Boston Wine Shop Recs?

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J. Singleton
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#1 Post by J. Singleton » March 11th, 2015, 11:02 am

Have a friend looking to get into wine and figured some here would have recs on the best places to go in Boston. Thanks!
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#2 Post by Seth V. » March 11th, 2015, 11:20 am

J. Singleton wrote:Have a friend looking to get into wine and figured some here would have recs on the best places to go in Boston. Thanks!

Hey Jeb. The best shops aren't in the city but in the burbs. Marty's in Newton (Peter Tryba who runs the wine dept is a on the board), Gordon's in Waltham, and Blanchards in West Roxbury all have good selections. These are all West of downtown.

On the south shore I like the Hingham Wine merchant. The owner has a great selection and good prices if you buy a case. There's a shop called Bin Ends in Braintree that can be hit or miss for recognizable names and great prices. Every once in a while you'll find a real gem for 50% off. They pump out internet deals that are sometimes great buys.

If your pal wants to stay in the city limits Federal Wine and Spirits and Brix are probaly the two best options. Neither have great prices but the selections are pretty good.

My two cents.

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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#3 Post by D@v1dZ » March 11th, 2015, 11:40 am

Caution with any bottle that looks like it's sat at Gordon's for a while. I believe they had an issue with heat damage in one of the rooms in which they stored wine. Generally not a problem with current releases. I would still buy from them, but just be wary of older bottles.

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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#4 Post by J Sullivan » March 11th, 2015, 11:53 am

In addition to what's been listed already, I'd definitely add Urban Grape (South End and Chestnut Hill), Social Wines (Southie), and Central Bottle (Cambridge).
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#5 Post by JoeD » March 11th, 2015, 12:30 pm

+1 on social wines in southie. Jeb - thats where I got all that Jura I texted you about.
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#6 Post by Peter Tryba » March 11th, 2015, 12:43 pm

I'm happy to help!

Thanks for the shout out Seth!
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#7 Post by Richard Malloy » March 11th, 2015, 12:59 pm

Federal Wine and Spirits keeps this list very current if you're inclined to help your buddy select a few bottles:
http://www.federalwine.com/Older_Wines_%26_Rarities/

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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#8 Post by BrianMarshall » March 11th, 2015, 12:59 pm

If your friend is up for venturing west of Boston / I-495, Table and Vine in West Springfield is good. I've had good experiences with Marty's and Federal, however Federal can be pricey.
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#9 Post by Richard Malloy » March 11th, 2015, 1:35 pm

I would also recommend the Wine Bottega in the North End for Italian/natural/old-school wines, but had yet another off-putting experience there today with one of the owners (you may recognize him if you hang out on Wine Disorder forum).

Anyway, I headed over there this afternoon to purchase an '85 Emidio Pepe for my wife (15th wedding anniversary tonight!). I noticed an '09 Bartolo sitting next to it and couldn't help but inquire whether they'd be getting the '10 Bartolos (which seem to be in awfully short supply around here). He looked at me sideways and said "well if you're actually serious I'll show it to you". I was taken aback just a little. After all I'm holding a more expensive bottle in my hands. But I said "yes" though I was already chaffing from that same weird vibe he always throws my way and agonizing just a little as I wondered what gargantuan effort would be required for him to retrieve a bottle.

So I was a little surprised when he reached down to the shelf below and pulled it out from behind another bottle. I'm like, seriously? Am I not good enough to purchase your wine? At that point I recalled this Produttori tasting they held a year or so ago. Right before walking over I called to see whether they had the Rabaja, which is the only of the '08 crus I hadn't yet sourced and one of my favorites. "Of course!" I was told. But when I arrived, no Rabaja. Rather a story about how the only case fell off the handcart earlier that day and went down a Hanover Street drain. I'm like, quietly, but I just called... Perhaps if I had told them I was "actually serious"?

By now, I had become just a little offended - frankly, feeling just as small and irrelevant as I'm always made to feel there - and decided I wasn't about to give him $200 for the Pepe. So I put it back on the shelf and came up with a story about how I had to run a few errands and reconsider the expense of the wine. I went outside, called my wife, told her the story, and she was like "forget it, he's always like that and I wouldn't even be able to enjoy that wine knowing this. And don't come home with the Bartolo either."

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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#10 Post by BrianMarshall » March 11th, 2015, 1:45 pm

Richard Malloy wrote:I would also recommend the Wine Bottega in the North End for Italian/natural/old-school wines, but had yet another off-putting experience there today with one of the owners (you may recognize him if you hang out on Wine Disorder forum).

Anyway, I headed over there this afternoon to purchase an '85 Emidio Pepe for my wife (15th wedding anniversary tonight!). I noticed an '09 Bartolo sitting next to it and couldn't help but inquire whether they'd be getting the '10 Bartolos (which seem to be in awfully short supply around here). He looked at me sideways and said "well if you're actually serious I'll show it to you". I was taken aback just a little. After all I'm holding a more expensive bottle in my hands. But I said "yes" though I was already chaffing from that same weird vibe he always throws my way and agonizing just a little as I wondered what gargantuan effort would be required for him to retrieve a bottle.

So I was a little surprised when he reached down to the shelf below and pulled it out from behind another bottle. I'm like, seriously? Am I not good enough to purchase your wine? At that point I recalled this Produttori tasting they held a year or so ago. Right before walking over I called to see whether they had the Rabaja, which is the only of the '08 crus I hadn't yet sourced and one of my favorites. "Of course!" I was told. But when I arrived, no Rabaja. Rather a story about how the only case fell off the handcart earlier that day and went down a Hanover Street drain. I'm like, quietly, but I just called... Perhaps if I had told them I was "actually serious"?

By now, I had become just a little offended - frankly, feeling just as small and irrelevant as I'm always made to feel there - and decided I wasn't about to give him $200 for the Pepe. So I put it back on the shelf and came up with a story about how I had to run a few errands and reconsider the expense of the wine. I went outside, called my wife, told her the story, and she was like "forget it, he's always like that and I wouldn't even be able to enjoy that wine knowing this. And don't come home with the Bartolo either."
Well congrats on the anniversary at least. Hopefully you find a fitting replacement.
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#11 Post by Richard Malloy » March 11th, 2015, 1:58 pm

Sorry for unloading that in here, but I was still stewing!

The Pepe was to be a gift for my wife, not necessarily something we're opening tonight (unless she wanted to!). In addition to some Champagne (haven't decided which) we've already stood up a wine we first drank at Roscioli in Rome almost 4 years ago to the day, a 2004 Antoniolo San Francesco gattinara. Not quite at the level of the Pepe, but one of those wines that conjurs good memories. [cheers.gif]

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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#12 Post by Arv R » March 11th, 2015, 4:03 pm

BrianMarshall wrote:If your friend is up for venturing west of Boston / I-495, Table and Vine in West Springfield is good. I've had good experiences with Marty's and Federal, however Federal can be pricey.
Table & Vine is a great place to stop for anyone making the I91 run between NY/CT/MA into VT. It's a safe place to get slightly off the run vintages because of their approach of keeping the store very cool. Just wear a sweater when you visit. Not sure if they still carry as many, but years ago they used to have an usually good spectrum of dessert wines. Used to pick up Maury's, Banyuls, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and other such harder to find ones there when visiting....
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#13 Post by Patrick L a m b e r t » March 11th, 2015, 6:49 pm

Urban Grape and Brix.

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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#14 Post by J. Singleton » March 12th, 2015, 10:59 am

Thanks for all the recs. I've passed these along, so hopefully it'll be helpful.
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#15 Post by Kirk.Grant » March 12th, 2015, 6:23 pm

D & L Liquors in Waltham (the store where Doug S. works). I live 4 hours north in Maine and it's worth it to me to buy wines from them because their wine selection is wide and they get very cool, often uncommon wines that are exciting for me as a wine geek. Doug (is a friend) is one of the most humble tasters that I know...he's in the final phase of studying for his Masters of Wine. He sources wines that speak of their place with authenticity and he does a lot of work to offer the best prices around (often on a national scale). I also like Martignetti for their close-out bins (but you have to know wines to shop successfully in those bins). Marty's also has a huge selection...but their prices aren't as good as D & L in my book.
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#16 Post by mattbillet » March 14th, 2015, 4:54 pm

Like Peter @ Marty's. Always takes good care of me and the other wine folks I know who go there! If pricing is close, introduce yourself to Peter!

Waltham has decent shops. But don't get a personal feeling there, and I know them.

Jim Nejaimes at Spirited in Lenox is the best if you are out that way. Owner, personal, can follow your tastes and emails me when deals can be had for what I like. Sort of on the way to see
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Boston Wine Shop Recs?

#17 Post by Robert Pavlovich » March 14th, 2015, 6:21 pm

While not a very welcoming place, there are definitely plenty of rare gems at Federal Wine & Spirits, you just have to make it downstairs.

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#18 Post by Doug Schulman » March 14th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Thanks, Kirk!
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