My wife and I travelled over to Istanbul for a long weekend and immersed ourselves in the food and wine scene. After scouring innumerable guide books and leafing through mountains of reviews, we drew up a plan and without fail one immutable fact held true throughout our stay. This was that the more we spent on food and wine, the less pleasurable the outcome.
The finest food we tasted was found in cafs and markets. In the smarty-pants restaurants the wines were almost always awful and the food was fussy, over-thought and lacked integrity. We will try again, of course, because we love everything else about this great city, but I wanted to at least find a few noteworthy wines and a failsafe restaurant which delivered the classics in style.
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Disgruntled, I have kept my eyes peeled for fleeting sightings of Turkish wines in the UK and I have, at last, found a stunner. Source your finest kebabs, dners, kftes and mantis from your best local Turkish deli and open this spectacular red. Strangely, it's made by a Californian winemaker in what he describes as a "Beaujolais-style", but this amazing wine is finer than anything I tasted in Istanbul by a very wide margin.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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