Updated Date : 15.01.2022
Wine Houses in Istanbul
You do not think these lands that could produce anything for thousands of years could never make wine, would you?
It's okay if it comes to eating grapes and wine leaves. But if we are talking about wine, Turkey is quite neglected. There can be many reasons. It could be that Islam is the main religion. Taxes can be high for both the producer and the seller. Or the cause can be that the most characteristic white wine grape leaves are used for the famous "appetizer" called "wrap" (rolled grape leaves).
Let's underline two essential details.
1st: Living in Turkey is like having neighbors from all different religions. This causes different cultures to blend over time.
2nd: Turkey is located between the essential for wine production latitudes 30 and 50. This means that it receives the required amount of precipitation, climatic conditions, soil fertility, and sun.
Yet, wine production has gained speed since 2015. The vineyards are well settled in years. Not only producers but also locals started to demand wine. This led restaurant owners to pay more attention to wine when opening a place. Over time, sites began to be open specifically for wine.
So let's talk about the wine spots and where to drink like a local when you are in Istanbul.
1- SOLERA WINE HOUSE - Beyoglu
Feeling like home! This is what you feel the moment you step into Solera Wine House. Suleyman, the founder of Solera, dedicated his life to wine yards. This place is one of the first wine spots opened in Istanbul. Of course, you can order a glass or a bottle, but we recommend trying the "wine tasting." Sommeliers will help you with your orders according to your taste, budget, and interest. If Suleyman is there, he will be happy to recommend you from the list. With your order, do not forget to try the cheese plate too!
2- SENSUS - Galata
A very hidden corner of the center of the city. Right next to Galata Tower you will meet with Anemon Hotel. Sensus Wine House has located a floor down from the lobby. It's like opening the gate to a magic land. With more than 350 varieties of local wine, Sensus had always been the trendiest wine spot for locals and travelers. The flawless interior décor identifies with wine. Perfect for people who want an authentic ambiance while drinking wine.
3- FOXY NISANTASI - Nisantasi
Famous sommelier Levon Bagis and renowned chef Maksut Askar finally met and gathered their powers at Foxy! The vibe of the street is fresh and beautiful. It is located in the Nisantasi district, as we call Manhattan's Soho in Istanbul. But comparing to its fanciness, Foxy offers you the real Anatolian boutique wines for such reasonable prices. Incomparable bites by chef and conscientiously selected wines by the best researcher sommelier are waiting for you at Foxy.
4- BEYOGLU SARAPHANESI - Beyoglu
Beyoğlu wine house is the best initiative made in its region in 2019. Levon Bagis is giving consultancy to the wine house. Not only the wine list but also the atmosphere of the place is on fire. This place is offering an opportunity of great comfort to the visitors. We can recommend this place especially for couples since it has been remembered with romance stories throughout history.
5- VIKTOR LEVI WINE HOUSE - Kadikoy
Kadikoy (on the Asian side) knows it well: Viktor Levi is the most remarkable wine house here. It would help if you first asked locals where the old Rexx cinema is. As you walk towards the Rexx, you will see a gate that looks like any Kadikoy doors in one of the backstreets. Of course, "Viktor Levi" should be written on it. A magical world awaits you when you walk in. Viktor Levi was the child of a fisherman family in Gallipoli. He realizes his love for wine there and in Tenedos (Bozcaada). There are also imported and local cheese varieties and meat dishes.
6- PANO SARAPHANESI - Beyoglu
One of the wine spots to remember. Pano found in 1898 by Panayot Papadopulus. It brings the legacy of the Panayot family with a Greek-Turkish (Rum) origin from the Samatya quarter. After it was closed in the 1980s, it was purchased by Fevzi Buyukerol in 1997 to be restored. Even it worked as a "meze spot" for a while, and then it changed into a wine house again. Now for those looking for a wine spot where they can have dinner, Pano is what you are looking for. The guests of this wine house are not ordinary. They are loyal regulars. This situation attracts the attention of the tourists who hears Pano's name.
7- HAZZO PULO SARAP HOUSE - Beyoglu
Sip wine in 150 years of history. Another unique and protected wine spot for years in the Beyoglu area. This wine spot stands out with its own and exceptional wines. The atmosphere of the place makes you feel in a wine cellar. You can find wines from all over Turkey. This is precisely one of the places that we say "has that spirit."
The Final word
You have read the list of wine houses above we have chosen for you. But whichever you go to, you will find something that will connect you there.
Surrender yourself to the sommelier. Get their ideas and place your order. Some wine spots do wine pairing; some of them like to do it. So do not leave the place without even a bite.