Hear us out: wine not only tastes good, but it’s good for you too. First of all, it’s good for your complexion because it reduces the appearance of pores and tightens your skin. Just look at this frickin’ red wine mask if you don’t believe us. It is also said to reduce the risk of heart disease, promote cognitive function and boost your immune system. So for the sake of your health, skin and sanity, hit up one of these must-try spots for your next vino. Here are the best wine bars in Toronto so you can pour yourself a glass and get sippin’. And if you find yourself in another major city this holiday season, click here to check out our ultimate round-up of the best spots in the country.
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)