Grape Crush, Toronto's coolest place to buy and sip wine

Switch up your usual wine run with a visit to Dundas West's Grape Crush, a bottle shop and wine bar with a large selection of natural vino. 

Grape Crush bottle shop and wine bar | A wall of bottles at Grape Crush

The wine world can be a tad pretentious. There, we said it. But at Grape Crush, Dundas West’s neon bottle shop and wine bar, all are welcome.

“We try to curate the list so that there’s something for everyone,” says co-owner Nancy Chen. “We have a great, large selection that has a lot of diversity.” For a bottle shop, their collection of natural, bio-dynamic and classic wines is the city’s largest, where you’re bound to find something new, something funky or something that feels familiar.

“[With natural wine] you can get something that’s very clean, crisp and classic, but then you can also get something that’s super weird and funky, and maybe smells like a sewer but tastes delicious,” Chen says with a laugh. “I love that it’s not about standardization — this isn’t your mom’s chardonnay. A natural chardonnay can taste nothing like the oaky stuff. There’s more room for experimentation and the full spectrum of expression for every grape.”

Colourful bottles of fun and interesting vino line the walls from the ceiling to the teal floor that’s so glossy, it feels like you could dive in. In the evenings, the psychedelic space glows with irradiant lights and the glint of a slowly turning disco ball. Take a seat at the bar or sink into a plushy booth and have a splash (1-ounce pour) or savour a glass from their rotating list of wines from sparkling pét-nats to crisp rosé

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“We have the largest ‘under $25’ section for bottle shops that specialize in natural [wine],” Chen declares proudly, as she should. Natural/low intervention/raw wine has acquired quite the reputation for being something only natural wine purists would pay a pretty penny for, which isn’t the full truth. “It’s always been something that’s been very important to us, to keep prices affordable for people,” she says. In fact, the whole modus operandi of Grape Crush is a bottle for any budget or ‘wines within reach’ — we’ll toast to that.

Foodism faves

Grape Crush: No Pain Gimbap

While you’re shopping or sipping, order a Korean snack from No Pain Gimbap's takeaway counter, or dine inside. “They specialize in kimbap (Korean sushi),” Chen says. “I remember a lot of my Korean classmates would bring those for a packed lunch. So it’s definitely nostalgic food.”

Grape Crush: House wines

“We have a pretty big house wine section. We partner with wineries like Traynor and Rosewood to create limited editions. So you get to taste some really amazing wines and we design the labels ourselves.”

Grape Crush: Gifting

“We do specialized gift wraps. And we have fun add-ons for wine lovers like puzzles of wine regions and ice bags.” If you need a gift on the fly, Grape Crush also delivers wine within 45 minutes when you order from their website.

Grape Crush, 1166 Dundas St. W.;