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.