Sunday, October 30, 2011

Akberg Şirince Shiraz 2005

Akberg Şirince Shiraz 2005
Akberg Sirince Shiraz 2005 is another wine that we bought when we travelled through Sirince. This wine was a surprising experience for me. First, the color was a fresh, dark red. Altough I know that Shiraz usually produces lively & dark red wines, considering that this is a wine of 2005, I expected a little paler color from this wine. Apparently, this wine was not that old.

When I smelled and tasted the wine, I became doubtfull about the grape, whether it was really Shiraz. As far as I know, Shiraz usually produces rather round wines with rich and complex fruity aromas. This wine rather presents an incomplex, cherry like flavor and quite bitter taste that feels like tasting an anripe fruit. This was not a bitterness to make a face, but is rather a bitterness like the tannin caused bitterness of Bogazkere.

When I tasted the wine after two hours of aeration in a big glass, the wine was softer, less bitter, and less sharp in smell and taste. Still, the bitterness was standing in the forefront according to me. Each time I tasted the wine, I felt like tasting an anjelique plum that is not ripe enough. Additionally, I noted that  the wine had  thin-medium body, moderate acidity, marked tannin and a rather short ending.

I used a wine stopper with vacuum to close the bottle. After 2-3 days, the wine was still there without losing anything. I wonder if this can be a sign showing that the wine has a potential to age for more years.

Would I try this wine again? Well, I prefer to discover other wines instead of rediscovering this one, but if you would like to try a local wine in Sirince, Artemis would be certainly a good choice.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vacuum Wine Stopper

You can't buy small bottles of wine in Turkey. We are a family of two, so we buy everthing in small packages, but unfortunately not wine. Wines is almost always offered in bottles of 750 ml.

This is a problem because, you can't open a wine and put it simply in the refrigerator and continue to drink it all week. The taste changes significantly, especially after 2-3 days. There is a simple solution for this, which I discovered unfortunately very late.

This is a vauum wine stopper. Do you know how difficult it is to find it in Turkey? I found this one in France, in a souvenir shop of a monestery! I am sure that you don't have to go that far to find it, but I still bought it when I saw it in France. Just because, hmm, why not?

For those who don't know how this works, I'm going to try to explain it. The small part in the picture is a stopper. The bigger part is something like a pump. You set it on the stopper, and you move it as if you are pumping air in it until you hear a "click". You are actually taking air from the bottle.

You can open a bottle now, without worrying about whether you will be able to finish it or most of it will be wasted. You can trust that your wine will be safe for days, much more than 2-3 days, as long as you close it with the vacuum stopper. Just remember that you can't easily open the sopper if you vacuumed the air from the bottle.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Amadeus Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

This is the first time that I tasted a wint of Amadeus thanks to a good friend, who recently went to Bozcaada for vacation, admired the island, and returned with this wine as a gift to me.

This is Amadeus Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. Considering that we are in October 2011, I wondered if it was too early to drink this wine. Curiosity won the battle and I opened the bottle.

When I tasted the wine immediately after opening the bottle, I couldn't sense anything but the intense taste of alcohol. After half an hour, I noticed that the taste of alcohol was softening and the fruity aromas started to appear slowly. After a period of aeration, the wine became a full bodied wine with intense taste and long, strong ending. However, the taste of alcohol was still to strong for me. I thought may be the reason for this was that the wine was too young, even immature. I don't really know if the strong taste of alcohol can be related to the age of the wine. I hope someone knows about it and shares their comments with us here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

M. Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage (2009)

Les Lyonnais

We had a lovely dinner in Lyon in a restaurant called Les Lyonnais. The watier (I believe he was the chief and the manager at the same time) was a friendly man with good sense of homour.

I took the card in the picture before I left the restaurant. There is a link on the card. When you click on the link, you will see several pictures. The only one that looks like the restaurant where we had our dinner is the picture on the right, in the middle vertically showing red walls and wooden chairs.

We had a reservation at 8.00pm, but we were free at 7.00pm, so we went to a bar for a drink. It was a bar with old looking furniture with red velvet sofas. I felt like in my grandmother's house. 

M. Chapoutier Petite Ruche Crozes Hermitage 
Eventually, we were starving when we went to the restaurant at 8.00. We couldn't order our meal for about 40 minutes, which, I understand, is normal for southern France. I think they see it impolite to serve quickly and therefore, they leave you enough time to enjoy your evening. Of course it doesn't feel very good if you are starving :) Anyway, I ordered some meat and told that I wanted to have it "well done". Altough I like to try new tastes, the French way of meat cooking - which is basically not cooking according to me- is a little too much for me. I respect their confidence in their style, but I prefer not to see any blood in my plate.

Then, it was the time to choose wine and we asked his advice. He told us that the wine in the picture is a nice wine from Rhone valley. It was a really nice, medium bodied, fruity wine with a little fume cheese aroma. We liked it very much and felt lucky to enjoy our last food and wine in France in this lovely place.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Istanbul is raising a toast

Doluca has a campaign called "Istanbul is raising a toast". This is an organization that basically provides anopportuinity to order certain wines in glasses in certain places. Those wines are mostly the wines that cannot be ordered in glass normally. So, on 19-30 October, you can go one of the restaurants listed here and order some of the wines in their menu (chosen from this list) in glass. If you like it, you could always order them with the whole bottle!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3. Kanyon Wine Tasting Days

There will be a wine tasting fair in Kanyon (Istanbul) again, between 21-23 October. You can see the detailed program here.

I attended this event previously. There was a very nice atmophere. There were basically tens of wines and you could taste any of them! So, it's worth to be there.

Edit: This event has been postponed as announced here (there isn't an english version of this announcement).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Giulio de' Medici Chianti

Giulio de' Medici
When we were in Nimes (France), we had a dinner in a lovely Italian restaurant, Danieli. Considering that it would be a good idea to eat a local food together with local wine, we ordered the onlu Chianti in the menu.

Before going into details of the wine, I'd like to mention that I had a great Ravioli filled with cheese. It was much better than I expected. It was cooked in cassarole and of course some parmesan was on top of it. I know discovering local food is part of travelling, but if you happen to go Nimes, my advise would be; don't insist on a French restaurant so much! Trying Italian food for one night wouldn't harm.

The wine was also good. I don't know which grapes were used for it. I don't really know much about Chianti wines, but I plan to learn and share with you soon. I just know that Chianti is the name used for some portion of Tuscany, where winemakers are densely located. Anyway, it was a light wine with thin body, a little grassy aromas and relatively low alcohol (12,5%). We liked and anjoyed it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chateau de Pibarnon 1998

Chateau de Pibarnon 1998

In our second night in Auberge de Cassagne, we had our second dinner in the hotel's Michelin star restaurant. I'd like to mention that, when I write "we", I mean my cousin and myself. My cousin is a person who likes food and wine, in fact, she might be loving food much more than me. So, I'am in expert hands :)

When she showed to the sommelier of the restaurant three wines from the huge menu, he immediately eliminated one of them saying that the others are much more better appelations. Then we chosed one of the wines of better appelations. 

I have just read a few things about French wine appaleation and I'm going to try to explain it to you. Appelation is a way of classification that creates certain rules for the wines that are subject to the appalation's control. The rules can limit the grapes to be grown in certain areas, can organize the way of planting vine, or can limit the yield in certain areas. It is constantly controlled whether or not these rules are obeyed in the vineries that are subject to the said appelation. If a wine is subject to an appelation, there is an expression like "... appelation controle" on the bottle and the wine is differentiated from the rest of the wines without any appelation. 

Chateau de Pibarnon 1998 is subject to Bandol appelation, of which I didn't hear before. The sommelier said that this was a better appelation compared to certain others that we showed to him. Besides, he also said that this wine would have certain flowery aromas (which I don't remember) including violet. 

I couldn't smell any flowery aromas and decided to stop taking antihistaminic pills for a while. I still think that this was the best wine among the few wines that I mentioned in my most recent posts. I can also say that it has a little thiner body and is easear to drink compared to the wine that was the subject of the previous post. It is also richer than the other wines that I mentioned in my most recent posts which I wrote while I have been travelling in France. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Le Temple 2005 (Chateau de Bas)

I had the chance of staying at this hotel in Avignon, France. This hotel is not only said to have a traditional Provence style, but it also has a restaurant listed as a one star restaurant in Michelin list. When our guide told us that our hotel was unfortunately a little far from the city center, but luckily had a one star restaurant, I was sure that I would not try to go to city center ever during my stay there!

Roasted Tender Duck
Avignon has been the center of papacy for a few decades in 14. century. After the return of papacy to its home, it is mainly remembered for its theater festival in July. It is a small town with cute streets and many stores with beautiful displays. Our hotel was 7 km away from the city center and it was barely noticable in its surrounding.

I am not going to write about what I had for dinner in detail, because basically I don't have enough time for this and it is also not my style! I am sharing a few pictures with you and I also need to say that anything I tasted (even the bread) was really delicious. Please take a look at cheese choises that they offered when I said I would prefer cheese instead of desert.

While the menu was of normal size, the wine menu was as big as a calculus book! The wines were listed according to their region and the prices were written. There was a wide range of prices. We all ordered different meals including vegetable salad, duck, and veal. The sommelier suggested that we should order a not so strong, but still rich wine. He named a few, but we insisted on a wine from Aix en Provance and he politely said that one was ok too :)

Le Temple 2005 Chateau de Bas
Although I chose different things that I normally like, anything I tasted was delicious to me. The wine was actually a little stronger than we needed, but it was still a very nice wine with fruity and spicy aromas. I noticed later that Oz Clarke mentioned in his pocket book 2011 (subject of a upcoming post) Chateau de Bas as the first in the list of procucers in Coteaux d'Aix en Provence (I'm not sure that the list was sorted according to anything, but it was at least mentioned in the list).

Before and after our dishes, we were offered certain offerings of the chef, which all were also delicious. I had not ever taste a chocolate truf that was so light! I melted immediately in my mouth. I suggest deating in a restaurant from Michelin list if you have the chance. And do it in France if you could!

I would like to mention also that the prices were not extremely high compared to a regular restaurant in France. The starters and main dishes were around 30-40 Euros, but there were set menus costing 49 Euros including a starter, a main dish and a desert all of which you could choose amonf three alternatives. You may decide by your own judgement whether or not it is worth of it, taking into consideration that this is a one star restaurant according to Michelin list.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chateau Brilette 2004

Chateau Brilette 2004
After an exhausting day in Aix en Provence (France), we decided to have our dinner in our hotel. I let my cousin choose the wine, and she choose a Bordeaux as usual. Chateau Brilette 2004 is a Cru Bourgeois Superieur, which basically means the second best quality in Bordeaux wines :) It has a strong and a little tannic taste, which is delicious, needless to say.

I don't know how they manage to do it, but all of their wines taste very good. There are also some other things that I like about French dining culture.

Firstly, each person's meal on the same table comes at the same time and each finished palate leaves the table at the same time. They don't remove the empty palates until everyone has finished. I find this very nice. No one feels like he/she is eating alone. Additionally, if someone on the table orders a starter, the others have to wait for the main course until this person has finished the starter. This can be annoying sometimes if you have to wait for someone else to have their starter while you are starving. We usually ask each other to know if a starter will preceded the main course so that we can at least also order a starter not to wait while we are already starving :)

Secondly, they experience their meals as a long lasting pleasure. I personally believe that one should only eat as much as necessary for healt, but I still admire their devotion to pleasure. If they are in a rush, they don't even sit on a table but they grab a sandwich, because they believe once you sit on a dinner table, you should sit there at least for two hours! May be the fast pace of the modern life has rasped this habit of them a little, but I admire that they save so much time for themselves to have a dinner, even if it is only once in a  while. That reminds me of one hour lasting lunch breaks in which we had our lunches and also managed to do a small shopping before we went back to our offices. I feel pity for ourselves.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

La Croix Irresistible 2008

La Croix Irresistible 2008
My dear readers, I am writing this post in Marseille, France. While you are reading this post, I might even moved to another city of Provence.

Life is beautiful around here. Dinners last at least 2-3 hours, and people drink wines in lunch, dinner, or whenever they want to. I got used to it very quickly. I can't always have 2-3 hours lasting dinners though, but I ordered so many wines without even chosing them by name or region. We just ordered "vin de pays" (the category just above the lowest one) in carafe pr ordered wine in glass and they were nice.

I have a notebook with me to make tasting notes, but I could not make any notes yet, because I don't even see the bottle of the wines we order, so basically I don't know what I'm drinking. We only ordered the wine that you see in the above picture willingly and knowingly.

We chosed this wine when we had a dinner in Marseille, very close to the harbour. The wine menu was divided in regiouns of France, and we chosed a wine among the ones under "Provence". This was a very nice, fruity, a little tannic but round wine. I learned later that it was made of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. I think it is not as strong as Bordeaux wines. I believe I can tell you more about Provence wines after I taste a few more of them in the following days.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Akberg Gamay (2004)

Akberg Gamay (2004)
I had tasted Akberg wines when I visited Artemis Winery in Sirince. I also had tasted their Gamay and I liked it, but I didn't like this wine. It tastes too sweet for me. I didn't feel anything but sweetness. and I couldn't finish my glas.

Please don't think that something was wrong with the wine. I believe it is only me. It was just not one of my favourites.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Doluca Verano Blush (2010)

Doluca Verano Blush (2010)

I came across this wine surprisingly when I was looking for a wine that I could drink together with aperatives in a fish restaurant (cause I can never come to the main meal and usually finish eating before the fish comes to the table). I didn't even know that this wine existed because as you would remember, I started to be interested in rose wines only a few posts ago.

Verano Blush is a rose colored, refreshing, and red fruity wine made of Grenache grapes grown in Doluca's vineyars in Saroz (Turkey). It is delicious and very easy to drink. Don't limit yourself with aperatives as I did! Drink it with whatever you like, as red wines are still not enough refreshing in these still warm days of September.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chateau Villemaurine (2006)

A French wine again. I am totally confused about French wine classification. Whenever I read about French wine classification, I learn something new that undermines my previous knowledge about it. 

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that I can never age wine, as I can never wait until my meal on the palate becomes warm and I try to eat while it is still hot. If I buy wine, I want to drink it immediately. 

Whichever classification this wine belongs, it is a grand cru, so it is extremely prestigious. Contrary to what most reasonable people would do, I did not keep this wine for a special ocasion. Instead, I suddenly decided to open it in a regular night at home. 

I cooled it in a rush, prepared this small palate for myself and this itself was a special ocasion for me. I was ready to drink the wine. I was curious about the grapes of which the wine was made, but I could not see this information on the bottle. So, I asked google. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. 

The wine stayed in my glass for hours, but I still thought it needed airation. May be it was too early to open the bottle. Still, it has a beautiful taste, intense, fruity and full of strong tannins. I admired French winemakers once more, and I wished that I would admire Turkish winemakers as often as I admire French ones.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Doluca, Karma Chardonnay - Narince (2008)

Karma Chardonnay Narince
The wine that you see in the very bad picture on the left is a very nice white wine. You should have noticed that I keep the promises that I make and give chances to white and rose wines.

I mentioned this wine briefly here previously. It is a white wine of Karma group of Doluca, which are made of one local and one international grape. A nice blend of Chardonnay and Narince.

I like both Chardonnay and Narince and I tasted this wine before. So, I knew that I would like it this time, too. I gave it an extra credit when it glorified my evening with my friends that I missed and love so much. They all said they loved the wine. 

You should try it! It is fishing season in Istanbul. Order your favourite fish along with a cooled Karma Chardonnay Narince. You'll see that life is beautiful :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ardesia Blush Pinot Grigio

Ardesia Blush Pinot Grigio
I regret that I have not tried a rose wine in this summer while I kept complaining that I can't drink red wine when the weather is so hot. In these last days of summer, I ordered Ardesia Blush Pinot Grigio only because a friend of mine asked me to do so. It was a nice surprise for me because I liked it very mush.

This is a rose wine with a color of salmon. It is made of 85% Pinot Grigio and 15% Chardonnay. It is very light and refreshing, and it also has a relatively low acidity, which is a good point for me. I drank it along with macaroni with a tomato & basil souce and I think they made a nice pair.

Please don't do what I did throughout this summer. Give a chance to rose wines and if you have a chance to drink Ardesia Blush Pinot Grigio, give it a chance, too!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sirince Wines

Sirince is a village that is hidden behind a valley near to Selcuk (Turkey). In earlier dates, Greek people lived there, but afterwards, Turks that had lived in Thessalonika (Greece) moved to this town (exchange of populations btw Greece & Turkey).

I don't knowmuch about architecture but I believe Greeks (at least the ones who lived in today's Turkish lands) knew a lot about architecture. The villages they left behind seem very cute. This one is a cute Aegean village that contains tens of winehouses and that is heavily dependant on tourism although it is quite far from the sea.

Sirince's wines, especially fruit wines are very famous. I didn't pay much attention to winehouses first, since I thought they were selling only fruit wines, in which I'm not interested. After a short walk, we saw a winehouse, which also had its production facilities behind. I realized later that this was the only wine production plant in Sirince, Artemis Sirince Winery.

Alper & Efe
We started to taste grape wines first, upon my request. We tasted varietals of Carbernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Bogazkere, Shiraz, and Kalecik Karasi. We chose Gamay and Shiraz (their reserve wine) and put them aside.

Afterwards, Efe (on the right side) had given as a tour in the factory. This is a winery that is run by a Turkish - German partnership. We saw where the grapes were sequeezed, filtered and rested in steel tanks. Efe described each stage of production in detail but I won't tell you those details as I can't remember all of them.

After our little tour ended, we started to taste fruit wines. We tasted peach, melon, strawberry, black mulberry, blueberry and blackburry. Our favourites were peach and melon. In the last minute, I also saw that they had varietals of Horozkarasi and Papazkarasi (local grapes). At the end, we had 6 bottles in our hands.

After we received a few tips and advice about the town from Alper and Efe, we continued to walk around. We left our wines there as we didn't want to carry them around. They offered to send them via courier and said we can also order wines even from Istanbul (min 6 bottles). We didn't accept their offer since we wanted to give some of the wines as present in the next days of our travel. If you'd like to order wines or visit them in Sirince, you may see the necessary information here.

The wines that we bought are still in their bottles, but I'll let you know when I taste them and share my impression about them with you.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book: Everything Wine Book

Everything Wine Book (Turkish version)
There are only a few books about wine written in Turkish. There are many books written in English, but those are rarely translated into Turkish. This one is one of the few Turkish translations about wine. It is written by Barbara Nowak and Beverly Wichman and translated into Turkish by Elif Demir. It starts with basic information about wine and continues with characteristics of wine depending on regions and countries, with history of wine and even with the unexpected incidents such as desaeases or prohibiting which wine business had experienced.

The book contains short explanations each with their titles, so you don't need to read it like a novel, but you could easily use it as a reference book or could browse it through whenever you wish to read whichever page attracts your attention.

The negative things for me are that the book does not contain any pictures and that its writing style is a little boring. These are not enough reasons to not to buy the book of course. The book can be an alternative for those who look for a book about wine in Turkish language.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kocabag Kalecik Karasi (2008)

Wine like a candy! Seriously, this wine has so sweet aromas I doubted that it was a dry wine. When you smell this wine, you fell like smelling a desert with strawberries and cherries. I also smelled a little fume, which was a nice thing balancing the sweetness.

Kocabag is a winemaker in Kapadokya, the home of Kalecik Karasi. This wine is a soft, thin bodied, typical Kalecik Karasi wine with almost no tannins at all. If you like fruity and easy to drink wines, you make like this wine.

Camlıbag Cabernet Sauvignon - Kuntra 2009

Çamlıbağ Cabernet Sauvignon - Kuntra 2009
Camlibag is one of the well known winemakers in Bozcaada. I didn't try their wines when I was Bozcaada but I had the chance of tasting this one thanks to onlinemahzen's store in Atasehir.

I know Cabernet Sauvignon has a strong taste but I thing this wine is mostly shaped by Kuntra, as in the case of most Bozcaada wines. I have tasted 3-5 Bozcaada wines in the past year and their common characteristic was that their taste was a little too sharp and bitter.

To be honest, I'll remember this wine's too sharp and alcoholic and fruity smell. It stayed 3 days in hour refrigerator and I tasted it each day. I liked it best on the third day. Its aromas were milder and taste was softer, but it still had a full and tannic taste.

In short, this wine has not become one of my favorites, but just because of curiosity and also because I like Bozcaada, I'll continue to taste Bozcaada wines and also Camlibag wines with the hope of discovering something new one day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to open a wine bottle

I am going to show you that opening a wine bottle is not difficult or complicated at all and that a women can do it without help of men. After you learn it, you may still let the men do it and let them feel strong and clever :)

You need a corkscrew in order to open a wine bottle in a decent way. There are ways to open a wine without them but they are not as "decent" as my way :) A corkscrew can look like the one above or the one below. They both serve the same purpose, but I usually use the upper one since it is more comfortable to use it.

The common part of all corkscrews is the part that looks like a screw and that you can stick into the cork. Let's see how these things work.

First, you put the bottle on a table or another flat surface. There is something that covers the upper part of the bottle. I don't know what it is called :) It is something like a hardy paper that covers the top of the bottle. Whatever its name is, you should get rid of it. I usually scratch it with the sharp end of the corkscrew so that I can grasp it with my fingers and take that cover out.

Now you can see the top of the cork in which you can stick the corkscrew. You put the corkscrew into it and turn it cloclwise until you can't turn it anymore or until you believe that it is enough. The corkscrew's arms should be looking up. Hold those arms and take them down :) The cork should be out now.

That's all! As you see, there is nothing to be afraid of. Don't deceive yourself saying that you don't know how to do it or that you can't do it :) Just try !

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chateau Petit Bois (2003) Lussac Saint-Emilion

Chateau Petit Bois (2003) Lussac Saint-Emilion
Last weekend, we were invited to a barbacue party to celebrate a friend's birthday. Instead of wine, we brought a huge bottle of tequila with us. I forgot to take pictures of the tequila bottle, but I can assure you there is not much to talk about it :) It was my first time of tasting tequila, and I believe there is nothing to taste in tequila. It's salt and lemon that makes us think as if it has a taste :) Anyway, I don't think that people drink tequila for its taste.

Coming to our subject, the wine in the picture was one of the wines in our friend's mother's wine celler. We didn't ask for her permission, so I passed Chateau Margaux bottles and tried to choose a wine that she wouldn't notice easily when dissappeared :)

As I mentioned in my previous post, most of Bordeaux wines don't provide much information on their label. Therefore, I can't tell you about this wine's grapes or producer this time, but I'll tell you something else. Let's first start with the taste of wine. I tasted it without aerating and it had a nice but a little too strong taste, moderate tannin and medium body. Its color was a clear and vivid bordeaux as if it was a young wine, altough it was a 2003 vintage.


Then I thought the wine would get better after a little aerating and I asked for a dekanter. Instead of a dekanter, my friend brought the device in the above picture. I saw it for the first time and honestly, I didn't believe first that it would work. In a few seconds, I was the biggest fan of this device! You pour a wine with sharp and intense taste through it and the wine that is filled into your glass is a well aerated, soft, and well rounded wine as if it was aerated in a dekanter for 20-30 minutes.

I couldn't understand how this thing works but it really works! This one is bought in UK and I saw that it can be bought from internet. Coming back to the wine, it is also worth to try, it was a very very nice, soft wine especially after we poured it through the aerator.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chateau Peyre-Lebade (2008)

Once again, I'm going to tell you about a French wine. French wine bottles provide information on bottle labels in a different way compared to Turkish wines. Let's see what we can get from the bottle.

Chateau Peyro-Lebado gives its name to the wine. It is the name of the place where the wine is produced in Haut-Medoc. Haut-Medoc is a part of Medoc area, which is located in Bordeaux, France. This chateau - the vineyard is acquired by Baron Benjamin de Rotschild in 1979. The bottle in the above picture is from 2008.

French wine are subject to a classification which is still a little complicated to me. I mentioned before that there is a classification dating back to 1855 which defines certain vineyards of Bordeaux as grand cru, which is the highest level. I tasted once a Grand Cru wine and mentioned it here.

I have read here that there is another classification in Medoc, which classifies wines as cru bourgeois exceptionnel, cru bourgeois superieure, and cru bourgeois. The wine I'm going to tell you about is a cru bourgeois, which is the third among those levels. I noticed that the pictures of this wine on the web show that the expression "cru bourgeois" is usually written on the label, but it's not written on my bottle. I don't know if this means anything (does anyone know?).

I think this is enough for classification. Let's talk about what is inside of the bottle. As in the case of most of French wines, there is no information on the bottle about the grapes of which this wine was made. Thanks to google, we can learn that the wine is made of mostly Merlot and also Cabernet Sauvignon.

We were 4 people sharing this wine on dinner and I can tell you that everybody loved it! It is a well balanced, round, very delicious wine with still noticeable tannins. This was brought from France as a gift to me, so I'd like to say thanks again!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chateau Brondelle 200?

Chateau Brondelle 200?
Unfortunately, I can't give much information about this wine since I didn't take any notes. I remember only that it was a very nice, round, and delicious wine from Bordeaux, France made of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. I would remember more if I was the one who choose it from the menu.

We had this wine on a dinner in a very nice atmosphere with two persons that I love so much. In such lovely atmospheres, the wines taste much better :) but at the same time, since there are much more interesting subjects to cover, no one cares about tasting notes. Nevertheless, I would suggest that you also forget about the wine tasting notes but rather enjoy the nice conversation if you happen to be in such places with people you love.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Melen Papazkarasi Reserve (2006)

Melen Papazkarası Reserve (2006)
Papazkarasi is a local grape of Turkey which can be used as a table grape (to eat) or in wine making. It is still not very widely used in Turkish wines. I remember that I had once tasted Kutman's Papazkarasi.

Melen has described Papazkarasi as "forgotten prince of Thrace" and made a wine labeled as "reserve". They also wrote that the wine is "oak treated", from which I understand that the wine has been kept in oak barrales or something similar hapened during production process. For me, only the fact that they made a wine from this beautiful local grape was sufficient to glorify. Therefore, I didn't care much about what oak treatment meant.

I saw Papazkarası Reserve's 2006 vintage lying on the floor in front of Mania Gurme in Istinye Park (a shopping mall in Istanbul). I thought they wanted to sell all of them immediately since they believed the wine cannot age any longer. I grabbed a bottle at around $ 20.

I think 2006 vintage of this wine should be drank at latest in 2010! Altough I smelled a nice strawberry jam aroma on the nose, I couldn't feel any tannins, body or acidity when I tasted it. It felt as if the wine had fled away from the bottle and had left a light color and light taste behind. Considering that we cannot know in which conditions the bottle was kept since 2006, it is possible that there are bottles of the same wine in much metter conditions. This one was only our fate, not necessarily yours.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kavaklidere Selection Narince Emir 2008

Kavaklıdere Selection Narince Emir 2008
We have gathered in Radika in Kosuyolu for Baris's birthday. Thanks to him for letting us know such a nice place :) As usual, we arrived earlier than anyone else and therefore we chosed the wine. Since it was a hot summer evening, we wanted to drink a cold white wine, so we chosed Selection Narince Emir of Kavaklidere.

Narince and Emir are local grapes of Turkey. Narince is grown around Tokat and Emir is grown around Kapadokya. Narince has noticeable citrus fruit aromas. I couldn't notice such a distinctive characteristic for Emir yet :) May be its acidity, because it is rather high.

Since we drank Busbag'a Narince-Emir a few days ago, my evaluation for this wine is rather a comparison. Selection Narince Emir is as much aromatic as Buzbag's Narince Emir, but Selection has a little more acidity compared to the latter. Well, I personally prefer low acidity, but I think this wine was very nice, too.

Considering that we had to order the second bottle of the same wine a short while after everyone popped up, I gues I made a good choice for everyone :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Wine Journey to Anatolia

Resim yazısı ekle
Buzbag organized an event to rediscover the harmony of Anatolian cuisine with wine. Thanks to this event, we had the opportunity to follow the footmarks of wine from Eastern Anatolia to Hittites' earthenwares, from home made wines of Antakya to Buzbag on our tables in Kosebasi Restaurant. As Cuneyt Uygur, Manager of Kayra Wine Center, said, it was not a competition, it was rather a journey and Kosebasi's cuisine and Kayra's Buzbag wine accompanied us in our journey.

Buzbağ Emir-Narince 2010

This was a dinner which provided the proof for arguing against the belief that wine should be consumed along with Italian pasta, with French style foie gras, or with an almost raw but still soft piece of steak. Buzbag has discovered a way to bring people like me (who doesn't like kebap) to a kebap restaurant! They offered delicious Turkish food of Kosebasi together with Buzbag wines along with nice conversation about wine. The following wines were served: Buzbag Beyaz (white), Buzbag Klasik, Buzbag Elazig Okuzgozu, Buzbag Diyarbakir Bogazkere, and Buzbag Rezerv. All of these red wines are made of Okuzgozu (fruity and lively) and Bogazkere (strong taste and tannin) grapes of Elazig and Diyarbakir respectively. These are local grapes that can be used in both blends or variatals. As Cuneyt Uygur mentioned that it was a general belief that wines and food of the same region make good matches. So, it should be a wise choice to drink these wines with Anatolian cuisine.

Buzbag Emir-Narince
The first course was a cheese table offered together with Buzbag Beyaz. This is a very nice refreshing wine with citrus fruit aromas made of Emir and Narince grapes. Its acidity is moderate compared to most of the wines. It is both strong and delicate, as the names of the grapes suggest. It had a great harmony with tulum cheese (a Turkish cheese that is enchased in a skin in production phase). The white and yellow (kasar) cheeses did not match with the wine as much as tulum did.

I was a little surprized when the appetizers were served. I can eat any food with wine at my home, but I didn't expect them to be so assertive to serve gavurdagi, toros, abagannus and cig kofte on a wine event (these are all traditional Turkish food that contain significant amount spices, or at least garlic). I am not really fond of hot spices. Therefore I didn't even try to match cig kofte with any wine. I still give them credit for their courageous offer. The most interesting match for me was between abagannus (an appetizer made of eggplant, garlic and yogurt) and white wine. Buzbag Beyaz made the taste of garlic and yoghurt mildly sour.
Buzbag Klasik

Buzbag Klasik (2008), made of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, was served together with these appetizers but I saved my expectations from this wine for it's match with the next, warm appetizers. When warm appetizers arrived, I knew that that was going to be a long night. I was almost full already! Buzbag Elazig Okuzgozu was served to our glasses. It is a lievely wine with red fruit and a little pepper aromas and medium body. I think it made the best match with icli kofte (a special kind of meatball with meat, nuts, onion inside and bulghur as a shell) and patlican sogurme (a warm appetizer made of steamed eggplant), which is normally not easy to match with wines. Humus (made of chickpeas and crushed sesame seeds) was much better with Buzbag Klasik.

Then it was Bogazkere's (my favourite) turn. They served Buzbag Diyarbakir Bogazkere together with Tarsusi Kebap and Pideli Saslik (these are kinds of Turkish kebap, the first made of minced meat and the second of pieces of meat). I was thinking that I don't like kebap made of minced meat but I had never tasted Tarsusi Kebap before! I loved it so much I ate all of it in a few seconds together with Bogazkere. Bogazkere's strong tannins resisted the strong and a dense taste of Tarsusi Kebap and maintained balance. Afterwards, they served Şaşlık Kebabı and I had never tasted it before too! It was so soft that I thought Bogazkere's strong taste is too strong for it, but I was wrong. They glided through my throath together softly.
Buzbag Reserv (2006)

In the meantime, the last emtly glass was filled with Buzbag Rezerv (2006). Similar to Buzbag Klasik, it is a blend of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, but has also been rested in French oak for 24 months, so that Bogazkere's austerity becomes a little milder. It is a strong, bodied, balanced wine. Among chop-rib, kebap with eggplant and shish kebap, the wines best match was with shish kebap.

Lastly, the deserts were served. I have a long distance relationship with deserts, but this doesn't mean that I won't taste them at all. I tasted kunefe, semolina (irmik) with icecream, and pumpkin with icecream and crushed seasam seeds (tahin) respectively. I think kunefe was very good, considering that it didn't make me feel it was too much! Usually, semolina with icecream is very popular especially after too much eating :) but this time the semolina pieces were cold and sticky a little. Pumpkin desert was not as soft as it is usually, but it really melted in my mouth together with tahin and icecream. Therefore, it was my favourite.

Pumpkin desert
I hope that I could at least make you think about, that wine is not something unattainable, not something that is not for "us" but is rather for western countries, ant that Turkish cuisine is compatible with wine. I wish you discover the wines that you like to drink with your favourite food and you share the joy that I try to share with you in this blog.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Turasan Seneler Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Syrah (again)

Turasan Seneler Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Syrah 2008
I told you about this wine before. It is definately a wine that is worth to try. I didn't like it this time as much as I did previously though. May be this is because my expectation was too high.

This is a lively wine with very intense red fruity and spicy aromas, full body, and marked tannin. I think it needs to be aired for a very long time. I was not so patient and this is probably a reason for why I didn't like it this time as much as I did in my first try.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Non-spill Pourer

Non-spill Pourer
This pourer was indluded in a gift package, so I don't know where it can be bought and how much it costs. If you wish to buy something like this, you may search for something called wine pourer or non-spill pourer.

If you serve wine at home, you should know that there is always a drop to fall on the table. Even if it doesn't drop immediately, it will slowly flow down on the surface of the bottle until it finds the table.

This little thing prevents this from happening. You put this thing on the top of the bottle so that the little spiral part goes into the bottle and that's all! You may serve the wine now without spilling.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Body of Wine

Let's imagine that you take a sip of water and feel it... Then, you swallow it and take a sip of milk... Than another sip from an intense peach juice... Each of those beverages will leave a different sense of intensity and weight in your mouth. When we describe the body of the first one, water as light/thin body, then the milk would have a medium body and the peach juice (only if it is a really intense one) would have a full body.

There are also differences in intensity and in weight among the wines, as there are differences among water, milk and peach juice. In order to describe those differences, to describe the thickness of the wine compared to other wines or compared to the average, people use adjectives like light bodied, medium bodied or full bodied. You may also use those expressions from now on since you know what they mean now :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wine Accessories

Wine Accessories
Today, I'm not going to write about the wine in the photo, but I'm going to write about the accessories you see in the box. We bought this box around $ 20 from Metro market. It includes a bottle ring, a wine stopper, a wine pourer with stopper, a thermometer, and a corkscrew. I'm going to write about all of them except the corkscrew. (I'll be writing about the corkscrew in another post.)
Bottle ring / neckless

Let's start with the bottle ring first. It is a metal ring with a pice of sponge in the innter surface. When you put it on the neck of the wine bottle, you may serve the wine without the risk of having wine drops flowing down on the outer side of the bottle. The ring basically catches the drops. I found it very useful. Without this, you would have to have a tissue around the bottle because wine drops always flow on the outer side of the bottle.


This is a thermometer with which you may measure the temparature of your wine. The top of the thermometer (left end in the picture) is a little ticker than a normal bottle's neck. So, you can put the other end of it into the bottle and measure the temparature of the wine that you are about serving. Most of the time, the ideal temparature for serving a wine is written on the back side of the bottle. Usually, white wines are served around 6-8 and red wines are served around 16-18 degrees (Celcius).

Here comes a stopper, which you may need if you couldn't finish all of the wine in the bottle. Previously, I showed you another stopper in this blog. This serves the same purpose. If you close the bottle with a stopper like this and put the bottle in a cooler, the wine can still be drinkable after 3 days. You would have a better result if you could use a stopper with vacuum.
Pourer with Stopper
In the last photo, you see a stopper and pourer. You can pull the thin metal ring to take out the stopper part and use it only as pourer. Unfortunately, I can't do it! Someone has done it once, so I know that it is possible, but I guess I am not enough powerfull to do it. So, I use it only as a stopper for now :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Corvus Blend No3 2006

Corvus Blend No3 2006

We had a dreamlike vacation in Bozcaada in the summer of 2010. I mentioned this vacation in one of the first posts of this blog as one of my steps going into the wine world. At the end of the vacation, we brough a few bottles of Corvus wines to home. The last one of those wine bottles was Corvus Blend No3 2006.

We bought this wine from Corvus's wine store, where they also have their production facilities, if I'm not wrong. I remember it was around $ 45. I knew nothing about wines and wine prices then, so, I thought that it was so expensive that we should expect a miracle from within the bottle :)

The person helping us to choose said that the best time to drink this wine would be 2011. We obeyed her and waited until 2011. Since we still don't have a wine fridge, we kept the bottle in a dark and relatively cool corner in our living room.

Corvus Blend No3 2006 is made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Karalahna, Okuzgozu, and Cabernet Franc which all grown in Corvus vineyards in Bozcaada. It has rested in French oak barrels for 24 months, in bottes (I don't know what botte is. I would appreciate if someone could comment to this post and explain what it is.) for 2 months and in the bottle for 6 months. The bottle is very elegant and there is a legend written on the lable. 

Corvus Blend No3 2006
Corvus produces a Blend from the best grapes of the year and gives a number to each Blend. I have to admit that at the time I bought this wine, when I didn't know anything about wine or about Corvus, I read the list of the grapes on the lable and I thought "this grapes can't be good, if they were good, they would produce seperate wines from each of them" :) I still bought the wine since I was curious. Well, it turns out I was wrong.

It is a strong wine with dark burgundy color, raspberry and cherry aromas on the nose, medium body, strong tannins and vivid acidity. I tasted it after it rested about half an hour in a big glass but it was not enough. Then I left home and left the wine in the glass. When I came back 9 hours later, I smelled and tasted it again. I smelled a strong, earthy aroma and the wine's taste and tannins were almost as strong as they were 9 hours ago. I liked the wine, but I think it still carries characteristics of a ypung wine. I could like it more when it rested maybe for a few months longer  in the bottle.

p.s. The bottle in the photos is in a wine box which includes wine accesorries. The box will be the subject of another post soon...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Turasan Seneler Okuzgozu Bogazkere 2007

My dinner
Thi picture shows a dinner that I had alone a few days ago. This is a regular dinner when I'm alone. It is easy to prepare, and I love it when I cooked it myself. It also goes wel with wine. I usually drink whatever wine I'd like to drink, without considering whether or not it suits with the food. For me,the wine comes before the food or food & wine match :)

I had Turasan Seneler Okuzgozu Bogazkere 2007 with this dinner. I actually opened the bottle the day before and I did not like it, again. Previously, I had tasted Turasan Seneler Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Syrah 2008 of the same group (of the wines that are indicated as exclusive on Turasan's website) and I liked it very much. That's why I was very surprized and dissappointed this time. I closed the bottle and put it in the fridge to give another chance to it the other day.

The other day, the wine rested in my glas about 30 minutes while I was preparing the dinner on the picture. I thought it was promising. After 15-20 minutes, I smelled and tasted it again. I noticed a little rotten egg. As far as  I know, this should be a sign of defect in a wine. I was surprised that nothing was wrong with the taste. I waited a little more and the smell was still there (or I thought so). I decided not to drink wine that night.

I grabbed my sneakers and took a walk on the seaside. I was too young to accept that a wine bottle can sometimes bring disappointment instead of joy and pleasure :)