If you are fond of fermented grape wine, you can visit various local wine houses where you can find different and delicious kinds of wine in Istanbul.
At these shops, you can find international wine selections aside from local wine and also enjoy delicious cousins that go well with wine. In this post, you can find the best wine houses both in the European and Asian side of Istanbul.
Before I start the article, I would like to point out that Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on Istanbul restaurants and the entertainment industry. For this reason, I recommend that you confirm in advance whether the places you want to go are open.
Best Wine Houses in Istanbul
The best wine houses of Istanbul are generally located in Beyoglu, Sisli and Kadikoy districts. Beyoglu district includes Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Galata and Karakoy. Since most of the places on our list are in these neighborhoods, we can say that Beyoglu is the best place to drink wine in Istanbul.
On our list, there are 9 premium wine shops in Istanbul where you can taste and buy wine. Most of them are also wine bars where you can have appetizers and have fun while drinking your wine.
You will notice that the names of most of the wine houses we propose in the article end with “Sarap Evi”. This term means Wine House in Turkish.
1. Viktor Levi Sarap Evi
Viktor Levi Sarap Evi is located on a side alley on the way to the dock in Kadikoy from Rexx Movie Theater. As the name suggests, it is a place where the owners produce their wine.
The owner of the place, Viktor Levi, was born in Gallipoli as the son of a fisher family. Viktor Levi’s wine-producing story started in Bozcaada and it continues at a garden of a mansion that has a historical atmosphere. Being one of the oldest wine houses in Istanbul, the wine at Viktor Levi is made of various grapes from all around Turkey.
You should also note that in addition to wine, you can find local and import cheese options, liver and other meat choices at Viktor Levi, and enjoy a nice meal while having your wine.
If you like fruit wine, you can also try cherry wine at Viktor Levi. Moreover, warm appetizers and olive oil dishes menus are rich at this place.
Victor Levi has been among the best wine houses in Istanbul in recent years. Since it is on the Asian side, it is a bit far from those who stay in Taksim and Sultanahmet. However, Kadikoy is one of the must-see places in Istanbul, and when you go there, you can taste local wines at Victor Levi.
2. Hazzo Pulo Sarap Evi
Hazzo Pulo Sarap Evi is located at Asmalimescit in Beyoglu and it boasts an atmosphere that reminds visitors of a wine cellar. The place maintains its original architecture and has been serving its customers in the same place for years.
Hazzo Pulo offers wine made of various grapes from different parts of Turkey and a rich food menu. A rich cheese plate, appetizers, seafood, fried mushroom or Vienne style schnitzel are some of the options you can go for at Hazzo Pulo.
If you enjoy spending time in a historical atmosphere, Hazzo Pulo will be an excellent choice.
3. Incirli Saraphane
Incirli Saraphane is located at Kurucesme and known as the biggest wine house in Turkey thanks to its 650 wine options. This place used to be an old wine factory and it was restored in 2012 to be reopened as Incirli Saraphane.
“Art Pizza” that is cooked in the wood oven, various local and import cheese, and charcuterie are the options to enjoy your wine with.
On its cheese and charcuterie corner, you can find kasseri cheese from Kars, rested cave cheese, tulum cheese (goat’s milk cheese), and Bosnian pastrami without cumin are some of the choices you can go for.
Additionally, the food menu at Incirli Saraphane gets richer continually by special additions such as “Black Truffle Mushroom Pizza”. For the sweet wine lovers, tiramisu and cheesecake flavor wines are some options at Incirli Saraphane.
The place boasts a cool atmosphere where you may also come across DJ and live music performances.
This wine house has been closed for a long time during the Covid-19 pandemic. For this reason, I recommend you to check whether it is open before you go.
4. Kav Sarap Butik Tesvikiye
Kav Sarap Butik Tesvikiye was opened by Kavaklidere, one of the oldest wine producers of Turkey, at Tunus Street in Ankara in 1988 and it has 4 branches, Ankara, Nisantasi, Uchisar (Cappadocia), and Alsancak, today.
At these boutiques, in addition to local wine, you can also find high segment import wine. Apart from wine, various wine accessories and wine cabinets are also sold at these boutiques. Kav Sarap Butik Tesvikiye, however, offers a different concept and serves as a restaurant too.
Kav Sarap Butik Tesvikiye boasts around 500 different wine selections, be it the wine of local producers or the finest wine brands from all around the world. You can either buy your wine at the shop or enjoy it by paying a little more at Kav Sarap Butik.
Kav Butik is open every day from 10:00 to 01:00 and you can ask for guidance and help from the trained staff of the boutique. Moreover, the interior design of the place made by wine bottles will surely attract your attention too.
Kav Butik is one of the wine houses that have been closed for a long time during the Covid-19 process. For this reason, I recommend you to check whether it is open before you go. One of the two restaurants that did not open during the post-Covid normalization period was Kav Butik and the other was Incirli Saraphane in the previous row.
5. Tarihi Pano Saraphanesi
Tarihi Pano Saraphanesi was opened by Panayot Papadopulus to sell wine in 1898 and it carries the memories of Panayot, who was from a Greek family at Samatya.
After Panayot’s death, the wine house was managed by his relatives. Then, it was taken over by Emel Hanim. The wine house was shut down after Emel Hanim’s death in 1987 and it was bought by Fevzi Buyukerol to be restored in 1997.
Pano Sarap Evi is regarded as one of the best wine houses in Beyoglu (Taksim) and it also served as meyhane shortly. Later, it started to serve as a wine house and renamed as Pano Saraphanesi.
Apart from wine, delicious steaks, cheese plates, and shrimp casserole are some of the items in the food menu that are worth trying.
One of the most popular accommodation places in Istanbul is Taksim. Pano is located within walking distance for those staying around Taksim Square. You can also reach Pano, one of the best wine restaurants in Istanbul, by a 10-minute taxi ride from Sultanahmet (Old City).
6. Sensus Wine
Sensus Wine is located under Anemon Hotel at Galata and it offers more than 400 wine options.
Sensus is the first wine boutique dedicated to Turkish wine and cheese. Therefore, you can order cheese and fruit while you enjoy your wine. Sensus Wine aims at serving good quality wine at affordable prices and it’s a must-go place due to its interesting and special décor, and its various wine choices.
The place also organizes wine tasting days and although it looks like a small place from the outside, you will be amazed by an impressive atmosphere when you enter the shop.
Sensus is a wine shop close to Galata Tower, one of the most important touristic spots in Istanbul. If you are staying in Taksim or Sultanahmet, you can choose Sensus Wine to buy wine from Istanbul.
7. Lal Sarap Evi
Lal Sarap Evi is located at Kadife Street, known as the bars street in Kadikoy and the place is decorated in a vintage style. You can enjoy your wine by the fireplace at this place and it’s open until 02:00 in the morning.
8. Hera Sarap Evi
Hera Sarap Evi serves its customers at a three-story Greek house on Kadife Street at Kadikoy and two different concepts are offered in the same building.
Besides wine, you can find cheese, appetizers, warm starters, and meat options as well. Some of the specialties include snacking plate that includes fresh vegetable hash browns with fried goat cheese, charcuterie plate or crepe.
Red and white barreled wine is consumed frequently at Hera, where you can listen to DJ performances too.
Kadife Street, where Lal and Hera are located, is a place famous for its bars. Kadife Sokak, where you can experience Kadikoy’s nightlife, is also home to the best wine bars in Istanbul.
9. Merlot Sarap Evi
Merlot Sarap Evi is located at Feneryolu in Bagdat Street (strolling and shopping avenue in the Asian Side of Istanbul) and it stands out with its Cappadocia wine.
At Merlot Sarap Evi, you can have lunch on Saturday and Sunday and it offers rich options to wine fans and it boasts a warm atmosphere.
Written by Serhat Engul