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Jun 28, 2006 02:28 PM

Quirky Wine Bars

I'm looking for quirky/different places to drink good wine. The traditional wine bars -- Troquet, Vinalia, etc -- all fit the standard concept but why don't we have anything like they do in Texas, the bowling alley with a great wine list? Anyone know of anything? In Boston or anywhere in New England?

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    1. In Boston and Cambridge such places have been limited by the cost of liquor licenses, other towns have been limited by varied local licensing requirements. Occasionally you do find a local restaurant that has a surprisingly varied wine list, especially for certain ethnic varieties (greek wine, portuguese). Also, every year in New Bedford they have a celebration for the island of Madeira where they go to great lengths to import a special barrel of Madeira and serve it to the public.

      Of the Portugese restaurants, I believe the one with the broadest wine list is Casa Portugal (at least it has the most varieties of Port). For "vinho verde" (an inmature white wine) there also is Portugalia which matches it with seafood.

      For quirky Californian wines I have seen places along these lines in Vermont (the cafe that has microbrews and wines), but do not have any specific suggestions.

      I would also think that Providence would be a good spot both for Portugese and Italian wines.

      One small town that seems awash in wine is Dartmouth and So Dartmouth. There are a large number of Portuguese wine importers, but I have also found some unusual Californian wine bargains. Don't have any restaurants offhand, but its a great place to put together a wine picnic. And if you head over to Westport there is Westport Rivers, etc.

      We also once got offered an interesting selection of Californian wines from a couple at Winterhawk (now Greyfox) Bluegrass Festival... which draws people from all over.

      1 Reply
      1. re: itaunas

        I remember Atasca having quite a broad Portuguese wine list as well.

        Campania in Waltham has an excellent winelist; it's all Italian iirc. Lovely rustic bar.

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        1. I do love the Butcher shop. These are good starts.

          1. Although not quirky like you describe, Les Zygomates is unique in the city. I find the by the glass list to be unparalleled for value and creativity, plus they offer smaller pours for a couple of bucks so you can try a bunch of wines in a night. Live jazz at one of their bars. And the food is pretty good also.