Friday, January 20, 2012


If you enjoy trying new Turkish wines and eating cheese, then this is the deal for you.

Every Friday, usually only during the winter months, the Four Seasons Hotel in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul offers a wine and cheese tasting. This lovely event offers you the chance to try different Turkish wines while noshing on a splendid display of cheeses and olives. Now, this is my idea of a good time!

Earlier this month, we made a reservation and took our U.S. friends to the Four Seasons' wine tasting event. We've been before and enjoyed ourselves silly so much so a taxi was required to get home instead of the nearby tram.

When the four of us went, we tried a wine flight featuring a white, one rose and two reds produced by Büyülübağ. This Turkish wine producer apparently is known for its Bordeaux-style wines. We certainly favored the cabernet sauvignon, which has won some international awards according to the company's website.
The four wines we tasted at the Four Seasons in Sultanahmet. Of course, you can ask for refills on your favorite ones.
Just like the wine-producing island of Bozcaada, Büyülübağ was founded, by Alp Törüner, on another Turkish island, called Avşa Adası (Avşa Island), located in the southern Sea of Marmara. The winery is located in the middle of the vineyards and can produce up to 200,000 liters of wine a year. Sounds like we need another road trip! (Has anyone been here?)

There also was a wine rep from Büyülübağ that stopped by our table. At least I was able to tell her in Turkish which wines we liked more and that the wine was "çok güzel."

In addition to the wines, we filled ourselves up on the bountiful cheeses, jams and Turkish olives.
The cheese buffet included about 12 different kinds of cheeses. I was in heaven!
 I especially enjoyed sampling a rather spicy cheese curd from the Hatay/Antakya region called Çökelek served in a rosemary Turkish olive oil bath. Yum!
Please excuse the blurry photo from my phone - at least you can see what the spicy cheese curds
look like. At first, we thought this was a bowlful of meatballs! =)
Afiyet olsun!

For your own fun Turkish wine and cheese night, you must make reservations by calling 0212 402 3156. Cost is 40 TL per person for the wine flight and open cheese buffet.

Each week, the Four Seasons in Sultanahmet features a wine flight from a different producer, grape or region.

We found Büyülübağ wine available at:

La Cave, Kılıçali Paşa Mah., Sıraselviler Caddesi no. 109, Cihangir

Sensus Wine & Cheese Boutique, Büyükhendek Caddesi No. 5 Kuledibi, near the Galata Tower

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8 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

that looks wonderful! i want to go!!!

Joy said...

Great deal! Wish I was there again this Friday night. =)

Julia said...

Sounds great and I love the interior of the 4 Seasons as well. I bet it feels like a really good treat. I think we'd need a taxi, too! ;)

Joy said...

@Julia, hopefully, the next time you are in Istanbul, it will coincide with a Sarap Friday night. Cheers!

claire handleman said...

how does turkish wine compare to let's say your favorite french, australian or south african? do you prefer it? i've never had and am curious!

Duke Dillard said...

Looks great Joy. If they ever feature Cappadocian wines, you should definitely go check it out and let us know what you think. Or even better just come to Cappadocia and try some. I thought the last picture was meatballs as well. Sounds like a great time.

Joy said...

@Claire, the quality of Turkish wines very a great, great deal! Often, they aren't stored properly either so we've bought several bottles that were corked. I def. miss a good rioja or spicy shiraz, but the Turkish wines are decent and we've found several brands we like now, esp. Corvus. Sometimes the wines are a bit too sharp but then you get some that are pretty good.

Joy said...

@Duke, I've been to Cappadocia twice now and loved it! Would love to come and visit again if we can. =) I think the best wine we had from there was at the Tursan winery and I buy it here every now and then. Any other recommendations?

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