Sunday, April 4, 2010

Boston Wine Exchange

Opening a new wine store in downtown Boston is probably very intimidating. How will you stand out? How will you price your wines? When I learned about Boston Wine Exchange, a very new wine store, I had to check it out to see how they handled these issues. Overall, I was very pleased with the store and think it definitely has a chance for success.

The medium-sized store has fancy wooden wine racks, and carries a diverse selection of wines, beers and spirits. They carry some local wines, such as Still River Winery Apfel Eis and wines from Westport Rivers, as well as other interesting wines as the Gruet sparkling wine (from New Mexico) and the varied wines of 90+ Cellars. They even carry a few wines from places such as Greece and Israel.

Prices are average to good, and they generally avoid the practice of some other Boston wine stores to add a couple bucks to the price of their wines. To be honest, I did expect their prices to be higher than average due to their location, so was pleasantly surprised when I saw their actual prices. Plus, you can receive a 15% discount for a mixed case and a 10% discount for 6 bottles.

They have a special section for their higher-end wines, each wine locked into the shelving. This is where you can find top Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italian California and more. Prices for these wines also seems average.

The store has a free wine tasting machine which can provide samples of eight wines. The machine uses nitrogen and argon gases to keep the wines fresh for up to 30 days. The selection rotates frequently, and you never know what you might find there. They also have free tastings on Thursdays and Fridays, from 4 to 6 p.m., and they will showcase wines, beers, and spirits.

I was especially excited to see that they carry 11 different Sakés, most in half bottle size, 300mls. Most of them are good choices as well, and include sparkling Saké and nigori. Not many local wine stores carry this many choices so I was very happy to see it. They will even have a Saké tasting on May 6.

For beer lovers, the store has a large refrigerated case with plenty of different brews, from the usual to the artisanal. They also have a couple of metal shelves with plenty of other choices as well.

Spirits lovers also will find much of interest here as well. They have plenty of the usual suspects, as well as many of the newest and more boutique spirits, such as Sutton Cellars Vermouth (one of my personal favorites). The case pictured above contains some of their pricier spirits, high-end rums, tequilas, scotchs, whiskeys and more.

The Boston Wine Exchange has a diverse selection which should cater to most needs. It will appeal to you whether you drink wine, beer or spiritis. They even deliver! What makes their delivery even more interesting is that it is eco-conscious. They have partnered with Metro Pedal Power, which uses emissions-free pedal-trucks capable of carrying up to 500 pounds.

They are a welcome addition to downtown Boston and I wish them much luck. I recommend you stop by the store and check out what they have to offer.

Boston Wine Exchange
181 Devonshire Street
Boston, MA
Phone: 617-422-0100

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