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suggestions for first date wine tasting

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Hello fellow "chowhounds". I'm going on a first date with a creative/artsy lawyer. We both enjoy wine. I'm looking at meeting him in either the Leslieville or Danforth/Riverdale areas. The establishment doesn't strictly have to be a wine bar, but have a decent selection. More importantly, it should have an nice atmosphere to be comfortable in and promote great conversation. :)

Thank you all in advance!

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  1. I really enjoyed Swirl on my visits, but it's been some time since I'd been. Not a huge wine list, but good eats and a cute space. Could be too girly.

    What I wrote a while back:
    "Having read about Swirl in the Toronto Star of all places, I had put it on my list of places to check out. The concept of wine, bread, cheeses, patés, and chacuterie into the wee hours (or any time at all, really), is vastly appealing. While this won't be a meal replacement, Swirl's delicious nibbles enhance a most excellent place to take friends and hang out. With by-the-glass ranging from about $6 to $15ish and food at $1, $6, and $15, it also certainly doesn't hurt the wallet."

    Photos/blog: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2009/08/17/si...

    But the best photos are the ones I got in 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/s...

    1. I have been frequenting Swirl since shortly after they opened. Great place!

      I'm also fond of Pic Nic. Great place to graze, some interesting wines & nice atmosphere: http://www.picnicwinebar.com/ .

      Let us know where you end up!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sueb24

        Second Picnic. I think it is a good spot for conversation too.

        1. re: Cat123

          Hmmm, where is that.? Do you mean 'PicNic Wine Bar' @ 747 Queen Street E? Never been there.

          1. re: Flexitarian

            Yes, that's it.

      2. That's a challenge. I find most restaurants, with very few exceptions, to be way too noisy to promote good conversation without shouting. Restauranteurs claim it has something to do with creating 'buzz' in a place. I can't think of anything in those areas but one suggestion I would have is Mercatto. There are 3 locations but I like the 101 College St W one the best. Their food is good, the ambience is very nice, it's not super expensive, their noise level is not ridiculous, but moreover they have an ENOMATIC wine preservation system so you can enjoy wines by the glass perfectly and they also received the Wine Spectator 2012 Award of Excellence. I really don't think you'll go wrong with Mercatto.

        http://www.mercatto.ca/wine/

        2 Replies
        1. re: Flexitarian

          I should note, Enomatic is KEY for access to higher-priced bottles in a per-glass format.

          buuuut... I can't think of a place with the Enomatic in the Leslieville/Danforth/Riverdale area... unless Libretto Danforth has one? Not sure.

          1. re: jlunar

            But Libretto (either location) is quite noisy. Although I like it, not the kinda of place for a nice intimate conversation as you quaff some really nice wine.

        2. Please let us know where you ended up going and how it was.