First Look: Three New Indie Wine Sellers

The reign of the wine superstore is over. Small, attentive — and always busy — shops like Central Bottle in Cambridge and the soon-to-expand Urban Grape in Chestnut Hill (which will open an outpost in Boston by early fall) prove that we crave service as much as selection.

Corkscrew and cork

Welcome to the age of the small, attentive wine seller. (Photo via iStockphoto)

Social Wines
Partners John Libonati and Chris Schutte owned a bar in New York, burned out on the nightlife scene, then decided to open a South Boston wine shop — complete with a separate tasting room — at the corner of A Street and West Broadway. At their new digs (which were scheduled to open in April) expect vinos from small, family-owned producers, as well as hyperlocal craft beers (Night Shift Brewery, Blue Hills Brewery) and spirits (Bully Boy, Grand Ten Distilleries). “We want to sell things people can relate to,” Libonati says. “If it has a backstory, people are interested.” 52 W. Broadway, Boston, 617-539-6212,

Now open in Coolidge Corner, this shop deals exclusively in all-natural, organic, sustainable, and biodynamic wines. “A lot of people are becoming green-conscious and caring about what goes in their body,” says owner Chris Carbone. “There’s been a shift in the market to cleaner, fresher, and more green wines.” Also expect local beers from Backlash, Notch, and Long Trail. 234 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-232-1180,

Streetcar Wine & Beer
Owner Michael Dupuy, an alum of the North End’s Wine Bottega, decided to strike out on his own with a tiny (800-square-foot!) wine and beer store, opening soon in J.P. “Having a smaller shop forces you to create a niche, because you can’t carry everything,” Dupuy says. “I’ve already developed a body of producers that I really cling to and hold dear.” Look for wines from small producers in the States and abroad, and beers from the likes of the forthcoming Trillium Brewery in Fort Point. 488 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-276-6372,