The Best Wine Bars in Toronto
The best wine bars in Toronto are places to discover grape varietals and regions that you've yet to try. While the wine options at the LCBO are better than ever, the wonderful thing about drinking by the glass at a bar is that an expert has done the choosing for you, and if you don't happen to like what you've ordered, you can just move on to the next option.
Here are the best wine bars in Toronto.
Midfield continues to lead the way when it comes to the spirt of a true wine bar. The food menu is one of the city's most underrated thanks to Chef Leah Marshall Hannon, but the vibe of the place never skews too far toward restaurant. The introduction of a Coravin list has meant that the by-the-glass options are consistently the most interesting in Toronto.
Archive gets the true ethos of the wine bar - there's no need for anything more than small plates of food if you're not trying to be a restaurant. The wine list sets itself apart by focusing on Ontario offerings (though not exclusively), the vast majority of which you won't see in the LCBO. It's a great date spot, though it gets busy (and loud) on Fridays and Saturdays.
Formerly Jamie Kennedy's Wine Bar, the rebranded version sticks to a number of principles espoused by the old tenant. The menu of small plates leans heavily on local ingredients and is designed to offer plenty of pairing options. Wine-wise, the roughly 25 bottle list makes everything available by the glass and features plenty of options that won't break the bank.
A Financial District staple, Reds also has a midtown outpost at Yonge and Gerrard. Both locations function more as restaurants than true wine bars, but to their credit, they have huge by-the-glass lists, which means that you can explore a wide variety of regions and varietals without committing to a full bottle.
The longstanding Yorkville location is no more, but Caren's in Rosedale is a vibrant spot with a bistro-style menu and an impressive selection of wines by the glass. While it feels very much like a restaurant, the piano at the front gives the space a lounge-like vibe after dinner service.
Cibo Wine Bar boasts three locations around Toronto and a few more south of the border. The concept is essentially a resto-bar, where the focus is on wine rather than cocktails. If you're into Italian wine (particularly red) you'll find plenty to make you happy here. Serving until 2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday ensures a party vibe through the weekend.
If you like Italian wine, you could get your bank account into a bit of trouble at Bricco. Along with a rustic but superbly prepared menu of Italian favourites like grilled octopus, wild boar sausage, and some of the best tagliatelle with tomato sauce I've ever had, there's an expertly curated wine list that highlights intriguing varietals and lesser-known regions.
The choice destination for wine around Yonge and Eglinton, SIP is more restaurant than wine bar, but it does tend to feature a small crowd at the bar snacking on apps and sampling the by-the-glass list, which is Italian-heavy, but well selected. The Enomatic machine ensures that each glass arrives at a pristine temperature and without a hint of oxidization.
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