Date: 13 November 2012
Location: Istanbul
Wine: Vinkara 2010 Narince Doruk
Cuisine: Turkish-Scandinavian

Wine List: In the heart of Istanbul’s trendy Beyoğlu district, Mikla’s wine list represents a wide array of Turkish producers, including wines made from both local and international grapes. Impressively, no borders exist on this list; you will find representation from every major wine-producing country, including Austria, Portugal and the USA. Furthermore, the list is fairly priced despite the painfully high VAT exacted upon wines in Turkey.

Pick: The first three of us to arrive knew we’d have a while for everyone to gather, so we called for a bottle. Our wait was a welcome. Seated in Mikla’s bar, we gazed out upon the most impressive views of Istanbul’s mosques, towers and bridges. Looking for a quaffer from a local variety, the white, autochthonous Narince received a unanimous vote after we saw no varietal Emir (another white Turkish grape) listed. All three of us knew Turkish wines well, and we agreed we wanted our Narince to show lots of freshness and no evident oak. Vinkara’s 2010 Narince Doruk was the answer as it was the youngest vintage available and because this producer is a specialist in local varieties. As our merry group slowly expanded to eight, we ordered another bottle…as much for the wine as for the view.