Whether you’re looking for an intimate, cozy spot to enjoy a glass of wine by yourself or a music-filled bar to share a bottle with friends, Calgary is full of high-quality wine bars. You don’t have to be a wine expert to visit these spots either – between the knowledgeable staff and affordable drink options that make trying new wines easier, you’ll be a budding connoisseur in no time. Here are eight wine bars to visit in Calgary.
Bar Von Der Fels, Calgary’s newest wine bar, is quickly making a name for itself as one of the best wine spots in the city. At this small Beltline bar, sommeliers Thomas Dahlgren and Will Trow have assembled an extensive list of more than 100 sparkling, white and red wines and champagnes that are offered by the bottle. A few wines are available by the glass as well, with selections changing nightly. In the kitchen, chef Nick Berenyi whips up dishes like ricotta gnocchi and Brandt Lake Alberta wagyu beef tartare.
1005A 1 St. S.W., 587-349-2656, barvonderfels.com
Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro
To say that Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro’s wine list is impressive is a bit of an understatement – the list features 500-plus wines hailing from countries ranging from Canada to France to South Africa. But, while wine and cheese may be focal points at this Stephen Avenue bistro, that’s not all you’ll find here. You can select a few cheeses to enjoy with a glass of wine and Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro also offers a full lunch and dinner menu that includes dishes like braised lamb shank and black pepper linguine.
113 8 Ave. S.W., 403-410-5555, divinobistro.com, @divino_bistro
At only 350 square feet and with only 15 seats, Frenchie Wine Bar has been a small but mighty addition to Calgary’s wine scene since it was opened by BMeX Restaurant Group this past summer. Located behind Una Takeaway (you can access it through Una Pizza + Wine), this wine bar offers a selection of wines from small producers. Take a seat on one of the red leather bar stools and pair a glass of wine with a charcuterie or cheese board, featuring meats made by Empire Provisions and cheese from Peasant Cheese Shop.
616 17 Ave. S.W., 403-453-1183, frenchieyyc.com
For a more casual wine bar experience, head to Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar in Inglewood. Both a coffee shop and a wine bar, this local spot offers close to a dozen kinds of wine that are almost all available by the glass and bottle. Stop by for a drink with a friend or indulge in some of Gravity’s food offerings that include paninis, soups, cheese boards and more. On Friday and Saturday nights, you can also enjoy live music performances.
Featuring large windows and a modern vibe, Next Door Wine Bar is a great spot to share a bottle of wine over lunch, dinner or later in the evening. Along with Mediterranean fare, the restaurant offers a large selection of wines from around the world (more than a dozen of which are available by the glass). Consider dropping by during the month of January 2016, when Next Door is offering select bottles of wine for only $25.
8330 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-255-1222, nextdoorwinebar.ca
Thanks to its three locations across the city (in Mission, West Springs and the YYC Calgary International Airport), Vin Room helps ensure that a great glass of wine is never far away. Vin Room serves more than 100 different kinds of wine, some of which are offered in as many as four different sizes (2 oz, 6 oz, half and full bottles). Be sure to take a peek behind the bar to see how opened bottles are stored using the restaurant’s Enomatic wine preservation system, which keeps each bottle fresh.
If you’re craving a night of music, wine or both, Wine-Ohs in downtown Calgary is the place for you. Start your night at the bistro on the main level, where you can decide between an old world white wine or new world red wine to go with one of chef April Lee Baker’s tasty dishes. Afterwards, venture down to the cellar to take in one of the live music performances featuring musicians from across the country, which take place every day of the week except Mondays.
811 1 St. S.W., 403-263-1650, wine-ohs.com, @wineohsinc
Located below Brasserie Kensington, Winebar Kensington is a cozy spot to hunker down with a bottle of wine (there are more than 100 kinds to choose from) and a dish from the ever-changing tapas menu. But perhaps the best thing about Winebar are the fantastic wine deals it offers throughout the week. Not only can you save $2 on glasses of wine during its afternoon and late night happy hours, but you can also get bottles of wine for half price on Sundays.