Champagne Wall, Shangri-La Toronto
188 University Ave., Toronto
The Pitch An aspiration of the general manager Richard Cook since the hotel’s opening in early 2013, the Shangri-La Toronto’s Champagne Wall finally made its debut in the fall of 2014. A sexy floor-to-ceiling glass-door refrigerator housed in black casing, the wall is scaled with the help of an elevator that lifts sommelier Mark Moffatt up to bubbly heights. “There is something for all price points,” he says, which includes two 15-litre bottles of Champagne. Bottles start at $150 and run up to $10,000. (Bubbly by the glass begins at $20.) The wall-cum-lounge bar is the only one of its kind in Toronto and only one of a few in the Shangri-La chain. The hotel hopes to get more people — especially locals — into its doors and lobby lounge seats. Chef Damon Campbell has created a complementary menu with matches for a variety of Champagnes.
What We Love Sometimes you want to sit in the lap of luxury without getting into a fight with your credit card — this is the way to do just that. Grab a seat with the fireplace behind you and downtown’s bustle in front, and spend an hour or an evening being attended to by Moffatt and his staff. Because this particular wall is free of easily-found Veuves and Moëts, you’ll mostly likely be drinking something you’ll never drink again — the sommelier goes out of his way to find lesser-known houses and vintages — which means this isn’t just a drink, but an experience.
Don’t Miss If you’re being daring with the bubbly, don’t simply opt for the cheese plate. Take advantage of the Champagne Wall menu from the kitchen at Bosk, the hotel’s restaurant, and treat yourself to tender hamachi sashimi or the pâté de campagne. A night to remember — as long as you drink responsibly.
Drinks from $20