Best of Boston

2001 Best Wine Shop

Brookline Liquor Mart

We’re fond of smaller wine shops—Back Bay’s excellent Bauer Wine & Spirits, say, and Somerville’s Wine and Cheese Cask (where you can pick up some good bread and cheese), or even the novice-friendly Cellars stores. But warehouse-sized Brookline Liquor Mart dwarfs the competition, and not merely because of the enormity of its wine selection. There are extras such as frequent tastings, a decent Web site, and the rare-wine room, where you can fantasize about dropping two grand on a bottle of Château Lafite. And if the place itself looks a little intimidating, just wait a few moments. One of the wine experts (there is at least one on duty at all times) will amble by and prove every bit as friendly and helpful as the salespeople at the smaller stores.

1354 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, 617-734-7700,