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Imported Italian Wines in Cambridge and Boston

Looking for a place that sells good (inexpensive to mid priced, not $100/bottle) wine in these two areas.

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  1. Wine Bottega, Cirace, and Wild Duck in the North End and Central Bottle in Cambridge all offer a variety of mid-range Italian wines. Wine Bottega and Central Bottle (which I have less experience with) in particular try to get their hands on some wines allocated in smaller lots and all offer decent under $15 bottles. Most of these deal with some smaller local importers, one to look out for value and wines of interest is Adonna Imports. There are other options for higher end wines and also stores which markup less, but I think you would do well with those.

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    Wine Bottega
    341 Hanover St, Boston, MA

    Central Bottle
    196 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

    1 Reply
    1. You can also try Bina Osteria and Alimentari near Avery and Washington, around the corner from the Ritz.

      But the nicest mid-priced Italian selection I've seen is in Concord, it's about half-hour away from Boston, 20 from Cambridge. It's a place called Farfelle, and it's also my favorite lunch place in Concord. Great paninis and prepared Italian foods, really nice place.

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      Bina Osteria
      581 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111

      Farfalle
      26 Concord Crossing, Concord, MA 01742

      1. Dave's Fresh Pasta is in Somerville (Davis Square) but has a really interesting selection, although it's not too large.

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        Dave's Fresh Pasta
        81 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

        1 Reply
        1. re: dfan

          i shop at the wine cask in somerville. The wine staff is enthusiastic about Italian wines and knoweldgeable. They have no Italian wine in the 100 level on their shelves.

          The NY Times had an article last Wednesday that pointed out that the lower level Chianti normales generally give you a better experience of San Giovase than do the more expensive reservas.

        2. Next door to the Whole Foods at Fresh Pond in Cambridge is a very good liquor store whose name continually escapes me. They have a large wine selection overall and while not particularly favoring Italy, it does have quite a variety. Many selections are rotated on special too. Worth a trip especially if you ever shop for food at Whole Foods.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

            it's Cambridge Wine and Liquor, used to be Discount. It's not bad. Prices are fair to good. They always have something good and cheap like 9.99 Blanc de Blanc.

            I went to Gordon's yesterday by chance in Waltham, that place is amazing, it rocks. I got 6 "bombers" as the excellent beer guy Kurt puts it and he gave me 10% off. I thought he was doing me a favor cuz we chatted for like an hour but it's everyday! Also a huge 20% discount on cases. They have classes, booze catering, delivery and hard to match inventory. It is a serious serious liquor store.

            1. re: tatsu

              Soooo second Gordon's. Striperguy first turned me onto this place and it's just great. Keep our eye out for their Grand Tastings and other special events. They did an oyster event last fall that was so much fun ... we cleaned the Island Creek Oyster boys out!

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              Island Creek Oysters
              296 Parks St, Duxbury, MA 02332

              1. re: yumyum

                Yes! I have to remember to sign up for their email updates. They have a small auditorium of sorts where they have these events I guess. It looks nice from pics, I wonder why they don't have a youtube series, maybe they do!

                I'm sorry that we aren't helping the original OP too much...

              2. re: tatsu

                Agree that Gordon's has great prices. Woulda mentioned them myself but OP asked for Boston/Cambridge ;)

            2. Not in Cambridge or Boston but worth a trip to Waltham: Vino Italiano. Wonderful selection of all-Italian wines. Owner is proprietor of La Campania in Waltham. Moody Street.

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              La Campania
              504 Main St, Waltham, MA 02452

              1. Has no one yet mentioned Federal Wine & Spirits? Among the best Italian (and French) selections in town. Don't miss the little stairway in the back leading down to the wine cellar. Not much stock upstairs. Recommended tastings every Wednesday.

                Agree on The Wine Bottega. Knowledgeable and passionate owner/staff, very good selection of Italian wines with an eye towards small-lot, biodynamic/natural wines including a number of selections rarely available elsewhere. Plus, they sell R. Lopez de Heredia wines - that alone makes them indispensible for me!

                And Gordon's is a great shop - Ken Graff is simply wonderful. Their selection is just a tad behind the other two, but 20%-off mixed cases and $10 shipping anywhere in Boston means I order at least a case a month from these guys. Usually two cases. And they deliver in their own car, so no overnight-cooking of your wine in the Fed-Ex warehouse.

                Finally, my favorite: the Spirit Shoppe. Yup, in South Egremont. Yup, they deliver ("FREEGROUND" for free shipping for 6 bottles or more). Great selection of Italian wines, great prices, and Devon Volmer is a pleasure to deal with. Website is always up-to-date, packed with great info, and makes ordering a breeze. Obviously, a bit chancey for delivery from Western Mass in the summer due to the heat, but I've taken three deliveries since the heat waves began with not a single cooked bottle. I've never tried the "Nasa cold pack" they offer for $10, but the bottles delivered to me last week were cool to the touch, making me think Devon must have refrigerated them before packing in the styro. They'll also hold deliveries for Fall, which I'd recommend for purchasing any expensive bottles that you probably intend to cellar anyway.

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                Federal Wine & Spirits
                29 State St, Boston, MA

                Wine Bottega
                341 Hanover St, Boston, MA

                1. V. Cirace on the corner of Richmond and North in the North End may not have the least expensive Italian collection, but has certainly the widest. Jeff Cirace is considered (among the trade) to be one of the most knowledgeable about Italian wines on the East Coast, and he has built an amazing stock of Italian wines in all price ranges.

                  It's a great place for an Italian wine education. I can attest to that first-hand. ;)

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                  East Coast Restaurant
                  1456 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122