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How to Buy Wine Online

Drink like a socially-distanced somm with these fine online wine merchants.

By: JEREMY FREEDDate: 2020-07-02
Patio season is finally here and while we may be spending more time in our own backyards (and balconies, and roof decks) this year, summer days still call for summer beverages. It has never been easier to shop online for the important stuff of life (including, of course, summer wardrobe essentials) but wine lovers might find themselves frustrated by delivery times of up to two weeks, especially if they’re ordering from a certain liquor control board in Ontario. Fortunately, the pandemic has loosened restrictions on who can sell bottles of wine, expanding the available options greatly. From neighbourhood wine bars to small wineries to dedicated wine shops, these are a few of Canada’s best options to get your hands on a glass of chilled rosé in short order.

Paradise Grapevine (Ontario)

This beloved West Toronto wine bar offers a truly impressive range of wines from Canada and around the world, including many skin contact and biodynamic options. For great value (and beautiful packaging), don’t miss their house label releases, which usually sell out quickly. Delivery for all order of $100 or more is free within Ontario.

Hinterland (ON)

Prince Edward County’s favourite sparkling wine specialist was already in the mail-order game before the pandemic, so they had no problem pivoting to a delivery model this spring. Orders of four bottles or more ship free within Ontario, putting their traditional method charmats, ancestrals and ciders within easy reach.

Boozer (Toronto & Vancouver)

This app specializes in delivering craft beer from breweries in Toronto and Vancouver to the doorsteps of eager hopheads, but has grown to include wine and spirits as well. Simply enter your location, browse the retailers and products available and select your favourite bottles for delivery. It’s basically like ordering from UberEats, but with alcohol.

Metrovino (Calgary)

Calgary’s premiere destination for old-world wines is now offering free, contactless delivery on orders of over $100 within the Calgary city limits. Their hand-picked selection leans heavily into old world wines, with over half their inventory devoted to French bottles alone. We’re particularly interested in their Dry Riesling Snack Pack, a selection of six deliciously crisp bottles of Germany’s signature wine.

Comptoir Sainte Cecile (Montreal)

Quebec’s small producers are making some seriously good wines these days and Comptoir Sante Cecile is one of the best places in Montreal to score some. This gourmet grocery store now offers delivery Tuesdays and Fridays, giving Montrealers an easy way to discover delicious new bottles from their own backyard.

Kenaston Wine (Winnipeg)

All tastes and budgets are accounted for at this Winnipeg wine specialist, which offers free contactless delivery Monday through Saturday. In addition to a robust selection of new and old-world wines, they’ve also got a nice selection of artisanal ciders that are perfect for summer sipping.

Swirl (Vancouver)

This shop specializes in BC wines, but that doesn’t mean they’re short on selection. With over 850 bottles to choose from, there’s enough variety to keep you tasting new things all summer and beyond. Free delivery within Vancouver for orders of 4 bottles or more.

Liberty Wine Merchants (Vancouver)

With six locations around Vancouver, Liberty Wine Merchants has long been a destination for oenophiles on the lower mainland and with free shipping on all orders over $200, they remain a reliable source this summer. Order a bottle of their house-label organic Pet-Nat Shiner and save us a glass.

Jeremy Freed is a Toronto-based freelance journalist. His writing about menswear, travel, design and sustainability appears in Sharp, GQ, the Globe and Mail and many more.