Discussion around wine influencers and their help or harm to wine writers has been a hot topic in the wine writing world of late. Some accept influencers as a matter of course [for any industry], or even think that they’re underutilized. However, others resent them for being (possibly) unqualified and cheapening years of wine study and service that the acknowledged experts undergo. Regardless of one’s feelings on the topic, social media is going nowhere, and neither are the influencers. In Turkey as in other wine countries, influencers are big, particularly on Instagram. While their role may be hotly debated elsewhere; here in Turkey they are necessary.
Since 2013, advertising alcohol has been illegal in Turkey. Interpretations of this regulation vary widely. If you’ve ever tried to Google for information about a Turkish winery or their wines and have come up empty, that’s why. Many wineries play it safe by not having a website at all. Others have a “placeholder” website. Some have great websites and provide lots of background information about the winery, the founders, the vineyards…but still no wine. While more and more wineries have their own Instagram accounts, again many of them remain cautious and post pictures of anything vineyard related except the wine.
This is where Turkish wine influencer Instagrammers come in. They, as private citizens, can post their pictures. They can talk about the wine. This is how many people learn about which wines are offered by various wineries. How we all find out about new wines a winery is debuting, new grapes that have been (re)discovered, new wineries have started production.
If you’re curious about wine influencers in Turkey but don’t speak Turkish, never fear! Not only does Instagram have a handy dandy ‘see translation’ option for you, but not all influencers here ‘gram in Turkish. A number of foreigners living in Turkey (yours truly included!) are trying to spread the love of Turkish wine to wider audiences outside the country. The result, Turkish wine influencer accounts come in a variety of languages including Turkish, Mandarin, Ukranian, English, and more.
Who are they? Below is a list of the top 10 accounts to check out.
Adım Adım Gurme
The duo behind this account, Süray and Doğu, have been posting and blogging as Adım Adım Gurme for years now. One of the most popular and influential accounts, they post about wine, beer, food, and general gastronomy. As a wine account they provide great tasting notes, often have food pairing suggestions, and their pictures will make your mouth water! Adım Adım Gurme, which posts in Turkish, also posts under the account @santewineandmore. The couple recently opened a charming wine shop in Istanbul with a fantastic selection.
Atakan Aya, posting under his own name (@atakanaya) and as Tadım Atölyesi features wine, food, and travel and is one of the biggest gastronomy influencers in Turkey. Posting in Turkish from Bodrum, his wine reviews are short and to the point but still informative.
Another account with a huge following, Wine Moments posts in Turkish about both Turkish and international wines. Arty photography, great background information about wines, wineries, and winemakers, and fantastic tasting notes.
Wine Trilogy is fairly new to the scene and therefore has not posted a lot. However, this popular feed has a few unique features that has made it an instant success. Onur Okur, the man behind the account, has created some fantastic infographics in Turkish to explain the hows and whys of wine. His food pairings and wine rating system make this a full-service Instagram account!
Come for the pictures, stay for the notes! Stambulka, who ‘grams in Ukrainian and English, has a beautiful account worth following for her wine photography alone. In addition to that, her tasting notes are fantastic, informative, and fun.
Posting in Turkish, Keyif Notları’s feed does not include a great deal in the way of tasting notes (you can head over to his great website for those). However, his great pictures of wines and beers have earned him quite a few loyal followers!
Not only does Izmir-based Arzu post about the latest wines as they hit the market, she’s so good about pairing everything! If food and wine pairing is where your interest lies, this is the account for you. Great notes, pairing tips, and photography, all combine for an informative and delicious feed!
Seray Kocaemre is a wine and marketing consultant. Through her business, The Wine Story, she posts about wine education, wine notes, conducts live Instagram interviews with winery owners/winemakers, and so much more.
Taste of Turkish Wines
The woman behind Taste of Turkish Wines not only has an ‘in’ with a lot of the wineries here (meaning she gets some great background and technical wine information) but writes beautiful tasting notes in both Mandarin and Turkish (and sometimes English!).
We Need Fine Wine
Another great feed for wine photography, We Need Fine Wine posts from Izmir and Ankara in Turkish and English. Her beautiful compositions give us all wine photography envy!
The Quirky Cork
Indeed, ‘tis I! Your bonus Instagram account! Writing in English about Turkish and international wines (although mostly the former). My account features decent wine photography, infographics about native Turkish grapes, and the occasional appearance from my cats!