By Holly Bruns
There are times when a wino may want a glass of wine; not a bottle, just a glass. Perhaps said wino is drinking alone and doesn’t want to look like an alcoholic, or may be dining with company, and while the delicate sole in lemon sauce is calling, everyone else at the table wants the hearty osso bucco. Maybe it’s just the desire to try something different, or wine schizophrenia may have set in.
It used to be that if you ate in a restaurant and wanted a modest, lone glass of wine you had to settle for the ‘house’ wine. It’s possible this was a carefully selected bottle, but more often it was cheap swill that could be marked up for profit, or offerings of what was left languishing in the cellar in order to move product. Either way it was a limited selection of choice: red or white. For those of us who occasionally like to have a glass or two, it was a dark, sad time.
Happily, times are changing; the day of the glass of wine has arrived. Consumers are more wine-savvy these days and drinkers are more open to experimenting at the dinner table with wine and food pairings. Establishments are likewise putting effort into their wines-by-the-glass offerings.
Here are a few favourites around town:
Play Food and Wine
(1 York Street): has it all – atmosphere, great food, changing selection.
Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro
(54 York Street): is good for the sheer volume of choice and variety of price.
107 Fourth Avenue Wine Bar and Cafè
(107-4th Avenue): always has a few interesting gems by the glass.
Petit Bill’s Bistro
(1293 Wellington Street West): has a diverse Ontario selection, and is a comfortable spot to belly up to the bar.
Taylor’s Genuine Wine and Food Bar
(1091 Bank Street): offers changing features along with wine flight tastings.
(110 Murray Street): has both variety and glass size selection, as well as Madeira by the glass.
(819 Bank Street): is good for the cozy neighbourhood atmosphere and changing feature wines.
Holly Bruns is an accredited sommelier with degrees from Algonquin College and the Wine Spirits & Education Trust. She lives in Ottawa and is the drinking force behind the successful blog: Wine Out Loud.