Whether to enhance food, unwind from a long day or simply enjoy a blast of flavour, there’s no wrong reason for drinking wine. There can be obstacles to receiving its pleasure at the bar or restaurant level though, chiefly the mark-up. It’s even worse when you know a bottle costs $11.95 at the liquor store and you’ve just paid $13 for a glass at the bar. But what about discounted wine? Lower price points invite experimentation with bottles that might otherwise be out of reach. And—can we speak frankly here?—even plonk brings the tingles if that’s all you seek. If you’re willing to be flexible with your drinking days and times, you can score significant deals in hotspots citywide. Here are some.
Morgan’s on the Danforth
1282 Danforth Ave., 416-461-3020
This fabulously laidback, comfort food-focused gastropub just steps from Greenwood subway station discounts every bottle by 50 percent on Mondays. That delicious, crisp Fielding Estates Riesling from Niagara region that pairs so well with Morgan’s famed Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken? It’s $21. Echelon Pinot Noir from California alongside Glazed Organic Salmon? $22.50. You won’t hate Mondays for long…
10 Dundas St. E., 416-506-0753
Yes, it’s a massive, noisy sports bar rising above tourist ground zero at Yonge and Dundas. But every weekday from 3 pm to 7 pm and Sunday to Thursday from 10 pm to close, Shark Club pours 5 ounces of its house wine for $4. Yeah, you’re welcome.
131 Bloor St. W., 416-551-9929
La Société conjures the swoon-worthy Parisian bistro experience with skill. And if you pick your moments judiciously, it’s a surprisingly affordable place to tipple. Sunday patrons enjoy 50 percent off select bottles with the purchase of dinner. Thursday afternoon visitors can pair buck-a-shuck oysters with deeply discounted Veuve Clicquot champagne. There’s also brunch and after-work specials. Just please try and look effortlessly amazing while you’re drinking, OK?
124 Danforth Ave., 416-466-2000
Not for nothing was this east end bistro recognized with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence from 2009 to 2016. Its Niagara-friendly wine list is superb and made more accessible with half-price bottles on Sundays. And Globe permits guests to BYOB, charging a modest $20 corkage fee so there’s no excuse for not toting along that amazing LCBO find.
Duke of Devon, 66 Wellington St. W.
Duke of Kent, 2315 Yonge St.
Duke of Richmond, 20 Queen St. W.
Duke of Somerset, 655 Bay St.
Duke of Westminster, 77 Adelaide St. W.
Duke of York, 39 Prince Arthur Ave.
All six locations of the venerable, British-themed Duke Pubs offer half-price bottles between 11 am and 4 pm every day. Chicken wings optional.