back seat of the car under the sun.

Another point to consider is to keep wine away from vibration (may be due to loud voice) or shake. You may not have any alternative other than carying the wine bottles in your car (which will more or less shake them), but you may at least remember to take them out of the car and to not carry them with you to work and home for weeks.

It is also very important to lay the bottle horizontally, but I notice that most of the stores do not pay attention to this. It is probably because they sell all the wines in a short period so that none of stays there more than a few weeks. The cork must stay wet and must prevent air leakage. Remember that the cork actually has a shelf life as well and may get moldy sometimes.

In addition to that, wine bottles should be maintainted in an environment with humidity of 70% and with a steady temperature of 10 - 18 degrees (C). I do not know much about humidity but I think a normal home may have it around 70%. When it comes to temperature, I can say that it is never below 20 degrees in a regular apartment in Istanbul. Considering that it reachs around 35 degrees in summer and 25 degrees in winter in apartments with central heating, It appears to me that it is difficult to maintain the necessary temperature.

In short, if you can not maintain the optimum conditions, it is the easiest way for you to buy wines to be consumed rather young. If you buy your wine from supermarkt or grocery shop, you probably end up with such young wines anyway. Most of the producers in Turkey put explanation on how long to age the wine on the bottle. Paying attention to them would make it easier for you.

If you have a wine which needs to be aged and if you do not have a wine refrigerator to maintain the best conditions, giving the wine to someone as present may be a good choice :) If you insist to keep it, you may try to keep it in a dark corner of you home. You may try to close down the heating in that room. This brings you to the question of when to drink it. Since I have not any experience with a wine kept at home for more than a few months, I will leave you alone with this question at this point.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chateau Prieure-Lichine 2007

Chateau Prieure-Lichine 2007, Margaux
This is the second Grand Cru Classe wine that I've ever tasted. I did not buy any of them, the first was offered to me during a dinner that I was invited, and the second was given as a gift when I invited the same person to dinner. Therefore, I do not know where to buy or for how much to buy.

I tried to collect information through googling as usual, but since their website appears to be under construction, I could only rely on information from third persons. Chateau Prieure-Lichine is a producer in Margaux, which is a significant place in wine production in Bordeaux, France. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc is produced in the vineyards of Chateau Prieure-Lichine and used in their wines, as far as I understand.  I understand that the biggest share of the blend belongs to Cabernet Sauvignon. It is followed by Merlot, and then by Cabarnet Franc and Petit Verdot.

I did not have the chance to decant the wine since we were about to start eating for dinner when the wine arrived. I desperately tried to concentrate on the change in the flavors of the wine as long as it stayed in my glass, but I lost my attention eventually.

It is a wine with burgundy color and a little fruity aromas. I believe I have not experienced this much difficulties before in identifying the aromas in a wine. After having tasted this wine, I think I understand what is meant with "minaral flavor". Without digging further, I can say that the wine goes through one's throat as soft as velvet, but also stays on the palate with a very nice flavor.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Diren Collection Merlot 2008

Diren Collection Merlot 2008
I did something that I rarely do. On my way to home, I bought tortellini of my favorite brand and I picked up a wine for myself from the box I received from I decided that if this was going to be a lonely evening, I should enjoy my lonelyness. I would not feel guiltiness when I could't finish the bottle since I had my wine saver now. I took my first sip of Diren Collection Merlot 2008 while tortellini was still getting boiled.

I noticed how tranlucent the wine's color was. Although it was a dark red color, I could see the things behind the wine in the glass. When I smelled the wine, I noticed red fruity, oaky and spicy aromas, which made me very happy. It has a nice, delicious permanence on the palate. I admit that this wine appears to be beyond my expactation. I would buy it once more without hesitation. The price is very convenient. In fact, I believe I am going to taste other wines of Diren soon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book: Essential Winetasting

Essential Winetasting, Michael Schuster
I placed my first order on a few weeks ago. I believe amazon ships only books & dvd's to Turkey and since shipping costs are relatively high, I did not consider to buy anything from before. This time I bought two books about wine. For those who would like to have an idea, the books costed $ 32,10 and I also paid $ 11,97 for shipping. The books arrived in good order in a carton box, four weeks after I ordered them.

Since I did not have the chance to look into both of them as I wished, I will write about only one of them today. This one is Essential Winetasting, written by Michael Schuster. I don't find the outside appearance of the book especially attracting, but the name and content of the book was promising especially in the area of tasting rather than wine production. That's why I bought it. When the book arrived, I saw that the quality of paper and pictures of the book are much better than I expected from the cover's outlook.

Essential Winetasting, Michael Schuster

In the first sections, the author talks about the details of wine tasting along with pictures and term descriptions. Following sections go into details of different types of grapes and the differences that appear in the characteristics of the same grape in different terroirs. While doing this, the author mentions some of the wines of the mentioned area and of the mentioned grape, and he also makes comparisons between them. I'm currently reading the section about the wines of red grapes. Although it is interesting to me to read about differences between the wines of the same grape arising due to different terroirs, at some point it is impossible for me to follow the names of countless terroirs and wines.

I believe that this is a good book for those who are interested in wine tasting and who want to read something about it. If English is not your native language, it takes a little time until you learn the english terminology of wine tasting at the beginning. Since I like learning the word choices made to describe certain attributes in a foreign language, it is an interesting reading for me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wine Stopper

Wine Stopper
I bought this wine stopper a few weeks ago, but I just had a chance to use it. The wine bottles are too big for me. Since I usually drink only 1 or 2 glasses of wine, I can not consume the whole bottle even if I'm not alone. It makes me sad if I have to pour it out after a few days since it becomes impossible to drink.

It's not a good solution to put the cork back to its place, since it is difficult to put it back once it is out. If you turn inside out, it may give the wine its smell of cork and besides, small pieces of cork may fall into the wine. I did these by now and each time the wine's taste was worsened and aromas were gone.

I bought this simple stopper from Sensus in Galata at 10 TL (if I remember it correctly). Once you put it at the top of the bottle, you turn the metal part downward and the rubber part inside the bottle gets thicker so that no air can come in or out.

I drank Turasan Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Shiraz 2008 from a bottle which I closed with this stopper. I tasted it for three times, once for each evening after I opened it. Although it got a little lighter in the third evening, the strong blackberry and black pepper aromas were still there. I wrote my tasting notes about Turasan Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Shiraz 2008 before (when I tasted it for the first time). I can say once more that it is a very delicious wine with its strong but not disturbing tannins and its moderate body.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Talay Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Talay, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

We tasted (and drank it all) Talay Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (ordered from a few days ago together with my friends. One of my two friends said that she normally likes only white wines, and the other one said it would matter to her which wine I choose. I tried to make a choice taking their and my husband's preferences into account. Well, after having chosen this one, I don't feel very succesfull. I think it would be better if I had chosen a lighter, easear to drink wine.

Talay is a producer in Bozcaada. They have their own vinery there. I do not recall that I tasted their wine when I was there, but I remember that local wines of Bozcaada had intense fruity aromas, bitter tannins and high acidity (too much for me). I thought that these characteristics come from the grapes, of which the wines that I've tasted were made of, but now I believe these may be the characteristics of the terroir of Bozcaada.

When I smelled the wine once I opened it, I was a little worried at first. It had a so sharp smell that I needed to check the cork if it seemed all right. After the wine rested in the wine glass for a few minutes, it started to show its beauty. It became a fresh and fruity wine as it got aired. I think the level of alcohol is relatively high. Unfortunately, the wine does not leave a flavor on the palate for more than a few seconds. It was still a good company with our conversation at that night. In fact, it did not take a long time until the bottle was empty and we had to make a new choice of wine.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wine Tasting @ Kanyon

Kanyon - Kerem Görsev is playing
I had the chance to attend the wine tasting days in Kanyon Shopping Mall in the last day of the organization. On the same day, I also met two different groups of my friends and I even managed to shop for a few small things and I did all of this in Kanyon. So, I'm very proud of my organizational capability :) I had a very lovely day. I also feel like a did some charity since I dragged some of my friends to the wine tasting organization.

When I arrived Kanyon around 11:30 - 12:00, Kerem Gorsev was rehearsing and the warm atmosphere backed by the music was a nice warm up for me. I like even the rehearsal of piano music. The wines started to appear on the stands around 13:00, but we had to wait until 15:00 for tasting, until the end of the concert. Then it was almost a hurray! There was a serious crowd willing to taste wines which I certainly did not expect to see.

I went to Doluca's place first with the intention to taste Karma Chardonney Narince, their new white wine, and to introduce it to my firends, but they only had Doluca Antik, one of their cheapest and oldest wine. I realize now that I did not ask them why they did so. Then I leaned towards Pamukkale but they said they runned out of Anfora Shiraz Reserve, which is one of their best as far as I heard. In fact, they had one on the stand, but I gues it was part of the decoration so they did not open that one.

Umurbey Wines
I tasted so many wines from Diren, Idol, Umurbey, Urla, Likya, Sevilen, Vinkara, Yucel, Silent Valley, and Buyulubag that I can't really say how many. I spent most of my time with Idol, Sevilen, Umurbey and Buyulubag. This may be due to their attention and patience to my questions rather then their wines :) A lot of times I was offered with rose wines first, I guess their favorites are rose in these days. I admit that I tasted Idol's Smyrna Shiraz-Grenache at my own will, simply because I wondered how Granache was like. Then I tasted Smyrna Shiraz and liked them both.

Umurbey Rezerv 2007, Urla Nero D`Avola – Urla Karası, Buyulubag Adakarasi, Buyulubag Shah, Sevilen Centum Syrah, Sevilen Majestik, Sevilen "900" Petit Verdot are other wines that left a positive impression on my mind. I may have drunk Sevilen wines for the first time and I want to make it up to myself because they have really nice wines. After I anchored on their stand and tried 3-4 wines consecutively, I fortunately remembered that alcohol does not stand still in the body as it does in the bottle and I took a break. I certainly do not blame myself for having tried too much wine in a short time. I think the organizators are to blame since they did not put any bins for spitting after tasting.

Perran Aribal from Anatolian Vineyards was offering solution tasting to demonstrate the differences between the impacts of French oak, American oak and no oak (I hope I'm explaining it correctly). This was the most interesting part of the organization for me.

Sevilen and their indefinite choices

Actually, it is not my stlyle to taste wines in such a crowded place. I have difficulties in concentrating and after a few glasses of wine (even though they poured very little since the aim was tasting), it gets more difficult to notice the differences between the wines. Therefore, I preferred to enjoy what I was having once I figured out that I could not focus on the details anymore :) That's way I can't offer you detailed tasting notes. I already mentioned the wines that I rememeber, which I also liked.

I like Urla since they produce wines from Urla Karasi, Silent Valley since their grapes are produced in Bodrum and since their wines are new (they don't have their own production facilities yet, they are now producing with guidance of Corvus), Buyulubag since their grapes are produced in Avsa Island and since they use Adakarasi which is an authentic grape. There were of course reasons for which I liked the others, but I already forgot most of them. I better try them again one by one, soon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kanyon Wine Tasting Days

There is a wine tasting organization in Kanyon, İstanbul between 25-28 November. You may see the details here. Don't get trapped by the name "wine tasting". There will be more than just wine tasting, such as concerts, seminars etc. You may participate in those seminars, walk around in Kanyon, and taste a little wine and colour your day if you wish. I am excited hoping to taste a few wines for the first time in the same day. I hope I'll be there.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Most of the wines that I mentioned here by now were made of a certain grape, namely Shiraz. This is not a coincidence. I chose this consciously, because I wanted to choose a grape for the period in which I would start raining my palate and I ended up with Shiraz. Now, I want to tell you a little more about Shiraz, which is a very popular grape in Turkey and which is used either in blends or by itself.

In the time when I was so illeterate that I could not understand anything from wine menus, my cousin told me choosing Shiraz would make it easier for me since it was very likely that I would like wines of Shiraz. I did not know why she said so, but I followed the word Shiraz in the menus and I can tell you that she was right.

The first thing I should tell you is that Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape. The same grape is called as Shiraz In Australia and called as Syrah in almost any other place in the world. It is also called mostly Shiraz in Turkey as far as I have observed.

Fortunately, Turkey is one of the many places where Shiraz is produced, but the best quality Shiraz are planted in France and Australia. The wines of Shiraz usually have a dark color and fruity aromas, and they have a good potential to age, but they can also be drunk rather young. I think, people who are not familiar with wines can like Shiraz due to those fruity aromas and also due the fact that its tannins are not as strong as they are in Bogazkere. As a hint for beginners, I can also tell that the wines made of Shiraz usually make a good pair with meals of red meat.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kayra - Terra

Kayra has a brand (serial) called Terra. I tasted and mentioned some wines of this brand before. Now, I'd like to tell you what we should understand when a wine is branded under Terra.

All Kayra wines named as Tarra are produced based on the "terroir" principle, which basically means that the wine is produced where the underlying grape is grown. The term terroir is a French term, which basically means "place, earth, homeland" etc. The term is used in wine business to indicate the characteristics of the grapes caused and shaped by the geographical features of the area where the grape was grown. Terra's wines are produced in production facilities located in the areas where the grapes used in those wines are grown. For instance, Terra Bogazkere is made of Bogazkere grapes, which is grown in Diyarbakır ( in South-Eastern Anatolia), and is produced in a production facility located in Elazığ (Eastern Anatolia).

There is a group of wines named under Terra Anataolia: Shiraz, Bogazkere, Okuzgozu-Bogazkere, Okuzgozu, Kalecik Karasi, Kalecik Karasi Roze and Sauvignon Blanc-Sultaniye. These are all made of grapes grown in Turkey. As far as I understand, Terra Shiraz and Terra Kalecik Karasi, are produced in different places than where the grapes were grosn. So, they are exceptions I guess.

There are other also wines of Terra called Terra de France, Terra Italia and Terra California. Those are produced in the places mentioned in their names and imported to Turkey by Mey Icki.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Terra de France - Pinot Noir 2008

Terra de France Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir is a sensitive, demanding grape variety and it is not produced in Turkey (at least as far as I know). It is produced in some European countries, especially in France, in South Africa and in America. I hereby ask the Turkish producers: Why don't you have it in Turkey? When I was a little kid, Turkey imported banana and kiwi, but they are very cheap now, so I guess they are locally produced in Turkey. So, you can do it if you want :)

As you may guess, I recently tasted a wine made of Pinot Noir, for the first time in my life. I don't want to be unfair to Shiraz, Bogazkere or Chardonnay, but this was something. I felt like I tasted tagliatelle for the first time after eating only penne for years! In short, I thought something like "where was my mind" or "where was Pinot Noir before?".

I am very good at discovering such beauties earlier than other people. The first make-up tool (poudre or similar) I ever bought might be a Chanel and then I would never like anything from another brand. When I think wisely, I can say that I was lucky that I did not start wine drinking with Pinot Noir.

Terra de France Pinot Noir is a wine made of the grapes harvested in Languedoc, France. It is bottled there too and brought to us in Turkey by Kayra. It has strong red fruity aromas, soft tannin and isn't long lasting on the palate. This discription does not really reveal how delicious it was. I can say everyone on the table admired it, not only me. I think you should try it by yourself.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Abundance vs quality

Wine producer may grow their own grapes as well as they may prefer to buy grapes from other vineyards. They buy grapes at a price determined based on the unit amount of grapes. So, the price is proportionate to the amount of the grape to be bought.

On the other hand, high yield is not a positive property of a vineyard from the perspective of wine maker, since the quality of grape improves as much as the yield is limited. So, the grape producers face a unplasant dilemma. They are paid higher if the amount is higher, but the quality diminishes as the amount gets higher.

I don't have any knowledge about vinification. So, I don't really know how exactly the limitation of yield affects the quality, but I know that the winemakers who have their own vineyards care about this limitation very much. Therefore, I understand it should be very important for them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'd like to tell you something that I noticed when I was reading about winemaking, but when I set down on my computer, I noticed that before going in those details about winemaking, I need to give some basic information about it first. Therefore, I will give you very basic information about wine production today. I won't even use wine terminology, it will be so basic.

Wine can be made of several kinds of fruits, but I will generally be writing about wines made of grapes. Wines can be made of either a single kind of grape or a mixture of several kinds of grapes. The first is called varietal, the latter is cold usually as blend.

There are three main wine categories based on the color: White, Red or Rose. Contrary to expectations, white grapes can be used for making of red wines, and vice versa. The main reason for this is that the color of the wine is caused mostly from the skin of the grape. When you take away the skin of the red grapes during the initial stages of production, you can produce white wine using red grapes. For this reason, it is not possible to produce red wines from only white grapes. You have to use red grapes at a certain rate to make use of the color in the skin of the red grape.

When the grapes are collected for winemaking, the ill or rotten ones are separated, and the rest is pressed to make must. At this state, the skins can be taken away and there is only juice left, if the intention is to make white wine. For the red wine making, skins are left there and allowed to give their taste, smell and color to the must. When roze wine is made, the skins are left for a wile, but removed after a while. The must is left in either steel or oak tanks for fermentation. I time, the sugar in the must/juice is converted to alcohol. Then, the wine can be transferred to oak barrels for resting. This depends on the characteristics of the grape and of the wine. After this stage, the wine is ready for bottling.

This is a simple and short summaru of winemaking. I wanted to write this because usually I got tired of reading winemaking stages described in detail using scientific terms. I will be writing about the thing that I mentioned at the beginning of this post in another post.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cankara Bogazkere 2002

Cankara Boğazkere 2002
I just placed my first order on Onlinemahzen and received the wines a few hours later! They even apologized for delivering so late (it was 9:30 in the evening), but I was grateful because I was'nt expect delivery before the other day.

So, I bought 7 bottles of wine. I just noticed that I had not thought where I would keep the wines. The weather outside has recently been between 12-17 Celcius degrees. I though this is much better than inside of the house, which is never below 22-23 degrees and put the bottles in the closed gallery (which is closed with glasses). They are lying there in the carton box of onlinemahzen.

I started to drink them with Cankara Boğazkere 2002 first. I chosed it only because of curiosity. I was wondering how a variatal of Bogazkere would taste like. Besides, I actually ordered Bogazkere 2005 but they sent me Bogazkere 2002, so I wanted to see if this misunderstanding has resulted in something good or bad :)

When I poured the wine into the glass, the color surprized me. I had seen several pictures in the books showing color differences among young vs older wines, but I didn't really pay attention to them. When I noticed the color of this wine, I realized how different it was compared to the fresh red color of mostly the younger wines. This one had a color between orange, brown, and tile color. I made a photo to show you the color but it is not really meaninful since there isn't any other photo of another wine to compare with.

Color of Cankara Bogazkere 2002
I doubted that the wine might have a defect since it was quite old (compared to the wine I drank before), but then I tasted it and  there was no sign of decay. I actually tasted a very nice wine of Bogazkere that had flowery and spicy aromas on the nose, intense tannins on the palate,and a medium-full body. I think Bogazkere alone can produce very nice variatals (I know this is  too much generalization). I will taste more Bogazkere's and will continue to share my experiences with you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Turasan Seneler Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Syrah 2008

Turasan Seneler Cabarnet Sauvignon Merlot - Syrah 2008
When I heard that my brother was travelling around Kapadokya, I urgently called him and ordered wine from Kapadokya. He complained that he was travelling for business reasons and had no time for shopping etc., but he could not escape since his company surprisingly organized a trip to Turasan's wine production facilities :) Then he called me to tell that he would not let me drink the wine alone and that he was going to come to dinner to us soon.

I ordered Turasan Seneler Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Syrah 2008 based on the writings about it on This wine gained golden medal in Concours Mondial, Bruxelles 2010.

While opening the bottle I told to my brother and my husband a few things about wine tasting so that they could enjoy it properly :) Then we tasted it and we loved it!

We drank our first glasses without waiting so much, so basically without airing it, but we drank our second glasses after approx. 30 minutes of resting in a carafe.

The wine has a beautiful dark red color, medium-full body and noticeable tannins. There were also blackberry and oak aromas on the nose. I liked the very much.

This wine can be bought in İstanbul for around $ 26. If you visit Kapadokya, you may buy it there for around $ 20. In both cases, I think it is worth buying it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chateau Lascombes Margaux 2007 (Grand Cru)

Chateau Lascombes Margaux 2007
It was a great experience for me to taste a Grand Cru wine brought from France, expecially considering that I am still a beginner in wine tasting.

As far as I could learn, Grand Cru is the classification concerning the highest quality vineyards in France. Since the subject of this post is classified as Grand Cru, I understand it is a very important subject for a blog post!

This wine was brought to the table while I was drinking myTerra Shiraz in a modest mood. When I noticed the price label on it saying that it costs € 90, I though I was about to feel like I was upgrading from hamburger to foie gras.

Chareau Lascombes 2007 was a very very nice wine that is made of Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (45%) and Petit Verdor  (4%). Medum bodied and round, it flows through the throath so softly. I still think offering it to me (so amateur in winetasting) was basically wasting it :) I believe it would be a much different experience to me if I had the chance of tasting it after I had tasted at least 30-40 different wines consciously.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kayra Terra Shiraz 2007

Terra Shiraz 2007
I continue with wines made of Shiraz. I think Terra Shiraz 2007 is the one I liked most among the wines of Shiraz that I have ever tasted. I'm not sure if it was due to the nice atmosphere or the nice conversation we were having, but I'm sure the wine itself has contributed to this. It is a wine of Kayra's brand Terra produced in Elazig.

I think I am close to understanding what is meant with saying that a wine is "round". Terra Shiraz 2007 was a round and bodied wine, based on my notes. It has fume-oak and fruit aromas on the nose. I looked around the web and noticed that nobody ever mentioned about fume or oak in this wine. I would appreciate if someone could provide their own comments about the aroma of this wine and let me know if they smelled fume or oak :) I would but this wine again without even thinking about it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tannin in Wine

When I first started to read about wine, I used to see the word tannin and wondered what it is. I don't remember how I learned what it was, but I'd like to write one a post from which other people can learn what tannin is.

If you eat grapes like me, meaning that you first separate the skin of the grape from the rest of the fruit and keep it in your mounth until you swallow the sweet and juicy part first, you actually know what tannin is! I don't expect that there are many people enjoying grapes like a chilf (like me) :) so I will explain further. There is a bitterness on the skin of the grape. The same bitternes can also bee sensed when one drinks Turkish tea, especially when it is a dark red tea, as the Turkish people like it. Tannin is the element in the skin of the grape that provides that nice bitterness.

When you taste wine, even after you swallow it, you may sense that beautiful bitterness. If you do, please let me know so I could buy the same wine as well :) I love tannins in wine! Maybe I should only say that I love tannins these days, because I think what I love in wine can change with time and depending on my mood.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Doluca Safir 2008

Doluca Safir 2008
Doluca Safir taught me that I should think twice before turning down a white wine.

Just seconds after I turned it down and took a sip from a red wine instead, I realized that everyone alse was showing admiration to this white wine and I took a sip from it too.... Mmmmm! Now I know that a sweet & white wine can be something delicious. I still continued with my red wine though, but I think it is a nice choice for white lovers with a rather low acidity and strong sweet flowery aromas.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pamukkale Anfora Shiraz 2007

Pamukkale Anfora Shiraz 2007
When I visited Metro recently, I bought Pamukkale Anfora - Shiraz at appr. $ 8 along with other wines costing around $ 25. I admit that I thought that there would be noticeable differences between the wines that costed $ 25 and this one. I was wrong! Either the price is a misleading factor, or I have to learn a lot more about wine tasting. Well, the latter is probably true.

I tasted and drank Pamukkale Anfora Shiraz (2007, Denizli - Guney) in a very quite atmosphere. I still have difficulties in concentrating in the wine in crowded places. Once I took my first sip, I new that it was a big mistake to have prejudice against cheaper wines. The wine clearly exceeded my expectations. According to the  tasting criteria that I just learned :) the color is dark red and the mody is medium. I smelled fruit and spices. I think the finish was a little short, but I should not comment about this because I don't have enough experience yet. It was a nice wine, I would definately buy it again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tasting Notes from Wine Tasting in 5 Steps

We tasted 6 wines in the recent seminar that mentioned a short while ago. I could manage to taking notes, but unforunately could not take any pictures for you.

While I will be writing my tasting notes, I will also try to tell you what I've learned about whine tasting for those who are curious.My notes are generally based to the common comments of the group, but I didn't include the comments which I don't agree :)

When Cüneyt Uygur (Manager of Kayra Wine Center) mentioned "bodied", I asked him what this meant. I felt like a hero because I was sure everyone was wondering waht it meant :) He explained it carefully by using many adjectives. I can summarize it as the intensity and the weight of the wine in the mouth.

In addition, I also learned how is acidity felt, how is it felt when a wine has lots of tannins, and other things that I don't remember now.

We tasted one sparkling wine, one roze, two while and two red wines.

1. Cameo D'oro
Before we tasted this sparkling wine of Kayra, we also learned how we should open a sparkling wine bottle. This was the best part for me :) because I am not really interested in tasting sparkling wine since I don't like high acitity or sparkles. My notes say that it was a wine with medium body, high acidity, fruity, lemon and yeast aromas on the nose.

2. Terra de France, Sauvignon Blanc 2008
This wine has a darker color compared to the sparkling wine, but it has still a light yellow color. It has a high acidity and fruity aromas. When I tasted this, two sides of my tounge burned from acidity and I though I could not ever like a white wine. This negative thoughts only lasted until I tasted the following white wine. It was clear to me that it was not only about color, there are huge differences among the white wines.

3.Terra California Chardonnay 2006
I was the first one who commented that the acidity of this wine is much lower than the previous two :) I think this was how a white wine should taste like. How could I drink those whites with burning acidity? It is still not my favorite, because the fruity and spicy aromas of the wine were so sweat that I would think if it could be a semi sweet wine. I smelled fume and oaky aromas for the first time from this wine.

4.Terra Kalecik Karasi Roze 2009
This was the second time that I had ever tasted a roze wine. The first one was in Bozcaada, in Corvus's store. I don't know which wine it was, but it had an orange or salmon like color. Terra Kalecik Karasi Roze, on the other hand, had a lively pink color. It was a medium bodied, highly acidic wine with a little tannins, fruity and flowery aromas.For me, it is a wine that can be tried only if necessary in social events.

5. Kayra Vintage Merlot 2008
I was happy that I could eventually taste a red wine, but high acidiy disappointed me a little. I still think that it can be a very nice wine after a little dekantation. It has a dark burgundy color, a medium body, moderate tannins, fruity, spicy and oaky aromas.

6.Buzbag Rezerv  2006 
We just listened to the reasons of why Okuzgozu and Bogazkere blends make good blends and therefore I was really curious about this wine. This was clearly the peak of the tasting that day. My curiousity left its seat to joy! I am grateful whoever thought first about blending these two grapes. The wine has a dark red but rather transparent color. It has medium body, moderate acidity, a lot of tannins, fruity and spicy aromas.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wine Tasting in 5 Steps

I attended a wine tasting seminar recently. It was the best wine experiance I had recently. It was an introduction to wine tasting, which anyone who likes to drink wine can enjoy.

I guess there are many institutions that organize seminars like this. I just chosed this one only for practical reasons (its date was suitable for me). It was Kayra Wine Center's Wine Tasting Seminar in 5 Steps. I had to leave the office a little earlier than normally, but it was worth it.

I have to admint the the content of the seminar was exceeding my expectations. As it was my first time in such a seminar, I was expecting answers to my simple questions like "what should I look for in the glass?", " could I ever smell those aromas people keep telling about like flawor or sweaty horse!" or " what is a wine with full body?". I found more than my answers in this seminar, it was like receiving a desert with icecream while expecting only a single desert :)

In summary, I could say that I learned how every single part of a grape contributes to the wine, what are the differences between production and consumption of different kinds of wines, what I should look for when I'm tasting wine and even which food is compatible with the wines that we tasted there.

It was important to me to learn that high acidity bothers me a little and that lots of tannins do not bother me at all. I even like tannins. While I could only smell  a little fruity and oaky aromas from a wine, other people managed to smell blackpepper, plum, strawberry, mineral etc. This made me a little sad, because I thought that I had a strong nose. I always notice people from their parfumes and I always notice if someone around has used lemon cologne even if they had it hours ago (because I hate the smell of lemon cologne. However, I can't understand how one can smell moldy carton or sweaty horse when tasting a wine! I comfort myself sayin that everything is possible with enough time and experience. I just need to be patient.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dinner in Garden

I had the chance to sit on a big dinner table set in a beautiful garden full with fruit trees and flowers. Unfortunately, our wine was not as nice as the garden! Therefore, I'm going to show you the garden mostly, instead of the wine.

Since there wasn't anyone else drinking wine, I had the liberty to choose whichever wine I prefer among the available wines in the house. However, after I carefully cooled and opened the wine, I was very disappointed since the corck falled into pieces. The worst part was the vinegar-like taste of the wine in which small pieces of  cork were swimming. I believe the wine, Yazgan Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006 was not really suitable for aging and since it was kept in imprpoer conditions, so it was spoiled.

When I saw how sad the host was, I opened another wine, Yazgan Dolcevita Cabarnet Sauvignon Boğazkere Syrah. I had to drank it almost immediately after opening the bottle, but it was ok. Since I coulf not cool it or dekant it properly, I'm not going to comment further on the wine's taste, but I'm just going to show you how it looks like.

This distastefully started wine experience could not ruing mu night because I'm a person who can settle for less :) I just enjoyed the atmosphere and the conversation that was going on.

I'd like to mention that the term "cooling" menas here that I put the wine into the regular refrigerator. This will go on as it is until I buy a wine fridge.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bozcaada and Wine

A short while ago, we had a nice, relaxing vacation in Bozcaada. We stayed closed to the centre, in Mitos Otel. The hotel is really as clean and beautiful as it seems in the pictures. They also have a great (Turkish) breakfast which you can't see on the pictures. I believe that one of the things that made our vacation great was this breakfast. Another nice thing about the hotel is that the people working there were kind and friendly. Besides, the hotel is one or two street away from the centre of the island and therefore it was quite around the hotel at night so that we could sleep confortably.

At the time when we first saw the silent beaches of the island and swam in the cool (very very cool) sea of the island, I was sure that we chosed the wright place for a swim and relax vacation. It was beyond my expectations that we could have a nice wine almost anywhere we had dinner. I want to mention especially the home made wine that was served in a plastic bottle when we had an wonderful dinner (lamp tandoori) in Karadut Bağ Evleri. I will remember this place with its wooden tables, delicious food, nice personnel and its wonderful view of endless vineries and all green lands.

Another nice memory from this vacation in Bozcaada was the wines we bought from Corvus wine store next to their production facilities. A tasted Bozcaada wines before. I remember one of them (Aegea) with its light taste and easyness to drink, and the other one (Rarum) with is too sharp taste. The girl from Corvus told me that the taste that was too sharp for me was the taste from Karalahna grapes and that it was a full and popular taste. I had mentioned that I didn't like it not very politely though :) I realized my rudeness immediately and tried to soften the air with smiles. Since I was at the very new in wine tasting and in getting used to their tastes, I listeded every word of her carefully and choosed a few wines as a gift and also a few for us.

Corvus Aegea Kuntra 2007

One of the wines that I chosed for us was Aegea, which I tasted once before. A few days after we returned back from our vacation we drank it along with our dinner. It was a red wine that was relatively easy to drink but it still had a strong taste. It was produced in 2007 and bottled in 2010. Even I could smell fruity aromas. Each sip of it brought me back to Bozcaada :) I would buy it again. In fact, I believe I could visit Corvus whenever I visit Bozcaada and taste their wine again and again.

I apologize for the quality of the photos I use. I hope I will get better in photo making as the blog grows.ilerleyeceğimi düşünüyorum.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My first encounter with wine coincides with the time when I started to call in the bars and wine houses of Beyoglu when I was in highschool (not too young though, my highschool was a special kind lasting eight years, so I was 19 when I graduated). Considering the limited budget of a highschool student, we ordered mostly the cheapest beers and wines. That's why I do not have colorful memories of wine from those years since I hardy finished my glasses of those chaepest wines.

For a very long time, wine was a drink that I ordered sometimes but never drank willingly. The first thing that I noticed about wine in those days was that the serving temparature of the wine mattered a lot. In hot summar days, I used to order a glass of white wine and could drink it regardless of how bad it is at least until it gets warmer.

In later years, I started to like red wine when I had the chance of drinking wines that were chosen by people who know what they were doing instead of random choices based on limited budget. The second think that I noticed about wine in those days was that the grape of which the wine was made mattered too. When I realized that it can't be a coincidence that I like wines of a certain grape more than others, a light flashed in my head! I thought, "I am a person who likes to got pleasure from every possible thing in the life, so, wine can be one of the things that givcs me pleaseure. The only thing that I have to do is to discover which wines I like most."

In this periof of my life, I tasted a wine and decided that I can't possible drink it further. After I left my glass for about half an hour untouched, I tasted it again for some reason and I realized how surprisingly calm, easy drinking, delicious wine it became. It was a moment that made me think that wine is not only a beverage that offers flavor and pleasure, but it is also a culture that involves many misteries to be discovered.

So, as a result of these processes of my life, I recently started to buy wines and go to restaurants where I can order wines. I decided to read anything about wine and to participate in any event about wine. In the meantime, I will share my experieces related to wine here with you. I have a lot to learn until I'll be able to write comments like "it is fruity, a little too much acidity, a full body" etc. You will rather see expressions like "I tasted this wine, I learned that you should taste it in this way/ along with such and such meal..." etc. If you are a curious and amateur winelover like me, I hope we will witness together that knowledge will accumulate more and more as it is shared.