08 September 2014

Wine of the Week - Suvla Karasakız

Gallipoli is known for one thing, the shameful waste of lives in the World War I Battle of Gallipoli (or the Mel Gibson movie about the same). Lead by the man who would later become Father of the Turks, Kemal Mustafa* this last glorious victory of the crumbling Ottoman Empire and Winston Churchill's refusal to give up the Darandelles lead to the death of nearly 57,000 Allied soldiers. This battle is particularly felt by Australians and New Zealanders and I've never met a one visiting Turkey who doesn't also visit Gallipoli.

Hopefully, Gallipoli will be known for happier things as Suva wines become more well-known and popular! Although the Karasakız is the first of the Suvla's for which I have mixed feelings.Before I write what I think though, I want to give you the wine description straight from the label:

"Suvla Karasakız 2012 has a bright cherry red color. The nose is rich and fruity with flashing notes of smashed strawberry, prune, dry fig, thyme and laurel. A well-balanced, succulent, and juicy palate embraces a glittering acidity. Fruity and spicy fragrances are lusciously overflowing into a delicate finish."

Dude. I need to start writing my reviews like that. My description was far less poetic an used words that are a lot shorter. I think the only place where the descriptions cross is that I will tell you that the Karasakız has a bright cherry color. I did not at all get strawberries, smashed or no and I have no idea what laurel tastes like. I actually would have said that the flavor reflected the color and that I got a lot of cherry, both juicy red cherries an dried cherries; however I'd have agreed about the juiciness and the spice. It really is fascinating what you do and/or don't taste.

At first I wasn't quite so sure I liked it. I think the problem is that I was eating the wrong thing with it. The Karasakız should go well with Mediterranean dishes, grilled vegetables, and shellfish. However I had a recipe for brown butter sweet potato fettuccine that I'd been wanting to try. They did not like each other. However, the wine did go quite well with strong cheese (Asiago and keçi beyaz penir) and sauteed onions.

In the end, paired with more appropriate foods, I come down on the positive side for the Karasakız. I'm not sure it would be at the top of my repeat list any time soon, but it still gets a thumbs up from me.

Keep the good wines coming, Suvla!

*Years later, Ataturk would say these words on Anzac Day, which can be seen engraved on the memorial at Gallipoli:

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives. You are now living in the soil of a friendly country therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

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