432 Wellington W, at Spadina, 416-596- 6405, leselect.com
I'm an unabashed sucker for French wine. In fact, slurping Provençal rose en plein air qualifies as one of my favourite activities. I'm also a sucker for old-school charm; Le Sélect gives me the same boundless contentment as Barberian's. With well over 10,000 bottles in the cellar and heaps of accolades for its wine program, the bistro's been offering vino at incredible value for almost 40 years. If you're looking for an excuse, a celebration bottle from your personal stash can be corked for a crazy-reasonable $18. So pull up a chair on the charming front terrace or back jardin and stay all summer.
Monday to Wednesday 11:30 am to 11 pm, Thursday and Friday 11:30 am to 11:30 pm, Saturday 11 am to midnight, Sunday 10:30 am to 10:30 pm. Brunch Saturday and Sunday till 3:30 pm. Reservations accepted. Licensed.
Midfield Wine Bar and Tavern
1434 Dundas W, at Dufferin, 647-375- 7005, midfieldwinebar.com
Look no further for special wines, seamless hospitality and a relaxed, romantic vibe this summer. Though Midfield's simply furnished side patio straddles Dundas and Gladstone, it feels somehow removed from the frequent rumbles of the 505 - probably because you'll be too engaged by your company and the goodness in your glass to notice. If drinking the Midfield's charismatic offerings sparks a thirst for knowledge, look into wine classes taught by co-owner and somm Christopher Sealy.
Tues to Sat 6 to 11 pm. No reservations. Licensed. Cash only.
THR & Co.
97 Harbord, at Robert, 647-748-7199, thrandco.com
Though it doesn't have the impossible charm of sister resto the Harbord Room's secret garden, THR & Co's sunny side patio is a sweet spot to get cozy with a flute of bubbles. The page-long list of wines is accessible, affordable (lots of bottles in the $50 range) and studded with local and Old World gems. A slatted wood wall blocks out some of Harbord's bustle, and comfy seats make it all too easy to hang out till you reach the bottom of a pretty bottle of Malivoire Moira Rosé Pinot Noir 2013 ($55).
Dinner nightly 5:30 to 10:30 pm; late-night menu Friday and Saturday to midnight. Brunch Sunday 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. Closed holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed.
293 Palmerston, at College, 647-342- 6307, woodlottoronto.com
A date oasis just off College, Woodlot's patio is the best seat in (front of) the house to enjoy the well-considered wine list. A showcase for natural wines, Woodlot's French, Italian and local-heavy inventory defies categorization outside of "unique" and "awesome." Bottles span sparkling, sherry and anfora, but you can always order a lovely rosé to sip while playing footsies under candlelit tables. Not to kill the romance, but it's in your best interest to put on stretchy pants or an amorphous dress - bread and butter is taken to the next level here.
Dinner Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday 5 to 10 pm, Thursday to Saturday 5 to 11 pm. Closed Monday, holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed.
455 King W, at Spadina, 416-977-1234, crushwinebar.com
Crush's cobblestoned patio, shaded by umbrellas, branded burgundy awnings and potted ferns, takes alleyway drinking to whole new strata of sophistication. But it's what's in your cup that counts. Awarded Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence last year, Crush offers more than 60 wines by the glass, which makes settling on a bottle extra-easy. For oeno-amateurs and locavores, the list is organized by flavour profile, with plenty of VQA representation.
Monday and Tuesday 11:30 am to 10 pm, Wednesday to Friday 11:30 am to 11 pm, Saturday 5:30 to midnight, Sunday 5:30 to 10 pm. Closed some holidays. Reservations accepted. Licensed.