The Best New Wine Bars in Boston Right Now
Warmly lit and wood paneled, this much-needed addition to Downtown Crossing (pictured above) offers a slim but well-curated by-the-glass list highlighting small-production growers. Bring a friend, and the options expand: With a two-glass commitment, Sportello vet Haley Fortier will uncork anything on the bottle list, including the barnyard-y 2015 Olivier Cousin Pur Breton cab franc.
45 Province St., Boston, 617-208-6000, haleyhenry.com.
It used to just be a place to sip a Sazerac before being whisked away to the stuff of formal-dining dreams. Now L’Espalier beverage director Lauren Daddona wants guests to think of the former Salon lounge as a wine bar that’s a destination unto itself. To accomplish this, she’s pulling from the 10,000-bottle cellar to put together of-the-moment flights (“Champagne Saves Lives”), daily carafe options, and a by-the-glass list highlighting hard-to-find vintages.
774 Boylston St., Boston, 617-262-3023, lespalier.com.
Late Nite Natural Wine Bar at Tasting Counter
Once the ticketed tasting-menu extravaganza winds down for the evening at this Somerville spot, the oenophiles pour in. Three nights a week, beverage director Eileen Elliott pulls out up to 20 natural bottles to offer by the glass alongside chef Peter Ungár’s after-hours bites. She’s particularly fond of “wines that drink like food,” including the salty Gut Oggau Winifred rosé.
Thursday to Saturday, 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; 14 Tyler St., Somerville, 617-299-6362, tastingcounter.com.
Belly Wine Bar
At the recently reopened Belly, Liz Vilardi puts together her whimsical wine list “like an art project,” with pours grouped together under themes such as “Take Me to the River” (featuring wine producers near waterways such as Germany’s Mosel). At any given time, an impressive 30 or so labels are available by the glass or in 2-ounce tastings.
One Kendall Sq., Cambridge, 617-494-0968, bellywinebar.com.
Not in Boston, but worth a road trip!
Peter and Orenda Hale moved to Portland, Maine, from Brooklyn a few years ago to open the wine store Maine & Loire, and soon found themselves looking for a more social space to share pours from their natural-only collection. Now the shelves have been pushed to the back, making room for a sunny bar area offering funky, wild-yeast wines and seasonal dishes from chef Ben Jackson.
63 Washington Ave., Portland, ME, 207-805-1336, drifterswife.com.