Best of Boston

2003 Best Wine List, Upscale


It should come as no surprise that the wine list at Meritage is outstanding. The entire concept of the restaurant is, after all, about pairing food and wine. After 15 years as executive chef of the dining rooms at the Boston Harbor Hotel and of its annual Boston Wine Festival, Daniel Bruce is now cooking for a wine-first audience. The menus at Meritage lead off not with first courses, but a selection of wine styles—sparkling, light, full-bodied, and so on—that are then paired with an appropriate dish. Such a system demands a wine list that’s substantial, varied, and reasonably priced, and sommelier Jamie Moore has seen to it that this one is. Moore changes the 850-choice list every two weeks to make room for more bottles of special but recognizable Rhone varietals like Cline, Côtes d’Oakley, or rare gems such as an Aile d’Argent, Château Mouton Rothschild from Bordeaux, or the heaven-on-earth elixir 1990 Château d’Yquem Lur-Saluces, Sauternes. The informed servers want you to enjoy the wine as much as they clearly do, and manage to explain the options in plain English.

Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 617-439-3995,