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Best wine lists?

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Sweetbread Jul 17, 2008 06:51 AM

Love wine. Love great food. Any thoughts on who's got some truly great wine lists in the area?

  1. litchick Jul 18, 2008 01:49 PM

    Inter-thread-uality alert: Though I'm not hot on Bin 26 Enoteca's main dishes, the wine list has a LOT of stuff to explore, a good variety, in varying sizes of pours. I like the small pours because it makes it easy to discover new wines, and if you end up not loving it, it's not an outrageously priced error.

    1. j
      jjbourgeois Jul 17, 2008 07:40 PM

      Maybe we need to narrow down the topic a bit. Are we looking for a place that has great wines, a lot of wines, a specific nationality, reasonably priced wines. There are many places in Boston that have good selections, so maybe we can narrow it down a bit.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jjbourgeois
        almansa Jul 18, 2008 05:10 AM

        I prefer lists that have a good number of well sourced wines for under 40-50 dollars. I dined at Veritas in Manhattan a few years ago, and while their list has won the Grand Award (WS) their market list of bottles less than $70 was terrible. We're talking Kendall Jackson and Clos du Bois-like supermarket wines. There are so many good inexpensive wines out their - Las Rocas Vinos Viejos Garnacha, for example, that outperform many more expensive choices. I like a list that introduces me to new discoveries.

        1. re: jjbourgeois
          s
          Sweetbread Jul 18, 2008 08:01 AM

          You make a really good point, jibourgeois. I guess what I was hoping to discover were some unsung heroes--those restaurants that have made a real effort to create an interesting list, whether it's from a certain part of the world or it has something special, like a generous selection of oranic and bio-dynamic wines (such as the list at Oleana, as Litchick pointed out earlier).

        2. j
          jajjguy Jul 17, 2008 05:17 PM

          Hungry Mother has a very interesting list, good food wines that you will likely not have seen before, at pleasantly low price points.

          1. FastTalkingHighTrousers Jul 17, 2008 01:41 PM

            If you like Italians, Rialto in Harvard Square has a great list.

            1. s
              sukisooo Jul 17, 2008 12:50 PM

              I took a walk by the water in Charlestown last night and ended up having a glass of wine at the bar at The Navy Yard Bistro and Wine Bar, they have great list! I didn't eat but am looking forward to returning and checking out the fare. It has a very "San Francisco" feel to it and the managers were super friendly (not in an annoying way) which was nice since I was alone. The bar manager was very helpful and knowledgeable about his wines. BTW they have wine and beer only, no liquor.

              1. c
                csammy Jul 17, 2008 12:36 PM

                Troquet has the best wine list in Boston and ranks in the top three for food.

                3 Replies
                1. re: csammy
                  almansa Jul 17, 2008 01:32 PM

                  just out of curiosity, whose ranking is this? I like Troquet but find that the best thing about their list is the price. Although it is very good list, I imagine that beyond cost, I don't feel that a blanket "best list in Boston" statement works.

                  1. re: almansa
                    c
                    csammy Jul 18, 2008 09:36 AM

                    Although I cannot think of a better list in Boston. I Guess I should have said that Troquet has the best wine program in Boston. They have about 50 well priced and interesting wines by the glass served in two different size pours, they store and serve those wines at the correct temperature ( a pet peeve of mine, especially in this weather when a glass of red wine at most restaurants could be 80+ degrees) and in quality stemware. They have an extensive wine by the bottle list, also stored and served at the right temperature, with many older and mature wines available at bargain prices.

                    1. re: almansa
                      aadesmd Jul 18, 2008 07:53 PM

                      Actuaaly I can think of no better place than Troquet to enjoy a great bottle of wine in Boston. The food tends to be extremely wine friendly, and Chris, the owner/wine guy knows his list cold, and gives great advice. The low cost just adds to the enjoyment.

                  2. BostonZest Jul 17, 2008 10:24 AM

                    The Blue Room, Rendezvous Cental Square both have lists with some nice surprises.

                    Central Kitchen has a wonderful reserve list with some excellent values. Neptune Oyster has it's list of Pearls beyond the usual list and they usually have a couple of special on a black board over the tables.

                    And, I recently wrote some praise about "Fiona's Finds" at Hamersley's. They were pouring a lovely selections of Rosés recently and we always seem to make wine notes there to have Howie Rubin at Bauer wine order for us.

                    1. j
                      jjbourgeois Jul 17, 2008 10:13 AM

                      Silks in Tyngsboro has a fabulous wine list.

                      1. Anon12 Jul 17, 2008 09:37 AM

                        Central Kitchen in Central Square has a nice deep list which contains great value. You can get a good deal on twenty year old second growth Bordeaux (still expensive, but a great deal for that bottle) or a great deal on a small production wine out of Cali. I'd also recommend Prezza in the North End. Their reserve list is huge, and also contains great value, but Prezza tends to be much more expensive.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Anon12
                          s
                          Sweetbread Jul 17, 2008 12:17 PM

                          Thanks for these tips!

                        2. s
                          Sweetbread Jul 17, 2008 08:30 AM

                          I know it's a broad question--my fault for not being more specific. I was wondering, beyond the big lists you see in standard spots, like steakhouses, if there were some gems like Oleana with its generous organic/biodynamic options and Il Cappriccio with its incredible Italian offerings.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Sweetbread
                            CocoDan Jul 17, 2008 11:44 AM

                            Grille 23's is hardly a standard steakhouse winelist, and Leo at Alba's in Quincy puts a lot of care into some very nice wine selections. And don't be fooled by A&L, they know what they're doing.
                            Enjoy,
                            CocoDan

                          2. litchick Jul 17, 2008 08:24 AM

                            Oh gosh, don't forget about Oleanna. Terrific wine list with lots of organic and biodynamic options.

                            1. CocoDan Jul 17, 2008 07:13 AM

                              Grille 23 and Bar.
                              Abe & Louis.
                              Troquet
                              Four Seasons Hotel, both bars.
                              Alba (Quincy)
                              Just a few, but there are certainly more.
                              Enjoy,
                              CocoDan

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