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Jan 28, 2009 08:26 AM

Are There Any Wine Bars in Boston?

This post came out of a discussion on another thread. I made the statement that "Boston was not a wine town" and to reinforce the point mentioned that there's not even one real wine bar... does anyone think there are any?

Came out of the Sensing at the Fairmont thread...

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  1. I think of Trouquet as a true wine bar. Staff is very knowledgeable and they offer both 2 and 4 oz pours.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Pegmeister

      As many know, I think Troquet is the best wine restaurant in town... I even list it on my CH favorite restaurant list. There is true wine dedication there... but it's not a wine bar. It's a restaurant with a great wine program.

      Ask the owner, Chris, and I think he'd agree that they think of themselves as more of a restaurant. Great place though and probably the closest thing we have in town.

      1. re: WineAG

        I guess, then I've never had a true wine bar experience. Can you give us more of a description?

        1. re: Pegmeister

          I think I'm sort of on board with Boston not having (m)any "true" wine bars, rather a few restaurants that focus on wine and, sometimes, particularly wines by the glass.

          When I think wine bar: food should be present and should be good but not large, heavy, or the primary focus. Staff should be well-educated and wine-focused. Tria in Philadelphia comes to mind. Wines, beers, cheeses, and delicious small plates, all of which are prepared without a formal kitchen.

          Bin 26 came to mind, but it would be wonderful to have a wine bar version of Drink.

            1. re: WineAG

              by all the criteria, looks like bin26 matches the "classic wine bar" setting in this article from my brief visit.

              why are people stuck on comparing boston to new york.? there is no comparison. i'm not saying boston is worse than new york at all. i'm saying we can't compare the two. you may be able to compare 2 or 3 neigborhoods in nyc to boston, that may be fair.

      2. What about Bin 26 on Charles Street?

        1. Bin 26 is the closest thing, but it doesn't begin to compare with the great wine bars in NYC or SF. It is, IMO, one of the biggest holes in the local scene.

          1. what about les zygomates, whose address (not that it proves anything) is

            5 Replies
            1. re: smooncakes

              i definitely cant speak of les zygomates as i haven't been but would love to hear others opinions. however i am starting to understand that boston isn't a "wine town"
              i was in a restaurant (not to be mentioned) when i heard a woman next to me asking the bartender "why are there no california chardonnays" on the list when the place had a decidedly non-american wine list. don't people get it?

              1. re: smooncakes

                Les Zygomates is a bistro/nightclub that has a wine focus. Any place that does weddings, will host your corporate event, and seat 150 people is not a wine bar. Haven't been there in years. They may be good at what they do, but its not a wine bar. It has a following and it has introduced people to wine in this town. The fact that this place is what many DO consider a wine bar is another good example of why Boston is not a wine town. Also doesn't help things that they say bistro/wine bar in their logo.

                You're exactly right... they do have a fantastic URL.

                1. re: WineAG

                  ha!! wineag great point. maybe it will come off my short list of places to visit for wine

                  1. re: cockscomb

                    Les Zyg has a great French wine selection and their other place next door Sorriso has a great Italian wine selection. Overall I have found the food and wine to be excellent at both. I wouldn't kill them off your list unless you are looking only for a "true wine bar experience" whatever that may be.

                  2. re: WineAG

                    I actually think the bar area of Les Zygomates has a nice winebar (very uncorporate) feel. They are very knowledgeable and offer over 50 wines by the glass. I would never consider it a "nightclub." I do agree that if you're looking for a small, intimate place, this may not be your best choice. However, I prefer it over Bin 26, which seems more trendy than authentic and recommend people give it a try and decide for themselves.

                2. Isnt there one in Brookline? Dalia's or something? I haven't been, though Ive been meaning to, but they advertise as a wine bar