Forbes Features Turkey Talk In Latest Food & Drink Post


You may want to tap the Ottoman Empire next time you kick your feet up on the ottoman.
Forbes contributor Cathy Huyghe lauded the virtues of the ancient empire's wine yesterday in a column included in the publications Food and Wine section. Huyghe visited Vinkara Winery to talk with winemaker Ardic Gursel, whose hopes for popularizing Turkish wines are representative of the industry at large, Huyghe said.
“It's no simple task, especially to a US market mostly unfamiliar with the Turkish language or grape names like Bogazkere and Öküzgözü,” Huyghe wote. 
Turkish winemakers, however, balance out the tongue-twisting native wines with well-known names like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, “something that for me mirrors my attraction to Turkey as a place 'in between',” Huyghe said. “It is just enough of what's familiar to be comfortable, and it's also just enough of what's unfamiliar to be alluring.”
The Forbes contributor described her experience as she walked through the Vinkara vines.
“For as productive as the vines are in that place, thousands of miles of inhospitable terrain seem to loom very nearby,” she observed. “The grapes, far from spoiled by an easy climate, thrive because they are hardy, as though ecologically determined to succeed despite the conditions.”
Vinkara is of particular importance to the Turkish wine scene because it was, according to Forbes, the first winery in the country to create sparkling wine using the méthod champenoise.
The sparkling wine is made from Kalecik Karasi, a grape native to Turkey and “grown mainly in central Anatolia,” the article said.
Winemaker Ardic Gursel said the grape is one of several native ones that the winery is trying to promote.
“From the beginning, our mission was to introduce and build awareness of indigenous Anatolina grapes and their unique tastes to the world, by creating world class wines with these varieties,” Gursel told Forbes.
Huyghe noted that Turkish winemakers face severe restrictions by a government vocally opposed to the promotion of alcohol. 
“Vinkara is still subject to those regulations in Turkey, but their wines are available and ready for purchase here in the U.S.,” she said.
Though the names and origins of the grapes may be unfamiliar to American consumers, they're worth a try, she said.
“Tasting them will be an unfamiliar experience and no, their backstory isn't like any you're likely to have heard before,” Huyghe wrote. “But that is part of the point, and the pleasure.”

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