Wine is like a good friend who’s always there when you need it. Think about it, would The Bachelor even be complete without that glass of Chardonnay in hand? Or would your Friday night potluck be the same without a few quenching sips of rosé? Spoiler alert: heck no. But the true artistry of wine is brought out when paired with delicious fare. These swanky spots are pouring up delectable wines from vineyards all around the world and serving up sophisticated cuisine that pair perfectly with your pick. Perfect for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike, these are the best wine bars in Canada to hit as you sip your way across the country… because wine not? We’ll cheers to that *clink*.
Best Wine Bars in Vancouver
L’Ufficio Wine Bar
Find it: 3687 W 4th Ave., laquercia.ca
The atmosphere: Take a seat at the wooden bar inside this laid-back Italian locale and you’ll be immediately transfixed by the the mouthwatering display of cheeses and the endless bottles lining the bar.
Prices: $10 to $20 per glass, $55 to $1200 per bottle
Must sip: Tenuta San Leonardo’s “San Leonardo” from Trentino, Italy, a Bordeaux style red wine (it’s food friendly) with a full body and bright, fruity taste. The notes of leather and mushroom make for a unique aroma
The fare: Italian-style small plates and handheld bites from La Quercia, the rest next door. The two spots share the same kitchen and owners, and their burrata, a soft Italian cheese topped with pesto, beets and walnuts, is to die for
Brix & Mortar
Find it: 1138 Homer St., brixandmortar.ca
The atmosphere: This upscale Yaletown joint is located in a historical brick building for an elegant mix of old and new. Sparkly chandeliers hang over the winding granite bar and wine bottles are showcased on backlit shelves.
Prices: $6 to $44 per glass, $11 to $16 per flight, $40 to $680 per bottle
Must sip: C.C. Jentsch Estate’s “Syrah,” a full-bodied red wine or Culmina Family Estate’s “Unicus,” a sweet and dry white that makes it a great food wine. Bonus: they’re both from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia
The fare: Modern yet rustic Canadian dishes using local ingredients, like the Vancouver Island lingcod with carrot and ginger puree, herbed rice and chimichurri or the colourful Hannah Brook Farms summer greens
Salt Tasting Room
Find it: 45 Blood Alley Square, salttastingroom.com
The atmosphere: This dimly-lit Gastown tasting room will make you feel like you’re in an underground wine cellar thanks to the long wooden table, racks upon racks of wine bottles and rustic-meets-industrial vibe.
Prices: $5 to $12 per glass, $15 per flight, $30 to $145 per bottle
Must sip: Jay Paulson’s “Ex Nihilo” from the Okanagan Valley, a Merlot that tastes like lively, light fruit to start, with deeper notes of dark plums, black cherries, cherries and homemade jam that kick in later.
The fare: A delectable roster of artisan cheese and cured meats that are just begging to be shared—and paired with their hand-picked wine list, of course
Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar
Find it: 900 Seymour St., uvavancouver.com
The atmosphere: Tucked inside the Moda Hotel, this ultra modern bar has everything one would need for their next after-hours outing: sleek leather seating, bright red décor and an expansive selection of liquor (#score).
Prices: $11 to $29 per glass, $16 to $18 per flight, $40 to $155 per bottle
Must sip: Moris Farms’ “Avvoltore” from Maremma, Italy, an earthy and fruity red wine made with a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes
The fare: Charcuterie plates, a-la-carte dishes and other antipasti, like marinated octopus, chickpea dip and finger-licking parmesan garlic fries
The Wine Bar
Find it: 1167 Marinaside Cres., thewinebar.ca
The atmosphere: Between the eye-catching light fixtures to the tinted blue windows and the shiny granite bar, this intimate wine bar (which has over 177 wines, nbd) proves that simple and sleek is the perfect backdrop for a late-night drink.
Prices: $8 to $110 per glass, $35 to $3,000 per bottle
Must sip: The Blanc de Blancs from West Essex, England, a sparkling white wine with bright acidity and a finish that tastes like lemon curd
The fare: Small to big bites inspired by the chef’s hometown of Provence, France, from steamed mussels to frog legs and crispy baguette dipped in balsamic and oil
Best Wine Bars in Calgary
Find it: 4th St. SW, 8561 8A Ave. SW, vinroom.com
The atmosphere: Your choice of Vin Room location definitely depends on your wine bar aesthetic, but one of its two chic spots is sure to fulfill all of your needs. The Mission location is very bold with the abstract paintings and eye-catching tiles, while the West location is for the minimalist with geometric light fixtures, white brick walls and neutral colour palette.
Prices: $3 to $67.5 per glass, $18.75 to $37.75 per flight, $38 to $1196 per bottle
Must sip: The Milamore from Argentina, which is made in an Amarone style that leaves the grapes out to dry for a longer period of time, creating a fruity and juicy red wine
The fare: Cheese and charcuterie platters, happy hour eats and a tapas menu equipped with finger foods fit for any palette and wine selection, including crab cakes, calamari and some delicious dips
Find it: 1131 Kensington Rd. NW, winebarkensington.com
The atmosphere: A hint of French bistro, thanks to a chalkboard menu, exposed pipes and a plenty of leather and wood accents. This urban wine bar is located on the lower level of Brasserie Kensington for your next late-night wine fix.
Prices: $9 to $15 per glass, $39 to $250 per bottle
Must sip: Kechribari’s Retsina from Thessaloniki, Greece, a white with notes of pine that’s made using the ancient tradition of storing the wine in a clay pot with pine resin (a tree sap) to make it more palatable
The fare: A from-scratch tapas-style menu just begging to be shared with a group of your closest girlfriends. Try the truffle cheese fondue for a decadent treat or go the classic route with the chef’s selection of cheese and meat
Bar Von Der Fels
Find it: 1005A 1 St. SW, barvonderfels.com
The atmosphere: This minimalist wine bar has been opened for a little over a year and it still remains an under-the-radar gem in the Beltline. With bare grey walls, a steel bar and an open kitchen, the focus is all on the delectable wine.
Prices: $45 to $1,475 per bottle
Must sip: Georges Descombes Morgon’s “Vieilles Vignes” from Beaujolais, France, a red wine with a tart aroma of cherry and black raspberry and an acidic, yet earthy taste
The fare: A fusion of European-Asian eats with a gourmet touch. Standouts: the escargot doughnuts topped with leek and labneh (a Middle Eastern cheese) and the cauliflower with sea urchin and gremolata (an herb-based Italian condiment)
Find it: 306 17 Ave. SW, pigeonholeyyc.ca
The atmosphere: Contemporary-meets-old-fashioned at this colourful wine bar. The green tiled bar and bright orange seats feel so right now with the white tiled ceilings and sleek wood floors.
Prices: $11 to $50 per glass, $60 to $290 per bottle
Must sip: BK Wines’ “Springs Hill” from McLaren Vale, Australia, a red with lots of bright and deep notes made from the blend of Mourvedre, Shiraz and Grenache grapes
The fare: Small, shareable and incredibly unique tapas-sized plates, like the rave-worthy ricotta dumplings with brown butter and black truffle or the duck pancakes with a peanut remoulade (a French aioli), scallions and slaw
Frenchie Wine Bar
Find it: 618 17th Ave. SW, frenchieyyc.com
The atmosphere: This 15-seat bar takes the word intimate to a whole new level. The maroon leather seating, tiled floors and dark wood make this cozy wine bar an ideal spot for a romantic date.
Prices: $11 to $24 per glass, $250 per bottle
Must sip: Meinklang’s “Graupert Pinot Gris” from Burgenland, Austria, an orange or “skin contact” wine, meaning the white grapes’ skin is left on. It smells like honey, pear and almond and has lively acidity and buttery, creamy texture at first sip.
The fare: A French selection of artisanal meats and cheeses. Try Le Grand Crème, a soft cow’s cheese with the salty Beef Bresaola
Best Wine Bars in Edmonton
Tzin Wine & Tapas
Find it: 10115 104 St. NW, tzin.ca
The atmosphere: No matter how cold it is in the city, you’ll instantly feel warm as soon as you step inside this Spanish eatery, thanks to the fiery red walls, comfortable pillows along the booth and the full-bodied wine.
Prices: $8 to $25 per glass, $48 to $175 per bottle
Must sip: Bodegas Atalaya’s “Alaya Tierra” from Almansa, Spain is not for the faint of heart—this concoction is almost black in colour and the notes are just as intense (ripe black fruit, damp earth and bay leaf)
The fare: Spanish and Canadian-style tapas, from a rich seafood paella to Albertan bison meatballs and a fish-of-the-day
The Wine Room
Find it: 10525 Jasper Ave., thewineroom.ca
The atmosphere: Like a private Italian wine cellar, this warm locale has wine barrels holding up the bar, beautiful curved archways and brick peaking out from behind the plastered walls.
Prices: $1.75 to over $20 per ounce, $45 to $3,000+ per bottle
Must sip: Signorello Estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley in California. This dense and full-bodied wine is an inky purple colour with notes of charcoal, graphite, blackcurrants and blueberries
The fare: Mouthwatering charcuterie boards with an array of cheeses, meats, breads and fruits that pair perfectly with your wine
The Bothy Wine & Whisky Bar
Find it: 5482 Calgary Trail NW, thebothy.ca
The atmosphere: This casual lounge and bar is similar to a traditional Scottish pub with its wooden chairs, extensive selection of whisky and wine and laid-back vibes—it’s definitely a no-fuss place to unwind after a looong week.
Prices: $5.50 to $12 per glass for dessert wines, $40 to $695 per bottle for all the wines
Must sip: The Hess Collection’s “Allomi” from Napa Valley, California, a Cabernet Sauvignon with an intense and complex flavouring of black cherry, raspberry, plums, blackberry and spicy oak
The fare: Scottish apps and entrées (yes, they have haggis on the menu) literally meant for the freezing temps. The next time you’re craving some comfort food, cozy up to the steak and mushroom pie or the tomato-bacon mac and cheese
Best Wine Bars in Saskatoon
Boffins Public House
Find it: 111 Research Dr. #106, boffins.ca
The atmosphere: Surrounded by the lush greenery of Garden Park, this rustic spot is perfect if you’re looking for more of a sit-down wine tasting and fine dining experience.
Prices: $7 to $11 per glass, $27 to $58 per bottle
Must sip: They are currently curating their wine list for 2018, which will be available in January. The list includes around 10 wines from a variety of regions for every palette
The fare: Their evening menu boasts classic grub from apps and snacks to heartier mains, sammies and bowls with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and nut-free options
Find it: 1214 Queen St W, melodybar.ca
The atmosphere: Nestled inside the Gladstone Hotel, this dimly-lit speakeasy slash underground lounge is *the* spot for drinks and dancing. They have musical guests constantly on rotation, from Thursday jazz nights to head bangin’ sets from local DJs.
Prices: $6.50 to $17 per glass, $35 to $135 per bottle
Must sip: Bolla’s “Amarone della Valpolicella” from the Valpolicella wine region in Veneto, Italy. A bold, full-bodied red wine because of the semi-dried grapes left in during the production process. It tastes like prunes and raisins, but finishes with a dried cherry and vanilla flavour
The fare: Light bar snacks for a late-night nibble, like housemade pickles, yam chips and edamame beans
Una Pizza + Wine
Find it: 707 Broadway Ave., unayxe.com
The atmosphere: For those nights when you want to curb your pizza and wine craving in one sitting, head over to this upscale pizza resto. It’s first come, first served, so make sure to grab a table before they get booked up.
Prices: $8 to $24 per glass, $30 to $110 per bottle
Must sip: The Mas Marer from Montsant, Spain is a big and juicy wine fit for the coldest of Saskatchewan winters. Sour cherry and strawberry flavours freshen up its leathery and earthy notes for a well-rounded red wine
The fare: California-style thin crust pizza with Mediterranean flavours. For a healthy (and delish) option, try The Herbivore with kale pesto, marinated artichokes, cremini mushrooms, red onions, feta and kale chips
Best Wine Bars in Winnipeg
Harth Mozza and Wine Bar
Find it: 1-980 St Anne’s Rd., harthwpg.com
The atmosphere: This Italian wine bar and restaurant is meant for big parties. With long booths and plenty of communal seating, bookmark this modern spot for the next time you’re planning an after-hours get together with your extended crew.
Prices: $8 to $17 per glass, $26 to $200 per bottle
Must sip: Casa Capriolo’s “Governo” from Tuscany, Italy, a rich, organic red wine with notes of black cherry, chocolate and oak with dried grapes added in at the end of the fermentation process for an extra layer of flavour
The fare: Family-style traditional Italian cusine, like Neapolitan-style pizza and homemade pasta
Find it: 1670 Corydon Ave., enotecarestaurant.ca
The atmosphere: If you’re looking to snap an Instagram pic of your #WineWednesday outing, this modern yet earthy space can fulfill all of your aesthetic and booze needs. From the wooden benches topped with foliage to the abundance of natural lighting, your wine is just begging to be snapped.
Prices: $5 to $21 per glass, $40 to $90 per bottle
Must sip: TH Wines’ “Viognier” from British Columbia’s Okanagan region, a smooth white wine with a perfect balance of bitterness and roundness—it calls to mind the flavour of an apricot. Plus, it’s delish with shellfish and warm spices
The fare: Modern American and French dishes, such as a starter of roasted brussel sprouts with a crab vinaigrette, shaved lomo (beef tenderloin) and crispy grains and a delicious roasted duck breast main that comes with a chestnut and orange crust, aromatic broth, smoked caramel apple and chopped endive
Find it: 256 Stafford St., close.company
The atmosphere: This 12-seat restaurant is pretty darn cozy, to say the least. The minimal seating and intimate ambiance is what makes this eatery a must-try for those looking for seasonally-inspired wine pairings to go along with the delicious fare.
Prices: $9.50 to $12 per glass, $36 to $46 per bottle
Must sip: Their chef’s menu, which changes the first Tuesday of every month, has a selection of wine pairings to go with the fare. This month, “The Cloud Walker” is their fave. It’s an orange wine from New Zealand that has an acidic and tangy taste of ripe grapefruit
The fare: Shareable plates like steak tartar on toast, Moroccan meatballs and Parisienne gnocchi. Or, choose the carefully curated chef’s menu with snacks, apps, an entrée and a dessert (plus a wine pairing for each course)
Best Wine Bars in Toronto
Find it: 909 Dundas St. W, archive909.com
The atmosphere: There’s a reason so many wine enthusiasts flock to this super snug wine bar. The no-fuss, come-as-you-are vibe is the perfect accompaniment for your glass of wine and a plate filled with scrumptious snacks.
Prices: $5 to $37 per glass, $18 to $42 per flight, $40 to $185 per bottle
Must sip: Pearl Morissette’s “Cuvée Métis” from the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario has a unique and well-aged blend of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Together, they give this wine a predominantly red berry flavour, along with subtle notes of graphite and mushroom
The fare: From light nibbles to tapas and chef specials, each scrumptious dish has a strong European influence
Find it: 199 Augusta Ave, greygardens.ca
The atmosphere: Bright and white with pops of mint, from the adorbs banana leaf wallpaper to the bar seating. The vibrant atmosphere, seriously chic décor and gourmet eats make this spot a one-of-a-kind gem.
Prices: $13 to $29 per glass, $56 to $520 per bottle
Must sip: La Stoppa’s “Trebbiolo” from Emilia, Italy, a fresh and juicy red wine with a burst of red fruit and liquorice, grounded with a subtle earthiness that pairs perfectly with any pasta dish
The fare: Described as the “New North American” cuisine—think, whimsical, yet uncomplicated—our top picks include the smoked beef cheek with brussels sprouts and sour cream or the ravioli with corn, chorizo and cotija (a hard Mexican cheese)
Midfield Wine Bar & Tavern
Find it: 1434 Dundas St. W, midfieldwine.com
The atmosphere: With chalkboard menus, touches of dark wood and elegant marble-topped tables, this laid-back wine bar in Dundas West proves that an easy-going environment and good wine is all you need to unwind.
Prices: $7 to $18 per glass, $45 to $85 per bottle
Must sip: Milan Nestarec’s “Forks and Knives,” an organic medium bodied Pinot Noir from Moravia, Czech Republic, which tastes like cherry and rhubarb on the palette
The fare: Bistro-style mains and light snacks with an undeniable French touch, like the steamed snails with chanterelles, potato purée and pork trotter (yes, pig’s feet) or the artichoke salad with hazelnuts, watercress and comté (a French cheese).
Skin + Bones
Find it: 980 Queen St. E, skinandbonesto.com
The atmosphere: This spacious, industrial restaurant and bar is located in an old Leslieville building that was once home to a printing factory. They also serve up a mean brunch once the weekend rolls around.
Prices: $11 to $18 per glass, $53 to $225 per bottle
Must sip: Clos Thalès’ “Foun del Bosc Blanc” from Languedoc-Roussillon, France, a white wine for red wine enthusiasts. It’s savoury and has a lengthy finish that tastes like fresh tarragon and other herbs, making it a perfect pairing for the heavier dishes we tend to indulge in during the winter months
The fare: From-scratch apps, mains and sides made with locally-sourced ingredients. Currently drooling over the pork and ricotta meatballs drizzled with a pumpkin seed pesto to start and the rainbow trout with bacon, almonds and a pea puree for the entrée
Find it: 75 Portland St., buca.ca
The atmosphere: This Italian-inspired café and bar has the coolest stacked wine rack, loaded with the most covetable wines from the best Italian vineyards. The high ceilings, open concept kitchen and modern décor make this locale a sweet spot for both day and night.
Prices: $13 to $18 per glass, $60 to $150 per bottle
Must sip: Corte Loredan Gasparini’s “Venegazzu della Casa,” a full-bodied, spicy yet fruity red wine made with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec grapes from Veneto, Italy, or Sillery Frecciarossa’s “Pinot Nero” from Lombardi, Italy, one of the few white wines made from a red grape
The fare: Seasonally-inspired Italian small plates, like stuffed focaccia or the fichi skewers, figs stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped in guanciale (an Italian cured meat)
Best Wine Bars in Ottawa
107 Fourth Avenue Wine Bar
Find it: 107 Fourth Ave. #1, 107fourthavenue.com
The atmosphere: From the outside, this très petite wine bar looks like just another house on the street. But step inside, and you’ll realize that what makes this low-key locale so charming is the fact that it is so under-the-radar.
Prices: $9.25 to $16 per glass, $38 to $61 per bottle
Must sip: Reif Estate Cabernet’s “Franc Reserve,” a smoky medium-bodied red wine with tasting notes of violet and cassis (black current)—perfect to cozy up to during the colder months
The fare: Smaller portions of classic eats (to leave room for the wine, obvs), like the kale caesar salad with green & purple kale, shaved parmesan and double-smoked lardons (pork fat), or the Angus striploin with their specialty steak-frîtes
Divino Wine Studio
Find it: 225 Preston St., divinowinestudio.com
The atmosphere: For foodies who are looking to experience wine tasting with top-notch eats, this inviting Italian restaurant is the place for you. Their cuisine is carefully crafted to compliment their extensive wine list, so you’re bound to find a dish that will compliment your drink.
Prices: $9 to $19 per glass, $42 to $400 per bottle
Must sip: La Braccesca’s “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano” from Tuscany, Italy, a well balanced and aromatic red wine that is stored in an oak barrel, which adds a unique flavour to the Sangoivese grapes (plus, Divino pairs it with their braised short rib)
The fare: A scrumptious selection of Italian dishes, from the gnocchi with a rich gorgonzola fondue or the barley risotto with fresh parmesan, mushrooms and and a truffle ragout
Vineyards Wine Bar & Bistro
Find it: 54 York St., vineyards.ca
The atmosphere: Located in the historic century-old Bourbridge Building, this intimate wine bar is like a cozy cavern with the close quarters, warm lighting and beautiful wooden wine racks hanging on the walls. Trust, this is the perfect hideaway to escape the frigid windchill.
Prices: $8.75 to $15.95 per glass, $13.95 to $16.95 per flight, $34.95 to $945 per bottle
Must sip: The Shiraz & All That Jazz flight, a trio of vibrant wines from South Africa and Australia that taste like dark fruits, pepper and violets
The fare: A variety of bistro eats with flavours from France, Italy and the Mediterranean, such as bruschetta, Cajun seafood jambalaya and fresh steamed mussels
Beckta Dining & Wine Bar
Find it: 150 Elgin St., beckta.com
The atmosphere: With orange leather chairs, curved archways and wall-to-wall exposed grey brick, this luxurious wine bar would be right at home in Manhattan. Start with some pre-dinner drinks at the bar and then enjoy a sumptuous culinary experience in their private dining room.
Prices: $5 to $22 per glass, $35 to $702 per bottle
Must sip: The Pinot Noir from Stanners Vineyard in Prince Edward County, Ontario. This red wine is bright and fresh because of the notes of red cherry, but let it sit on your palette for a little and you’ll start to notice a touch of spice that really makes the wine unique
The fare: Depending on your mood (and your palette), choose between the five-course tasting menu (smaller portions) and the three-course menu, with options like oysters, roasted duck and scallops for a truly boujee fine dining experience
Sur-Lie Fine Food and Wine
Find it: 110 Murray St., surlierestaurant.ca
The atmosphere: This fine dining resto is located right in the heart of the Byward Market. From the eye-catching presentation of the gourmet fare to the rustic chic interior and (of course) their decadent French wine, this top-of-the-line resto is a much-needed escape from the bustle of downtown.
Prices: $5.25 to $14.50 per glass, $17 to $21 per flight, $40 to $72 per bottle
Must sip: Domaine des Amouriers’ “Les Genestes Vacqueyras” from the Rhône Valley in France. This deep, ruby red wine has a pepper, raspberry and anise aroma with a sweet fruit, floral and spice taste
The fare: Modern French cuisine using fresh, homegrown ingredients. For l’hiver, we are loving the roasted squash bisque with caramelized buttermilk, pumpkin brittle, popcorn and smoked jelly and their melt-in-your-mouth Quebec rack of lamb
Best Wine Bars in Montreal
Le Vin Papillon
Find it: 2519 Notre-Dame St. W, vinpapillon.com
The atmosphere: This urban yet rustic locale describes itself as a “little wine bar,” but while it may be small, it’s packed with personality: wine barrels sit in the corner, white brick cover the walls and an earthy colour palette warm up the space.
Prices: $9 to $18 per glass, $40 to $200 per bottle
Must sip: MicroBioWines and Ismael Gozalo’s “Verdejo,” an orange wine from the Rueda in Spain, or the Jean-Pierre Robinot’s “Les Annees Folles” from France, a savoury and classic red wine made from dark-skinned Pineau d’Aunis grapes
The fare: Rustic, farm-to-table food focusing on transforming fresh vegetables with rich ingredients, like the wood-roasted cauliflower topped with crispy chicken skin (a customer fave)
Find it: 3424 Park Ave., pullman-mtl.com
The atmosphere: This chic wine bar, which expands over three floors, has touches of eccentric and sophisticated décor. An opulent chandelier hangs from the high ceiling, the floor-to-ceiling window looks onto Park Avenue and the small round wooden tables encourage conversation.
Prices: $5 to $19 per glass, $38 to $3250 per bottle
Must sip: Pinard & Filles’ “Chardonneret” from the Eastern Townships in Quebec has a delicate aroma with a fresh, crisp and almost salty taste, thanks to the Chardonnay and Sauvignon grapes
The fare: From snacks to light bites and seasonal small plates that are meant to compliment their international wine list, like homemade hummus, mini bison burgers and charcuteries
Find it: 1 Saint-Paul St. W, modavie.com
The atmosphere: A French bistro and a bustling jazz lounge come together at this Paris-inspired restaurant. You’ll feel classy AF when you take a sip from your glass of red wine and soak in the tunes of Montreal’s local jazz scene.
Prices: $9 to $47 per glass, $40 to $625 per bottle
Must sip: Château Faizeau “Montagne-Saint-Emilion” from Bordeaux, France, a full-bodied red wine that’s equal parts fruity and spicy and is delish with red meat and cheese
The fare: French-inspired dishes for a cozy winter night, like the French onion soup or one of their lamb entrées
Find it: 196 Rue Fleury O, restaurantlescavistes.com
The atmosphere: This homey neighbourhood bistro in the Ahuntsic district boasts old-fashioned diner vibes thanks to its black and white tiled floors and dark green leather banquettes. Maj bonus for all of us wine enthusiasts looking to upgrade to connoisseur status: they offer tasting workshops tailored to different wine regions, from Bordeaux to the Napa Valley, so you can learn more about your favourite wine.
Prices: $8.75 to $12.75 per glass, $38 to $230 per bottle
Must sip: Goedverwacht’s “Great Expectations” from Robertson, South Africa, a Sauvignon Blanc with notes of ripe figs and tropical fruits that isn’t too acidic or too fruity
The fare: Bistro eats with a Quebecois twist, from the classic steak frites to their decadent salmon and beef tartare
Buvette Chez Simone
Find it: 4869 Park Ave., buvettechezsimone.com
The atmosphere: With shining wine glasses hanging above the bar, sleek wood on the tables and the floors and mood lighting dotted around the space, this urban wine bar boasts a romantic and ultra-cool vibe.
Prices: $7.50 to $14 per glass, $40 to $190 per bottle
Must sip: Jean Maupertuis’ “Les Pierres Noires” (which means black stones) from the Loire Valley in France. This fresh, vibrant and savoury wine gets its name from the winery’s black volcanic soil. Plus, the flavour of white pepper and its distinct ashiness makes for a one-of-a-kind sip
The fare: Small nibbles and charcuterie boards filled with international and local meats and cheeses
Best Wine Bars in Moncton
Tide & Boar Gastropub
Find it: 700 Main St., tideandboar.com
The atmosphere: This rustic spot is more of a gastropub than a wine bar, but their vin selection deserves major props. Cozy up indoors during the winter months, but remember: as soon as the warm weather hits, you have to check out their epic patio.
Prices: $7.50 to $12 per glass, $30 to $90 per bottle
Must sip: “L’Acadie Blanc,” from Moncton’s only winery, Magnetic Hill. It’s a sweet and floral white wine that warms the palate with notes of silky honey
The fare: An expansive selection of meaty pub grub, like the boar poutine with chicken gravy, caramelized onions, cheese curds and housemade ketchup or the beer battered cod drizzled with a lemon tartar sauce for a lighter(ish) option
The Third Glass
Find it: 819 Main St., thethirdglass.com
The atmosphere: Home to the largest wine selection in Atlantic Canada, this trendy bar has the coolest purple snakeskin seats, opulent chandeliers and wine bottles framed on the walls. As the name suggests, you won’t be able to have just one glass.
Prices: $8 to $32 per glass, $37 to $420 per bottle
Must sip: Cooper Cain Wines’ “Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir” from Santa Maria Valley, California. With flavours like ripe blackberries, raspberries, warm cherry pie, blueberries and cranberries (plus the smell of warm spices), this red wine is basically like Christmas in your mouth
The fare: A small but mighty tapas menu to curb your pre-dins craving, from skewers to canapés and artisanal cheese boards
Best Wine Bars in Halifax
Lion & Bright
Find it: 2534 Agricola St, lionandbright.com
The atmosphere: This café (by day) and wine bar (by night) has an industrial yet rustic vibe. With its an unfinished wooden bar, high ceilings and exposed pipes, this spot is equally cool whether you’re working on your laptop or enjoy a glass (or two) of local wine.
Prices: $9 per glass, $40 to $65 per bottle
Must sip: Lightfoot & Wolfville’s “Tidal Bay” from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, a local white wine that is light and refreshing thanks to its lime, lychee, apple and pear flavours and a delicate aroma of apple blossom
The fare: Ingredients from Nova Scotian farmers and fisherman are centre stage on their dinner menu, which includes fresh oysters, colourful gourmet salads and signature tacos topped with braised pork, beef, chicken or haddock
Find it: 1600 Barrington St., obladee.ca
The atmosphere: The first word that comes to mind when you step inside this Italian wine bar is intimo (translation: v. intimate). The tables are even made out of wine barrels, which earns maj bonus marks in our wine books.
Prices: $9 to $18 per glass, $40 to $200 per bottle
Must sip: Benjamin Bridge’s “Pinot Meunier Red” from the Gaspereau Valley in Nova Scotia, a local red wine that has a bright aroma of cherries, redcurrant and fresh herbs with a light and fresh taste
The fare: Charcuterie boards with a selection of cheeses, meats and breads, plus some delectable comfort food like seared Digby scallops and feta mac and cheese
The Bicycle Thief
Find it: 1475 Lower Water St., bicyclethief.ca
The atmosphere: With a spacious dining room, wrap-around patio and cozy bar, this Italian eatery is a rave-worthy destination all year round. Enjoy a glass of wine from one of Italy’s vineyards while you soak in the waterfront view.
Prices: $7 to $24 per glass, $42 to $450 per bottle
Must sip: Livon’s “Linea Braide Grande Pinot Grigio” from Collio, Italy, a fragrant, full-bodied white wine with notes of saffron and nutmeg and a dry finish
The fare: Hearty Northern Italian “soul food,” like the grilled flatbread topped with tomatoes, pesto and mozzarella or the Italian seafood stew main—perfect for a chilly winter day
Best Wine Bars in St. John’s
Magnum & Steins
Find it: 329 Duckworth St., magnumandsteins.ca
The atmosphere: Nestled in The Duckworth Inn, this homey spot boasts a wine bar, lounge and private dining room. Bookmark this destination for your next dins and drinks date night.
Prices: $1.70 to $14.50 per glass, $35 to $350 per bottle
Must sip: Tawse Growers’ Blend Pinot Noir from the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, a fragrant and light red wine with an aroma of strawberry and cherry that compliments red meat and oily fish
The fare: Traditional bar eats with a gourmet twist. We’re currently drooling over the duck confit nachos with fried wontons, a carrot and ginger slaw and drizzled with a sweet and spicy sesame soy sauce
Blue on Water Bar
Find it: 319 Water St, blueonwater.com
The atmosphere: This casual bar’s friendly, inviting vibe (and East Coast charm) encourages chit chat with the other wine enthusiasts. Plus the views of Water Street, exposed brick walls and fully-stocked bar make this spot a city gem.
Prices: $8.41 to $10.18 per glass, $37.50 to $375 per bottle
Must sip: Bodegas Juan Gil’s “Monastrell” from Jumilla, Spain. This fruity and acidic red wine has an aroma of baked strawberries, blackberries and a subtle hit of chocolate, but the taste is a bit more spicy with notes of plum and cedar
The fare: Check out the hotel’s quaint dining room next door for anything from snacks to full-sized entrées that capture the flavours of this seaside town (read: seared scallops, grilled salmon and fish cakes)