Many travelers are surprised to hear that Turks make wine. However, there is more than one good reason to taste local wine when you are in Istanbul. Good wine has been produced in Turkey since neolithic Hittite times, and it is still good. The quality of the grapes, and the increasing amount of new producers making Turkish wine getting better everyday. Turkey offers an array of different wines and styles including domestic varieties. Several of Anatolia's climatic regions, including the Marmara and Aegean, the East and the Southeast, some with volcanic soil (such as Cappadocia), are suitable for producing wine grapes.
Here are few of the best wine tasting spots that would give you the chance to taste best of the Turkish wines:
Rouge Wine House is located in the heart of Istanbul, on a pedestrian-only quarter called Talimhane centrally located right off Taksim. It was founded by Mehmet Yalcin, founder of Gusto Magazin (a wine and food magazine), which has been published since 2001. Mehmet Yalcin is also a columnist for one of the national newspapers, Milliyet. Rouge Wine House has a bistro upstairs, and a shop in the cellar carrying more than 250 types of Turkish and International wines. Sundays are "bring your own wine" day at Rouge, and the corkage fee is 30TL(~$15). They also host wine workshops on the weekends. Location
Sensus Wine and Cheese Boutique is an excellent wine boutique carrying more than five hundred types of Turkish wines. This would be the best place to learn about the Turkish wines, grapes, culture, and try all the different types coming from every corner of Turkey. It is located right next to Galata Tower underneath Anemon Hotel. One of the most unique and hard-to-find Turkish wines could be tasted here on wooden communal tables. There is also a great selection of Turkish cheese paired with wines. Sensus is a great date spot for many people. Location
Corvus Wine & Bite
Corvus only carries their own wine, which comes from a small Turkish island called Bozcaada (Tenedos), located at the north of Aegean sea, just outside of the Dardanelles. Bozcaada, formerly a Greek island, has a windy climate, which makes the climate dry and warm enough to grow grapes. Corvus, the largest wine maker in Turkey, has introduced the modern wine making techniques to the island. Corvus Wine & Bite also has a great selection of small dishes that are mainly made with the ingredients brought from Bozcaada. Location
Four Seasons Hotel Sultanahmet, set in the hostorical peninsula, provides wine tasting events for people to enjoy the last day of the week. Every Friday at 7pm, you have the chance to have a journey through Turkish vineyards and beyond. Different types of wines made by producers located at different parts of Turkey accompanied by Italian, French and Turkish cheese. Wine tasting events starts in October, and stops during summer months. However, you should double check it with the hotel management before you go. Location
İncirli Şaraphane has a large selection of boutique wines in their cellar. Over a hundred different wine brands are served by the glass, and more than five hundred could be purchased by the bottle. Incirli knows how to pair them with their large cheese selection. This location frequently hosts a variety of seminars and events, so it would be good to make reservations before you go. Location