Drinks

12 Boston Bottle Shops that Will Bring Wine, Beer, and Spirits Directly To Your Door

Check out these options for home booze delivery and curbside pickup.


Photo courtesy of Social Wines

Since there’s no place to drink besides our own homes right now, package stores are busier than ever. “We’ve essentially turned both shops into a warehouse for spirits, beer and wine,” reports Eileen Elliott, the wine and operations director for Social Wines in South Boston and Cambridge. It’s a similar scene in the South End: “Product comes in and goes out so fast that we barely have time to stock the shelves,” says Hadley Douglas, owner of the Urban Grape—though she adds it’s a different kind of busy than she ever expected to be.

Considered essential businesses during the pandemic shutdown, some liquor stores remain open for socially distanced shopping. But a growing number of local stores have closed for browsing in order to expand online ordering, contact-free pickup, and delivery systems that can best meet our needs right now. In just a few short weeks, “We have figured out how to replicate our in-store hand-selling virtually,” says Douglas, whose South End shop has introduced social-distance innovations like shopping via text concierge.

Of course, services like Boston-born Drizly and the newer homegrown app, Tapster, can bring booze to your door—but remember that more of your money stays with a local business when you can order from it directly. Many local grocers also offer wine and beer for pickup, and certainly big-box liquor stores have isolation-friendly options available. But in the interest of supporting smaller shops, below is a 12-pack of Boston-area bottle boutiques that are open for contact-free shopping—and delivery—right now.

Ball Square Fine Wines

A mainstay for folks around the Davis Square area, Ball Square Fine Wines has expanded its free delivery services to a 10-mile radius during the pandemic. (Suburbanites, note: The Needham Center sister store also delivers.) Browse the web store to create your order, or email to ask the staff to create for you a mixed case of wine, craft beer, or spirits. Allow 24 hours for delivery and for curbside pickup to be ready. While these wine sellers are busier than usual right now, they are also offering limited hours: Ball Square Fine Wines is open from noon-7 p.m. every day.

716 Broadway, Davis/Ball Square, Somerville, 617-623-9500, ballsquarefinewines.com.

Bauer Wines

Needless to say, foot traffic is down on Newbury Street, so this neighborhood staple is offering contactless pickup and delivery only right now. But conveniently, Bauer’s local delivery services extend as far north as Medford, south into Dorchester and Milton, and west out to Newton, with ground shipping also an option. Order online or call to set up a time.

330 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-262-0363, bauerwines.com.

Beacon Hill Wine & Spirits

Shoppers will be able to socially distance inside this tiny shop, which remains open for quick and efficient visits. You can also call ahead to order curbside pickup and limited local delivery. To maximize what it can offer as an essential operation, this family-owned business is also upping its offerings from local food vendors this spring at both the Beacon Hill and Melrose locations. Follow on Instagram to stay in the know.

63 Charles St., Beacon Hill, Boston, 617-742-8571, beaconhillwine.com.

Brix Wine Shop

This local favorite has shops in both the South End and the Financial District, which remain open. But to encourage social distancing, it has also expanded complimentary delivery service for the moment. The weekly delivery schedule has stops in Camberville, Wayland, Hingham, Concord, and other nearby towns. Call or email by 5 p.m. of the previous day to schedule at-home delivery—and consider buying the “Brix Six” in April: $10 from each curated six-pack of wines sold this month goes to the Greg Hill Foundation’s Restaurant Strong Fund. You can also call or order online (from a curated selection) to safely pick up in Boston.

1284 Washington St., South End, 105 Broad St., Boston, 617-542-BRIX (2749), brixwineshop.com.

Common Vines deploys “the wine bike” for socially distanced local deliveries. / Photo courtesy of Common Vines

Common Vines

This Best of Boston-worthy wine shop happens to be attached to a wine-focused restaurant that’s open for takeout. So one call can yield cheese and charcuterie boards and prepared meals from Taste Wine Bar, with wines perfect for pairing. Total bonus: You can also include a donation to help Taste Wine Bar feed frontline workers. Call or email to order wines, beer, and spirits—there are discounts on mixed packages, which can be personalized to your tastes. Delivery is an option, and if you’re local, Common Vines may just roll up on the Wine Bike with your order.

100 Summer St., (Devonshire Street entrance), Downtown Boston, 617-800-6189, commonvines.com.

Debevino Winery

Place an online order in April of at least four bottles from these local winemakers, and you’ll also earn a comeback coupon to visit their new tasting room in Walpole—once it’s safe to hang out again at bars. For now, Debevino’s range of white, pink, and red wines are available to mix-and-match via phone and online order, with no-contact pickups possible on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

2255 Providence Highway (Rt. 1 South), Walpole, 508-622-3333, debevino.com.

The Fenway Beer Shop

A go-to place for local spirits and craft beers (and kegs) from all over the world, this Fenway favorite has a convenient online store as well as its own ordering and delivery app. On-site pickup is also an option, though you’ll have to make do with online-only sightings of Charlie the shop dog for now.

98 Van Ness St., Fenway/Kenmore, Boston 857-250-2967, fenwaybeershop.com.

Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors

This deep-rooted Waltham-based company has a robust online store and shipping policy, and it has also bolstered its local delivery and curbside pickup options from Boston and other locations. Feel-good bonus: You can donate to out-of-work hospitality employees with select purchases: Gordon’s was an early corporate contributor to the Greg Hill Foundation and Sam Adams’s Restaurant Strong Fund, so far donating more than $13,000 through sales of select wines.

39 Temple Place, Downtown Crossing, Boston, 617-870-6700; 894 Main St., Waltham, 781-893-1900, and other locations; gordonswine.com.

A case of local craft beer and cider delivered by Streetcar Wine & Beer. / Photo by Jacqueline Cain

Streetcar Wine & Beer

While this Jamaica Plain mainstay is closed to the shopping public, a skeleton crew is delivering to nearby neighborhoods every afternoon but Monday. Call or go online to check out the selection of craft beer, cider, and sustainable wines—and make sure to call if you’re interested in getting a whole case of something, as there might be a deal. Streetcar’s delivery radius extends up to Fort Hill, and out to Roslindale, West Roxbury, and Brookline. While delivery drivers can accept Venmo tips (no cash), owner Michael Dupuy encourages customers to instead make a donation to the grassroots group Off Their Plate, whose mission and efforts support both the healthcare workforce and local restaurants.

488 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-522-6416, streetcarwines.com.

Social Wines

The South Boston and Cambridge stores are closed for browsing, but Social Wines is keeping you in the know with “shelfies” on Instagram—or, glamour shots of available products. Order by phone, text (617-417-5839), email, or Instagram DM for curbside pickup at either location, as well as delivery options within a 5-mile radius of the Southie HQ. Since March 15, Social Wines has been donating 100 percent of delivery tips to out-of-work hospitality friends, a fundraiser which will continue until restaurants can make their own tips once again, says Social’s operations and wine director, Eileen Elliott. “Restaurants refer so many clients to us, [so] with them closed it’s our turn to help them out,” she says. Cheers to that.

52 W. Broadway, South Boston, 617-268-2974; 196 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-225-0040, socialwinesbos.com.

The Urban Grape

To offer the same kind of service this South End shop is used to providing, owners TJ and Hadley Douglas have introduced a variety of virtual services, like wine collections for browsing online (think: “Farm to Bottle” organic wines, as well as “the Collector’s Cellar”), and personal shopping via “text concierge” at 857-250-2509. You can also call in orders to receive through contact-free pickup, or via local delivery from out-of-work restaurant workers hired to help out. Besides wine, beer, and spirits, UG also continues to provide educational services while the physical shop stays closed to the public, with guided tastings happening weekly on Zoom.

303 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston, 857-250-2509, theurbangrape.shop.

Violette Imports

Pro tip: You can schedule curbside pickup from this Cambridge bottle shop for the same time as an order from Sofra Bakery, which is open for takeout right next door. Call or email Violette Imports to receive the available bottle list and place your order; or submit this form if you already know what you’d like to drink. It’s open for orders and curbside pickup Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., with free local delivery to Watertown, Cambridge, and Somerville as well.

1 Belmont St., Cambridge, 617-876-4125, violettewine.com.