Anatolia Café: Turkish wines to go with great food
The Heights area has many culinary treasures that commit to serving wines, both interesting and out of the ordinary. In that vein, my wife and I visited Anatolia Café, a Turkish restaurant on Lee Road, that features a full bar and a very interesting wine list.
Anatolia's wine list is quite broad and includes a handful of Turkish choices. Having never had the opportunity, we decided to focus on a few Turkish wines and we were not disappointed. We started with a glass ($7) of Kavaklidere Cankay white wine. This is a blend of the Narince, Emir, and Sultaniye grapes. It has clean white pepper and tarragon scents eventually giving way to grapefruit and smoke. It is an austere wine that went well with the Lentil soup.
Next up was a red, Kavaklidere Selection. At $8 per glass, it is a blend of the Öküzgözü, and Boğazkere grapes. This is a darker wine with a nose of dark cherries and dust. More new world in style, it has a hefty amount of oak as well a bit of tart plums.
Finally we ordered a bottle of the red 2004 Kavaklidere Kale’cik Karasi ($54). It has an almost Pinot Noir quality, but the fruit is more dried. Lots of cherries, persimmon, and pomegranate and also some spice (nutmeg?). We drank a couple of glasses and took the rest home (I am glad Ohio changed the law to allow this). It was even better the next day.
The owner, Yashar Yildirim, sat down with us and talked to us about Turkey, his home, and the wines. Then he poured us a glass of Yeni Raki, an anise liqueur served on ice with water. Similar to Ouzo, it was like liquefied Good & Plenty and quite tasty.
Anatolia has a full service bar and a very good wine list. They also have a few Turkish and Russian beers. It is certainly worth visiting just for that. Although I have said little about the food, it was excellent and interesting as well. I look forward to going back and continuing my education on Turkish wine, beer and food.
Loren Sonkin lives in Cleveland Heights, is the winemaker for SonkinCellars.com in California and writes for IntoWine.com.