I recently was able to entertain some family members here in Istanbul. Two of my double second cousins* were in town. I have a rather large family. Really rather large. My dad is one of eight and all but one of his siblings have children. My mom is one of 12 and nine of them have children. My siblings and I are all at the younger end of the cousins so we have several cousins (on daddy’s side) who are already grandparents themselves. So I have a hard enough time remembering all my first cousin’s…I’ve kind of given up on remembering my second cousins and their kids.
I knew I’d met her mom before but Sara and I couldn’t remember if we’d actually met or not.The first night I saw them here we had this moment where we both said, but you do look familiar so we must have met…and then realized that we both just look so much like the family, ergo each other.
I had them over one evening to admire the view from my terrace and to enjoy a glass of a good Turkish wine. My desire to make sure they had a really good wine backfired on me a little though! I chose the bottle of Urla Nexus that I picked up at Solera for a wee fortune of 105TL (140TL in the restaurant but Solera gives a 25% discount if you’re buying wine to go). The backfire was not that it wasn’t good-because the Urla Nexus is AMAZING. So much better than the Urla Vourla I had a while ago. However I realized when I read the fine print on the bottle that the Urla Nexus is a blend of Merlot, Nero d’Avola, and Cabernet Franc…not one domestic Turkish grape in the bottle!
I might have developed a slightly skewed belief about how much one should (have to) pay for good wine since moving here…but I can confidently say that the Urla Nexus 2011 is worth every penny. The one little fly in my wine was that I had a rather severe cold so I had a hard time picking out flavors. Cherries? Maybe? So really this post is a bit on the pointless side unless you’re ok with a simple “holy crap this wine is outstanding and you should get it” take away.
The cold did not stop me from enjoying the beautiful tannins. Powerful and velvety tannins coat the tongue and provide a strong backbone for this big and full-bodied red. I mean, when you’re drinking this, you know you are drinking a red wine. It’s gorgeous. 105TL is a little bit of a scary price to start dropping on the regular, especially when you only work part-time like I do. Full-time drinking and part-time working do not always go together well.
Adding to the experience of a truly fantastic wine was a great time spent with my cousins. Sara, who was here for a gig with a new Turkish band Barista, will hopefully be coming back for more gigs. Barista’s debut at Babylon seems to have been pretty well received by both those of us in attendance and the media. So cheers to the Urla Nexus 2011, my cousin Sara, and Barista! May I see more of all of them!
*Double cousins really is a thing. It happens when two siblings marry two other siblings…although preferably they’re not all one another’s siblings. This has happened twice in my family. My grandmother and her sister married brothers making the resulting cousins doubly related. A few generations later my two favorite cousins also married brothers.