Two of my best friends have just moved to Istanbul and I haven’t had time to take them through the do’s and don’ts of Turkish wine yet; so I wasn’t really shocked when I turned up for dinner and found them with a bottle of Sava Premium. “Premium”. Snort. I love them but they are very much ‘wine tastes like wine’ people; at least they sprang for the premium. I’m always game to try a new wine though so here we go.
Perhaps I was predisposed to give it bad notes but for me the Sava Premium was awful right from the start with a vinegary nose; or maybe that was the banana? I cannot say I’ve ever encountered a wine with self-proclaimed aromas of banana.
In the end it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d thought it would be; although that’s not to say that it was good. Despite some sharpness to the flavor, the flavor of cherries and light tannins made it fairly palatable. Especially when paired with the vegetable, walnut, haloumi, and bulgar stuffed eggplants we had for dinner.
What shocked me was the cork-while it’s not marked on the bottle as far as I could see, it seems that Sava, that most reviled of Turkish wines, is produced by my favorite cheap Turkish winery-Pamukkale. Did not see that one coming.
By the time dinner was over and I had drunk two modest glasses; I thought I may have too harshly judged all things Sava. However the next morning I saw the light. Or rather hid from it as the case were. Two glasses of the Sava Premium was all I had and I woke up with as vicious a red wine hang over as I’ve ever had. Well no, that’s a bit of hyperbole, I’ve had worse. But it was a whole lot worse than the one I got from drinking an entire bottle of Suvla in one sitting.
Unfortunately price point really does matter when it comes to Turkish wine. You’re far better off splurging a little than saving money and regretting it the next morning.