Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bacco's Wine & Cheese

A new wine and cheese store hosting a sake tasting?  Now that is sure to attract my attention.  I received an email about this event, and fortunately I was available so I made sure to add it to my calendar.

Bacco's Wine Cheese, which opened in November 2010, is located not far from the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and their large windows look out onto St. James Avenue.  Owned by Bob Bacco, it is a small, spacious store, selling wine, beer, cheese, prosciutto, Iggy's breads, prepared sandwiches and more. They stock about 265 wines, which will eventually rise to about 300, and about 30 beers.

I really like and respect their philosophy for selecting wines.  First, they divide their price points into thirds: one-third of the wines are low priced, one-third medium priced and one-third high priced (over $50). They do the same with their brands, one-third being name brands (known to most people), one-third store brands (known to most wine lovers), and one-third less common and niche wines.  This is impressive, considering that they have less than 300 wines and still make room for a good amount of niche wines.

Their selection includes wines from Spain, Alsace, France, California, South Africa, Washington, Oregon, New York and more. You'll find Champagne, Port, half-bottles and Sake.  A good diversity of wines. You can also see that their higher-end wines are kept in a special case, including California Cabernet, Champagne, Bordeaux, and Amarone. Plus, there is a refrigerated case for chilled white wines and cold beers.

Wine prices seemed average, and not inflated due to its Boston location, which is always a good thing. They also give you a 10% discount if you buy 4-11 bottles, and a 15% discount if you buy a case. They are open from Monday to Saturday, and hold wine tastings every day, with at least one cheese or food pairing.   Monday-Friday, the tastings are held from 4pm-7pm, and on Saturday, the tastings are 2pm-7pm.  So if you are close to the area, you will usually have the opportunity to taste wine.

Bacco's carries about 100 cheeses, including some local choices.  The selection looked very extensive and appealing, and the case also has pates, olives, salads, prosciutto and more.  They sell three prepared sandwiches, currently including a prosciutto & taleggio cheese with pesto, Italian dry salami & crucolo cheese (one of my favorite cheeses) with black olive tapenade, and grilled eggplant, roasted red pepper, sundried tomato and olive oil.  Plus, they sell "Bento" boxes, which hold three different cheeses, Iggy's bread, olives, cornichons and fig paste. A nice idea, which goes very well with a bottle of wine.
The Sake Tasting, presided over by Andrea McArt of Ruby Wines, included fives sakes: Konteki "Tears of Dawn" Daiginjo, Ama No To "Heaven's Door" Tokubetsu Junmai, Mukune "Shadows of Katano" Junmai Ginjo Nigori, Tozai "Snow Maiden" Junmai Nigori, and Tozai "Well of Wisdom" Ginjo.  All are now available at Bacco's and I strongly recommend the Konteki and Ama No To.

Overall, I feel this is a good addition to Boston.  I spoke a bit with Bob Bacco, and he possesses that passion I seek. This is not merely a job for him, but more a dream come to fruition.  Though there are less than 300 wines, Bob has put together a diverse selection and kept them reasonably priced.  Plus, there are plenty of great cheeses to please your palate. Check out this new store, buy a bottle of wine and a Bento box, and have a pleasant evening at home.

Bacco's Wine + Cheese
31 St. James Avenue
Boston, MA
Phone: 617-574-1751

1 comment:

ward.hegedus said...

I was just there tonight! I spoke with Bob and he seemed really insightful. It's super close to my office, so I foresee frequent visits. Plus, with screwtop bottles, alcohol can make my commute home that much nicer.