Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chateau La Croix De Queynac (2004)

Chateau La Croix De Queynac (2004)

I guess French people know this business. I'm sorry, I did not want to say that "the west" did it better, but they did it really better this time. So, I have to admit it.

You may remember that I had previously tasted French wines classified as Grand Cru and I treated them respectfully. This time, I will talk about another French wine, not Grand Cru, and costs around 22 TL (€10) in Turkey: Chateau La Croix De Queynac (2004).

It is produced of usual Bordeaux grapes, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabarnet Franc. 2004 yield in Bordeaux is not especially good, as far as I know. I can't stop thinking what would a 2005 yield taste like, considering that I liked this one so much.  

It has a pale burgundy color, which has lost its intensity and shine as a result of aging. In order to show what I mean with this, I took a picture of the tissue with a drop of the wine. 

We had to be carefull while pouring the wine into glasses due to the sediments in the bottle. I believe the wine achieved its top after 10-15 minues resting in the glass. It is a wine fruity and spicy aromas, full body, and a little tannin which do not disturb at all but add characteristic to the wine. It has a calmness of an aged round wine. I found it very well from the perspective of price / benefit. I could buy it again without hesitation. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Distilled Wine


I have always been interested in beverage bottles, both in their design and their content. I can't take my eyes off any bars or any shelfs full of bottles. It happened again so when I saw the shelfs in the house where we were gathered for dinner. While I was viewing the bottles, I noticed an opened bottle of cognac and I remembered that I have not ever tasted cognac.

Relying on the sincerity of the householder I immediately decided to taste this one :) and grabbed the bottle named as Martell. When I asked how I should drink this thing, they gave me very nice glasses and a box of chocolate. I poured a little of the amber colored drink into the glass and I tasted it. 

It is not easy to describe the taste of cognac. Even though it is produced through distilling wine, I think it doesn't taste even close to wine at all. It has a much stronger taste, probably because of 40% rate of alcohol. It makes the palate burn a little and leaves a mildly sour taste in the mouth. I believe it is rather drinkable with small sips instead of big ones as you would when you drink wine. I really makes a good pair with chocolate. I tried to pair it with almonds and hazelnut but it did not go well. 

After a while, another cognac bottle with the name Goeau appeared on the table. They said this one was better. I admit that I did not notice a big difference, may be this one was just a little easier to drink. I enjoyed both of them, so thanks again for offering cognac at that night (actually I made you offer it, but anyway).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spoilt Wine

I had the chance of tasting a spoilt wine. When I say spoilt, I mean a wine bottle which was opened years ago, but is still standing on a shelf. I swallowed the tiny sip of that wine so quickly, I hardly remember how it tasted. All I can say is, it is impossible that you don't notice that it is spoilt when you taste something like that :) If you ask me why I tasted it although I was sure that it was spoilt, my answer would be "curiousity". This is how everything started anyway, out of curiosity...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yazgan Karsiyaka

Yazgan Karsiyaka

A big family dinner in a house next to the forest. A lot of candles on the table, because electricity was gone (due to bad weather). It sounds good despite the absence of elctricity. Nice food, nice people, nice conversation, but not so nice wine. The host already told me that he is not a wine person. It is stil not easy to write negative comments on a wine that is offered by someone, who invited you to his home for dinner. At least the wine was not home made! If it was home made, I could not probably say anything negative even if the wine was awful :)

Yazgan Karsiyaka, which I choosed among the wines on the shelf totally at my own will, is a varietal of Bogazkere. One can tell that it has a light red color even in the candle light. It was harvested in 2008 and bottled in 2009, if I remember correctly. Since I can't know in which conditions the bottle was kept until I opened it, I don't want to say that it was a bad wine. I'd rather say that we were not satisfied by the wine we tasted. I did not find anything to smell or to taste. It is very light to drink, but I should say that I preferred not to drink it after my first glass. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Diren Collection Syrah 2007

Diren Collection Syrah 2007

Last monday, I decided that I was going to open a wine to accompany the steaks that I prepared one day earlier. This was my plan for Valentine's Day; having steak for dinner at home with my husband and tasting a new wine. 

While I was preparing the meal, my husband already had opened the bottle of Diren Collection Syrah. I tasted it immediately of course and I liked it very much. This was my second favourite wine of the same collection following Diren Collection Merlot.

Diren Collection Syrah 2007
It is made of  Syrah (85 %), Cabernet Sauvignon (7,5%) and Kalecik Karası (7,5%). I smelled strong aromas of spices and red fruits, but my husband, on the other hand, said that he smelled flwary aromas. It has a very strong and permanent taste on the palate. Despite its strong taste, I believe it is easy to drink even for people who are not familiar with wine drinking, probably due to its balance. In fact, I can argue the same for Merlot of the same collection. Both wines entered my list of the wines to be bought for the second time without hesitation.

I wonder how I will be buying those wines in the future. I bought these from to which I was directed by the website of the producer. Considering that I will not be able to shop online for wine as soon as new regulation comes into effect, shall I step by stores and ask them if they have any wines of Diren? Now I understand how much I like online shopping. It is so comfortable! Shall I rather say it was confortable?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The end of online purchase of alcoholic beverages

I just received a very depressing e-mail. The regulation aiming to prohibit the online sale of alcoholic beverages (I mentioned it here) was ratified on 11 February 2011 at 03:26 a.m. This means that we will no longer be able to order from onlinemahzen soon. 

They will continue with their sales in their stores in Atasehir, Göktürk and Etiler (all in Istanbul). Even though I ordered from them only for once yet (they were definately acting professionally and I did not experience any problem), I wish I had the liberty to order from their website in the future. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Idol Smyrna Shiraz @ Nardis

Idol Smyrna Shiraz 2009
We were at Nardis again last Saturday to celebrate a friends birthday. Sibel Köse was performing that night. We saw our old firends and drank nice wine, so, it was a nice evening.

I think Nardis is a very nice Jazz club. A nice atmosphere, nice waiters, nice bar, nice drinks, acceptable prices and nice music. I have to admit that I like to hear Jazz music but it is not my favourite. I could have liked it much better if I did not have to be silent whenever someone is performing at Nardis. They have a very serious policy asking you to be silent during the performance, but I can't help thinking that Jazz is a music that I should hear behind other voices while I'm having my dinner or so.

Anyway, I still like it there. I would have liked it more if they served their wines a little cooler. They serve red wines around room temparature, that makes it around 20ºC.

We ordered a cheese plate and Idol Smyrna Shiraz 2009. We asked them to put the wine in an ice bowl for a while. It got better then. It is a full bodied wine with very strong fruity aromas. I read from the bottle that it had choclate aromas. My husband said that it is certainly true, but I was just thinking that it has some sweet aromas, that's it. So, I guess what I call sweet aroma is choclate aroma.

I would prefer not to mention the price because it is more than three times of what I would pay when I bought it from a wine store. It is sold around 25 TL at I wonder if it is also like this in other places in the world. Do people always pay more than twice of the normal price whenever they order a wine at a night club or at a restaurant?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kayra Vintage Shiraz with a touch of Petit Verdot

Kayra Vintage Shiraz with a touch of Petit Verdot 2008
I mentioned this wine before somewhere and some of you wanted to see its picture. Here it is! I find the sticker on the bottle very classy. The wine itself is also very nice of course. Vintage is a special collection of Kayra. They describe it as a collection serial and say that these wines are made of the best blend of the year. I do not think that it would be fair to consider this one as a blend though. There is only very little Petit Verdot in it as far as I understand.

I did not want to drink this promising wine in an ordinary evening. Therefore, I opened the bottle when my brother came to us for dinner. After having one sip from the wine, he decided that he wanted to drink bear instead! Being young means to get bored in two seconds :) I did not care of course. I would have find another excuse to drink the wine anyway. 

I noticed the wine needs dekantation as soon as I tasted it. How did I noticed? There was sharp fruity aromas and unexpectedly high acidity. Besides, I expected to see sediments as well, but I thought carefull pouring to glass would be sufficient (it was indeed sufficient). So, I let the wine rest in our glasses since I was too lazy to use a dekanter. After 20-30 minutes of rest, the wine became creamy and delicious.

With aromas of red & black fruits and spices, it is a wine that leaves a rich and permanent flavor on the palate. It appeared to me that the usually too intense fruity aromas of Shiraz are a little settled and got calmer. I do not know whether it is the impact of Petit Verdot's touch. It's taste reminds me the taste that I encountered before when I tasted relatively older wines. It is a calm and round taste with distictive flavors rather rasped.

(For those who wants to get a price idea, I can say it is around 45 TL. I don't remember how much I paid since it was quite a while ago.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

English version of the blog!

Today I decided to publish my blog in English. I translated the latest posts in my Turkish blog into English. I will try to translate all of the previous posts into English and publish here. From now on, I will be publishing my posts both in Turkish and in English. Well, I do not know for sure yet, but this is my plan. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book: Grapes & Wines

Grapes & Wines, Oz Clarke & Margeret Rand
Today I'm going to tell you about a book that I like very much. Previously, I mentioned that I bought two books from, but I only wrote about one of them and did not tell you anything about the other one. Now I'm telling you about that other one: Grapes & Wines, Oz Clarke & Margeret Rand.

I saw this book on vinografi and I was curious enough to order a copy for myself. When the book arrived, I was very happy because I thought that I could love the book even only due to the quality of the print and the photos in the book.

Grapes & Wines
After telling the story of the wine and wine making in the first section of the book, the author goes into details of the main subject of the book, which is actually the grapes. Tens (or maybe hundreds) of grapes are listed with their characteristics. Some of the grape varieties are lucky (or significant) enough to get a whole section of a few pages for themselves. These sections provide the details about a certain grape variety such as the importance of that variety in worldwide wine production, or the characteristics of that variety and how they differ from a terroir to another.

After having read the first section of the book, I glanced over the sections on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonney. I have to admit that I also browsed the index to check if there any Turkish grapes (peculiar to Turkey) mentioned in the book. I remember that I saw a few sentences on Boğazkere.

Grapes & Wines
Even though the authors writing is quite fluent and easy to follow, this is surely not a book that you would read from the beginning till the end as if you read a novel. This is a book that I will happily keep in my bookcase and that I will browse through from time to time maybe to read about a specific grape or maybe just to look at the pictures. It's been lying on my drawer since I bought it. My interest will probably diminish in time, but I doubt that I may one day forget its existence and leave it untouched in my bookcase.