Turkey – Saturday Farmers’ Market and Wine Tasting

On to the local Saturday Farmers’ Market.

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Lunch at Kantin – an upscale restaurant that could easily be found in Healdsburg, with farm-to-table food and fresh, simple presentations. It was recommended by an American food critic, and although the food was fresh, simple and delicious, I’m wondering why, with so many authentic, elaborate great Turkish restaurants for foreigners to try, Kantin was rated at the top of the list?

Lunch at Kantin

Lunch at Kantin

Police anticipating trouble, as a soccer game is about to begin…

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Gourmet Breakfast at The Backyard… Great concept, fabulous farm fresh food and on-site bakery.

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With Lynsey at The Backyard

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Poached freshly laid egg and bacon

Yachting with Lynsey’s friends and colleagues. The 5 pm call to prayers serenaded us as we toured the grand houses of Istanbul along the Bosphorus.

Our host Arin Cetin

Our host Arin Cetin

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A perfect choice of wine for yachting

A perfect choice of wine for yachting

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I’m ready to move in…

Unfortunately, these homes are passed down through the ages and only under duress do families sell these regal generational homes, which offer a haven of quiet and clean air.

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The Asian side of the Bosphorus

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The night before, Arin was our host in treating us to a terrace table at Poseidon Fish & Wine Center. The moon was almost full — the food was exquisite, and the service incomparable. Thank you again, Arin!

With Chateau Lafite, Chateau Le Pin, Chateau d’Yquem and other wines on the list, and the most sublime fresh fish caught daily, Poseidon is arguably the best fish restaurant in Istanbul.

The last day in Istanbul was spent shopping for antiquities for Lynsey’s new flat. We purchased a beautiful wooden chest that was delivered on a cart through the cobblestoned streets of Istanbul by the shop owner’s friend, who proceeded to hoist it onto his back and carry it up the three flights of stairs to its new home.

My visit in Istanbul ended with Lynsey hosting a Turkish Wine Tasting at her friend Meryem’s, with a view of the Bosphorus.

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Turkish Wine Tasting

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View over Bosphorus, from Meryem’s apartment

The main wine regions of Turkey are:

  • Marmara
  • Aegean
  • Mediterranean
  • Mid-Southern Anatolia
  • Mid-Northern Anatolia
  • Mid-Eastern Anatolia
  • South East Anatolia

Two popular grape varieties I have never tasted before, that grow abundantly in Turkey are Bogazkere and Kalecik Karasi.

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The line-up for our Turkish wine tasting

The wines we tasted that night were:

2010 Prestige – Bogazkere

2012 Okuzgozu – Yazgan (a blend of Bogazkere & Okuzgozu)

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2010 Selection Kavaklidere (which was the group favorite as the two varieties seemed to meld beautifully together)

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2011 Sarafin – Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Buyulubag – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (this was my favorite as the flavors seemed well balanced and the wine a great example of what Turkey can do with traditional varieties.

2009 Kayra – Bogazkere Collectible Series #8

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2010 Prestige – Bogazkere

2008 Corvus – #5 Blend Cabernet Franc / Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah

In closing, a huge hug to Lynsey for her generosity in sharing her life and allowing me a window into her world of Istanbul. Experiencing foreign lands through the eyes of people who live there offer adventures that are rich beyond measure.