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Turkish Grapes - Not Just a Drink But a Big Culture

Turkey has always been ignored when it was about wine. There are many reasons of it, such as being an Islamic state or too much tax to promote wine culture to the world... But when you consider some topics it will be quite clear to understand the reality. 1- Turkey is located right in between 30 and 50 latitudes which provides perfect weather, sunlight and rain for grapes. 2- Turkey is located in the heart of the mythological stories where Dionysus lies.

Photo credits: unknown

Yes when we are talking about grapes, the ones we mostly come across are generally French grapes. However this topic is about the Turkish grapes you can always find almost in every restaurant, and some grapes can be rarely found in chefs' restaurants. Here the list for the aficionados of discovering new for their palettes. WHITES Narince Emir Misket Sultaniye Hasandede Yapıncak Vasilaki REDS Boğazkere Öküzgözü Kösetevek Kalecik Karası Papaskarası Karalahna Çalkarası Karasakız Adakarası Lets scroll down for the detailed information of mostly found ones in Turkey. WHITES Narince

This name for a grape is probably the cutest one ever. Narince takes its name from the frailness of grape. As "narin" refers to "frail", the grapes are affected easily by rain, sun or wind. Narince is a very unique kind of grape that you can easily find in almost every restaurant. It belongs to the Tokat region. However it's quite common to cook filled grape leaves in Turkey and the leaves of Narince grapes are accepted as the best ones for dolmades, it causes difficulty for the wine producers to protect grapes from sunlight. Due to that sarcasticly the wineyard owner needs to decide to produce leaves or grape :) Tip: As wines by Narince grape are half-bodied, and they don't have really full acidity, fatty fish or umami tastes go very well. Emir

A trip to Cappadocia causes a weird unique connection with this grape. If you ever taste it you will be surprised that how this light-skinned grape can turn into that much medium bodied wine. These grapes are quite well known by high acidity lovers due to the geological situations , volcanic terroir; besides referring to its name - "emir" - means command, we can go back in time to the Hittitie period when it was quite popular. Not completely but we can compare Emir with Sauvignon Blanc. Tip: Even some people loves it with fried food but we feel like it goes delightful with steamed fish or light dishes. Misket

Turkish muscat Blanc a Petit Grains. The most desired ones of this type are from Izmir, on the Aegean coasts of Turkey. When we talk about misket grape, it gives us a feeling of joy and happiness, that's why can we mention about this grape with fresh aromas? Yes! Probably this is the most aromatic one for your palette comparing to all other Anatolian grapes. A little detail; the father of history, Herodot mentiones about misket grape in his book "historia" in 5th cent. bc. ! Tip: Blue cheese, parmesan, gorgonzola cheeses are so suitable for this. Yogurt based dishes and some mezes without vinegar are so lovely with it too. REDS Bogazkere

Throat burner! This is what "bogazkere"means. The high tannins which can obviously seen are the main reasons why this lovely grapes are called that way. These are exactly the same grapes that my grandma was forcing me to eat to have more blood. :) Diyarbakir (the city geologically in the fertile crescent) is the home town of these guys. It's probably the most suitable one for aging and on the other hand the blend of Bogazkere and Okuzgozu grapes is just like a Hallmark movie; deep, kind and romantic :) Tip: Slow roasted meat preferably lamb goes well with it. Grilled meats are the most common chosen ones. Umami based dishes are quite loved with bogazkere as well. Okuzgozu

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most canorous of them all... All of the wine countries have a specific good table wines, and Okuzgozu is one of them. Even we mentioned about this grape with Bogazkere in previous title however Okuzgozu itself can be quite delish for your dinner any time. You can easily recognize these grapes as "okuzgozu" means "bull's eye" as the grapes are large enough to call it that way. This medium bodied, high acidity, low tannin red wine will would be one of the mostly adored ones. Tip: It's not only perfect with grilled beef and lamb but also goes great with Norwegian fish. If you also like duck for your dinner, yes okuzgozu is great with it. As an addicted to charcuterie meat, Okuzgozu for me please. Ps. Newly found grape of the same but baby generation of this grape - Kosetevek , deserves to be promoted more. Elazıg district is producing the best Kosetevek and Okuzgozu grapes. Kalecik Karası

Another grandma-style-grape, Kalecik Karası. My mum grow up in Ankara, where these grapes are from. Probably that's why my grandma was so insistent of these kind of grapes :) The ruby red color of Kalecik karası is generally compared to Pinot Noir. But the main reason of this comparation is the red fruit flavors of both. It's quite sad that, even Kalecik Karası started to be produced in European part of Turkey, it started being ignored quite a lot. Besides every moment when i sip Kalecik Karasi i feel like i'm tasting some air of Ankara. Out of all these, my favorite roze comes out of Kalecik Karasi, highly recommended to try. Tip: Pasta, duck, turkey is so great with Kalecik Karasi. And little bit spiced eggplant puree, oh pork ribs, and garlic sauced fried mushrooms are so yummy with it... Omg after all of these i need to order one bottle as soon as possible. Hope you liked it. If you would like to hear more keep up following us. Bonus: List of Highly Recommended Top Wine Producers If you would like to bring wine back home as a souvenir here is a tiny list for you from the 140 Turkish companies. (in alphabetical order) Name (City) Barel (Tekirdag) Barbare (Tekirdag) Chamlija (Kirklareli) Doluca (Gallipoli) Kavaklıdere (Ankara) Kocabag (Cappadocia) Pasaeli (Izmir) Sevilen (İzmir) Suvla (Gallipoli) Turasan (Cappadocia) Yanik Ulke (Manisa) Cheers everyone. Sanem Yucesoy

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