8 rare and unusual wines available for delivery and takeout

Toronto restaurants and bars are throwing open the cellars, making some of their most unusual selections available for takeout or delivery


With restaurants now being allowed to sell alcohol for takeout or delivery, we don’t have to go out to enjoy some hard-to-find drinks that aren’t available through consumer channels like the LCBO. Since the drastic change to Ontario’s  liquor laws, wine bars in particular have been opening up their cellars with unique offerings to accompany food orders – often at a nice discount. We asked some local establishments to highlight some of their favourite rare and hard-to-get wines.

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Labora

2017 Tanuki Bob, 4 Kilos, Mallorca Spain

Labora is currently reducing the prices of their wines by 50 to 60 per cent. Made entirely with Manto Negro grapes, this bright and light Spanish wine is packed with notes of strawberries that will have you welcoming the warmer days in style. Pairing with Labora’s infamous paella is a no-brainer. $49 (from $100), labora.to. Call 416-260-9993 or email rob@labora.to for orders.

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Chez Nous Wine Bar

2018 Big Head Wines Chenin Blanc, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

The quiet little wine bar on Queen East is currently experimenting with delivery and takeout of some delightful wines (with orders of a $2 bag of chips). The Big Head Chenin Blanc has honey notes blended with pineapple and lemon with a dry finish to create a tasty springtime escape. $30, instagram.com/cheznouswinebar

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Archive

2017 Susucaru from Frank Cornelissen, Terre Siciliane, Italy

Wine lovers are especially loving the selections that are now available from Dundas West hot spot Archive. Owner and sommelier Joshua Corea suggests this excellent entry-level sipper from an iconic natural wine producer. Expect flavours of strawberry, red cherry and various spices. $50, archive909.com.

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Midfield

2018 Two Shepherds Pinot Gris Skin Fermented, Sonoma Valley, California

Straight from Midfield Wine Bar’s cellar and exclusive to the bar itself, this wine is done in the Old World Ramato style with notes of hibiscus, grapefruit, cranberry and papaya. Overall, it’s a gentle wine well worth the price. $95, midfieldwine.com/take-out. Takeout only.

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Après Wine Bar

2018 O’Ranch Muscadelle and Ondenc, Barouillet, Bergerac, France

Après Wine Bar’s chef Jeff Kang has teamed up with Omai’s Edward Bang to create KANG BANG Fried Chicken, a kimchi and fried chicken pop-up that features some amazing wines. The O’Ranch 2018 has delicate notes of apricot and orange zest, which should pair marvellously with the fried poultry. $70, instagram.com/kb_furaidochikin. Takeout only (Thursday-Saturday).

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Rasa

Le Grolleau, Marie Thibault, Loire Valley, France

Rasa, the Food Dudes’ snack bar, is now selling curated mix of half-price wine packs in six to 12 bottles for pickup and delivery along with their globally inspired high-end eats. Le Grolleau is sure to warm you up on some of the more chilly spring days, with Christmas cake spices, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg on the nose, accompanied by flavours of plums, blackberries and black currants. Prices vary. instagram.com/rasarestaurantto. Takeout only.

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Paris Paris

Winifred Rosé, Gut Oggau, Burgenland, Austria

Krysta Oben of Paris Paris has been finding a lot of pleasure in going through the cellar looking for small batches of unique wines to share during this time. Winifred is a natural rosé from famed winemakers Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe, who have been operating out of their 17th century winery under the Gut Oggau project, in which each wine is named as a family member. This is a very light and vibrant rosé, with notes of raspberry and cherry. Perfect for these early spring days! $80, parisparis.ca. Takeout only (Tuesdays and Fridays).

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Paradise Grapevine

Riesling & Gamay, Niagara, Ontario

This beautiful wine and beer bar isn’t about to let a global pandemic stop them from releasing their own brand of natural wines this week. Launching this Thursday will be the first two offerings made in Niagara, a Gamay made at Foxcroft and a Reisling at Lakeview Vineyard, both under $30.

The Gamay is bright and acidic with flavours of raspberry, apricot leathers, apple stems and a touch of sulphur (and pairs well with the black truffle chips they carry at the bar). The Riesling, meanwhile, is a wine practically built for aging: Creamy mouthfeel and mild acidity and tartness. Think fuzzy peach candy or a lime creamsicle. Drink now or age it a few years and enjoy later. $29.95 (Gamay) or $24.95 (Riesling). shop.paradisegrapevine.com. Ontario-wide delivery available.

@TheThirstyWench

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