When you think about wines, the best wines, in the world, Turkey and Turkish wines are not among those you think of. The first two that would probably come to mind would have been French and Italian wines, which is fair enough!
Nevertheless, Turkish wines are more valuable than it is praised. But unfortunately, because of the harsh alcohol restrictions in Turkey, wine producers are having trouble finding a place in the market. Yet, day by day, we hear more of the best Turkish wines and producers are quite eager to set off-world markets. It is quite probable that universal wine lovers will discover them in the near future.
Turkey’s Winemaking History
Turkey has a long ancient winemaking history that goes back millennia. Even, it goes back further than antique Greece and Rome civilizations. The history helped to cement the popularity of wine as a cultural cornerstone. However, as a matter of fact, the international recognition of Turkish wines is a very recent phenomenon. Therefore, all the wine producers want is to increase this popularity and spread it all over the world.
Best Turkish Wines Based on Grape Varieties
Like Italy or France, Turkey benefits from a great many numbers of local grape varieties. Nonetheless, wine admirers beyond Turkey’s borders are not familiar with many of them. Varieties such as Kalecik Karası and Narince are sometimes blended with international varieties. It mostly appears on many labels and it really showcases the diversity on offer.
International Popularity of Turkish Wines
Above all, it is not wrong to make a classification such as the best Turkish wines as some of them received international awards. Sub-regions and local areas in Turkey even produce their own wine brands that are impossible to ignore. Just as an example, Thrace, the Aegean Coast, and Cappadocia are among those producing the highest quality wines.
Even though Turkey is one of the world’s biggest grape producers, people use only a tiny percentage for making wine. The majority of grapes, on the other hand, are being grown and used for table grapes and traditional Turkish alcohol beverages raki.
The one sad fact: alcohol promotion in Turkey has been illegal since 2013. The prohibition encompasses everything from advertising to wine tastings. Therefore, assumably, these strict restrictions cause the wine industry’s domestic growth. And so, many Turkish wine producers have been seeking for glory in international markets.
The List of Best Turkish Wines
* Pasaeli, 6N Karasakiz Merlot, Turkey
First of all, Seyit Karagözoglu is the founder of Pasaeli, who brought this wine into our lives in 2000. It was a true discovery at the recent Wines of Turkey. Tasting wines from both international and domestic varieties in London shows real personality. It is a mix of the two; 18% Merlot and 82% Siyah Sakiz (translated as ‘black gum’).
* Kavaklidere, Prestige Narince, Cappadocia
Chasing for Other Best Turkish Wines
Recently, several Turkish wine companies have been experimenting with Pinot Noirs. However, Ma’adra makes the only decent one you may possibly find. Other options are including chardonnays, cabernets, and syrahs.
A Syrian Christian community in Mardin cultivates these wines. So, it can be quite difficult to find and to be honest, it is a bit pricey. However, it has a very solid flavor. You’re likely to find it at the small corners called tekel shops and sometimes at Carrefour. You’ll recognize it from the Arabic writing on the bottle.
Assume that you’re looking for good and cheap wine. Then, Tigris (made by the Kavaklıdere company) is one of your best options. The wine blends Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It also has very little tannin taste that gives a taste slightly sweeter than other wines.
Bozcaada is the homeplace of this prestigious wine. Corvus produces wine from both Turkish and European grapes. It is, indeed, including Syrah and Cabernet, as well as blends that combine the two.
This wine belongs to the Cappadocian region. The wine company offers several single-grape and blended options. And furthermore, their prices are very reasonable. What we highy recommend is a blend of Syrah, Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, and Kalecik Karası.
Umurbey makes a wonderful Cabernet. Moreover, it is one of the few Merlots you may have been enjoyed. It is an attractive choice if you’re desiring more common Western grapes rather than local Turkish grapes.
What Kutman especially specializes in is fruit-based wines. It contains a lovely pomegranate wine reminiscent of the one lovely Uyghur restaurant in Beijing (best served chilled). So, many fruit wines in Istanbul are a vile Manischewitz-level sweet. However, Kutman actually knows how to do it at best.
This wine specializes in blends of grapes such as merlot, shiraz, and öküzgözü. Moreover, it is quite a cheap one and can be found in almost every local market that is allowed to sell alcohol. Especially, it is widely available at any Migros or tekel shop.
This brand specializes in pure oxeye and has a pleasant sensual taste.
This pungent and solid blend of boğazkere and öküzgözü is a tasty treat. We should mention that it is, especially after a meal.
So, hopefully, you’ll find our article useful. Moreover, share your comments with us below on which Turkish wine you’ve tried and liked most!