Wine and cheese: name a more iconic duo. Slash is there anything more French than enjoying a glass of Chardonnay and a charcuterie board filled with the most divine assortment of Quebec cheeses, meats and freshly baked bread après diner? (The answer is no.) From a bistro-style space to a locale boasting rustic chic vibes, these are the best wine bars in Montreal no matter what wine mood you’re in. And click here if you want to go wine tasting across the country at one (or more) of our fave spots.
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 an 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