2120x0x Old city lends new meaning to 'supermarket wine.'
- Jul 4, 2014
Old city lends new meaning to 'supermarket wine.'
By Stephen Meuse
ISTANBUL, Turkey. Some cities are wrapped in fog or smog; Istanbul is swaddled with antiquity and exoticism. No doubt when the emperor Constantine established this city as a purpose-built Imperial capital in the fourth century of the common era he did so with the idea that it would remain eternally youthful and relevant - such is the classical dream. From that time until the present, through good times and bad, the city has been the very model of a worldly, cosmopolitan, if not always modern, metropolis, as fortuitously situated as a city could well be to both administer a far-flung empire and control lucrative trade routes.
We step into a supermarket that is so beautifully lit and organized it would (or should) make Whole Foods blush. Momentarily transfixed before a Krispy Kreme kiosk, we wander off in search of the wine department - if there is one. There is, and it's extensive with a majority of Turkish offerings and a fair selection of European wines familiar to us. I spot, for example, a red and a white from old favorite Vaucluse producer Chateau Valcombe. But the real surprises are in a special upright cooler case where we spy what you see in the photo above: a 2004 Gaja DOC Langhe wine priced at 1010 turkish lira - around $550 - and 2001 La Mission Haut Brion at 1189TL (around $650).