What does "support local" mean to you? Is it a trite, modern trope you hide behind while sporting Italian leather shoes, munching a banana and carrying a smart phone in your back pocket?
If COVID has taught us anything, this "trope" rings truer more than ever - buying local props up our local economy. It could mean the difference between keeping doors open versus seeing them close.
While this list barely scratches the surface, it comes from my most trusted sources - wine industry pals with the best palates and ability to vet the cream of the crop.
Grab a bottle, order some takeout, or pick up a gift certificate - it all helps.
What: A restaurant turned bottle shop, focused on an affordable selection of natural wine. (actually though, like seriously affordable.)
Where: Toronto, 1166 Dundas West
Social/Web: @grapecrush.wine / https://www.grapecrush.wine/
Tommy's Wine Bar
What: A community driven bottle shop/wine bar creating a list that's approachable, fun and humble.
Where: Toronto, 1977 Dundas West
What: A natural wine bar serving seasonally inspired dishes and fresh pastas. Home of the creators of one of the most insane dishes of squid ink pasta I've ever eaten.
Where: Toronto, 819 Gerrard Street East
Social/Web: @wynonatoronto / https://wynonatoronto.com/
What: A neo-cafe/bakery and wine shop serving only what they drink and enjoy themselves! Akin to stepping back in time to a rustic and charming gem in the rough in a remote French village.
Where: Toronto, 1300 Gerrard Street East
Social/Web: @le_conciliabule_to / https://www.leconciliabulleto.com/
What: A pop-up wine company run by two friends, neighbours and wine obsessives. Never pretentious, just laughs.
Where: Weekly wine bar at Dock Lunch in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver. Starting again in January from Wednesday to Friday. 152 11th Ave E
Social/Web: @vinvan.ca / https://www.vinvan.ca/
What: Pop ups in the sea to sky area featuring honest wines and delicious pairings. Amidst COVID, they have adapted to door step deliveries. Past offerings have included packs of dumplings paired with local bubbles.
Where: Vancouver, BC
Social/Web: @pompette.wine / pompette.wine
Bells and Whistles
What: Top notch casual fare, wine, cocktails, and an award winning draft line up.
Where: 4497 Dunbar Street, Vancouver
Social/Web: @bellsandwhistlesyvr / bellsandwhistlesyvr.ca
What: Winnipeg's best wine shop, with the coolest selection around.
Where: Winnipeg, 106 - 1 Forks Market Road
Social/Web: @ellementwine / https://www.ellementwine.ca/
Deer and Almond
What: A project of chef Mandel Hitzer, Deer and Almond focuses on tapas style fare and has converted to curb side pickup.
Where: 85 Princess Street, Winnipeg
Social/Web: @deerandalmondywg / https://www.deerandalmond.com/crew
What: A natural wine bar that's perfected hi-lo. High end natty paired with classics - pork schnitzel, cast iron chicken, and the like.
Where: 557 Osborne Street, Winnipeg
Social/Web: @oxbowwpg / https://www.oxbowwpg.ca/
What: Self described as a "couple kids making treats in a treehouse."
Where: 651 Corydon Ave, Winnipeg
Social/Web: @theroostwpg / https://theroostwpg.com/menu
What: A locally owned shop, boasting the largest selection of natural wine in Saskatchewan.
Where: Saskatoon and Regina
Social/Web: @metroliquorsask / https://metroliquorsk.com/
What: A restaurant widely lauded as the biggest supporter of natural wine in the city. Bonus: they have natural wine gift baskets for Christmas.
Where: 423 20th Street W, Saskatoon
Where: /Web: @primal_pasta / primalpasta.ca
Homestead Bar a Vin
What: Known to locals as Regina's "natural wine bar with dope food".
Where: 338C University Park Dr, Regina
Social/Web: @homesteadbaryqr / https://www.naturalwinecanada.com/
Von der Fels
What: A selection of both natural and conventional wines, in a tiny 24 seat restaurant.
Where: 1005A 1st Street SW
Social/Web: @barvonderfels / http://www.barvonderfels.com/
What: The OG of wine boutiques in Calgary. Head to Metrovino for in depth intel on French wine and sherry - it's likely one of the most expertly curated wine stores in the entire country.
Where: 722 11 Ave SW, Calgary
Social/Web: @metrovino / https://www.metrovino.com/
Our Daily Brett
What: Our Daily Brett is the kind of place that sets trends - like back in 2010, when I was living in Calgary, and they were making kale chips before it was cool. The food is always exquisite, chic, and delicious.
Where: 2509 14th Street SW, Calgary
Social/Web: @ourdailybrett / https://www.ourdailybrett.com/
Color de Vino
What: A family owned and operated wine and spirits boutique.
Where: 9606 82 Ave Nw, Edmonton
Social/Web: colordevino_yeg / https://colordevino.ca/