Eating & Drinking

Wine destination Buyers + Cellars offers tastings, shopping on Somerset

Let’s call it a wine destination. Buyers + Cellars, with its catchy tagline “discover uncorked potential,” bills itself as a boutique wine company that offers a little bit of everything: curation, sales, tasting, and education. In other words, a one-stop shopping spot for the curious wine lover. 

Though their plans have had to be modified due to the pandemic, the long-term goal is to preside over a destination that will offer options for every type of wine lover — a wine shop, a neighbourhood spot to sip a glass of wine before heading out to dinner or a night on the town, a casual destination for structured tastings and cool classes, and a place to go for one-on-one guidance on curating your personal wine cellar. 

Photo by Justin Thomason

The brainchild of sommelier Rob Nellis, Buyers + Cellars boasts a top-notch team, with the other key partners being tasting room manager Curtis Stephenson, whose pedigree includes more than two decades at Hy’s, The Shore Club, and Riviera; restaurateur-about-town Bryan Livingston; and Margaret Hobbs, formerly of Hobbs & Co. Wine Merchants. Design is by West of Main.

(That showstopper mural? It’s by Mexican artist Lolita Matsui. Designers Sascha Lafleur and Justin Thomason of West of Main came across her work and commissioned her to create this unique piece, which features a portrait by Geoff Moore of in-demand model Sara Cummings; Matsui used a photo transfer to place the portrait on the wall, using various techniques to add texture.)

Photo by Justin Thomason

Here’s what’s going on right now:

For the Collector
Along with visiting established wine regions, Nellis loves discovering small family-owned wineries in emerging regions, offering local wine lovers the chance to add fine vintages from around the world. “We’re all about sharing our passion for wine and creating a better way to buy it,” says Nellis. 

The owners specialize in offering intimate private tastings to help wine lovers to build their personal cellars. Tastings can be booked through the website.

Photo by Justin Thomason

For a Night Out Within the Bubble
With everyone going a little stir crazy, Buyers + Cellars has been booking lots of small groups for tasting sessions — a chance for a close friends to get out of the house and enjoy socializing while sipping some fine wines and enjoying charcuterie. Of late, Nellis reports that small gatherings have included friend groups, as well as intimate retirement and birthday parties.

Rigorous cleaning protocols are in place, with 90 minutes set aside in between sessions. 

Spotless, spectacular bathrooms with lots of room for social distancing. Photo by Justin Thomason

Forego the LCBO!
Forget those liquor-store lineups and pick up your wine via takeout. The Buyers + Cellars “takeout menu has about 50 curated bottles at all price points and with only a very small markup. There are also a few tasting boxes (wine and food pairings) and wine-friendly snacks on the “experience menu.” 

Sure, you can have your order delivered, but wouldn’t you rather stop by in person to pick up your wines and check out this spectacular new wine spot?

Find it: 327 Somerset St. W.

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. (by appointment), but the owners plan to extend the hours in the near future.