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A Wine Lover’s Top 10 in Toronto

View the city from high atop the CN Tower and see the Guinness Book of World Record’s Highest Wine Cellar at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower. At an elevation of 351 metres (1,151 ft.), it’s the world’s highest wine storage facility in a building or tower. This sky-high cellar has a 9,000-bottle capacity and stores an extensive selection of more than 550 labels from around the world.

Make sure to try the expert wine and food pairings at Crush Wine Bar. Select from more than 30 wines by the glass as well as several “flights” (two-ounce tasting pours) of three wines matched with bistro-style appetizer plates.

A decadent Champagne trolley is but one of the enticements at Splendido, a restaurant known for its smooth service, fabulous food from local organic suppliers and a select wine list of delightful depth that celebrates offerings from off-beat wine regions. Save room for the great selection of dessert wines.

Think hotel dining is boring? Not at the Fairmont Royal York where Epic restaurant claims the honours as North America’s largest purchaser of Canadian appellation wines (those that have a VQA designation). At the Four Seasons, the swell, award-winning Truffles hosts monthly winemakers’ dinners ($150 to $175 per person).

A shopping trip to the Summerhill L.C.B.O. (10 Scrivener Square, 416-922-0403) is sure to have you hauling out your plastic. Ontario’s largest and most elegant emporium for all things alcoholic, this liquor store is housed in a renovated train station. Sign up for a tutored wine-tasting session or cooking with wine class to help perfect your palate. See Summerhill in the City for more on the Summerhill neighourhood.)

Pick up a copy of The Wine Atlas of Canada ($60) and impress dinner guests with your knowledge. The first Canadian wine reference guide was penned by Tony Aspler, former wine columnist for the Toronto Star, and provides an extensive survey of the country’s vineyards and award-winning wines. Available at Indigo.

Enhance your drink with the perfect glass from the Wine Establishment. Wine cellar units, Riedel and Spiegelau crystal, corkscrews and decanters are just some of the bounty found in its showroom.

Take a daytrip to picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake to visit its many excellent wineries. Niagara World Wine Tours (1-800-680-7006, www.niagaraworldwinetours.com) arranges packages with transportation, tour and lunch ($140). Crush on Niagara Wine Tours (1-866-408-9463, www.crushtours.com) offers in-depth daily tours that depart from Niagara-on-the-Lake ($69 to $99). With Lincoln Limo (905-945-5466, www.lincolncab.com), you can book a private touring van complete with mini-fridge and picnic basket, or a limo (van: $80 per hour, limo: $100). Chariots of Fire Niagara Falls Tours, Gray Line Niagara Tours and Niagara and Toronto Tours offer day tours of Niagara Falls that include a stop at a winery.

At Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, enjoy wines by the glass from hidden-gem wineries, which sommelier Jamie Drummond expertly pairs with scrumptious appetizer-size dishes.

Wear your love on your ears with a purchase from Watchcraft. Snag the ready-to-wear yellow gold earrings with amber grapes ($1,720) or have your wine-inspired earrings made to taste in three to six weeks.—Margaret Swaine

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