9 Wine Bars for Pre- and Post-Dinner Imbibing
by melanie lieberman and jessica laniewski
Toast the good life with a glass from the city’s most carefully curated wine bars.
Sip on one of Belly Wine Bar’s orange wines.
Belly Wine Bar
This wine bar holds true to Italian enoteca traditions with a carefully selected wine menu that focuses on Italy and France. The list of orange wines—white wines that are fermented like reds—is particularly unique. Sip the La Stoppa Ageno 2007, or buy a jeroboam of Langhe Nebbiolo for the room and make new friends. 1 Kendall Sq., Cambridge, 617-494-0968
The Butcher Shop
More than 75 wines are available by the bottle and a dozen or so by the glass at this cozy spot from Barbara Lynch. Try something extra-special, like the Heinrich Red Cat, a young red wine made exclusively for the restaurant. 552 Tremont St., 617-423-4800
Cava Tapas & Wine Bar
With all of Cava’s rotating selection of 60 wines offered by the half and full glass, there’s as much variety behind the bar as in the kitchen. Cava is one of the few restaurants in the country that offers the limitedproduction Kosta Browne Pinot Noir. John Akar, co-owner and general manager, recommends the Scagliola Sansì Barbera d’Asti. 10 Commercial Alley, Portsmouth, NH, 603-319-1575
Cork offers many sparkling wines by the glass, including options from France, Spain, and Italy. Tuesday evenings are Flight Night, where guests sample three half glasses of wine with a tailored sampling of complementary tapas. 90 Front St., New Bedford, 508-994-9463
Sip Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé Brut Champagne at Les Zygomates, the only spot in Boston serving it by the glass. This wine list is also the only one in the US to include offerings from Domaine de Chevalier. The light-bodied Domaine de Chevalier Bourgogne Passetoutgrain is a perfect complement for the comforting meat and fish dishes on the menu this season. 129 South St., 617-542-5108
The Wine Education Program at Josephine Oliviero Megwa’s Piattini teaches patrons about each of the 26 wines available by the glass, including their unique terroir and each grape’s distinct qualities. Try the medium-bodied Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, made exclusively for Piattini by a small winery in Italy, or the highly regarded Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico. 226 Newbury St., 617-536-2020
Sip Wine Bar & Kitchen
The sip, a two-ounce pour, is a great way to sample a few of the more than 45 wines available by the glass at this cozy new spot in the shadow of The Ritz-Carlton. The best bottle orders come from the “Intense Wine List,” a carefully chosen selection of high-end bottles that tops out with The Caymus, a special selection Napa Cabernet Sauvignon for $250. 581 Washington St., 617-956- 0888
Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro
The reverence for wine at Tastings is evident from the Wine Spectator award-winning list featuring more than 250 bottles (with 75 available by the glass). Try owner Bill Martin’s personal favorite, a Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon, or the French Bordeaux first growth from Château Lafite Rothschild—“pure liquid velvet.” Reserve a private dinner in the Wine Room, where most of the inventory is stored. 201 Patriot Pl., Foxboro, 508-203-9463
Wine aficionados often seek the advice of Chris Campbell, Troquet’s owner and GM, due to his restaurant’s deep and varied cellar. Try the white Burgundies from Domaine Coche-Dury—this wine is incredibly rare, with bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti costing thousands. Of the collection of 48 wines served by the glass, three Dr. Loosen Rieslings have become patron favorites. 140 Boylston St., 617-695-9463
photography by michael piazza
We celebrated our annual men's issue with cover star Harry Connick Jr. at Bistro du Midi.