Wine and Cheese

I really wanted to attend the 4 weeks – wine tasting seminar of Anatolian Vineyards, which promised to enjoy wine better through the improvement of senses and improvement of the ability to perceive. Unfortunately, they could not run the seminar due to insufficient demand. I was so eager to attend a seminar about wine that I accepted their suggestion to attend another seminar, Cheese and Wine, although I never thought before that it might be interesting for me.

Perran Arıbal, who was personally involved in each step of organization including serving of wines, surprised me by recognizing my face from the tasting organization in Kanyon. If you had seen the crowd in Kanyon that they, you would better understand why I was so surprised. It is nice to be remembered 🙂 I will try harder to remember the faces of people I meet.

We had a nice conversation about wine & cheese, under the direction of Saba Açıkgöz. It was obvious that he liked talking about the subject. My impression was that he likes to enjoy anything he tastes. Following his instructions, we tasted six different cheeses matching them with three white and three red wines and tried to figure out which of them go better with each other and why some of them do not make a good pair.

I have seen that a fatty cheese goes much better with a white wine with high acidity than any other alternatives. A fatty goatcheese (which I would not normally prefer) and a Sauvignon Blanc (which I would normally keep away from me due to its high acidity) – Umurbey Sauvignon Blanc 2007 was being tasted – created a delicious taste when I tasted them together. It is possible to generalize and argue that fatty meals go better with highly acidic wines.

I usually eat cheese with bread for breakfast like every other Turkish people. I rarely order a cheese plate with my wine, but then I taste almost each cheese on the plate disregarding their harmony with my wine, because I like cheese of any kind. So therefore, I do not think that this seminar would change my life practically, but I’m sure that there will be a change in my attention and in my expectations whenever I taste something. It was a great, surprising experience to witness how a harmonic couple can create a great taste (1+1=3). Awareness is everything!

Tasting Notes from Wine Tasting in 5 Steps

We tasted 6 wines in the recent seminar that mentioned a short while ago. I could manage to taking notes, but unforunately could not take any pictures for you.

While I will be writing my tasting notes, I will also try to tell you what I’ve learned about whine tasting for those who are curious.My notes are generally based to the common comments of the group, but I didn’t include the comments which I don’t agree 🙂

When Cüneyt Uygur (Manager of Kayra Wine Center) mentioned “bodied”, I asked him what this meant. I felt like a hero because I was sure everyone was wondering waht it meant 🙂 He explained it carefully by using many adjectives. I can summarize it as the intensity and the weight of the wine in the mouth.

In addition, I also learned how is acidity felt, how is it felt when a wine has lots of tannins, and other things that I don’t remember now.

We tasted one sparkling wine, one roze, two while and two red wines.

1. Cameo D’oro
Before we tasted this sparkling wine of Kayra, we also learned how we should open a sparkling wine bottle. This was the best part for me 🙂 because I am not really interested in tasting sparkling wine since I don’t like high acitity or sparkles. My notes say that it was a wine with medium body, high acidity, fruity, lemon and yeast aromas on the nose.

2. Terra de France, Sauvignon Blanc 2008
This wine has a darker color compared to the sparkling wine, but it has still a light yellow color. It has a high acidity and fruity aromas. When I tasted this, two sides of my tounge burned from acidity and I though I could not ever like a white wine. This negative thoughts only lasted until I tasted the following white wine. It was clear to me that it was not only about color, there are huge differences among the white wines.

3.Terra California Chardonnay 2006
I was the first one who commented that the acidity of this wine is much lower than the previous two 🙂 I think this was how a white wine should taste like. How could I drink those whites with burning acidity? It is still not my favorite, because the fruity and spicy aromas of the wine were so sweat that I would think if it could be a semi sweet wine. I smelled fume and oaky aromas for the first time from this wine.

4.Terra Kalecik Karasi Roze 2009
This was the second time that I had ever tasted a roze wine. The first one was in Bozcaada, in Corvus’s store. I don’t know which wine it was, but it had an orange or salmon like color. Terra Kalecik Karasi Roze, on the other hand, had a lively pink color. It was a medium bodied, highly acidic wine with a little tannins, fruity and flowery aromas.For me, it is a wine that can be tried only if necessary in social events.

5. Kayra Vintage Merlot 2008
I was happy that I could eventually taste a red wine, but high acidiy disappointed me a little. I still think that it can be a very nice wine after a little dekantation. It has a dark burgundy color, a medium body, moderate tannins, fruity, spicy and oaky aromas.

6.Buzbag Rezerv  2006 
We just listened to the reasons of why Okuzgozu and Bogazkere blends make good blends and therefore I was really curious about this wine. This was clearly the peak of the tasting that day. My curiousity left its seat to joy! I am grateful whoever thought first about blending these two grapes. The wine has a dark red but rather transparent color. It has medium body, moderate acidity, a lot of tannins, fruity and spicy aromas.