Turkey is not the first country that comes to mind when we think about wine but it is one of the most ancient grape growing terroir in the world, with records dating back at least 6 000 years.
It is on my way to Istanbul flying with Turkish Airlines, that I discovered some its unique varietals as TA do serve Turkish wines with their in-flight meals. I was so pleased with this mise-en-bouche, a great prelude to the wine region I was flying to and about to discover, PLUS the wines were served in real glasses and at the right temperature. I was happy to taste a new range of flavours and add a new chapter to my wine universe, with names as exotic as my destination. The white wine was a blend of Narince, a grape with citrus notes; Emir which is rather floral and Sultaniye bringing layers of exotic fruits. For the red, they were serving Öküzgözü which means “bulls eye”, a deep coloured wine with good fruit concentration, raspberry and cherry notes and a hint of mint on the finish. Perfect aromatics to pair with grilled meat and the complex flavours of the fabulous Turkish cuisine.
As I was traveling the world over the last year to write my new book about the 50 Best Wine Routes of the World, I had a chance to fly on several occasions with Turkish Airlines – they fly to 120 countries around the world! On my way to Istanbul, Tbilissi – Gerogia, Beirut -Lebanon and Cape Town – South Africa, I was grateful not to have to change airline companies each time I was going somewhere new in a short period of time and to rely on a professional and classy service, with sometimes only a few hours to change planes. They were always on time, impeccable and I had some of the best meals I ever had in the air, not to mention in-flight entertainment.. very important ! And not the least, they even have very good Turkish wines which adds to the experience.
The author would like to thank Turkish Airlines for its outstanding contribution in helping her fly around the world for the realization of this book.