Just the thought of a glass of rosé — a beautiful bottle chilling in an ice bucket — is enough to send diners out into the heat of summer. Add a tasting of this crisp wine to the backdrop of Canada’s stunning landscapes and a plate of the country’s finest eats and any old day becomes an afternoon to remember. Throughout the nation, there is no shortage of fine dining at places where the wine list is as important as the food menu, especially during rosé season. Here’s where to rosé all day in Canada.
Biff’s Bistro, Toronto
Aside from indulging in goodies like lamb tagine, chicken liver parfait, and gnocchi Parisienne, Biff’s Bistro has a specially curated rosé selection as part of its summertime “drink pink on the patio” rosé all day menu. With five rosés by the glass from Niagara, California, and France and 15 rosés by the bottle, the place to be at Biff’s is on the streetside patio, where imbibers sip on Provençal pinks and local wines courtesy of bar manager, a certified sommelier and winemaker Josh Kelly. Kelly’s top picks include Henry of Pelham ‘Cuvée Catharine’ Rosé, Tavel, Domaine Lafond Roc Épine, the Niagara Tawse Rosé, and the Spanish Raimat Rosado. Biff’s patrons pack the patio to hear Kelly’s sage advice and discover a few new favorites. Make a reservation at Biff’s Bistro.
BEIRA-Ritchie Market, Edmonton
Prairie and European inspiration define BIERA at the Ritchie Market. This is a beer lover’s brewpub, freshly brewed by Blind Enthusiasm, but BIERA is also the ideal destination for a glass of Canadian rosé to go with chef Christine Sandford’s ethereal creations. Share an order of chickpea pancakes with burdock root and egg butter or Shropshire blue crackers with her housemade cream cheese and shishito sambal. After 6PM, fire up your charcoal appetite with some Acme chicken, Broek Acres pork shoulder, and beef minute steak. Make a reservation at BIERA-Ritchie Market.
Deane House, Calgary
If freshly shucked oysters and fermented hot sauce followed by nettle and ricotta dumplings, duck confit, or lamb loin doesn’t draw you into Deane House, the opportunity to split a bottle of cold rosé in this gorgeous old house will. Home to Canadian cuisine with peak seasonal ingredients from the region, one of the best options for dinner here is the Spatchcock chicken which serves two – a perfect pairing for one of the several rosés available here, courtesy of the legendary spirit of Deane himself. Make a reservation at Deane House.
Nowhere is ‘La Vie en rosé’ more apropos than at Figo, a restaurant that is itself as light and airy as the rosé patrons drink here. Unpretentious and palatable, especially when consumed on Figo’s festive patio, the rosés on this wine list make flawless pairings with tuna carpaccio, whole branzino, arancini with wood-roasted tomato sauce, and all of the housemade pastas. Of special note, guests go berserk for the house crispy potato with pepperoncini salsa verde. Save the last glass of rosé for the sea salt and amarena cherries garnished panna cotta. Make a reservation at Figo.
Bar Clementine, Edmonton
Take a tour of rosés at Bar Clementine from the Haywire Gamay Noir Rosé of Summerland, Canada to the Batič Rosé from Vipavska Dolina, Slovenia with a stop in a glass of French Beaujolais or Chinon Rosé in between. Don’t forget to order a few vittles for nosh – like the irresistible courgette blossom tempura with auburgene and moromi, with a helping of blue cheese-butter poached Atlantic ling cod with fennel, bell pepper, and salumi. The wine and food at this feel-good Oliver neighbourhood a la early 20th century French Art Nouveau pub is perfectly matched with the atmosphere. A nod to classic bartending and the art of lounging, Bar Clementine is a total darling. Make a reservation at Bar Clementine.
Liquidity Wines and Bistro, Okanagan Falls
With so much to see, eat, and drink at Liquidity Wines and Bistro, every meal is special at this winery/bistro/art gallery. But one of the best times to celebrate rosé is during the brunch hours when diners can sink their taste buds into chorizo hash with crispy egg and aged cheddar or a buttermilk biscuit Eggs Benedict with smoked chervil hollandaise – just don’t forget to save room for a rhubarb scone because it pairs perfectly with Liquidity’s recent releases. They include the winery’s own 2017 rosé that harkens to strawberry yogurt, rhubarb, and hibiscus aromas with a delightful hint of cranberry and Campino candies. Liquidity’s new exhibition, “Photo Ark” by National Geographic is on display through early September. Make a reservation at Liquidity Bistro.