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Toasting Top Vintages: Wine Guide

COZY HIDEAWAY Paired with an intimate rooftop dining room, the cellar at The Fifth Grill boasts bottles from South Africa to the Napa Valley, as well as dessert wines, champagnes and ports. Among the highlights is a Gould Campbell 1985, vintage port ($185 a bottle), which is produced by the ancient method of treading the grapes by foot in stone tanks.

SALUTE! Travel the world through the wines, spirits and liqueur offerings at Via Allegro Ristorante, which on any given day has upwards of 5,500 vino choices, as well as 800 whiskies and 200 grappas ($7.95 to $12.95 by the glass). This multi-award-winning Italian restaurant’s vaults include a collection of Macallan single-malt Scotch whiskies that date back to 1937, and grappa from two prestigious Italian distillers, Nonino and Poli.

EAST MEETS WEST Modern Indian cuisine meets the old world at Amaya the Indian Room. Try the acclaimed South African Forrester chenin blanc white wine ($118 a bottle) with your curry or korma, or have a celebratory toast with a bottle of Tarlant champagne ($99 a bottle), made at a family vineyard established in 1687.

TOUR DE FORCE Francophiles have been flocking to Provence for more than two decades. A predominantly French wine list covers regions such as Burgundy, the Loire Valley and the Rhône with regional dishes such as cassoulet or braised rabbit—and tarte tatin for dessert—at this Cabbagetown institution. Discover the luscious red wine, Vieux Telegraphe 2005 ($157 a bottle), hailing from Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s vineyards, which were planted in 1898.

HAUTE CUISINE The seasonal fare at Splendido is both indulgent and elegant, with savoury mains like poached Nova Scotia lobster. A comprehensive wine list featuring more than 1,000 offerings from the new and old world complements the menu. France boasts one such indulgence in the form of a 1982 Château Petrus ($6,000 a bottle).

GLOBAL SELECTIONS More than 2,000 bottles from around the world fill the ceiling-high shelves of Reds, including shirazes and pinot noirs from Chile to New Zealand. Choose from 450 labels (starting at $30 a bottle) or more than 88 by the glass ($4 and up), including a rare offering of the 1997 Biondi Santi Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva from Tuscany ($1,200 a bottle).

TOP OF THE WORLD The highest cellar in the world—as recognized by the Guinness Book of Records—is also one of the best in the city. The “cellar in the sky” at 360 the Restaurant at the CN Tower incorporates an award-winning wine list comprised of more than 550 Canadian and international offerings, including 16 sparkling wines and champagnes like the coveted 1990 Dom Perignon champagne ($425 a bottle).

DELIGHTFULLY FRENCH In the heart of tony Bloor-Yorkville, authentic French flavours rise to the occasion at Truffles. The 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, ler Cru Classé ($2,900 a bottle) makes for a sumptuous pairing with the restaurant’s signature dish, spaghettini with Perigord black gold truffle sauce.

SCENIC SIPPING Classically prepared dishes are as much a hallmark of Scaramouche as the bank of windows offering a spectacular view of the city. Sample the exclusive offerings of amarone—a rich, dry red wine from Italy—including the hard-to-find Giuseppe Quintarelli 1998 Veneto Vintage ($725 a bottle), which was aged for seven years in Slovenian oak boxes.

LOVE BY THE LABEL Rendezvous at romantic Auberge du Pommier for a quiet dinner for two, where the creamy toile-adorned dining room and modern French cuisine are well-matched with a decorated wine list that includes 500 labels. Try a riesling from Alsace or a merlot from Canada, or treat yourself to the sought-after 2002 Henri Boillot Grand Cru Bâtard-Montrachet white burgundy ($600 a bottle).—Doris Miculan Bradley

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