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best wine shop?

I am going to splurge and get a "great" bottle for a small dinner party. Where should I go in Boston? who has the best selection of high end wines? I am looking to spend $200-$300, and while I know that I wont be getting any 2000 petrus for that I still want something great.


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  1. Hmm. If you want a great bottle of wine that will wow guests and be something they've never seen, I like the Wine Bottega in the North End. Few over $100, but what they have is great.

    For a "great" bottle of wine, one that guests may recognize the name of, I like Marty's in Allston, they have a separate room for their expensive wines, while most stores just have a dedicated case. Unfortunately, if you go there during an off time, their wine experts may not be there and the rest of the staff won't be much help.

    If you're up for a drive, Table and Vine in Northampton has an amazing selection of both interesting and hard-to-find gems, as well as a wide array of the "great" bottles. Nothing in Boston comes close on selection.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DoubleMan

      I think they're the best, there's also a Marty's on Washington Street in Newton between the Whole Foods and Walnut Street.

    2. I really like the Wine and Cheese Cask in Somerville (Corner of Beacon and Kirkland Streets). Their staff is always so knowledgeable and helpful.

      There's also a good shop in the S End, but I'm forgetting the name...

      2 Replies
      1. re: heathermb

        Brix is in the South End. Correct me if I am wrong, but they focus more on the middle-to-high priced range ($20-100) rather than very expensive bottles?

        1. re: heathermb

          There are a couple of good wine shops in the South End. One is the Wine Emporium on Tremont and Dartmouth and the other is New Boston on Columbus and West Newton. I have always found them both to be helpful though I don't shop for wines in the $200 price range.

        2. Inside city limits I can recommend BLM Wine + Spirits (www.blmwine.com) on Comm Ave as a place with helpful employees & decent selection. And, less helpfully, my hands-down favorite shop is Harrigans in Hamilton on Rt 1A. I know it's a hike, but they are worth the drive, to me.

          1. Winecellar of Silene in Waltham. Just off Rt. 128, near the Costco.

            1. Go see Howie Ruben at Bauer Wine on Newbury Street. I know he has some first growth Bordeaux and a few other gems in your price range.

              I would call ahead and discuss what you want with him. He always takes such good care of me when I need something special. He's been our main wine guy since we moved to Boston.


              1. In town, The Wine Cask in Somerville is excellent - very knowledgeable staff.

                I regularly go to Rapid Liquors in Stoneham on Main Street/Route 28. The owner, Paul, is very knowledgeable, and helped picked out a drop-dead great magnum red for a New Year's party last year.

                1. I know you asked for in Boston, but for those on the N. Shore, try the Wine Shop in Reading. Owners buy great choices and the staff is fantastic. Great variety of cheeses and specialty food items as well. I love going there for a unique bottle to bring as a gift but for myself, they carry the Kim Crawford New Zealand line, which I love!!!!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: 4chowpups

                    I don't have much experience with Wine Shops in the Boston area, but I love the folks at the Wine Shop in Reading. The staff are always helpful. They have a great 3-year aged gouda there that I love to buy and snack on.

                  2. Federal Wine has a fantastic selection (including collectibles) and great advice from specialists in several areas.

                    1. Lower Falls Wine, on the border of Newton and Wellesley on Rte. 16 is great. All of the staff are very knowledgeable and they have a great collection of unusual wines as well as a focus on quality ones. Not sure about Petrus, but they might find you a boutique wine that's just as good. Otherwise I will second (or third) Marty's, though again it is hit or miss if you'll find someone who knows what they're talking about.

                      1. Go to the Wine Gallery on Rte 9 and Cypress in Brookine. Ample parking and easily accessible to Brookline Hills T stop. They are wonderful and know their wines really well. For their less expensive wines, they have a 40 ish bottle tasting system (the wines are kept under nitrogen) for free tastings any time!

                        1. I recommend calling Esprit du Vin in Milton to get their input. They are a small and very knowledgeable wine shop and you could not go wrong!

                          1. Marty's... the location on Washington St... best overall selection of excellent wines in Boston area. For one bottle the others mentioned above will be able to do the trick.

                            Table & Vine is the better... the king... largest selection... but that is located almost 2 hours from Boston, so think its probably not an option. If you are ever near that place check it out... great.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: WineTravel

                              LOVED Table & Vine when I visited there last fall! I think my friend and I were in there for about 2 hours. :-)

                            2. Buzz across the stateline into NH and save the sales tax. Not a lot of $200 bottles but depending on how many friends you're entertaining, I would go with 4 @ $50 or 3 @ $75. Make sure you have your menu in mind when making your selection. I have yet to have a $100 + bottle of Cab or Bourdeaux that went well with lobster !

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: TonyO

                                The NH State Liquor Store also has their entire inventory online with pricing. You can also see which stores have the wine you're looking for and the quantities they have. When they put something on sale that you like and are also running a case discount deal, it's an ideal time to stock your cellar.


                                1. re: GeoffD

                                  The selection in the state stores is poor. Much worse than they used to be. They concentrate on the brands that you can find anywhere. Prices are hardly even worth the trip.

                              2. I agree with TonyO. Don't know your hosts, of course, but it's so rare for me to drink a bottle of wine that retails commercially for more than $20-30, that I doubt I'd be able to tell the differerence between a $75 one and a $200 one. (Both would be fantastic.) But I would certainly enjoy the chance to try more than one -- say a Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes alongside a Petrus (saw several of these in Cardullo's in Harvard sq last week, while looking for a $10 botttle to take to a party). I definitely think one bottle of dessert wine would be a nice treat.

                                1. I suggest Gordons Wine
                                  894 Main Street
                                  Waltham, MA 02454
                                  (781) 893-1900

                                  ask for David or Cheryl. Recently written up in the Boston Globe.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: okra

                                    I agree. Gordon's is my favorite wine place in beantown with excellent prices. David in particular is great.

                                    Not that it counts for much, but they also won Boston Magazine "Best of Boston 2005."

                                  2. there are quite a few good wine shops, as you can see. For me, what is important is the person selling the wine- whose taste I need to feel simpatico with. For me, it's Howie at Bauer Liquors on Newbury St. near Mass Ave. Very honest straightforward fellow with great knowledge and taste.

                                    1. I've had good luck at Charles Street Liquors in Beacon Hill.

                                      1. Brix is the only place in the city I'd trust for wine over $50. They really know their stuff.

                                        1. I don't know what they have in your price range, but we really enjoy the diverse selection and knowledgeable staff at Grapevine Travelers (http://www.grapevinetravelers.com/) in Medford Square.

                                          1. Solera in Roslindale is one of my favorite wine shops. They have very good (although small) selection. Furthermore, the owners of the shop really know their wines and have amazing suggestions for every price range. Also, unlike most wine/liquor stores in Boston, you really are supporting a small neighborhood shop.

                                            More info: http://www.eatanddestroy.com/?p=60

                                            1. Gary's Liquors, on the parkway in W. Roxbury. 1999 Beriger Reserve Cab. Usually $100, their price 59.99. 2000 or 2001, Chateau Lafite Rothchild, I beleive is $250 or $350. Some nice vintage champagnes also.

                                              1. Anytime I'm spending more than $100 for a bottle I buy through Esprit du Vin in Milton. It's a drive for me but they have some wines I haven't been able to find anywhere else. They have a great selection of hard to find French and Australian reds and some brilliant dessert wines and single malt whiskeys.