During a recent extended stay in Turkey, with its ancient history of wine making, we though it might be quite good fun to have a go and make our own wine at home with the help of a unique product we came across.
So how did we get on and what was the end product like? Read on and find out more.
Turkey has been making wine for thousands of years. The favourable climatic regions, soils and grape varieties – some ancient – produce some delicious wines.
Village wines are also produced to varying qualities and quantities using a mix of local vines that are cultivated and trained each season.
But with only one main grape harvest a year and lacking the skills and equipment needed to make wine from grapes we searched for an alternative method; one which we hoped would be fool-proof, with a near guaranteed result of something that we could offer to guests and enjoy ourselves.
That was when we found a home wine making kit right here in Turkey from a company called Narince Wines, which is the name of an indigenous grape variety of Turkey too.
The company were kind enough to send a complimentary kit to Fethiye Times to test and review.
The kit we chose was a dry red and it promised to deliver 23 litres of wine in 10-12 days!
When the small package arrived it contained all that was needed to make the wine, except water and sugar that is.
The kit had around half a kilo of dried ground grapes, a suite of sachets, and a small but clear and easy to follow instruction book.
We wasted no time getting started, adding water, sugar and mixing the ingredients.
Within half and hour we had 23 litres of liquid in a food grade fermenting vessel, forcing bubbles through the airlock merrily in the 26 degree heat of our kitchen.
While bubbling, the yeast is consuming the added sugar and turning it into alcohol and carbon dioxide – the escaping gas.
Once this stops being generated, all the sugar has been processed by the yeast and the fermentation is over.
When the fermentation had ceased we added some of the sachets to stabilise the wine and then clear it, before syphoning off into bottles.
What with avoiding the sediment at the bottom, we ended up with just over 21 litres of red in 12 days.
The kit says the young wine can be drunk immediately but a better quality will be achieved with age.
So the moment of truth came as we poured the first wine into an elegant tall wine glass.
Held up to the light it has a good colour, a nice natural brick red.
A swirl or two in the glass released a bouquet of raspberries and fruits.
There was still the feint remnants of yeast in the bouquet, but that cleared when the wine had been left to oxidise in the glass for a while. In fact we expect that to go completely if left to age.
As we continued to swirl there were very few ‘legs’ forming, the lines left on the side of the glass from higher alcohol wines, indicating this is lower in alcohol than the big 15%’ers which is fine by us.
Taste test – It’s dry and light on tannins so making it an easy wine to enjoy on its own or with a light cheese salad or a few mezes. All in all it is very drinkable.
How does it compare?
Drinking a wine on its own makes it difficult to compare with other wines so we thought we would do a head to head with another Turkish table wine Angora that retails at around 18 TL (£4.30) per bottle.
To start with the Narince is much lighter in colour, a ruby red compared with a deeper sherry red of the Angora.
To taste the Angora has more tannins and a fruitier bouquet compared with our wine. But then our wine is lighter and contains less tannins. The flavours are less complex too.
So the wines are very different but the difference is to be expected when comparing with a blended wine such as Angora.
Maybe a better comparison would be with a single grape red wine but that will have to wait until another day.
Maturity comes with age
Wine matures with age and that maturity period depending on the type of wine.
The large majority of this batch will be left to mature for around 3 months which should be an ideal time for a wine of this alcohol level and type.
We will report back on how the wine has fared after that time.
It was amazing how quickly and easily we could make a very drinkable table wine for a fraction of the price of shop bought table wine.
Buy It On Line Now
Fethiye Times is able to offer Amphora – Home wine making kits for 70 Turkish Lira plus postage to our Turkish readers. At this time we can only offer sales within Turkey. However, readers located elsewhere please contact us via email and we can discuss international shipping options.
Special Offer Discount
For a limited time, our Turkish Fethiye Times readers can claim a 10% discount by quoting the coupon code WINETIME-10 at the checkout. Hurry though as the offer ends soon.
We also offer a white and Rose wine kit too.
So order a kit today from the Fethiye Times shop and you could be drinking your own home made wine in a few weeks.
Fethiye Times' Shop
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