If you’ve ever been to Turkey- you know what I am talking about. When all you want is a nice glass of Pinot Grigio- no, not something that will blow your head off, or have you hanging over a toilet the rest of the following day, but a nice glass of ITALIAN Pinot Grigio.
After spending nearly a year in Turkey whist waiting for our yacht to be completed, I actually nearly did get used to the taste of the vinegar style Turkish white wine that was served in most restaurants. I also did get to know of a few “better than most” Turkish wine producers to look out for on the menus in the nicer restaurants. But it was the challenge of wine provisioning that had me. My boss (like most of them) liked his white wine French or Italian. Something that was not so easy to find at the local alcohol distributor. After endless email to and fro-ing with our yacht agents, we came to the conclusion (a couple of months later- lucky the boat was delayed!) that the best way was to buy them in France and have them sent to the nearest Greek island and collect it from there…easy! (If you have a boat to collect it in!) So that is what we did. After nearly 6 months of waiting.
Our other option would have been to buy from the limited range of French/ Italian wines that were available in Turkey (and were usually well past their peak drinking age) albeit with a mark-up of over 200%. This is due to the Turkish governments high tariffs, excise taxes and other domestic charges, put in place to protect the local economy. If we had decided to purchase the over priced wines, then licences would have needed to be obtained from the TAPDK (Tobacco Products and Alcoholic Drinks Market Regulatory Authority) as well as having to fulfill arduous document requirements. So all in all, popping over to Greece really was the best option.
For me, this is the greatest reason for Turkey to join the EU! So stewardesses such as myself, do not have to endure the headache of wine provisioning whist there…it’s either that, have more wine storage built on board, or encourage the Bosses’ inclination towards beer!