Best Bars: A look at three of Toronto’s world-class wine cellars
37 Prince Arthur Ave., 416-921-3105
The staggering 52,000-bottle cellar at Opus, assembled over nearly two decades by brothers Mario and Tony Amaro, makes dignified oenophiles scream like Bieber fans. Winner of The Wine Spectator’s Grand Award for 10 years running, it contains massive hauls from Burgundy, Bordeaux, California, Portugal and Italy. The priciest bottle is a Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from 1990 that rings in at $21,900 (Opus is one of the fortunate few to get a tiny annual allotment from the legendary burgundy producer).
7 Elm St., 416-597-0335
Since taking over the venerable steak house from his father 18 years ago, Arron Barberian has invested millions in improving its cellar, including with an expansion that swallowed up the neighbouring parking lot. The massive concrete vault now holds almost 40,000 bottles. Barberian is obsessed with Rhônes and Bordeaux, and he owns a $12,200 bottle of 1982 Château Pétrus, a highly coveted Pomerol from one of the greatest French vintages of the last century.
88 Harbord St., 416-929-7788
Preferring breadth to depth, the restaurant’s owner, Carlo Catallo, keeps a modest collection of 5,000 or so bottles chosen for their finesse with food. There are plenty of Canadian wines, with smart choices from all the right producers, including rare gems from Inniskillin dating back to the ’90s. Catallo’s prized possession is a $525 Georges Lignier Bonnes-Mares grand cru from 1985. “It’s elusive and mysterious,” he says.