Wine and Winery in Turkey

Even though wine is known as just another alcoholic drink among people, it has its own history and place in various cultures. Wine and winery in Turkey also have their history and cultural values. All kinds of drinks, including wine, represent something from the way it is made to the way it is drunk.

It is known that wine and winery in Turkey were not this popular 20 years ago. So, it can be said that it is a relatively new thing for Turkey. Today, lots of people are occupied with the winery, and you can see wine as a part of their life. Besides, it is an important part of wine tourism.

History and Origin of Wine

Throughout history, wine is known as a symbol of abundance and blessings. It is thought that the history of wine is as old as the history of humanity. The evidence for the oldest wine consumption goes back to 8000 years ago.

Even though the first wine production is thought to be made in Iran 6000 years ago, today, wine’s origin is accepted as Georgia according to the evidence from archeological studies. The first evidence for the presence of wine goes back to the years between 6000-5800 BC. 

The wide spreading of wine was not fast, instead, it had a slow process of wide-spreading. After its occurrence in Georgia, wine is thought to be shown itself in South Caucasus, East Anatolia, or Iran. Evidence shows that wine production began in Iran in the year 5000 BC, and 4000 BC in Sicily.

Yet, the oldest winery in the world was found in Armenia. Even though the evidence of wine production in China goes more back to the evidence of wine production in Georgia, it is thought that a different method was used from the regular wine that we know today.

One can observe various mentioning of wine in the ancient writings. Especially Ancient Greek authors Homer’s and Alcman’s writings include quite a bit mentioning of wine. In addition to the importance of wine in Ancient Greece, one can observe the value assigned to wine in Ancient Rome as well. Ancient Romans created areas for local wine production, and some of those areas are today among the most important wine production areas.

The Catholic Church of the Middle Ages strongly supported the production of wine as it was being used in religious rituals. Hence, the wine was quite popular among Christian monks. In the following years, the wine kept its importance as a religious object. The usage of wine in religious rituals lead to the occurrence of new wine types such as Spanish wine, French wine, and Italian wine.

Regardless of where the story of wine starts, one can observe the influence of wine in almost every culture and country. The situation is not quite different in Turkey, and wine has its history here as well.

History of Wine in Turkey

Of course, wine has a story in Turkey as it carries a cultural value in Turkey today. Evidence shows that civilizations in Anatolia produced and consumed wine in history, starting from the Hittites, followed by the Lycia people, Frigs, and Lydia people. Anatolia had a great significance for wine. Wine continued carrying a great significance in Anatolia until the Ottoman period.

After the Ottoman Empire took Anatolia from Byzantine, the situation of wine changed drastically. Since Ottoman Empire was a Muslim country, alcoholic drinks including wine were considered a sin, so it was forbidden. Nevertheless, it is known that wine was still being consumed in the Ottoman Empire, yet the majority of this consumption was by Greeks and Armenians. Even though wine was not being used, the production of wine kept its presence in the Ottoman Empire as it is a part of the culture, and Turks know very well how to make wine.

From time to time, the wine was forbidden to the minorities as well in the Ottoman Empire. Yet as the economy of the Ottoman Empire become worse, they need the source of taxes from the wine, and they always let it be consumed afterward. Besides, it is known that some of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire consumed wine themselves.

In the 19th century, thanks to technological developments and ease in transportation, Ottoman wine became popular in the world. At the end of the 19th century, due to a disease in the European vines, they had to meet their wine needs from the Ottoman Empire.

Wine in the Republican Era 

In the Republican Era of Turkey, the restrictions for wine were lifted completely. The freedom of production and consumption of wine led to a great amount of increase in the contribution of wine to the economy, tourism, and culture.

However, in the first years of the Republic of Turkey, the situation was different for wine. As the majority of the Turkey population was Muslims and due to the population exchange with Greece drastically decreased the non-Muslim population in Turkey, the consumption of wine decreased as well. This situation continued until the opening of the first wine factory by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1925.

The Turkish government wanted the population to become distant from Raki, the most consumed alcoholic drink of Turkey, as it was so high in alcohol percentage. So, the government supported wine consumption and production as a replacement for Raki. However, Raki always remained the most consumed alcoholic drink in Turkey even today.

The government policy continued to support the wine production by establishing “Wine Tasting Houses” in various cities of Turkey including Çorum, Niğde, Tokat, Elazığ, and Kahramanmaraş. French professionals on wine tried producing different types of wines using Turkish grapes in the factories. In 1980, with the widening of beer, the wine fell out of sight. Yet, the decrease in the popularity of wine did not last for long and today wine is once again quite popular in Turkey.

The Map of Wine in Turkey

There are approximately 1200 to 1500 grape types in Turkey, and around 600 – 800 of those types are genetically different. Despite the richness of grapes in Turkey, a small percentage of grapes are used in wine production.

Turkey is among the top grape producers of the world by having an average of 4 million tons of grape produced annually, yet only 11% of the produced grape is used in wine production. The great potential of winemaking in Turkey is overlooked, and it is mainly tied to the politics of Turkey.

Marmara Region

Marmara Region is rich in terms of grape variety, which makes it a fruitful region as a wine production center. Papaskara, or Papazkarası, a variety of grape is grown in the Marmara Region. Papaskara is a black grape, and the wine derived from Papaskara is easy to drink for those who do not like the taste of alcohol. Another grape variety of the Marmara Region is Gamay, which is purple-colored and has an acidic taste. On the other hand, wine made from Yapincak grapes is non-acidic.

Tekirdağ, a city located in the Marmara Region of Turkey, has an important place in the wine production of Turkey. Such that, lots of different wine brands have factories in Tekirdağ. In addition, Çanakkale is another important center for wine production in the Marmara Region. Grape varieties Vasilaki and Kuntra are grown in Çanakkale and used in winemaking.

Central Anatolia Region and the Central Part of the Black Sea Region

A significant amount of the wine factories in Turkey takes place in Nevşehir, which is a city located in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. The main grape variety used in the Nevşehir for winemaking is the Emir grape. The wine made from this type of grape is juicy and white. 

Other grape varieties are used in Nevşehir as well, such as Dimit and Şıradar. Wine derived from Dimit and Şıradar grapes is red, low in acid, and high on sugar. The properties of wine made from Kayseri Karası grape make it possible to have a soft and sweet wine, which is mostly preferred by those who have a sensitive stomach.

Kalecik Karası grape variety is known as the best type of grape to make red wine, and it is also grown in the Central Anatolia Region. The wine derived from Kalecik Karası grape is also sweet and easy to drink. A kind of wine made in Tokat, a city in the Black Sea Region of Turkey, is quite popular among tourists and wine lovers as it has a unique taste. The famous wine of Tokat is made from Narince grape, it is white, has a rich and balanced taste. It is among the wine types that you must try while in Turkey.

Aegean Region

Aegean Region has wine types that are popular all around Turkey. Especially Şirince wine is so popular that it is known by everyone, including those who have little to no interest in wine. It would be fair to say that Şirince wine is among the first things that when one mentions the wines of Turkey. Yet, wine gourmets sometimes overlook the Şirince wine and claim that it is rather simple than delicious. 

Şirince wine is made from almost every fruit that you can think of, from blackberry to apples. Izmir, a city in the Aegean Region, is known for its grapes in general and grape varieties used in winemaking. Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape variety that can be found in İzmir, is one of the most popular grape varieties used in winemaking in İzmir. It is widely preferred as it can grow in basically all kinds of climates.

If you are looking for a wine that is low in alcohol and high in deliciousness, then you must try the wine made from Alichante Bounchet wine made from the Alichante Bounchet grape grown in İzmir. If you like your white wine to have some aroma, then you should try the wine derived from the Bornova Misket grape.

Nowadays, winemaking is also popular in some small districts of Izmir in addition to its center. Urla and Çeşme districts of Izmir are quite popular in terms of winemaking and wine tourism.

East Anatolia Region and Southeast Anatolia Region

Öküzgözü wine is another popular wine in Turkey that is known by everyone, and it is considered as the most valuable grape type for red wine. Öküzgözü grapes are grown in the East Anatolia cities including Elazığ and Malatya. Another unique wine type derived from the Boğazkere grape can be found in the East Anatolia Region, as the Boğazkere grape is grown here. It has an acrid taste, and it is a wine loved among wine gourmets.

Especially, a wine type made from the mixture of Boğazkere and Öküzgözü wines is very popular all around Turkey. Southeast Anatolia Region is known as an area where it has thousands of years of wine culture. The winemaking in the Southeast Anatolia Region is mainly in the Midyat and Mardin, by the Assyrians.

Mediterranean Region

The Mediterranean Region is mainly known for a specific wine brand, named Selefkia Wine. In terms of the grape variety, the grapes which are the endemic grape varieties of the Taurus Mountains are used in winemaking. Those endemic grape varieties include Aküzüm, Göküzüm, and Patkara.

However, the wine in the Mediterranean Region is not limited to the grapes grown in the Mediterranean Region. In the winemaking centers of the Mediterranean Region, you can find different regions’ wines including Elazığ.

How is Wine Made?

The first step of winemaking is the collection of grapes. Subsequently, the grapes need to be squeezed. Then, the yeast which naturally exists in the grapes connects with the sugar in the grapes. And step by step, this connection results in alcohol formation. At the same time, yeast produces carbon dioxide in this step. After the fermentation is over, wine is ready for consumption.

Types of Wine

The names of the wines I discussed earlier, get their names from the grape variety it is derived from. One can barely have information about the wine according to what is written on the bottle, but you can have a comprehensive idea once you make a small research. There are different types of wines categorized according to their color and taste.

Dry Wine

Dry wine is the name of the wine that is fully fermented. It has a bitter taste, and it is not easy to drink. In other words, if you are not familiar with the taste of wine and alcohol in general, starting with dry wine is not recommended. Dry wines typically have no sugar added, yet some of them can have up to 0.4% of sugar. Dry wine has relatively less sulfur dioxide and sorbic acid in comparison to other wine types.

Semi-Sweet Wine

Semi-sweet wine, on the other hand, is fermented majorly but it is not fully fermented like a dry wine. As you can infer from the name, this type of wine is semi-sweetened.  It is relatively sweet and easier to drink from dry wine. The sugar rate of the semi-sweet wine changes between 0.5% and 2%. The sulfur dioxide and sorbic acid rates are higher in the semi-sweet wine in comparison to the dry wine.

Dessert Wine

Dessert wine has categories within itself.

Natural Dessert Wine

Natural dessert wines get their sweetness from the grape itself. In other words, there are no added sugars by any terms in the natural dessert wine including honey and molasses. The alcohol rate in the natural dessert wine is 14%. Besides, no extra alcohol is added to the natural dessert wine as well.

Mistel Wine

Mistel wine is a type of wine made by adding alcohol to the wine in the fermentation process. The making process of the mistel wine includes adding distilled alcohol to the grape juice which includes approximately 18% – 22% sweet rate. The alcohol rate of the mistel rate between 16% and 18%.

Liquor Wine

Liquor wine is made by adding sugar, caramel, or grape molasses after the fermentation process. The sugar rate of the liquor wine is around 15% – 17% and the sugar rate in the liquor wine is 7% – 8%.

Red Wine

Perhaps the first picture that comes to mind when one mentions wine is the red wine. Red wine is typically made from grapes that have a dark color. To be more specific, what gives the red wine its color is the contact between the shell of the grape and the grape juice. The reason for this color change after the contact of grapes and the grape juice is the tannin substance. The alcohol rate of the red wine changes between 11% and 13%. Red wine is typically served at room temperature, with an average of 15 Celsius degrees and 20 Celsius degrees.

White Wine

White wine is made from white grape juice. It is served colder than red wine. The alcohol rate of the white wine changes between 11% and 12.5%. As you may know, the color of the white wine is not actually white. Instead, it is yellow or gold-based. It is made by the fermentation of colorless grape pulp. It is known that white wine is being produced for over 2500 years.

White wine is typically preferred with seafood, as it balances the taste. Keep in mind to choose the wine you will drink with seafood wisely because if the taste of the food suppresses the taste of wine, you will not be able to enjoy your meal. White wine is typically consumed cold, as it tastes better in that way.

Rose Wine

Rose wine, or just known as rose, is another type of wine that is mainly known for its rosy pink color. It is made from pink grape pulps or the combination of black, white, and pink grape pulps being processed and fermented together. The alcohol rate of the rose wine changes between 11% and 12.5%.

Rose is a kind of wine that is considered relatively lighter, and easy to drink. If you do not want to go heavy on yourself and to keep the company of others, then rose would be a great option for you. 

Wine Culture in Turkey

As I mentioned earlier, wine has its culture like any other drink. Insomuch that, a part of the famous sociologist Tom Standage’s book, “A History of World in 6 Glasses”, a part of the book is for wine, as it has a role on the world history. It was inevitable for wine to have its culture and traditions.

One can observe the meaning of wine stayed relatively similar to how it was when it first started to be consumed. In ancient times, the wine was for the upper class and was a sign of abundance and blessing. Today, in Turkey and the rest of the world, wine is a symbol for the upper class. In other words, wine is a classy drink in Turkey as well.

Besides the wealthy people of Turkey, if we consider the middle class, wine is consumed on special occasions. One typically goes out to a restaurant to “wine and dine” every now and then, as a way of treating themselves. It is also seen as a symbol of romanticism and is an indispensable part of romantic dinners with significant others. 

Even though wine is typically known as something expensive and for the upper class in general, as the variety of wine prices has a great diversification in Turkey, everyone can drink it. You can find a group of college students drinking wine in a plastic cup, as you can see a group of businesswomen and businessmen celebrating their raise with a bottle of wine.

What is the Etiquette for Drinking Wine?

It is said that wine is not the same in the bottle and the glass. What is trying to be explained with this saying is that wine has an attractive and nice look on the bottle, yet it can make one drunk very quickly as it has a high alcohol rate. You need to be careful about when, how, and with what to consume wine.

Besides, there are some key points when it comes to drinking wine. Even the way that you are holding the wine glass can influence your wine-drinking experience.

Red Wine

After opening the red wine bottle, you need to wait for 20 to 30 minutes before drinking it. This way, you will be able to taste wine better and it will have a softer drink. If you ever want to drink red wine and white wine at the same time, keep in mind that you need to drink white wine first. White wine is relatively lighter than red wine, so starting with white wine would be so much better.

Another important part of the wine-drinking experience is how to hold the glass. The way that you hold the wine glass can influence the taste of the wine. If you hold the wide part of the glass, you can warm up the wine since the heat of your hand will transfer to the wine, and it will get heated. The temperature of the wine is an important predictor of the taste, so the taste of the wine will change. So, holding the wine glass from the thin part of the glass is the right way to hold the glass.

As the heat has a great influence on the taste of the wine, you need to drink the red wine in 20 or 30 minutes, so the temperature of it will not change. The selection of glass is another important predictor of the taste of the wine. Red wine is typically drunk with big glasses where the upper part of the glass is very wide. The glasses should not be filled fully, the rate of fullness should be 1/3 or 1/2. Some prefer to shake their glasses a little bit before drinking, to have a better flavor.

The ideal heat of red wine is typically between 16 Celsius degrees and 18 Celsius degrees. If you will drink aged wine, the heat could decrease to 14 Celsius for optimal taste.

What to eat with red wine?

The most preferred food to consume with red wine is veal or red meat in general. Even though most people think red meat goes well with white wine and white meat goes well with red wine, this idea is generally wrong.

The answer for what to eat with red wine may change, yet the answer for what not to eat with red wine is pretty much certain. Dishes with olive oil or dishes that are rich in carbohydrates are considered the enemy of red wine, and must not be at the same table. In addition to the dishes, appetizers with olive oil do not go well with red wine.

If you still want some carbohydrates on your wine table, mashed potatoes are an appetizer that is acceptable for the wine table. Yet, French fries in a wine table is a no. The most popular appetizer to consume with wine is, of course, cheese. You can equip the table with various types of cheeses, or you can prepare a charcuterie board.

Sometimes nuts are preferred to consume with red wine, yet it is not that common. If you want to have a true wine date experience, then cheese is the right appetizer for you.

White Wine

Even though the etiquette for drinking white wine is pretty much the same as red wine, there are some differences. In general, white wine is known as being lighter, sweeter, and you can feel the taste of the alcohol less.

If you want to have a light start on your drinking night and get heavier, later on, white wine is a great start. The optimal temperature for drinking wine is around 6 Celsius degrees. If your wine is not at the optimal temperature, and you want to cool it down a little bit, then put it in the fridge is not recommended. Instead, you can put the bottle in a cup full of ice, and let it cool down for a bit.

In contrast to the big red wine glasses, white wine is typically drunk with narrower glasses. Sometimes the white wine glasses can remind you of a tube. Even though some prefer to drink white wine on a round and big glass, they are still relatively smaller than red wine glasses.

The proper way to hold the white wine glass is relatively more important than the red wine, as the heat will influence the taste of the white wine a lot more. So, keep in mind to never hold the white wine glass from the upper part. And since the white wine glass is narrower, the heat will transfer faster. You need to drink the white wine in 10 to 15 minutes.

Fish and seafood is a common thing to consume with white wine. As in red wine, you should not consume fatty food or food high in carbohydrates with white wine. Cheese varieties are also a great option to consume with white wine. Keep in mind to keep your fish and seafood simple instead of seasoning it heavily.

Some Wine Tips

Whether it is your first time drinking wine, or you just want to look like a wine gourmet among your friends, some tips are always there to save the day. The following are some small tips for you to learn a little bit more about wine.

Keep in mind that the names of the wines can come either from the grape variety used or from the area that it was produced. So, if you can differentiate a grape variety from the name of an area, then you can answer the questions about the wine regarding its origin or the type of grape used.

The glass you used to drink wine indeed, changes the taste. So if someone asks to use a regular water glass for their wine, explain to them nicely how the taste of it can get interrupted if not drunk by a wine glass. Besides, those wine glasses on your home had to be used at some point.

You need to store your wine bottles horizontally before opening them. The reason for storing unopened wine horizontally is due to the need for keeping moist of the cork. If you store your wine bottle vertically, wine can easily get intoxicated and disrupted.

If you really do not like the taste of wine no matter what you have tried, try to mix it with some other non-alcoholic drink. The combination of lemon soda and wine is generally liked among people. If you get a glass of white wine and mix it with lemon soda without no one sees it, then they will not understand as there will not be a change in colors.

The lemon soda and wine combination are pretty popular in Turkey. Such that, a new word is made up among people to refer to the wine with lemon soda. The word basically consists of the words “wine” and “lemon soda” in Turkish. 

Another cocktail that you can try out with wine is by adding some tonic to it. It is preferred with coke in some countries as well. So, do not be shy when it comes to experimenting with wine. Of course, this experimenting is only valid when it is made with non-alcoholic drinks. Mixing wine with some specific alcoholic drinks can give you a stomachache, headache, or even some worse health condition. Be mindful. 

If you ever attempt to open a wine bottle with a corkscrew, do not just jump right into it and make some research, and even watch some videos. Opening a wine bottle with a corkscrew can be difficult if you do not know how to do it. In general, you need to put the wine bottle somewhere stable and stab the cork with the corkscrew. Then, you need to spin the corkscrew as you press lightly to the bottle. Then, it is just left to strongly pull out the corkscrew upwards. Then it all should be fine.

There are other ways of opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew, but they can be ten times harder than opening it with a corkscrew. So, keep in mind to buy a corkscrew while you are buying a bottle of wine for yourself. Or, you can get to a restaurant where you do not need to deal with all of these.

Mythology and Wine

As in many concepts, wine has a place in the various mythologies as well. One can observe a god or goddess assigned to the wine in almost every mythology. For example, Osiris in Egyptian mythology, Bacchus in Roma mythology, and Dionysus, which is widely known among people, in Greek mythology are all representers of wine.

Greek Mythology

The wine god in Greek mythology is Dionysus, who is the son of Zeus and a mortal named Semele. It has been said that Zeus fell in love with mortal Semele while he was married Hera. Zeus acts as a mortal to trick Semele to be with him, and he succeeds. As Semele believes that Zeus is a mortal like her, they start to have an affair.

But of course, Hera finds out about this and does not tolerate it. Hera shows the truth about Zeus to Semele, and Semele cannot handle the power of Zeus and starts to burn. As she burns down to ashes, a miracle happens and sn ivy emerging there protects her baby. Zeus takes the baby from the ivy and hides him in his calf. Hence, the baby is named “Dionysus”, which means “born twice”.

Yet, Hera’s hatred for this relationship and the baby born from this affair do not go away. She chases Dionysus everywhere, and Dionysus had no choice other than to run away all the time. To end his misery, Zeus turns him to a form of half goat and half human and sends him to a mountain. Dionysus discovers grapes here and makes wine with the grapes he found. Thus, Dionysus became the god of wine. Zeus also refers to wine as the “drink of gods”.

Why is aged wine better? (Or is it?)

There is a high chance of you to hear that the aged wine is better than other wines. The truth is, most of the produced wines must be consumed as they are in the selling process. Most of the wines get rotten after a couple of years. A small number of wines can get better as they age, but this is not valid for all wine types.

Some types of wines that are very good can taste better as they age. Aged wines were not a thing until the 17th century when airtight stoppers were invented. Before this invention, aged wine was the equivalent of bad wine. As an example, the red wine of Bordeaux tastes bitter when it is first produced, but the taste only gets batter after 10 years of waiting. 

The reason for the bitterness of the wine when it’s first made is due to the tannins and antihrocians in the wine. And the reason for this bitterness to go away after years is that the tannins and antihrocians being moved to the down part of the bottle as residues. This process also influences the glucose rates in the wine, so the components forming the taste of the wine change as well.

Turkish cheese for a perfect wine experience

As I mentioned earlier, cheese is the most popular appetizer to eat with wine. This duo is generally preferred by everyone, from the wine experts to the first-timers. So, if you are in Turkey and want to have a nice wine experience, do not skip trying at least one of the Turkish cheeses to make your experience even more delicious.

You can eat those cheeses plain, or you can prepare delicious appetizers that are easy to prepare. Or, you can prepare a charcuterie board for a bougie look on the table. The choice is yours.

Ezine Cheese

Ezine cheese is one of the most popular traditional cheeses of Turkey.  This cheese variety is specially made from goat milk from Çanakkale. It can be a little bit salty, so it is highly recommended for you to eat it with other ingredients such as tomatoes or bread. You can even prepare small sandwich bites to serve as an appetizer that includes bread, ezine cheese, and tomatoes. Those little sandwiches can be the star of your wine evening.

Another appetizer that you can do with ezine cheese is named “Girit Appetizer”. It is made from ezine cheese, walnuts, pistachios, olive oil, and various spices. You can make the Girit appetizer by excluding the olive oil and spices, to obtain a light appetizer that would go well with wine.

Lor Cheese

Another traditional cheese of Turkey is lor cheese. Unlike Ezine cheese, lor cheese includes so much less salt, which makes it perfect for adding to desserts. Yet, sweets and wine together are not something preferred, so you just can serve lor cheese as an appetizer on its own. 

Tulum Cheese

Tulum cheese is a cheese variety that is special to Turkey. It can be found in various regions of Turkey, and it is especially loved among cheese gourmets. It has a nice consistency that goes very well with wine, and it is a perfect cheese variety to prepare some appetizers.

Van Cheese with Herbs

A cheese variety of Turkey that you can just eat plain with wine is Van cheese with herbs. This cheese variety has such a rich taste that you do not need to prepare something fancy to consume with wine. But if you still want to add some color to the table, you can put some nuts of your choice on the plate. As it includes herbs itself, the look of it would be nice as well. 

Kars White Cheddar Cheese

Kars white cheddar cheese is another popular traditional cheese of Turkey. It has a unique taste, and it is highly recommended to eat with wine. As it has a dense taste, you can eat it plain as well but of course, appetizer options with Kars cheddar cheese are just left to your imagination.

Mihaliç Cheese

Mihaliç cheese is another traditional Turkish cheese variety, and it is known that it was being consumed widely in the Ottoman periods as well. It has a rigid consistency, and keep in mind to slice the mihaliç cheese thinly to have the best mihaliç taste. Besides, mihaliç cheese goes very well with almonds or other nuts, so adding different nuts next to the mihaliç cheese would be a good option.

Best Wines of Turkey

As I mentioned earlier, there are different types and various brand options to choose from when it comes to wine tasting in Turkey. The following are some of the best wines that you must try while in Turkey. Of course, there are different wines of the following brands, yet keep in mind that the following are some of the best-known wine brands of Turkey, to give you some ideas.

Kavaklıdere

The Kavaklıdere brand established its first winery in 1929 and has not stopped producing wine since then. Today, Kavaklıdere has wineries in different parts of Turkey. Even though the significance of this brand decreased in years due to the wide spreading of wine in Turkey, it is still considered as in the “old but gold” category.

Sarafin

Sarafin is among the delicious and qualified wines of Turkey, but it can be a little bit pricey. Yet, it is strongly recommended to try Sarafin wine while you are in Turkey. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wine of Safarin are the most preferred ones among all.

Kalecik Karası

This wine brand gets its name from the grape variety used in the wines. It is relatively cheaper than the other wine brands, with quality.

Sava

This is a wine brand with a vegan certificate, meaning that all of the wines you will buy from this brand are completely vegan. It is a wine brand that is popular among Turkish people

Frequently asked questions about wine in Turkey

Wine is an alcoholic drink that is also a part of almost every culture of the world. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about wine and wine-related issues in Turkey.

How old should I be to buy alcohol in Turkey?

The legal limit for alcohol shopping in Turkey is 18 years.

Can I drink wine in Turkey?

Yes, you can. As the majority of Turkey are Muslims, one can easily get the idea that consuming wine here would be deviant behavior, yet you would be surprised to see how many people are enjoying a glass of wine every day. So, no worries.

Can I buy wine anytime in Turkey?

Shopping for any kind of alcohol including wine is not legal after 10 PM in Turkey.

Is Turkish wine expensive?

It greatly depends on the brand. You can find a bottle of wine in Turkey which is 25 Turkish liras, and you can also find a bottle of wine in Turkey which is 250 Turkish liras. So, it would be fair to say that there is a wine for every budget in Turkey.

Is wine served in restaurants in Turkey?

Yes, you can find wine in many restaurants in Turkey. Especially in those fancy restaurants where you can treat yourself. 

Is Turkish wine good?

Yes, it is. You can taste some amazing wine from the grapes of Turkey. Besides, the acidic balance of Turkish wines is typically referred to as the perfect balance.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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