Favorite store-selected mixed case of wine?
Ever since reading Eric Asimov's NY Times column about asking a trusted wine shop to select a mixed case for you, I've been wanting to give it a try to expand my oenophilic horizons. I was curious to hear other hounds' opinions on the best places around Boston to do this.
I'd be looking for a case in roughly the $300 range, but would be curious to hear opinions on lower- and higher-end options as well. Reasonable prices are a plus, but what I'm really after is a knowledgeable, friendly staff and an interesting selection of bottles that will make the experience both enjoyable and edifying. Thoughts?
Low-end - Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square. Their wine-buyer is smart, hunts for value and has some really great mixed cases available.
Higher-end - Formaggio Kitchen in Huron Village is very close to your specifics. I'm always thrilled with staff recommendations.
I've been working my way through the Brix Six and really enjoying their selections. Way cheaper than you were thinking (I believe it was $65?), but I can't speak highly enough of their knowledgeable, friendly, funny staff and I know they'd be able to put together something great for you.
Bauer Wines is very good at matching a mix to a price range. I'll echo the many Brix endorsements.
I'm an Asimov fan so I actually started the process when it was printed. I took both of his lists over to Brix and had Carri there put together a case for me. I'm just about finished tasting my way through it and have loved about 3/4 of the picks. A few were misses -- but in my opinion, that's a good sign. She was able to put 2 of Asimov's picks in the case which I thought were ok. Then she pulled 10 other bottles that had a similar variety/place of origin as the others he picked (from the first list, not the all-French one). I paid $205 with the discount which I was thrilled about (my budget was $250).
I highly recommend going there - and since Carri's already done it before, she'll know just what to choose. Another bonus: They keep a file of all the bottles you buy from them so when you find one you like, and maybe can't remember the name, they'll be able to pull it up for you.
Enjoy! It's actually a lot of fun.