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Winery Toronto – The City’s Best Venues for Vino

November 19, 2018

Toronto is a city overflowing with entertainment, arts, and nightlife. And with a wonderful wine culture, there are plenty of amazing options for picking up a glass of the good stuff.

Whether you're looking to sip award-winning local wines produced only hours away in neighbouring Niagara or Prince Edward County - or you’re craving a little bar stool travel in a glass, The Big Smoke has something for all your vinous pleasures.

Here's our a rundown of some of the best wine venues and wineries Toronto has to offer. You’re sure to find a few favourites on this list!

chardonnay - Winery Toronto

Best Wine Bars Toronto

Wine bars have been catching on in Toronto for some time, so it’s no wonder we have some of the
finest in the nation! Here are our top four:

You can find this cozy and popular wine bar at 909 Dundas Street West in Toronto. Open for primo vino drinking hours, from 5 PM to 2 AM, this nicely-priced hotspot has a very extensive wine list. If your travelling companions prefer beer or spirits, there’s also a wide selection of these to choose from. Lauded as the best deal for quality wines in Toronto, Archive is a must-visit for wine lovers in the city. It’s usually busy, but you can almost always score a seat or two at the bar.

Dailo isn’t just another generic wine bar – it’s a gourmet food and wine experience. Chef Nick Liu’s dishes are inspired by Asian fare but prepared in the French tradition, and the restaurant’s co-owner, Anton Polvin, is an expert sommelier that is responsible for choosing some truly unique and exciting pairings. As an added bonus, you’ll find Dailo’s prices surprisingly palatable. Located at 503 College Street in Toronto, Dailo takes reservations and walk-ins (if there are tables available). Stop in and try Chef Liu’s signature Big Mac Bao alongside an off-dry Vouvray. There’s also a dim sum bar upstairs!

Cool, organic, global wines by the ounce are Chantecler’s signature, and they do it so well. You can find them at 1320 Queen St. West in the city. Their tagline is “Succulence. Elegance. Excellence.” You’ll see why when you nibble at their buttermilk fried mushrooms, steak tartare, or poached gulf shrimp. Most of the week, you can purchase wine by the glass or the bottle, and you’ll find a pleasing selection of wines from around the world. On Tuesdays, go wild with $1/oz pours and buck-a-shuck oysters for a mid-week treat!

ladies drinking wine - Best Places to Drink in Toronto

If you love visiting a new place and trying their local wines, Chez Nous is the top choice in Toronto. This wine bar has a strictly-Ontario-wines policy, and they are very dedicated to providing a broad selection.

You’ll be able to “tour” practically every Ontario winery by visiting Chez Nous at 798 Queen Street East in Toronto.

The wine list changes just about every week, so stop in often to see the new offerings! They also have some fine local beer and cider for any non-wine drinkers in your party.

Best Places to Buy Wine

If you’re looking to pick up a bottle for dinner or perhaps as a souvenir, you’ll want to know where the prime wine shopping is in the city. We’ve got you covered.

The LCBO is a fantastic resource for wine shopping. While varieties vary at individual outlets, their website makes it easy to track down exactly the bottle you’re looking for, before you even step out the door. Also, some of the bigger shops – like the ones at Summerhill, Manulife Centre, and Cooper Street – often offer tastings.

Use their store locator to find which one of their 160+ locations is most convenient for you! Wine Rack’s selection is locally focused, offering mostly Ontario wines and wine from BC. They do not have an international selection. Opt for the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) selections, which are held to a higher standard. Avoid wines that simply state “cellared in Canada,” as they are most often crafted from lower- quality imported juices.

Grocery Stores and Farmer’s Markets

Ontario has (at long last) begun to allow wine sales in grocery stores. Don’t expect every grocery store to carry wine, however. Check here to find locations that can give you your wine fix. Farmer’s markets can also be a great resource, especially if you’re looking for local wines. You can find one near you here.

Restaurants

Even some Toronto natives are unaware of the fact that many restaurants will recork unfinished bottles of wine for you.

It’s also really handy when you happen upon venues like Northern MaverickBar Sybanne and Boehmer, which have half-price bottle nights.

It probably won’t be advertised on the menus or elsewhere, so just ask politely if it’s a service the restaurant offers.

wine glasses - Winery Toronto

Wine Buying Clubs

Wine buying clubs are a great way to try new and rare wines. Right now, we’re in love with Toronto Life Wine Club by Toronto Life magazine, which delivers three hard to find local wines to your door each month. (Please note; shipping out of Ontario is not available.)

Wineries Close to Toronto

If you want to take a day trip to visit a winery Toronto style, check out Ontario’s two major wine regions: Niagara and Prince Edward County. Wine Country Ontario offers extensive touring information, maps, and plenty of resources to help you have a wine tour worth remembering.

Niagra

Niagara is about a 90-minute drive from the city and boasts many wineries, including:

By the way, if you want to make your trip to Niagara even quicker, there’s a 12-minute flight from Toronto Island Airport to Niagara wine country.

Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is a little farther at 2.5 hours from the city, but you won’t want to miss out on their incredible wineries. Here are our faves:

We also recommend checking out a copy of Lake Ontario Uncorked: Wine Country Road Trips from Niagara Peninsula to Prince Edward County for even more winery Toronto adventures!

Discover Toronto's greatest wine bars and restaurants and enjoy sips and snacks all along the way by booking a tour with us! On our tours, you learn as you sip, as the sommeliers at each stop explain what your drinking and eating, and why it goes so well together.