Wine, oh wine, the elixir of life that has graced our tables and lips for centuries. With every sip, its rich and complex flavours awaken our senses and transport us to another world, where the worries of the day fade away, and all that remains is the present moment. Luckily for us, Toronto has a diverse foodscape and a bible-long list of bars and restaurants to choose from.
The velvety texture of a Cabernet Sauvignon as it rolls across the tongue, or the earthy aromas of a Barolo that fill the air, as the glasses clink, the conversations flow and the laughter echoes, the atmosphere is transformed, imbued with a sense of warmth and conviviality that only wine can bring. Where there’s a wine, there’s a way at these seven bougie Toronto wine bars to ignite the spirit.
1. Grey Gardens
Not only is this the title of one of my favourite movies, it’s also the name of a fabulous wine bar in Toronto. Located in Kensington Market, Grey Gardens mostly offers amazing imported wine from France, Germany, Italy and Australia, but you can also find a few Niagara wines in its menu. This is the perfect place to bring your mom, so that she thinks you have your life in order.
They have an extensive selection of red, white, rosé, sparkling and orange wines and the bar gives off an ethereal vibe, due to their bright wallpaper and gold cutlery. If you have a few too many, Grey Gardens also offers delicious New North American food.
🍷 199 Augusta Ave
2. Paris Paris
Nestled in the heart of Toronto, this bright bar is reminiscent of a bygone era, drawing inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement. The bar’s extensive selection of natural and biodynamic wines are carefully chosen and complemented by a range of creative wine cocktails.
The food menu is simple yet elegant, featuring bistro-inspired dishes that perfectly complement the wine. With its warm and alluring atmosphere, Paris Paris is a hidden gem that’s not to be missed. The question is, how Merlot can you go?
🍷 146 Ossington Ave
3. Grape Witches
They started in 2015 as a series of parties and events and have now grown into a wine bar, a patio, a shop, club and agency. Grape Witches was founded by two women, Krysta and Nicole, that had an unparalleled love and passion for wine. Grape Witches sells unique natural wine with over 200 constantly rotating vinos in store and online, encompassing everything from plush and textured wines, to savoury and fruit forward ones. It truly is a grape day to be alive!
🍷 1247 Dundas St. W.
4. Chez nous
This little gem is a hidden paradise for all wine lovers and cocktail fans alike. The moment you step in, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a cosy, chic Parisian bar. The ambiance is warm and inviting, there’s a no-kids policy, and the wine, oh my! They offer all-Ontario wine, including Borealis (rosé), sauvignon blanc from Meldville and syrah from Fourth Wall.
🍷 798 Queen Street East
5. The Senator
Ah, The Senator! It’s hard to talk about Toronto’s food scene without mentioning this iconic diner-style restaurant. The Senator has been a cultural landmark since 1948, and it’s safe to say that they’ve perfected the art of comfort food. Plus, the vintage decor and cosy atmosphere make it the perfect spot for a casual brunch or late-night bite.
They’ve opened up a bottle shop, where you can get a bottle or two to take away or order for dining in. Choose a bold red to pair your meaty meals, or opt for a crisp white or a refreshing rosé after work. No matter what your preferences are, The Senator is wine in a million.
🍷 249 Victoria Street
6. Paradise Grapevine
Paradise Grapevine is a fantastic wine bar that offers a unique and refreshing take on the traditional wine bar experience. This cosy and intimate space offers a curated rotating selection of natural wines from small and independent wineries, both local and international.
Whether you’re a seasoned wine aficionado or just starting to explore the enticing and tantalising world of wine, the knowledgeable staff can guide you through their menu and find the perfect bottle for your palate. The laid-back and welcoming atmosphere of Paradise Grapevine makes it the perfect spot for a date night or a catch-up with friends over a glass (or bottle!) of wine.
🍷 841 Bloor St W
7. Archive Bar
This is a beloved Toronto institution for wine lovers. Archive has an impressive selection of over 5000 bottles of wine, ranging from rare vintages to modern classics. It’s the perfect place for wine connoisseurs who are looking for something special to broaden their horizons. The atmosphere is sophisticated and elegant, with dim lighting that sets the mood for a romantic evening or a special celebration. If you get a bit too carried away savouring delicious wine, they also offer a variety of tasty small plates and charcuterie boards to delicately bring you back to your senses.
🍷 909 Dundas St. W