Situated on Yeni Çarşı Caddesi, just a few minutes’ walk from the hustle and bustle of Istiklal, this place is a great little find. It’s a small specialist wine bar, with a varied selection of local and international wines available by the glass and by the bottle. It has a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere, aided by the muted lighting and low-key music. The walls are covered with black and white photos of somewhere that looks like China: I’m not sure why.
We visited on a Wednesday evening so we didn’t voyage too extensively through the wine list. We opted for two Turkish red wines that neither of us had seen before, an Öküzgözü/Boğazkere blend by Sevilen, and a Kalecik Karası by Pamukkale. These are Anatolian varieties of grape that are not found anywhere else outside of Turkey, and produce interesting wines that tend towards the dry and robust. I enjoy them when done well, but they are certainly a different style when compared with a typical UK supermarket bottle. Here, I got black forest fruit and pepper from the Öküzgözü/Boğazkere; the Kalecik Karası didn’t seem to have much nose but did have cherry and strawberry on the palate. Both were pretty reasonable value at 13TL for a glass.
I think I will enjoy returning here to explore the rest of the menu. I did notice that they have a fairly thorough selection of Turasan wines, which to me is a good sign as this has been my favourite brand of Turkish wine so far. Other customers were enjoying nice looking plates of cheese and meat along with their wines: another reason to return.
Location: Yeni Çarşı Caddesi No. 44 (off Istiklal, just down from Galatasaray Lisesi).