Wine, Uncorked: How the City of Boston Is Embracing Wine (And How You Can, Too)
With a run of new wine bars and shops, Boston, after a long love affair with craft cocktails and beer, is once again embracing the fruit of the vine.
Photo by Ted Morrison
Styling by Jessica Weatherhead/Team
SPIN THE BOTTLE
When you discover a wine you love, look to the label on the back to find out who imported it—chances are, you’ll like other offerings in their portfolio. We asked local wine experts for their favorite Boston-area importers, and great bottles to start with.
Picked by Liz Vilardi of Belly Wine Bar, Central Bottle, and The Blue Room
Based in Waltham, Adonna is run by Eileen Wright and Jeannie Rogers (formerly of Il Capriccio). Their all-Italian selections range from rustic table wines to rare Barolos, with an emphasis on organic and sustainable practices. For this climate, Vilardi suggests Rosso di Valtellina Olé, from Lombardy, Italy ($25, available at Central Bottle). “Right now, I love it because the weather is brisk and so is this wine. It’s alive and clean,” she says. “It’s perfect for fatty things you want to consume this winter.”
Oz Wine Company
Picked by Felisha Foster of Dave’s Fresh Pasta and Spoke Wine Bar
Founded by Andrew Bishop, this Haverhill fine-wine importer and wholesaler offers a large selection from most parts of Europe and also has great domestic options from California, Oregon, and New York. Foster recommends La Stoppa Ageno, from Emilia-Romagna, Italy ($38, available at Bauer Wine & Spirits). “This malvasia bianca has an incredible nose of orange peel, honey, and flowers,” she says. “It’s rich, fresh, and oddly dry, with bitters from the skins. A wine for the adventurous!”
Picked by Michael Dupuy of Streetcar Wine & Beer
Owner Matt Mollo’s Chelsea-based operation showcases his passion for rare Italian wine. One fantastic option is Montemelino’s organically farmed sangiovese-gamay red blend, from Umbria, Italy ($18, available at Streetcar). “Who knew gamay, the grape of Beaujolais, grew in Umbria?” Dupuy says. “Apparently, it’s been growing in this particular neck of the woods for decades.”
In his new book, How to Love Wine, the New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov uses personal anecdotes to go beyond just sipping and swirling, tackling topics like overhyped ratings and blind tastings as he instructs the would-be oenophile. “If there’s one book I could hand to everybody before they walk in my store, it would be this one,” says Michael Dupuy of Streetcar Wine & Beer. “It does a great job of trying to eliminate the intimidation factor.”
$25, William Morrow.
Insiders reveal the world’s current wine hot spots.
“Great wine at a different value. It’s where Malbec was a few years ago—a super value that people eventually caught wind of.”
TJ Douglas, Urban Grape
“With cheese and charcuterie, sherries and vermouths from this region tend to work really well.”
Felisha Foster, Spoke Wine Bar
“Almost everyone agrees that Sophia Loren is gorgeous, and Piedmont is it.”
Liz Vilardi, Belly Wine Bar
Loire Valley, France
“The most diverse in terms of varietal makeup, soil structures, and the types of wines being produced.”
Michael Dupuy, Streetcar Wine & Beer