Best Turkish Red Wine on a Budget

Alcohol prices in Turkey are high due to the government's "special consumption" taxes. Alcohol restrictions have increased significantly over the past decade under the Justice and Development Party (AKP), including limits on the time alcohol can be sold (not between 10 pm- 6 am) and the locations where alcohol sale can take place (not within 100 yards of schools or mosques).

With this in mind, Turkey is not like much of Europe where you can expect to find great bottles of wine on sale for just a couple of Euros.

After months of trying to find red wine that did not taste like juice, but also did not cost over 50 lira (about $25) per bottle, I have come to the conclusion that the best red wine on a budget is Kayra's Buzbağ. At a neighborhood liquor store (tekel) the price can be as much as 25 lira (about $12), but the secret is to buy this wine at Migros where it can cost between 14-16 lira ($7-8)!

My personal favorite, the classic (klasik), is a blend of Öküzgözü (meaning "ox eye" for their large size) and Boğazkere grapes from the Southeastern part of Turkey. The other two wines pictured above are named for the Turkish provinces associated with the individual grapes- Diyarbakır for Boğazkere and Elazığ for Öküzgözü and feature just those single grape varieties.