The Best Wine Shops in Montreal
Since the adoption of Bill 72, a number of restaurants and other establishments have sprung up across the city as a choice alternative for buying fine bottles of privately imported wine by the bottle. By allowing restaurants to sell wine to take home without accompanying a meal, several restaurateurs have decided to use this opportunity to open a little wine shop. This law changes the notion of “meal” to “food”. Alcohol can therefore be sold with the purchase of a food item (small dish, bread, honey, dessert, etc.). The delivery of alcohol by a third party is now also permitted and the price of a bottle for take-out may now differ from the price in the dining room.
While many restaurants, bars and cafés offer a selection of bottles to bring home, some have well-stocked cellars that stand out from the others. These addresses, which have been transformed into wine shops, have become real landmarks for lovers of good wine and already see regulars coming almost daily to ask the expert team for advice.
Here are our suggestions for addresses that have taken on the air of charming European wine shops.
Nita Tout Garni
The charming Mile-End sandwich shop draws on the experience of three of its owners, who are wine importers through the agencies Dutty Wine and Vins Nomad. At Nita Tout Garni, you’ll find beautiful and rare bottles from producers who work with respect for the vine, for people and for nature. The prices are also very affordable!
Pascal le boucher
Opened in June 2016, Pascal le Boucher has become an essential butcher shop in Villeray over the years. The offer here is impressive. On the one hand, you can find beef, pork, lamb and pastured poultry in various cuts, plain or marinated. They also offer a very nice selection of farm cheeses, farm milk and yogurt, stocks and broths, game (bison, red deer, wild boar, etc.), beautiful charcuterie (hams, bacon, sandwich meats, cretons, terrines, rillettes, foie gras, sausages) and a superb selection of Quebec wines and ciders.
Established in the former space of Cul-Sec on Beaubien Street, Vino Rama is a little haven for good wines. Jack Jacob, owner of the private import agency Glou, already worked closely with the producers represented by his agency. It is therefore with a real interest that he highlights the excellent products through his store. Vino Rama offers a wide selection of wines—especially from Glou—but also from other importers such as Vins Dame Jeanne or Agence sans nom.
Monopole is the place to get your hands on organic and biodynamic gems. The café-buvette in Old Montreal has a nice selection of wines from small producers at very affordable prices. Definitely worth the detour to leave with a good private imported bottle at an affordable price.
If the Tinc Set that we knew before in the alley proposed superb bottles of wine imported by the Vin i Vida agency, we discover at the new address more labels that are easily drunk without thirst. It is on the good advice of the owner, sommelier and importer, Lindsay Brennan, that we leave with a beautiful bottle of wine, full of the good stuff!
The owner of Café DAX shares that he has jumped on many planes, visited many vineyards, met many winemakers, and drunk a lot of wine to be able to boast the impressive offer of bottles in his Outremont café today. New arrivals are numerous and frequent, so a weekly visit is a must!
It’s not Bar Mamie, but rather Cave de Mamie that we’re talking about here! The relatively new address comes to complete the offer of the bar with a European-style wine shop formula. The good juices are at hand on the shelves, or to enjoy on the spot (by adding a few dollars in corkage fees). The selection of nearly 200 bottles is divided among the following distinctions: classic, thirst quenchers, structured, macerated, pet nat, ovni, and rare.
The wine cellar of the Saint-Henri wine bar-café-dispensa is well stocked with products selected by Catherine Draws. The wines at BarBara come from small producers from here and from elsewhere, and can be drunk without thirst.
Located in the former space of the Moccione restaurant, the pizzeria of the same name has a short but interesting list of wines; mainly natural wines chosen by Catherine Picard. We head up to Villeray to grab a pizza and a good bottle to enjoy in Jarry park.
Every reason is a good reason to stop by Larrys; to grab a bite to eat, a coffee, a drink, or a rare glass of wine. The Mile-End address is both a café and a bar, but also a wine shop for those looking for a nice bottle to bring home.
To the delight of neighbourhood residents, this institution on Laurier Avenue East has recently enhanced its already excellent coffee and grilled cheese offerings with the addition of bottles of natural wine. The selection, which changes frequently, features exclusives and small finds offered in limited quantities. The bottles are sourced with the help of Bandit Nature, a project launched by Renaud Blanchet.
The four Paquebot cafés in the province (there’s one in Gaspé!) are always at the ready to quench your thirst for coffee and wine. They offer a rotating selection of light and sunny wines. With addresses sprinkled across the island (Bélanger, Mont-Royal and Old Montreal), getting a great bottle is easier than ever!
Nestled on Fleury West, in Ahuntsic, Les Cavistes lives up to its name! The restaurant-boutique offers an excellent selection of privately imported wines at very reasonable prices on their take-out menu.