This week I am

drinking Turkish beer, wine, and copious amounts of tea. Efes beef is pretty good, very drinkable at the end of a summer afternoon, sitting at a bar watching the world go by. There’s some pretty good wine, too. I visited the Donuca Winery (it’s pronounced something like donuja) www.doluca.com/en and tasted through a range of wines and reds. There is shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay made, but there are quite a few Turkish grape varieties.

Narince makes a white wine that’s full-bodied with some stone fruit and floral notes – a bit like verdelho, I suppose. There’s also a variety called emir that’s a bit like a good Italian pinot bianco, refreshing, and with a firm finish that isn’t a problem at all with all the vegetable dishes that start a meal.

The red varieties that make the best wine are bogazkere and okuzguzu (add double dots above every vowel in the second). The second means ‘ox’s eye’ because the berries are big, red and round. It needs to be very ripe, I am told by Robert Paul, the Australian consultant winemaker. It makes a soft round wine with a nice acid balance. Bogazkere means ‘throat-grabber’ because of its tannin structure. Put them together and there’s as successful a blend as cab-shiraz.

As for tea – nothing happens without it buy tramadol without prescription. Any transaction seems to include tea, any conversation begins with tea, any meeting starts with tea. Tea is served without milk, very hot, in small waisted glasses. There are any number of variants and infusions, such as apple tea and mint. If you’re lucky, as I was at the Fes cafe in the Grand Bazaar, the mint is freshly chopped for the infusion. Street drinks are pomegranates or oranges, squeezed to order.

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