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.