New ORIENTATION ?: Turkish wines in the test

Guest Friday by Iris Shafie - May 21, 2020

Sarap is the Turkish word for wine. And accordingly you can find a German web shop for Turkish wines under Sarap.Online. The goal of the Sarap team is to bring new flavors and grape varieties closer to wine connoisseurs, because let's be honest: who of you has had extensive experience with Turkish wines so far, so I'm all the more pleased that I am using the samples from Sarap can now treat yourself to a glimpse of this not new but little-known world of wine.

It still amazes many people when they hear about Turkish wine, because the production of alcohol is not directly associated with a Muslim country. In fact, there is a wide variety of wines from Turkey.

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With 448.000 hectares (2018), Turkey has the fourth largest acreage for vines in Europe, just behind Italy, France and the front runner Spain. This means that Turkey has about 4 times as much vineyard area as Germany with 102.000 hectares used for table grapes, grape juice and raisins. Wine and the well-known raki are actually made from only around 3 percent of the grapes.

The seven different growing regions are spread all over the country:

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I myself tasted a total of six red, white and rose wines from the Aegean and Central Anatolia regions:

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Sevilen, Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (dry white wine) Aegean region Light yellow with green reflections in the glass. Nice fruity nose, good acidity, very refreshing, fun to drink. I would never have sorted him into Turkey at a blind tasting. He really surprised me positively. Pasaeli, Sidalan 2019 (dry white wine) Aegean region Light straw yellow in the glass. Nose with peach aroma but a bit restrained and personally a bit too monosyllabic. You can taste the creamy yeast (sur lie). I lacked the liveliness, however. Doluca, Verano, Cabernet Sauvignon Öküzgözü 2017 (dry rosé)  Aegean region Dark salmon color in the glass. Nice fruity nose of strawberries. Slightly tingling on the tongue and a very strawberry-like aroma with a slightly medicinal touch. Nice, classic summer wine, enjoy with or without food.

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Kavaklidere, Ancyra, Öküzgözü 2018 (red wine dry) Central Anatolia Region Great, violet and dense color in the glass. Pleasant nose and taste of red fruits. It reminds me a lot of a classic Merlot. A velvety dry wine, pleasant to drink. Due to the only light tannins, it also goes in summer. Vinkara, Dömi Sek, Kalecik Karasi 2017 (red wine semi-dry) Central Anatolia Region Its ruby ​​red looks somewhat transparent in the glass compared to the other two red wines. It smells subdued of red currant. Its red fruit and delicate residual sweetness go together, but I lack the depth for a red wine. Pamukkale, Senfoni Tatli, Kalecik Karasi 2017 (lovely red wine) Aegean region Beautiful dark ruby ​​red with purple reflections in the glass. Slightly ferrous nose with cherry and strawberry. Texture rather thick. The sweetness goes well with hearty Turkish food and gives the feeling of vacation. For me, no wine for every day, but extravagant for a little break.

Turkey has many autochthonous grape varieties, such as the row grapes Öküzgözu, Kalecik Karasi and Bogazkere as well as the white varieties Narince, Sultaniye, Sidalan and Emir. They give the wines from the Middle East their very special character. According to archaeological finds, the country's winemaking tradition, which is believed to be up to 6.000 years old, has experienced a great boom since the early 2000s - despite an interruption of several hundred years.

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Although there is virtually no internal market in the Muslim country, Turkey imports only 7.000 hectoliters of wine a year to Germany (as of 2017). Turkish wines are still considered a niche product here and cannot be found in every shop. Often the demand arises from returning Turkish vacationers who came into contact with the wines for the first time on site and then look for them at home.

Many small winemakers have set up boutique wineries where they produce wines from international and regional grape varieties. A lot is invested in new tank technology, as well as methods of growing and expanding the wines. The climate and soils offer excellent conditions. In the Aegean wine region in particular, ancient, modern viticulture technology is practiced in the immediate vicinity of ancient cities. A fascinating interplay for connoisseurs and lovers.

The Sarap Online team works with both large and small boutique wineries in Turkey. All listed wines are tested on site by the owner himself and selected for the online shop. You can find more information and all tasted Turkish wines in the shop at:

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Guest contribution by Iris Shafie - My selection wine blog WINE // FOOD // TRAVEL


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