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.
As a registered massage therapist, acupuncturist, and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, Wason Wu draws inspiration from a variety of sources when designing services. His signature bodywork treatment is a customized blend of modalities, potentially including everything from gentle Swedish strokes to elements of shiatsu and Thai massage. By beginning with such a wide focus and then utilizing only the techniques that are needed, Wason is able to relax tension-laden muscles and alleviate the chronic aches and pains caused by a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.Traditional Chinese tui na therapy and acupuncture are also available to clients, helping restore holistic balance throughout the body and pop any stowaway balloon animals clinging to visitors' backs.
Sheppard Wine Works puts the winemaking process in the hands of its customers. With a wide variety of RJ Spagnol juices and concentrates to choose from, visitors can create their favourite types of vino, whether it's a Californian cabernet or a Seville orange sangria. Once the varietal has been chosen, Sheppard Wine Works’ staff takes care of the nitty-gritty, fermenting concoctions for up to six weeks before bottling them, corking them, and teaching them to speak French. Clients may also customize the look of their resulting batch of bottles by choosing little details such as the foil colour and label image. For more experienced vintners, the shop also offers a selection of winemaking kits to use at home.