For the past nine years we have been entering our favorite bakery, Cenan's, and past right by their wine rack since our preferred wine shop is located in the same shopping center. However, last week while waiting for our our, I browsed through and found a few Turkish wines made by Kavaklıdere Winery. Now it shouldn't be a surprise that wine is made in Eastern Anatolia since grapes have been planted in that region from 4,000 B.C.. And even with the current political and religious culture in the Middle East, wine making is still relatively prevalent. Kavaklıdere Winery, was the first private sector wine producer in Turkey, having been established in 1929 in Ankara. Most of their wines are made from grapes indigenous to the regions - with a few "Western" varieties mixed in.
Turkish Yakut wine is a blend of Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, Carignan, and Alicante and the version I purchased is primarily Öküzgözü. According to their site, "The Oküzgözü grape is part of the native Turkish red grape prolific around the mountainous Elazig region in eastern Turkey. The area is perfect for growing this type of grape thanks to its proximity to the Euphrates River, which helps to moderate the usually severe climate typical of this area. Öküzgözü, which literally translates as ‘ox eye’ are perfectly round, dark red grapes, which produce excellent dry red wine with a propensity to age well up to 10 years."
The Yakut Kavaklidere Oküzgözü wine was a nice discovery. It is a very drinkable everyday table wine: medium bodied, with light tannins. It is produced to consume now - and thus we did. An added bonus is that it retails just over $10. We will be back to Cenan's Bakery to try their other Turkish brands.