Seeing a little hand painted sign "Wine Tasting" tacked to a tree near Ephesus made us disregard Mandy our Tom Tom navigator, pull a U-turn and head the 8 km up a narrow windy road to Sirence to see what fruits from the Turkish vines we could find. In addition, a quick read of my guide book said that this is one of the most beautiful and quaint Turkish towns with traditional Greek houses that we would find on this trip. The drive up was slow as we were sharing the 1 1/2 lane road with tractors laden with olive branches, cattle feed, bricks, rubbish and family members all piled on top. But the drive was worth it. Nestled at the top of the hill was a village with narrow cobblestone streets and many tiny shops offering free wine tasting. Unfortunately, we were disappointed to find that most of the shops were selling fruit wines (cherry, pomegranate, and apple). That should have been our clue about the quality. But after a few more steps we found a shop selling "red" or "white" wine. The shop owner then proceeded to pour us four little shot glasses of red wine, sat us on his little Turkish carpet covered benches near the wood burning stove, and left us to taste, sniff, and swirl...no tasting notes, no explanation..Here are our comments:
Glass #1 - bland grape juice with a hint of vinegar.
Glass #2 - vinegar
Glass #3 - dish water
Glass #4 - marginally palatable with no lingering vinegar after taste.
We forked over 20TL or about $10 and asked the "wine maker" (I use this term in the very loosest sense of the word) to snap our photo to remember this experience and to make us homesick for Washington.
Last night, after a long day of driving and sightseeing plus staying in a hotel with a cork screw, seemed like a good time to open the bottle. After two sips, Eric announced that he was getting a headache. After one glass, we recorked the bottle. And this morning, after I awoke with a headache, we poured the rest down the drain. But, we sure got a cute little burlap bag and photo to remember the experience.