Wine at Black Cat Bistro
Wine at Fratelli
Where to get Wine




2007 Mar 24
I sampled a glass of the Shingleback Shiraz (South Australia) and enjoyed its sweetness and complex fruitiness. I'm generally one to sip my wine between courses rather than with the food, so this worked out well. Unlike most wines it even went well with dessert. Anyways, I have yet to meet an Australian Shiraz I don't like.

They have an extensive selection of wines by the glass here, so if you like to sample a few different ones it's a great place to be!








2008 May 26
When it comes to wine, the first impression here is BIG… From the Big Greeting by the Host, Past the Big Wine Rack that covers one wall as you come in the front door, thru to the Big Wine List (there has to be over 200 wines by the bottle), to of course the main event, the Big Flavourful Wines that come from Italy.

Many things set this wine bar apart from others… to start with the individual attention. A Sommelier gladly helps you thru the wine list, and answers questions, and explains the differences between grapes and regions.

Another, is the Enomatic wine dispenser. This allows one to purchase wine is premeasured sizes, 1 – 3 – or 5 ounces. And as Nanoonk has stated, you can even purchase a pre-loaded cash card to make the experience even easier. But, I think the fact that wine is available in a variety of sizes is pure genius. This allows you to sample a wine (1 oz), enjoy a flight of wines with a meal (3 oz) or settle into one (5 oz).

The third element, that says this is not your average wine bar… you can self-serve a portion of wine and sit by the windows reading a book, but you can also get right in there and learn about wine, food and Italian culture. The staff are friendly and outgoing, and eager to share. Sign up for a wine tasting course, or a cooking class, an olive oil seminar, attend a Chef’s Dinner (each one themed on a different region), or learn to speak Italian (comes in handy if you decide to take one of their tutored trips to Italy).

Yes when it comes to Italian Wine, this is one BIG Experience!

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And oh ya another BIG Plus... say you are a wine collector in your own right, and you happen to have a very nice Italian that you've been cellaring for awhile, and would like to open it but the thought of your own cooking and a great wine leaves something to be desired (Captain Highliner and $ 100 bottle from Tuscany just don't match up somehow)...

DiVino's will charge you a moderate corkage fee... and be pleased to make suggestions from their menu on possible food matches. And, chances are pretty good that you'll also learn something about the wine you've been storing so carefully at home for just the right moment, and of course the region of Italy where your precious bottle of vino is from.




2009 Nov 13
They don't have a wine list, they have a wine bible!

2008 Mar 23
Pretty much all you have to do is walk to the bathroom and you can see all the wonderful awards that Eighteen has won for their wine list.
Outstanding to say the least, and all their menu items are paired very well, too.
I was very confused on whether to order by the bottle or glass seeing as I picked items randomly off the menu. Me and my date ended up with a bottle of pinot noir to match our main, and then received ON THE HOUSE, glasses of wine to accompany our other courses! Such great service and great wine knowledge as well. Those awards have come with a reason!


2008 Dec 19
Try their Pio Cesare "Gavi di Gavi"

2007 Oct 20
I had a Chardonnay delle Venezie Collavini 2005. Good wine to pair with fish dishes. Pale straw colour; citrus, green apple, melon aromas with herbal and mineral notes; dry with crisp acidity and flavours of Asian pear, apple and juicy citrus; good length on the finish. It costs 27$.


2008 Jun 21
Surprisingly Mongolian Village (Bell's Corners) has a decent wine list at a reasonable price. Oftentimes we find little gems or surprises on it (like Momomoto's recent experience). Wish more restaurants could follow suit.

2007 Oct 18
Don't laugh! I was just there last night and noticed that they were having a sort of "clear out the single-bottle remnants" sale. Twenty bucks a bottle. I noticed that there was a bottle there I recognized: a Vaucluse from Domaine de l'Ameillaud that Billy Munnelly (bless his Irish soul) calls his "long-time, best-in-the-world red."

Then I noticed that this was a 1998 bottle, and not the 2004 that's currently in the stores.

A nine-year-old bottle of wine.

Twenty bucks.

Of course, your mileage may vary.


2007 Sep 30
We aren't huge wine drinkers, so we each just had a glass. Wifey asked for a recommendation for white and was not disappointed. I opted for the Kangarilla Road McLaren Vale Shiraz and enjoyed it very much with my lamb. This restaurant has a small, closed room that looks a bit like the "Vintages" section of the LCBO and they take their wines very seriously. Wifey's white was served perfectly chilled, and my red came at ideal cellar temperature. So many so-called high end restaurants get this wrong and serve the reds at room temperature. If you happen to order a bottle of wine here, it is not left at your table. Rather, it is kept hidden away somewhere and is presented only when someone needs to be offered a refill.

They are known for their selection of fine wines and you have the option of getting a reasonably priced bottle or you can drop around $9000 on a 1959 Chateau Mouton Rothschild...


2006 Oct 4
For a place that otherwise seemed happy to emphasize local and seasonal items, it was surprising to see only a few Canadian wines (2 red, 4 white, all from Niagara). Otherwise, the wine list seemed concise (like the menu) and well-balanced -- something for everyone.





2007 Nov 19
I had the Santa Margherita Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Doc Brut. It's a good Italian Sparkling wine from Veneto Region. It was a good choice for my appetizer, The Black Cat Dips( foie gras Torchon, slt cod pate', goose rillettes, and olive tapenade). Very clean nose, pleasantly fruity, with hints of apples and peaches blossoms. Delicate and crisp. $ 10 by the glass.





2008 Sep 9
Attention Peter Logan Weemala Fans, I recently tasted the 2007 Pinot Noir at Fourth Avenue Wine Bar, and found it to be excellent. Here are the details:

Logan Weemala – Pinot Noir – Australia 2007
$ 9.75 (6 oz glass)
Rich, smooth, easy drinking… very pleasant.

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Also of note, several (all?) of the wines available by the glass have increased in price at Fourth Avenue Wine Bar, increases generally seem to be 25 to 50 cents per glass. Not sure if this is because (a) certain wines are more popular, (b) a particular wine is coming to the end of their supply on hand, or (c) all wines have increased in price.

2008 Jun 5
Recently spent a Sunday Afternoon here sitting at the cozy table upfront with the cute leather love seat. Had two glasses of wine each (and shared a third), they were:

Domaine des Cassagoles – Sauvignon Blanc – France 2006
12.5% from Cotes de Gascogne
$ 7.25 (6 oz glass) $ 29.00 (bottle)
A summer sipper – see my Review of May 22, 2008

Astrolabe – Sauvignon Blanc – New Zeland 2007
13% from Marlborough region
$ 12.50 (6 oz glass) $ 47.00 (bottle)
This is a weighter Sauvignon Blanc – Floral, Grassy, Peach flavours.
It is a Meadow in a Glass and will stay with you. White wine on steroids.

Terra Noble – Carmenere Reserva – Chile 2006
$ 8.75 (6 oz glass) $ 35.00 (bottle)
Smokey earthy scent. Amazing legs.
Mineral, smooth finish, fruit less obvious than a cab.

Pedrocelli 3 Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon – USA 2005
14.6% from the Dry Creek area of California
$ 9.50 (6 oz glass) $ 38.00 (bottle)
Fuity nose – a bit of licorce, buttery
Dark fruits – hit of pepper
High Alcohol and intensity
Would go wonderful with BBQ Strip Steak

Weemala – Shiraz – Australia 2005
13.5% from the Central Range
$ 9.00 (6 oz glass) $ 36.00 (bottle)
Always a favourite - See my Review of May 22, 2008

NONE of the above wines are available thru the LCBO

We accompanied our wine choice with the 3 Cheese Platter and Ace Baguette. All was good as per usual.

2008 May 22
Visited on a recent Saturday afternoon. Settled in at one of the high-top tables and were immediately greeted by the friendly bartender.

As it was late in the afternoon, we decided to turn our visit into an informal dinner of small side plates and a sampling of wines.

After reviewing the wine list, we chose the following:

“The Man” started out with a Paul Zinck, Pinot Blanc 2006 from France. Clean and fresh on the nose, medium bodied with a crisp finish. A nice summer sipper on its own or to accompany salmon. 12.5% alcohol = $ 8.75 a glass - $ 35.00 a bottle

I chose a favourite from our last visit, Domaine des Cassagnoles, Sauvignon Blanc 2006 from France. This is a great summer wine to enjoy on the deck. 12.5% alcohol = $ 7.25 a glass - $ 29.00 a bottle.

We started out with the bread basket, an Ace baguette served with oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

For our second round, “The Man” and I both moved onto the Red Wines. And added two more dishes to the mix. The Three Cheese Plate (all Quebec cheeses, a cheddar, brie and a smooth light blue) plate came with a fan-sliced apple and walnuts. The Sage, Lemon and Garlic Meatballs with Balsamic Dip. These dishes had enough “weight” to stand up to the reds.

He chose the Australian, Weemala Shiraz 2005. A favourite of both of ours whenever we can find it. Black cherries on the nose, medium bodied… smooth loveliness. Balanced out nicely with the cheese tray that we ordered. 13.5% alcohol = $ 9.00 a glass - $ 36.00 a bottle.

I settled on the Henry of Pelham, Merlot 2005 from Niagara. Tastes and aromas of dark berries, a smooth gentle finish. Also went well with the cheese tray. 13.5% alcohol = $ 9.75 a glass - $ 39.00 a bottle. This wine is available thru a variety of sources in Ontario, including the LCBO (Vintages #291120 $ 29.75 per bottle).

For his last glass, “The Man” chose a new world Malbec by Weinert of Argentina. At 14% alcohol a big wine with a spicy nose and lots of fruit. Available at the LCBO (Vintages #556795 $ 15.85 per bottle).

Another great visit and an easy way to spend a couple of hours on a weekend.

2008 Mar 6
Dropped by the Fourth Avenue Wine Bar this weekend after an "arsty" afternoon.

We settled in at a great table, and the bartender quickly came by with a hello and two tall glasses of ice water.

After reviewing the wine list we settled on the following:

"The Man" chose the French, Domaine des Cassagnoles, Sauvignon Blanc 2006. A very nice lite summer sipping type wine with 12.5% alcohol. A good choice for $ 7.25 a glass / $ 29 per bottle

I tried the Australian, Annie's Lane Riesling 2003. Also a nice easy drinking wine, although somewhat heavier than the Sauvignon Blanc. Balanced out with 11.5% alcohol. $ 9.50 a glass / $ 38 per bottle.

We accompanied the wine with a favourite from the food menu, the 3 Cheese Plate. The cheeses were Cheddar, Blue Cheese and Brie and the plate was rounded out with walnuts and pear slices $ 10. A perfect match!

For our second choices, both "The Man" and I moved onto the Red Wines.

He chose a Californian, Mandolin Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, 13.5% alcohol. This wine had a wonderful nose of smoked cherries, leather and earth. Nice fruit in the mouth, good structure, nice finish. $ 8 a glass / $ 32 per bottle.

I selected a New Zealand, Pinot Noir called Hunter's Pinot Noir 2006. At 13.5% alcohol this wine was a wonderful melding of dark cherries ad blackberries. A real value for a Pinot Noir of this calibre at $ 12.50 a glass / $ 47 per bottle.

We chose to match the red wine selections with the Mediterrean Plate – which featured Hummus, Infornate Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Garlic served with warm & toasty pita wedges = $ 8

All-in-all a fantastic way to spend some time on a winter weekend afternoon. Unfortunately, all of the wines I have mentioned are not available at the LCBO, however the NZ Pinot was available as a Vintages limited release back in September 2007 at $ 22.75 per bottle (750 ml). So once again the moral of the story is pay attention to the Vintages Releases and buy great wines when they become available.

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A couple of recent changes to the Fourth Avenue Wine Bar:

1) More extensive bar list (martinis, shots, beer)
2) Drum set has been removed from the back room... not sure if music nights are as important here as they once were.
3) Food & Wine matchings have been dropped from the menu... I for one think this a shame... in the past the matchings gave me a lot of info and encouraged me to try different things together (and in the end spend more money). They should bring this feature back.

2008 Feb 17
I love this spot. They have a great wine selection (99% of it by the glass), always something new to try, seeing as they change the list regularly. The people are friendly, and don't mind you checking out the various bottles or chatting wine favourites. The wine list / menu here comes in a duo-tang folder (because it is always changing), and lists their recommended wine & food matches. All that I've tried have been excellent. They serve small plates of food, perfect for singles or order several and share.

Haven't been there in 2008, time to go back for another visit!


2007 May 27
I asked our waiter to recommend a robust red wine, and he immediately suggested a Cabernet Sauvignon. Well played, sir - it was absolutely to my taste (delicious!) and I thoroughly enjoyed every drop :) Next time I may order a bottle of something and just ask them to bring the food slowly throughout the night so I have a chance to finish it!

2007 Feb 7
Domus offers one of the best Canadian wine list in Ottawa downtown. Here I realized that the quality of many Ontario white wines is improved a lot. I match my fish selection (scalopps + mushrooms+ spinachs) with a Canadian no-oaked Chardonnay from Niagara region. It was crisp, with a refreshing acidity, well balanced with hints of citrus and floral notes with a medium finish.
My girlfriend had a good Sauvignon Blanc from the same region. It was very complex with aromas of tropical fruits and grapefruit, full body and with a long finish. It was very crisp. Those wines were good choices for our fish selections. Even the ice-wines list was wide with many good labels.

2006 Dec 9
Like a few other restaurants in Ottawa, Domus tries to focus on local and Canadian cuisine. This is also true with their wine list, which features some wonderful bottles from all over Canada, focusing most on Ontario (and therefore the Niagara region).

I drooled over the first page of the list, which was rare/'last call' bottles of various vintages. We might have been celebrating my birthday, but we also didn't want to drop $70+ on a single bottle of wine, no matter how delicious it might be. Instead, we turned the page over to the local reds choices, and went with a Stonechurch Cabernet Franc. It was a balanced wine with flavours of blackberry and fresh pepper, and a hint of vanilla. Probably not the best choice for my salmon dish, but paired nicely with the risotto and my husband's duck.

I can see why they have won wine awards.




2007 Apr 9
I had the wine paring with my 3 course meal and each selection matched the course perfectly! Excellent selection.