Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Terra de France, Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Terra de France, Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon
Last week, we chosed Cafe Zanzibar for a dinner with our friends. We arrived earlier than anyone and there was still time until dinner. So, we ordered wine and cheese while we were waiting.

The wine was Terra de France, Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. I may have mentioned before, but there is no harm in writing again: Terra de France wines of Kayra are produced in France from grapes of France and imported by Kayra.

I liked the wine very much, and the cheese plate as well. Unfortunately, I did not think of making a photo of the cheese plate. So, you will need to settle for whatever you can see in the above picture. There was blue cheese, a cheese with grass and spices, white cheese (I believe it was made of sheep milk), old yellow cheese (eski kaşar) and I think another cheese which I could not exactly remember.

Coming back to the wine, it would not be very convincing if I say I did not like it after I drank most of it by myself :) It was a very nice, medum-full bodied, dark red wine with marked tannin, black papper on the noise and red fruits and fume oak on the palate. It had a nice, long lasting ending.

The cheese plate and 2-3 glasses of wine were pretty much a dinner for me, but I couldn't hold my self and grasped a slice of my husband's pizza as well :) It wasn't bad at all, but since it is not my field, I won't get into details of it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wine & Dine @ Mimolett

Wine & Dine Degustation Menu
I attended one of the Wine & Dine evenings of Kayra Wine Center together with someone I like very much. The dinner started at 7 pm on a week day and we were late as expected, since we both work on Anatolian side and had to be on European sinde for the event.

We missed the first meal on the menu, Cauliflower Soup and Terra Sauvignon Blanc. When we arrived, Cüneyt Uygur was talking about Kayra Vintage Chardonnay (2009), which was accompanying Risotto with Quail and Pumpkin. If Chardonnay is the queen of the white wine, I think Kayra Vintage Chardonnay can be the queen of Turkish white wines. At least I thought so at that time, but I was starving, so my perceptions could be biased :)

After Risotto, it was Sole and Leona Blurn's turn, but none of them left a memory in my mind. When veal liver and Kayra Vintage Shiraz came to the table, I gave up paying attention to wine & dinner harmony and started enjoying the wine. I am not really fond of offals, but I love red wine and especially Shiraz, and especially this great red wine of the night.

Parfait Pumkin and Carpacio
Kayra Madeira, which was a liquor wine that came to the table together with the desert, was a very interesting wine, but I still continued with Kayra Vintage Shiraz after I tasted it once. Actually it was intersting that I described the wine as interesting and not the desert itself. You see on the picture a pumpkin desert*. Can't you see any pumpkin desert? Don't be so narrow-minded :)

In the meantime, an unbelievably unassuming cook named Görkem - if I'm not wrong - who obviously put an immeasurable effort in everything we tasted, visited our table along with each meal and told us how each of the meals were cooked and what was inside of them (if I did't miss the beginning, I would not have to give you such ambigious information, sorry for that).

It was a lovely and intersting evening, but I have to admit that it is not my kind of thing to talk so much about what we eat and what we drink :) Naturally, I mostly listened to what was being said. If you would like to attend one of these events, I believe they organize similar events every month with a different menu. You may follow their schedule here. If you want to see the menu we tasted, you may click on the title above picture.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coto de Hayas, Tempranillo & Cabernet, 2006

We had a family visit on the weekend. Actually, my husband participated in a congress in Antalya and I went with him and visited his family.
In his family, everyone prefers Turkish Raki as a drink for dinner. The husband of my husband's sister had bought me two bottles of nice wines, one white and one red. I will try the white one next time. I forgot to warn him though, the wine would not stand the heat in Antalya in the coming summer. I wish he reads my blog and keeps the wine somewhere cool.
This was the first time I tasted a wine of Tempranillo, which is a grape from Spain. It was blended with Cabernet though. When I googled the name of the wine, I found a website at publishing tasting notes. According to a tasting note on this website (with no name or signature), this wine won a gold medal in an international competition in 2008. I don't have any idea about the quality or importance of the competition. If anyone knows, comments are welcome!
Unfortunately, I drank this wine on a day when I could barely smell anything since I cathced cold. Proving the age of the wine (2006), the color was a pale red. Although I got cold, I could still say that it was a wine with fruity and spicy aroma and medium-full body. I would definitely try it again if I have the chance, at least to see if I would like it so much again with a healty nose!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Umurbey Chardonnay 2007

As I have been tasting and drinking only red wines for a long time, I decided I have been unfair to white wines and decided to drink a wine of Chardonnay. If you ask me why I chosed Umurbey's Chardonnay, I don't really remember. Somehow, I remembered the name from somewhere.
I bought the wine from Metro Grossmarket for a price around $ 20. I opened the bottle in an evening just before dinner time. It made a good couple together with gouda cheese, which became my dinner for that night eventually.

I actually expected a less distinct acidity from this wine; so, I was a little surprised when I first tasted it. I noticed lated that if the wine is cool enough, the acidity becomes less marked and the wine gets much better. As always, I was defeated by my impatience.

I think Umurbey Chardonnay is a lievly, refreshing wine with citrus fruits.
I thinkg I am going to dring white wine - especially those made of Chardonnay - more often from now on. We will see together if I will actually do it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tasting Notes: DLC Grenache & Vinkara Doruk Bogazkere & Buyulubag Adakarasi

We tasted 3 different wines for the tasting event that I mentioned in my previous post. The first one was not DLC Grenache, but as the photographer preferred to put it in the front line :) I decided to start with it.
Here are the expected tasting notes: 
DLC Grenache 2009
The color is a dark, violet-like red. Medium body, high acidity, moderate - or even less- tannins. A little sweet, fruity aromas. A little bitternes like the bitternes of red fruits. A little too sharp for me, probably because I don't like high acidity.

Vinkara Doruk Bogazkere 2007
The color is a light red. Medium-full body, strong tannins, but I actually expected stronger tannin from Bogazkere. High acidity - which I don't like as I just mentioned. Although I was a little dissappointed when I first tasted it, I changed my mind when I tasted it for the second time after the wine rested almost one hour in the glass and then I enjoyed a second glass of it.

Buyulubag Adakarasi 2007
This one was definitaly my favorite. May be I give a little extra credit to the producers who try to produce something original / authentic :) 
This is a wine with strong, fruity taste and almost a full body. Unfortunately, I did not make any notes on the color, probably because I was trying to respond to my friends' attacking (!) questions :) When they attacked me saying" Tell us, what do you smell huh?" I said at first "mmm a little cherry and ... other red fruits..." and then, my husband helped me to remember the name of blackberry, which is somehow one of the red fruits in my mindset. When I said "yes, cherry and blackberry" everyone was very surprised, because the names of these two fruits were really written on the bottle as the aromas of the wine. Good for me!

Photos by Mehves Cetinkaya

Friday, April 8, 2011

First Annual In Pursuit of Flavor Wine and Cheese Event

Yes, the title means exactly what you've understood from it. This event has really been organized and realized!

The night connecting last Saturday to Sunday, we have organized a tasting event with our friends. I would like to mention proudly that this was Mehves's idea, not mine. I concluded from this that I managed to leave a good print at least on someone and I was therefore very happy :)
The idea was that everyone brings cheese and wine and we taste them - and of course drink them- together at our place. Mehves brought gouda and fume cheeses along with DLC Grenache. Nese and Cagri brought lots of nuts and chips, mihalic cheese and surprisingly Buyulubag Adakarasi. I was very surprised, because Nese's initial approach was "is it ok if I bring tequila?", so I did not expect them to know anything about this rare kind of grape and this wine's  producer. Then it appeared to me that it was actually Cagri's idea anyway. Next time, we expect Cargi to bring one of the wines produced by his father :) In return for this, I promise that I will think about his question "why wine and cheese", to which I could not give any response this time.
As host, we offered Vinkara Doruk Bogazkere, sepet (basket) cheese, dil peyniri and taze kaşar (all Turkish cheese). Actually I wanted to open a bottle of Umurbey Chardonnay, but when I suggested this at the beginning of the night, no one seemed to be interested in it, so I did not insist on it. I regretted this later though, since all of the wines on the table were wines with moderate acidity, moderate tannins (except from bogazkere), and moderate bodies, there was no considerable difference in their harmony with the cheeses. I wish I could show the difference to my friends with a highly acidic white wine.
It was a lovely evening -actually a lovely night - with a lot of wine and long lasting (in a good sense) conversations. Everyone showed to the wines and cheeses the respect that they deserved :) My favorites were Buyulubag Adakarası among the wines, and fume cheese among the cheeses. I admint gouda was also not bad at all.

Thanks to Mehves, as she took very nice pictures that you'll see in this blog from now on.
Thanks to everyone who attended this nice event! I wish that this becomes a traditional event that we repeat every year as I mentioned in the title of this post. The tasting notes are coming soon.