Turkish Wine and Wine History

There are countless civilizations that left a mark in Anatolia, where Turkey’s majority resides. And every piece of culture they left is still held dear in every corner of Istanbul. The same goes for wine and wine houses. In 2000 BC, the Hittite Civilization gave great value to vineyards, wheat, and barley. The most valuable products, barley and grapes, were offered to the Hittite god. It is known that there are gold drinking vessels and ceramic grape serving dishes from this period. Viticulture was also given importance in cultures after the Hittite civilization. 

Phrygians and Persian civilizations also gave great importance to viticulture and grapes. The Hittites migrated to the west. He gave importance to viticulture in Crete and Aegean regions in the west. Wine trade and wine houses spread from here to the Thrace region. Especially in provinces such as Çanakkale, Tekirdağ, and Edirne, wine has started to be produced frequently. In the Aegean region, İzmir stands out with its wine production.

What to Eat with Wine?

A different appetizer is recommended with each wine. Thus, it is thought that the quality and taste will increase. Soft and fresh cheese varieties are recommended alongside white wine. Some consume it with goat cheese or cheddar. White wine is said to go well with white meats such as chicken or fish. However, this is just advice. 

Since red wine has a more pungent taste, consuming it with moldy or hard cheeses is recommended. It is known to be drunk, especially with herbaceous cheese and aged cheddar. It is recommended to drink red wine with red meat or spicy dishes. For example, Kalecik Karası wine is often consumed alongside the chicken. In addition, there are people who consume grilled appetizers, pasta, and wine. Just be sure that the best wine houses in Istanbul will offer you a variety.

Best Wine Houses of Istanbul

Istanbul is home to various cultures. Wine is a liquor produced in various countries and in different types. Most restaurants today have a choice of wine or a selection of drinks. But some restaurants are directly recognized as wine houses. Here are the 5 best wine houses in Istanbul that have received the highest score from their customers;

Pano Wine House /Galata

Pano Wine House was founded in 1898 by Panayot Papadulos. He used to sell the wines coming from Bozcaada in barrels discreetly in Beyoğlu. Pano Wine House is one of the oldest wine houses in Istanbul. There are many kinds of local and foreign wines. Among the appetizers to be consumed with wine, options include a mixed cheese plate and a cold appetizer plate. Apart from this, it is also appreciated with many of their main dishes.

Victor Levi Wine House/ Kadıköy

Victor Levi was a sardine seller from Gallipoli. He went to Bozcaada one day to buy sardines and got an insight about selling grapes. Then he brought sardines to Istanbul but saw that the demand for wine was much higher. Then he opened a wine restaurant named after himself. After Victor Levi died, his cousin Yasef Levi ran the winery for a while. It was acquired by Fevzi Büyükerol in 1999. It is still run by this person. This wine house offers different wines, such as sour cherry and pomegranate wine. It has an authentic atmosphere with imported or local cheese platters, salads, pasta, and various main courses. It also provides the opportunity to try all world wines and dishes.

Hazzo Pulo Wine House / Beyoğlu

This wine house has a history of 150 years. The structure of the restaurant has remained intact for years. It offers a chance to eat and drink with authentic live music. They offer wines from almost every part of Turkey, from Thrace to Diyarbakir. Meat dishes are served on wooden plates, fish is cooked on a coal fire. It is appreciated with its mulberry dessert and mushroom roast. In addition to wine, there are other drinks such as raki and beer.

Solera Winery / Beyoglu

Offering many local and foreign wines, this restaurant draws attention with its warm interior. When you enter, a small and friendly place welcomes you. It is possible to say that it is quieter than other places. It pleases you with its various appetizers.

Sensus Galata Wine Boutique /Galata

Known as a boutique winery, this wine house pleases its customers with affordable prices. Many wines are hanging on the walls that create a complementary decoration. You can both buy and drink wine at home or drink it there. A place that will delight you with pizza, pancakes, pasta, appetizers, and more.

Other wine venues in Istanbul are listed as follows;


  • Bordo Wine House

  • Merlot Wine House

  • Hera

  • Mila Wine House


  • Ambiyans

  • Mahzen


  • Misket

  • Rosida Wine House

  • Sensus


  • Süryani Wine House

  • Murat Wine House

They all are around tourist attractions. Hence you can explore the city after tasting at the best wine houses. You can visit the passages in Beyoğlu and look at the view from the Galata Tower, try the flavors of the world and take lots of photos. You can taste hot and cold at the wineries. You can also find the restaurant appetizer that best suits your taste

Frequently Asked Question

What are the best places for wine houses in Istanbul?
Cesme Bagcilik, La Sarapcilik, La Cave Sarap
Is alcohol legal in Turkey?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 can buy and consume alcohol.
What is the national alcoholic beverage in Turkey?
Are wine houses in Istanbul good?
With history longer than several thousand centuries, wine houses in Istanbul will surely be a nice experience to visit.
Can children visit wine houses in Istanbul?
With their parents or guardians, children can also visit wine houses but the personnel will not offer them wine.