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Wine and Raki

turkish wines

Turkey has more than 1200-1500 named grape varities of which 600-800 are genetically different. There are around 30 outstanding wine grape varieties among all these types.

The indigenous and international grape varieties below are those that are widely used for wine making.

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BOĞAZKERE

ORIGIN (Sub Region)
Sout East Anatolia (Diyarbakır)

OTHER REGIONS (Sub Regions)
Mid-Eastern Anatolia (Malatya)
Mid-Northern Anatolia (Ankara, Uşak)
Aegean (Manisa, Denizli)
Mediterranean (Elmalı)

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Boğazkere means “throat burner”
  • Boğazkere has very high dense tannins with medium acidity, similar to Tannat.
  • The wines made from this grape are dark in color, full bodied, dense tannins, with complex flavor profiles.
  • The wines from Bo¤azkere grape find balance when aged.

AROMA PROFILE
Black Cherry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Black Mulberry, Pepper, Clove, Eucalyptus, Tobacco, Leather, Pine Forest, Dark Chocolate , Liquorice

FOOD & WINE MATCH
Spicy, saucy meat dishes, Kebabs and BBQs, Tandir (slow roasted lamb), Intensely flavoured cheese

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ÖKÜZGÖZÜ

ORIGIN (Sub Region)
Mid-Eastern Anatolia (Elazığ)

OTHER REGIONS (Sub Regions)
Mid-Southern Anatolia (Nevşehir / Cappadocia)
Mid-Northern Anatolia (Ankara, Uşak)

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Native to Eastern Anatolia, Öküzgözü derives its name from the fact that it has large, blackberries that resemble a bull’s eye.
  • On the palate, it is medium bodied, producing round, fruity wines, with some tannins and rather lively acidity. Alcohol level is usually between 12.5% and 13.5 %.
  • Öküzgözü is high in acidity, medium to low in alcohol content and its medium body offers a delicate bouquet.
  • It has fruit and floral flavours, makes a soft and easy to drink wines.
  • Due to its acidity, it can age well.
  • Wines from the Öküzgözü grape have a light red colour like Pinot Noir.
  • Öküzgözü gives very good results when used in Cuvee with Boğazkere.

AROMA PROFILE
Raspberry, Dark cherry, Mint, Chocolate, Eucalyptus, Sour Cherry, Pomegranate, Ripe Plum, Cherry Marmalade, Clove and Cardamom

FOOD & WINE MATCH
Casseroles, Kebaps, Smoked foods, Eggplants, Hünkar Begendi (means “sultan loved it”-ask for recipe), Grilled Red Meats

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KALECİK KARASI

ORIGIN (Sub Region)
Mid-Northern Anatolia (Ankara /Kalecik)

OTHER REGIONS (Sub Regions)
Aegean (Denizli, Manisa, Uşak, Elmalı)
Mid-Southern Anatolia (Nevşehir / Cappadocia)
Marmara (Tekirdağ)

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Kalecik Karası means the “black from the small castle”. Kalecik is a small village (65 km northeast of Ankara) in Central Anatolia with its castle. Kalecik Karas› is grown mainly at the Kızılırmak river valley.
  • Kalecik Karaı yields a wine with “dried red rose” colour, with a sugar candy / boiled candy aroma on the nose, quite typical of the variety. Better examples have a vibrant, fruity nose, with red fruits.
  • On the palate, wine is medium bodied, low on tannins; fresh and lively, with a crisp acidity.
  • On the hotter climates, alcohol can reach 14%, rendering the wine heavy.

AROMA PROFILE
Red Berries, Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Cotton Candy, Pyrezine, Game or Stable

FOOD & WINE MATCH Pizza, Meat with Tomato Sauce, Grilled Cutlet, Pasta with Tomato Sauce.

Reference: Winesofturkey.org

History of Raki 

There are different suggestions on the etymology of the term raki (Turkish: rakı).  According to one story, the term raki is derived from the Razaki type grape which is has large, long and thick-shelled grains.

The similarity between the pronunciation of razaki and raki terms and the definition of raki as a Turkish alcoholic drink strengthen the possibility that raki terms is derived from this type of grape. 

On the other hand, some believe that “raki” term was produced by Turkmens in Iraq and derived from the word “Iraki” meaning spread out to neighboring countries and therefore used to mean “coming from Iraq”. This suggestion is further supported with the fact that the drink produced from dried grapes and flavored with anise in Kirkuk Region is still called “Arak”. The alcoholic drink made by the Turkic tribes in Central Asia by distilling kumis (Turkish: kımız) and named as “Arika” today is most similar drink to the raki we know.

The term “arak” meaning “sweated” in Arabic is considerable in understanding the etymology of the term raki. Some researchers suggest that “arak” meaning drop of sweat stands for distilling and distillation, as well and thus “raki” term is derived from this word.

Even though there are no certain documentations evidencing where and by whom raki was first produced, it is accepted by almost every country in the world that raki was first produced on Ottoman soils. 

Sold as Turkish Raki all around the world today, raki is represented as a Turkish alcoholic drink in almost every encyclopedia. Turkey, being on the first rank among raki producers in the world, exports raki to tens of countries especially Germany, United States and China.

Inhabiting Turkish soils and cheering up tables for centuries, raki has created its own culture along with its nature. 

Efe raki‏ is the first privately produced raki in Turkey. A panel of experts was brought together to produce the taste that defines raki by an authentic recipe. Selected top-quality grapes and anis seeds of the aegean coast gives Efe Raki its distinct taste and unmistakable aroma. Triple-distilled grape alcohol is redistilled in pot stills to offer the quality that is appreciated by even the most discriminating raki drinkers. You may enjoy efe raki straight or by first adding water then ice.

 

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