First and foremost we love wine, we love discovering new wines and we love sharing our discoveries with you. Our passion for wine has led us around the globe, to hundreds of wineries and to taste thousands of wines (we estimate about 8,000 a year!) We have worked in restaurants and wine shops, with distributors and importers to soak up as much knowledge (and wine) as possible.
We taste every wine, learn its story and thoroughly debate its merits before the wine makes it onto our shelves and eventually into your glass. So really, it’s not about us, it’s about you. We look forward to getting to know you, your palate, what you’re interested in, or what will get you home with take-out still warm. There’s always something new to discover and we look forward to sharing with you.
In late October of 2008, I fulfilled a long held dream and purchased The Wine Bottega. From the first time I set foot in the shop, I felt that, like many of my favorite wines, there is a sense of history, tradition and specialness, that you can’t quite define, but just feels right. I’m often asked how I got started in wine, so here you go… As with many in this industry, I fell into wine by fortuitous accident. After graduating with a degree in Biology from Yale, I moved out to San Francisco to pursue a career in Public Health and somehow found myself as a baker at a Noe Valley café. This led to waiting tables and eventually restaurant management where I fell in love with wine, particularly educating others about wine. I got my feet wet (or turned my tongue purple) at Bare Cove Wine Annex in Hingham, MA and then on a whim packed up for Australia to pursue a Masters in Wine Business at the University of Adelaide. After two wine drenched years down under (and a masters thesis on premium box wine), I returned to Boston and became the Veuve Clicquot Portfolio Manager and eventually worked as a salesperson for Classic Wine Imports. Despite fabulous evenings out and about drinking Champagne and schmoozing, the siren call of the wine shop was too strong and I spent two amazing years learning from the some of the best minds in the industry at Lower Falls Wine Co. in Newton, MA. Then one day, my phone rang and I heard The Wine Bottega was for sale….
For me wine is an outlet for passion. I like to think of myself as a relatively passionate person, one that is driven by what moves me. Growing up in southern Connecticut I was fortunate to have a family that was also passionate about what they do. The family business is a small rental bicycle shop in Cape Cod and from this I developed a great love for cycling and consequentially science. Attending the local Children’s School of Science in Woods Hole, I gained a strong curiosity for biology and hence followed that dream during my studies at St. Michaels College in Vermont earning my undergraduate focused on plant physiology. By this time in my life I had become a competitive cyclist even getting a chance to ride for the US National Development Team as a mountain biker. After four years of NCAA Nordic ski competition, which served as “off-season” training, I took my studies abroad and shipped off to my ancestral homeland of Italy where I gained a deep love and appreciation for language and culture, especially of the Italian sort! The rolling, rustic hills of Umbria became my home and Perugia my city. My heart has never returned. I, however, did return and found myself in Boston immersed in software development, a realm in which I had not seen myself before but learned much from. Soon I needed to return home, where my heart was…Italy. I spent another wonderful year working in Montepulciano, Tuscany leading cycling tours for a small Boston based company. What’s more my home base during this adventure was actually in Burgundy France, a place that truly changed the way I understood wine as well as met people that changed my conception of wine. It was serendipitous that day I walked into the Wine Bottega, I struck up a conversation and before you know it… I had found a new passion.
Before The Wine Bottega, I knew of only two kinds of wine. The red kind and the white kind. I judged a region by how many syllables it had and a grape by, wait – which word on this label means grape?
The only thing I knew about wine for sure was that I liked it. And I wanted to know more. So the Wine Bottega offered to teach me. Because it’s what they do. It seems like they only thing they enjoy more than drinking wine, is watching you experience the adventure for yourself. I started work on a Thursday. A lot of salesman stopped that day slinging grapes I couldn’t pronounce from regions I’d never heard of. That day I swallowed when I was supposed to spit. I pretended I smelled oak and notes of black licorice. Even nodded in agreement that the ’05 was a bit sentimental. Apparently, grapes have feelings now.
Weeks later, I’m spitting out wine like a champ. I can say words like Sangiovese and terroir and I even know what they mean (Tuscany’s multi-talented superstar varietal and the influential land from which a grape is born, respectively.) I’m checking out the way the light hits the juice. I’m smelling all sorts of things that I’m still not confident to name. And I’m learning the world’s most romantic language of all, bottle by bottle. Story by story.
This might be the best job I’ve ever had.
“What is best in life?” Enjoying good food and good wine with good people. I’ve equated happiness to a bustling dinner table since I was a wee lad out in the ‘burbs. As I child I always respected my father’s careful appreciation for his nightly glass of red vino but never had much interest for myself. Things change. After four consecutive years in French dining it would be hard NOT to fall in love with Europe’s most intricate social lubricant. Hearing major league servers and dedicated sommeliers explain their favorites drew me into the whale wide world of wicked wines. Their descriptions were so evocative, so full of knowledge and insight. Wine changed in my mind from a occupational necessity to one of my greatest loves (second only to music and the never ending pursuit of brilliant new bow ties). I buried my nose in the glass and in the books trying to learn grape-jive. After a year of study and searching, Bistro Du Midi’s eccentric sommelier directed me to THE Wine Bottega. The charming and homey little store welcomed me in warmly. In the midst of all these impossible wines, I came to realize how extraordinary a place I had entered into: a cathedral of the secret, the strange and the impossibly beautiful. Love the secret identities: www.mightytinymusic.com