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.
Wineries are often found far down country roads, shrouded by the curling tendrils of their vineyards. At The Wine Garden, though, the entire winemaking experience can be had without setting foot outside of the city.
Yeast bubbles busily in stainless-steel fermentation vessels, transforming the juices of grapes from fertile regions of Chile, Argentina, and California. The fermentation process yields wines that range from crisp chardonnay to heady cabernet franc, the progenitor of cabernet sauvignon, and oak barrels bestow some of the elixirs with a rich maze of tannins. Fruit wines made with peaches, cranberries, or strawberries make refreshing summertime drinks and help work friends mingle with hummingbird friends at parties. Patrons play a major role in the entire process, selecting grapes and siphoning finished wine into bottles. The Wine Garden's gourmets also brew craft beers and stock hot sauces with humourous names such as Blair's Chipotle Death Rain.
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 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.
There'll be more than 20 beers to try at the first annual Hamilton Beer Festival, so you'll need to strategize or practice puffing out your cheeks if you want to try them all in two days. Some hail from breweries in Hamilton itself?others are rare specimens from breweries across Ontario. But only one can be crowned Hamilton's Best Beer, and over the weekend in Gage Park, festival guests will sip and vote to name a winner.
As the competition quietly rages on, live jazz bands will play as part of Jazz in the Park, the festival's musical component. A live art show, food trucks, and games provide more entertainment throughout the event, which donates proceeds to several children's hospitals.
With 16 Brunswick Gold Crown pool tables, The Break Room offers amateur and expert sharpshooters a comfy and friendly place to practice their skills. Along with the sea of felt-green open spaces, the bar boasts a 16-foot high definition projection television and two dedicated areas for darts. Parties large and small spread out over a 12,000 interior, and enjoy pints of draft beer along with hot and cheesy finger food.