Monday, November 16, 2009

Central Bottle: Grand Opening

A new wine lover's destination has now opened in Central Square, Cambridge. It is a place to find interesting wines and delicious foods, owned and operated by four very passionate individuals. If the Grand Opening was any indication, the crowds are going to be flocking there.

Central Bottle has now opened and I recently attended their Grand Opening event. Since my original post about this new store, I have been excited, awaiting their opening. My hopes for this store appear they will come to fruition.

The store is moderately-sized and the front, pictured above, is made of numerous floor to ceiling windows, looking out onto Massachusetts Avenue. This will give much natural lighting during the day. The inside has a more modern decor, though somewhat minimalistic. I cannot fully assess the look of the store though as it has not yet been finalized. For the Grand Opening, they left the store very spacious and open. That will soon change though when more wine racks are added to the middle of the store. They will also be situating their wine bar into the space. I will post again once I have seen the final look of the store.

At the Grand Opening, two walls were lined with wine. The wall pictured above was almost all Italian wines, and you can note the boxed wines in the lower left corner. The other wall had wines from all over the world, though the majority seemed more Old World. Additional wines will be displayed soon when they add the extra racks.

I know many of the wines that were displayed and they include plenty of excellent, artisan wines. These are not the ordinary, mass produced wines you can find in any liquor store. These are the more unique wines which will really entice wine lovers. Plus, the average consumer will love them once they taste them. A very impressive selection, and no less than expected. This is a place to take your time, perusing the available selections. Prices are average, and they cover all price points.

Besides the wine, Central Bottle will sell cheese, meats, bread, and other gourmet foods. Though not everything was available at the Grand Opening, the appetizers they passed around showed the high quality of the foods they will carry.

One of the highlights of the event was getting to meet again Mario Zanusso of I Clivi, a high quality winery I have reviewed before. They even currently produce two killer boxed wines. I got to taste the new vintages of his wines, as well as chat a bit about the future of his winery. For one, Mario mentioned that future vintages will be different than the current ones, being lighter and with unique flavors, due to changes in their wine making process. For example, they will be using gentler pressure when pressing the grapes. They have also planted some Ribolla, so we might see such wines in the future.

Another highlight was a Skype video interview with Carl Sutton of Sutton Cellars. I have been a fan of his wines for some time and have previously posted reviews of his Rattlesnake Rose, Carignane, and Syrah. Sutton Cellars is a small, artisanal winery in California and their low production wines are absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced. Carl was very down-to-earth and passionate about his wines.

Carl stated that he wants to make the type of wines where a person will have a glass and then crave a second one. I think he has accomplished that goal with all of his wines I have tasted. He also wants to make wines without pretension, which would appeal to people with which he would enjoy drinking. That is also why he prices his wines as he does, often under $20 for very low production wines, which may only be 200-300 cases. These are wines of excellent value.

Central Bottle will be doing more Skype interviews with wine makers and you can check their website for a calendar of such events. You will have the chance to listen, live, to wine makers as well as have the chance to ask them questions.

There were other wines available for tasting from Oz Pacific and Rosenthal Imports, a nice sampling of what the store has to offer. A significant crowd was present for all of the time that I was there, and many of them seemed to be purchasing wine. All of those I spoke to seemed to really enjoy the new store.

The future of Central Bottle seems bright, and there is much to look forward too, such as Thursday evenings when the store becomes a wine bar. If you check out their website, you will see all of the events they have planned for the next couple months. I will be checking the progress of the store, as well as stopping by for the wine bar, and will report back once I do. I recommend that you also stop by Central Bottle and find some exciting wine and food.

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