Stephen Ave is one of our city’s most versatile strips, known for corporate lunches, great shopping, and some of the best pubs in the city. It’s also one of the best areas in Calgary to drink some killer wine. No matter what kind of wine experience you’re looking for, you can find it on 8th ave. We’ve picked out our favorites here. Try out a couple places, or all of them…because there’s no such thing as too much wine.
Comfy seating, sexy lighting, fantastic service and comprehensive menus make Divino the perfect place for any wine focused night. Pick out a nice bottle of red to go with a cheese plate, or a crisp white to have with some mussels. Going with a few friends? Why not treat yourselves to a magnum (1500ml)?
The wine list here can be daunting to anyone short of a sommelier. Here’s our advice: Don’t feel like you have to choose the one wine you can pronounce, or one you’re already familiar with. Talk to your server! Tell them what you like in a wine, if and what you’re planning to eat, and how much you’d like to spend. Chances are they’ve sampled most of the list, and they’ll definitely be happy to help.
Double Zero really covers all the ground here. Whether you’re hosting a business lunch, going out for drinks after work, or are out on the town with some friends, this place never disappoints. While it’s known for its pizza, the wine list is not to be overlooked. With a slight emphasis on Old World wines, Double Zero is a great place to step out of your comfort zone. Nothing goes better with pizza than Italian wine, so ditch the usual suspects (I’m looking at you, California reds), and try something new! Not for you? Don’t worry, the New World selection is quite extensive. There really is something for everyone here!
Located on the west end of Stephen Ave, downtownfood quickly proved themselves to be a solid contender in Calgary’s ever-growing culinary scene. Everything is made in house, and they even have a rooftop garden where they grow vegetables and herbs for their dishes. Just as impressive as their food, is their wine. The list here thrives on its simplicity. One page each of red and whites, they serve what they love. And man, do they have great taste. Saddle up at the bar and ask what the staff is loving these days; everyone is so friendly they’ll be more than happy to help you out. And if fantastic food, drink and staff weren’t enough, on Wednesdays all bottles of wine are half price!
With rustic décor, calming music and a great view for people watching, Escoba is one of the coziest places in the city to grab some wine. All of the glass pours on the list are accompanied by a brief description, which is always nice if you’re not familiar with a certain varietal or winery. Feeling indecisive? Try out a flight! They offer four different flights, each with three half glasses of wine. This is a great option if you’re wanting to learn about pairing wine with food. If you’re looking to jump right into a bottle, check out their reserve list. It’s full of great value wines, proving that despite what you might think, you don’t need to drop a ton of money to have a fantastic wine. If you need some food with your booze, ask your server to bring you an appie platter. They’ll pick out some staff favorites for you to snack away on while you sip away!
I’ll cut to the chase here: happy hour wine. $5 a glass? Yes please! After a hectic day at work it’s nice to be able to walk in somewhere and not have to think about what kind of drink you want. Just say ‘red’ or ‘white’ and you’ll be greeted with some delicious vino in no time. Not going at happy hour? Or feeling like a bottle perhaps? They really prove themselves to be an upscale pub with their wine list. They have 12 glass pours available, comprised mostly of tried and true fan favorites. The ones only available by the bottle are fantastic as well. Pick one out, grab a few appies to share, and you’re set. Going on a Wednesday? From 5pm until they run out, they have a free pig roast! Delicious wine and delicious, free food- what more could you want?
Cocktails on special every day and wine by the glass or the bottle makes Cactus Club Cafe the place to be for the perfect wine date. They have a full drinks menu, and some of the best appies and entres on Stephen Ave. Since it's right in the core of downtown YYC, it'll be hard to pass by without stopping in for a glass or two after a long week at work.