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.

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Chateau Petit Bois (2003) Lussac Saint-Emilion

Chateau Petit Bois (2003) Lussac Saint-Emilion

Last weekend, we were invited to a barbacue party to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Instead of wine, we brought a huge bottle of tequila with us. I forgot to take pictures of the tequila bottle, but I can assure you there is not much to talk about it ­čÖé It was my first time of tasting tequila, and I believe there is nothing to taste in tequila. It’s salt and lemon that makes us think as if it has a taste ­čÖé Anyway, I don’t think that people drink tequila for its taste.

Coming to our subject, the wine in the picture was one of the wines in our friend’s mother’s wine celler. We didn’t ask for her permission, so I passed Chateau Margaux bottles and tried to choose a wine that she wouldn’t notice easily when dissappeared ­čÖé

As I mentioned in my previous post, most of Bordeaux wines don’t provide much information on their label. Therefore, I can’t tell you about this wine’s grapes or producer this time, but I’ll tell you something else. Let’s first start with the taste of wine. I tasted it without aerating and it had a nice but a little too strong taste, moderate tannin and medium body. Its color was a clear and vivid bordeaux as if it was a young wine, altough it was a 2003 vintage.

Aerator

Then I thought the wine would get better after a little aerating and I asked for a dekanter. Instead of a dekanter, my friend brought the device in the above picture. I saw it for the first time and honestly, I didn’t believe first that it would work. In a few seconds, I was the biggest fan of this device! You pour a wine with sharp and intense taste through it and the wine that is filled into your glass is a well aerated, soft, and well rounded wine as if it was aerated in a dekanter for 20-30 minutes.

I couldn’t understand how this thing works but it really works! This one is bought in UK and I saw that it can be bought from internet. Coming back to the wine, it is also worth to try, it was a very very nice, soft wine especially after we poured it through the aerator.

Chateau Brondelle 200?

Chateau Brondelle 200?

Unfortunately, I can’t give much information about this wine since I didn’t take any notes. I remember only that it was a very nice, round, and delicious wine from Bordeaux, France made of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. I would remember more if I was the one who choose it from the menu.

We had this wine on a dinner in a very nice atmosphere with two persons that I love so much. In such lovely atmospheres, the wines taste much better ­čÖé but at the same time, since there are much more interesting subjects to cover, no one cares about tasting notes. Nevertheless, I would suggest that you also forget about the wine tasting notes but rather enjoy the nice conversation if you happen to be in such places with people you love.

Melen Papazkarasi Reserve (2006)

Melen Papazkaras─▒ Reserve (2006)

Papazkarasi is a local grape of Turkey which can be used as a table grape (to eat) or in wine making. It is still not very widely used in Turkish wines. I remember that I had once tasted Kutman’s Papazkarasi.

Melen has described Papazkarasi as “forgotten prince of Thrace” and made a wine labeled as “reserve”. They also wrote that the wine is “oak treated”, from which I understand that the wine has been kept in oak barrales or something similar hapened during production process. For me, only the fact that they made a wine from this beautiful local grape was sufficient to glorify. Therefore, I didn’t care much about what oak treatment meant.

I saw Papazkaras─▒ Reserve’s 2006 vintage lying on the floor in front of Mania Gurme in Istinye Park (a shopping mall in Istanbul). I thought they wanted to sell all of them immediately since they believed the wine cannot age any longer. I grabbed a bottle at around $ 20.

I think 2006 vintage of this wine should be drank at latest in 2010! Altough I smelled a nice strawberry jam aroma on the nose, I couldn’t feel any tannins, body or acidity when I tasted it. It felt as if the wine had fled away from the bottle and had left a light color and light taste behind. Considering that we cannot know in which conditions the bottle was kept since 2006, it is possible that there are bottles of the same wine in much metter conditions. This one was only our fate, not necessarily yours.

A Wine Journey to Anatolia

Resim yaz─▒s─▒ ekle

Buzbag organized an event to rediscover the harmony of Anatolian cuisine with wine. Thanks to this event, we had the opportunity to follow the footmarks of wine from Eastern Anatolia to Hittites’ earthenwares, from home made wines of Antakya to Buzbag on our tables in Kosebasi Restaurant. As Cuneyt Uygur, Manager of Kayra Wine Center, said, it was not a competition, it was rather a journey and Kosebasi’s cuisine and Kayra’s Buzbag wine accompanied us in our journey.

Buzba─č Emir-Narince 2010
This was a dinner which provided the proof for arguing against the belief that wine should be consumed along with Italian pasta, with French style foie gras, or with an almost raw but still soft piece of steak. Buzbag has discovered a way to bring people like me (who doesn’t like kebap) to a kebap restaurant! They offered delicious Turkish food of Kosebasi together with Buzbag wines along with nice conversation about wine. The following wines were served: Buzbag Beyaz (white), Buzbag Klasik, Buzbag Elazig Okuzgozu, Buzbag Diyarbakir Bogazkere, and Buzbag Rezerv. All of these red wines are made of Okuzgozu (fruity and lively) and Bogazkere (strong taste and tannin) grapes of Elazig and Diyarbakir respectively. These are local grapes that can be used in both blends or variatals. As Cuneyt Uygur mentioned that it was a general belief that wines and food of the same region make good matches. So, it should be a wise choice to drink these wines with Anatolian cuisine.

Buzbag Emir-Narince

The first course was a cheese table offered together with Buzbag Beyaz. This is a very nice refreshing wine with citrus fruit aromas made of Emir and Narince grapes. Its acidity is moderate compared to most of the wines. It is both strong and delicate, as the names of the grapes suggest. It had a great harmony with tulum cheese (a Turkish cheese that is enchased in a skin in production phase). The white and yellow (kasar) cheeses did not match with the wine as much as tulum did.

I was a little surprized when the appetizers were served. I can eat any food with wine at my home, but I didn’t expect them to be so assertive to serve gavurdagi, toros, abagannus and cig kofte on a wine event (these are all traditional Turkish food that contain significant amount spices, or at least garlic). I am not really fond of hot spices. Therefore I didn’t even try to match cig kofte with any wine. I still give them credit for their courageous offer. The most interesting match for me was between abagannus (an appetizer made of eggplant, garlic and yogurt) and white wine. Buzbag Beyaz made the taste of garlic and yoghurt mildly sour.

Buzbag Klasik

Buzbag Klasik (2008), made of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, was served together with these appetizers but I saved my expectations from this wine for it’s match with the next, warm appetizers. When warm appetizers arrived, I knew that that was going to be a long night. I was almost full already! Buzbag Elazig Okuzgozu was served to our glasses. It is a lievely wine with red fruit and a little pepper aromas and medium body. I think it made the best match with icli kofte (a special kind of meatball with meat, nuts, onion inside and bulghur as a shell) and patlican sogurme (a warm appetizer made of steamed eggplant), which is normally not easy to match with wines. Humus (made of chickpeas and crushed sesame seeds) was much better with Buzbag Klasik.

Then it was Bogazkere’s (my favourite) turn. They served Buzbag Diyarbakir Bogazkere together with Tarsusi Kebap and Pideli Saslik (these are kinds of Turkish kebap, the first made of minced meat and the second of pieces of meat). I was thinking that I don’t like kebap made of minced meat but I had never tasted Tarsusi Kebap before! I loved it so much I ate all of it in a few seconds together with Bogazkere. Bogazkere’s strong tannins resisted the strong and a dense taste of Tarsusi Kebap and maintained balance.┬áAfterwards, they served ┼×a┼čl─▒k Kebab─▒ and I had never tasted it before too! It was so soft that I thought Bogazkere’s strong taste is too strong for it, but I was wrong. They glided through my throath together softly.

Buzbag Reserv (2006)

In the meantime, the last emtly glass was filled with Buzbag Rezerv (2006). Similar to Buzbag Klasik, it is a blend of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, but has also been rested in French oak for 24 months, so that Bogazkere’s austerity becomes a little milder. It is a strong, bodied, balanced wine. Among chop-rib, kebap with eggplant and shish kebap, the wines best match was with shish kebap.

Lastly, the deserts were served. I have a long distance relationship with deserts, but this doesn’t mean that I won’t taste them at all. I tasted kunefe, semolina (irmik) with icecream, and pumpkin with icecream and crushed seasam seeds (tahin) respectively. I think kunefe was very good, considering that it didn’t make me feel it was too much! Usually, semolina with icecream is very popular especially after too much eating ­čÖé but this time the semolina pieces were cold and sticky a little. Pumpkin desert was not as soft as it is usually, but it really melted in my mouth together with tahin and icecream. Therefore, it was my favourite.

Pumpkin desert

I hope that I could at least make you think about, that wine is not something unattainable, not something that is not for “us” but is rather for western countries, ant that Turkish cuisine is compatible with wine. I wish you discover the wines that you like to drink with your favourite food and you share the joy that I try to share with you in this blog.