The interior of Anna William Wine Making looks a little like a vintage kitchen and a little like a science laboratory. That's because the operation is a little of both. Inside the lemon yellow room, walls are lined with shelves bursting with fermentation buckets, giant spoons, and all the necessary equipment guests need to make their own wine. In just four-to-six weeks, guests can produce enough wine to fill 30 bottles or a small jacuzzi, and staff are well versed in many styles of wine, from cabernet sauvignon, to Chilean malbecs.
For 20 years, The Brew Kettle has let beer, wine, and cider aficionados bask in the pride of making their own beverages without the hassle of using their own equipment. The process begins as libation experts help customers browse the more than 200 beverage kits to choose their favourite style, whether it's a murky stout, a refreshing riesling, or a blend of several flavours. Once they've made their choice, customers mix the ingredients with yeast, then hand off their developing creation to staff members so they can monitor it for proper fermentation and a passable Belgian accent over the following weeks. Once it's ready, the experts filter the newly born beverage and help the customer bottle it, label it, and ferry it home to enjoy.
Garnering the title of Best Wine Bar in Toronto from Now magazine, Fat Cat Wine Bar upholds its reputation with artful small plates and a carefully curated selection of wines. The bottle vault includes harvests from Europe, Australia, and America, all approved by wine-enthusiast owner Mathew Sutherland.
Outside on the sun-dappled patio, pots simmer with cheese fondue, beckoning slices of bread to succumb to a dripping, melty fate. Platters of escargot showcase accents of roasted mushrooms, leek, and speck, while the Fat Cat sausage is joined by a warm truffled potato salad. For dessert, apple cobbler arrives crowned with whipped cream, and Grand Marnier strawberries underscore the richness of a dense chocolate brownie. Fat Cat Wine Bar upholds modest elegance with wooden tables, a granite-top bar, and restroom signs recovered from the original court of Versailles.
Lists of seasonally inspired cheeses, meats, and garnishes are printed in chalk on a board titled "Picnic Platters," tempting guests to design their own charcuterie spreads or delegate control to a knowledgeable staff member. PicNic Wine Bar has something for everyone, earning it a spot on Vacay's 2012 list of Canada's top 50 restaurants. Flare magazine also deemed the eatery a Toronto hot spot, saying, "the combinations are endless."
PicNic's widespread appeal is due to more than just their picnic platters. Guests can select from more than 30 wines by the glass, as well as from a handful of bottled and draught beers. Chefs also craft more elaborate small and large plates of citrus-glazed pork belly and mackerel fillets with garlic and paprika, served at long, communal tables that add sophistication to picnic-style dining.
Brewer’s Market’s team of passionate brewmasters empowers home brewers to craft beers in small batches. Their selection of grains, malts, hops, and yeasts spans the flavour spectrum: the pale ale exudes floral and citrus aromas, and the double double coffee porter proves smoky and bittersweet. Their kits supply brewers with all necessary supplies as well as step-by-step instruction and a lifetime supply of suggested toasts. Additionally, if customers have any issues with their kit components, Brewer’s Market vows to replace parts free of charge.
Grapefully Yours employs just as many wine experts as any wine store, but its shelves are completely devoid of the elegantly labeled bottles one might expect to find. Instead, they house an array of buckets, jugs, and wine ingredients: all the accoutrement needed to make your own wine. The store's staff specializes in helping people pick exactly the kind of wine they love, and then teaching them to ferment up to 23 liters of the beverage. They create kits for wines from all over the globe, from a riesling to a pinot noir. After a customer selects their preferred varietal or blend, the staff walks them through the entire winemaking process, step by step and day by day. Once the wine is completed, they provide bottles for their guests to fill up, label as they please, and take home to store in their wine cellar or backyard wine hole.