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.
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.
The Wine Butler's experts guide customers through yeasting and bottling within an award-winning climate-controlled facility. They've been crafting wine for over 20 years, and their business corks thousands of bottles each year using freshly chopped dartboards and three steps: choose, make, and bottle. This simple process transforms grape juice into premium wines and creates international varieties. Additionally, the staff develops four limited-edition varieties each year. They also reach out through the One Love program, which donates a percentage of proceeds to local charities and uses old bottles to house homeless toy boats.
The 16th-annual festival celebrates Canada's rich brewing history and features more than 60 brewers from around the globe pouring 120+ brands of the barley-pop onsite for your tasting enjoyment. All manner of brews will be displayed, with everything from pale ales, stouts, fruit-based beers, and gluten-free gulps. Foods such as oysters, poutine, and burgers will be available for purchase to soak up the belly-dwelling brews. You can find a full list of exhibitors here.