There’s often a belief that many “non-Western” cuisines—particularly spicy—ones pair better with beer. I have nothing against a great pint, especially of the local brew, however a well-chosen wine can also do the trick.
As Turkish cuisine, with its spicy eggplant and sumac-dusted kebabs needs intense and spicy wine, one needs to choose carefully. Please see my radio appearance here on Dining Around with Gene Burns about navigating the great food and wine scene in Istanbul.
I recently went to a Turkish restaurant in New York called ABA on West 57th. It is always fun when it is a BYOB place and ran across the street to pick up a spicy wine from the Douro Valley. Many Portuguese wines have the tannins, and spice, to stand up to the intense hot and cool flavors of Turkish food. Another favorite pick would always be Chinon. Domaine Baudry is quite good and easily found around San Francisco for less than $15 a bottle.
Liza the Wine Chick