Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vinkara Wines/L'Ordre Mondial Wine Tasting

Dear readers,

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but because of my intense interest in wining & dining... I became a member of the Turkish chapter of the Châine des Rôtisseurs (an international gastronomy society established in Paris in 1950 with chapters in over 70 countries) and L'Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (established in 1963 and an integral part of the Châine des Rotisseurs) which was established to promote the "enjoyment, appreciation and knowledge of fine wines, quality spirits, beers and mineral waters from around the world"... since 2009.

At during different times of the year, each organization plans and organizses dinners, wine tastings, etc at different venues throughout Istanbul for its members (and sometimes guests) and we are also invited to attend different functions organized in other parts of Turkey as well as the world! 

The first event that L'Ordre Mondial organized for 2013 was a wine tasting to introduce Vinkara Wines to its members which took place in the VIP Lounge on the 18th floor at The Marmara Taksim Hotel on Thursday, February 21...

Although I am very familiar with Vinkara Wines and have been working with them for the past couple of years (translating their website, brochures, etc from Turkish to English), I didn't pass up the chance to attend this wine tasting because we were going to be trying their latest vintages...

I don't want to spend time giving you a lesson on Vinkara Wines, so  I highly recommend that you visit their website for detailed information on this highly successful and fairly new mid-sized Turkish wine producer by visiting their website:

The owners of Vinkara Wines are also the owners of the Marmara Hotels chain, so they had prepared a lovely spread for this event....(normally wine tasting are pretty plain with just some crackers, bread and cheese) which was overseen by Rudolph Van Nunen, the hotel's talented Executive Chef and someone who I've known for over 10 years and met through mutual friends. 

As you can see we were a fairly large group (about 30 or so). The wine tasting was hosted by Mohamed Hammam (President of the Turkish Chapter of Châine de Rôtisseurs); Ardıç Gürsel (owner of Vinkara Wines), Niso Adato (President of the Turkish Chapter of L'Ordre Mondial) and the wine tasting presentation was conductef by the assistant Italian oenologist at Vinkara ...

Mohammed Hammam (top left), Ardıç Gürsel (top, right); Me and Rudolph Van Nunen (bottom  left);
me and Niso Adato (bottom left)
After the introductory comments, we got down to the task at hand!!! 

In summary, we tasted Vinkara's sparkling wine (produced with the méthode traditionelle used to produce champagne); 1 white wine (Narince grapes); and 5 red wines - the majority produced with Turkish grapes (Kalecik Karası, Boğazkere, Öküzgözü) except for the "Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Syrah "Reserve" Blend... Also, "Kalecik Karası" grapes are the signature grape at Vinkara because their vineyards are located in the Kalecik Karası district near our state capitol Ankara. 

I've included a picture of the little coasters that included the information on the wines we were tasting which is a fantastic idea, however, not implemented at many wine tastings in Istanbul! Each coaster included info on the vintage, alcohol content, the grapes, grape region and maturation time in oak barrels (where applicable)... and then all you have to do is add your own notes (like I did) on your thoughts of the wine!

The Vinkara and L'Ordre Mondial wine tasting began at about 6:00pm and ended around 7:30pm.... all in all, it was a very successful event and Vinkara's newest vintages are very promising and offer different tastes for wine lovers to try!

A final note on Vinkara Wines... at the entrance to The Marmara Taksim Hotel there is a shop where you can purchase these wines... not only are they available in normal sized bottles, some brands are also available in single serving bottles!

Selection of Vinkara Wines sold at shop at The Marmara Taksim Hotel
Also, some of Vinkara's  brands are sold at most of the major supermarkets around town! So, I suggest you try Vinkara wines and feel free to share your thoughts with me!

Stay well!


Side bar: since I found myself at The Marmara Taksim Hotel, this also gave me a chance to try out Raika, an independely owned and operated new Turkish restaurant located on the 20th floor of the hotel.... see next post for details!

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