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Apr 2, 2009 09:10 PM

Affordable and Exciting Wine Lists Toronto

Hey All --

I'm trying to find some of the places in the city with affordable but interesting wine lists.

Off the top of my head, I can think of Niagara St. Cafe, Le Paradis, and Batifole. My thinking is that affordable means that there is a nice range of wines in and around the 50-60 dollar mark, which is true of the above.

Having been to all these places, however, I'm looking for other suggestions. Wine bars would be cool to hear about too...


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  1. I agree with NSE wholeheartedly.

    Also, Eric Gennaro's list at Crush Wine Bar is where I would spend my cash (if I had any these days!).

    It is very fiscally accessible, whilst being quite different from any other list in the city.

    Trust me on this... please.... I guess I should know...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Non Doctor

      I was at Cafe Taste a few days ago for some snacks and drinks and found their wine list to be very reasonable. Mostly Ontario wine list (not my preference), but they do carry Norman Hardie's wines and that's always a plus. $65 a bottle, but there are many bottles less than $50 (not to mention everything on their list already includes taxes).

      Loire's wine list is pretty reasonable also - and the food is great!

      There are few places that I would consider wine bars in this city. Most of them are restaurants that just put "wine bar" in the name.

      1. re: Non Doctor

        Eric's list at Crush is tops

        Terroni's list at the Adelaide location is excellent if you are seeking Italian centric

        Oasi's is very good-composed but representative with some good bottles in the $45-50 range.

        I agree with flackd that Le Paradis's is amazing-both in terms of the exceedingly low markup AND how it has little French gems that some restaurants are just "clueing" into now.

        Reds is good too and JKWB for organic/biodymanic wines

        Haven't yet been to NSC-embarrassing but true-its time for a visit. its Friday!


      2. I've always been rather impressed by the wine list at Jaipur Grille. Sure, it may not be the absolute best wine list. As far as wine served with Indian cuisine, though, it's unparalleled in this city.

        And let's not forget about Reds.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Googs

          i agree re. Jaipur!

          not a place for eating, but Cafe Volo has some great ON wines too!

          Harbord Room ain't bad, either.

        2. Having been once, last summer, I would say that the wine list at Grace was fairly decent... made all the more decent by the very reasonable pricing (very low markups).

          1. JK Wine Bar -- you can order smaller glasses (cheaper) and sample lots of different kinds. I love trying all the wines there and they are pretty knowledgeable about what's on the list.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Arcadiaseeker

              To me, any joint that charges somewhat less than the three-four-even-five times! the markup of LCBO prices is both affordable and, ipso facto, exciting. Accordingly, I nominate the aforementioned Le Paradis, Cafe Pleiade on Mount Pleasant Road, and, though I haven't been there for six months - construction on St. Clair Ave. makes it difficult to get to - Ferro. All these places offer some good choices under $30, more under $40 - and I get twitchy over $40, so I look no further. All also have good food. I'm intrigued to learn from this thread that Jaipur Grille has dropped its once-astronomical wine prices. Maybe I'll give it another workout. Nothing turns me off a resto faster than an overpriced wine list. Too many modest spots charge Scaramouche prices. A $55 wine to wash down a $13 pizza? No, thanks. I may as well go to Scaramouche itself, where time and energy has gone into the list, wines are properly stored and served in appropriate stemware.