10 Great Things About Urban Grape
1. Wine, wine and more wine
This is not your parents’ “packie.” The wall of wine that runs all along one side of the space holds wine. Lots of wine. And their wine is arranged in a progressive format that you are familiar with seeing on any good wine list, organized from light to heavy. They are the only wine store that does this.
2. It’s not just wine.
Urban Grape offers and extensive craft beer selection and a limited but impressive array of liquor as well.
3. They go local.
Bully Boy. Privateer. Ryan and Wood. Slumbrew. Pretty Things. Backlash. High and Mighty. These are just some of the local names you will see on UG’s shelves. It’s also common to meet local bakers and artisans brought in for pairings during their Saturday wine tastings. And speaking of…
Two wine dispensers, one for red and one for white, hold 5 or 6 bottles each, really encouraging the “try before you buy” attitude. But what is really impressive is they will let you try most of the liquor too! Inquire about what bottles are open and UG will let you try a sample.
5. Gift baskets.
Sure, you can pick up a lovely wine assortment for the holidays, as well as an Urban Sampler. But UG thinks outside the box, takes the gift basket one step further and uses liquor to fill the basket.
6. Schools out, but classes are in.
Cocktail classes that is. UG has brought in some of Boston’s bigwigs for their monthly classes. Tim Cushman from o ya catered a sake class by his wife, sake Sommelier Nancy Cushman. The ladies of LUPEC took over for an evening of cocktails with food pairings from Citizen Public House. Matt Chivian, whiskey expert, hosted a whisk(e)y class with delicious treats from The Gallows. And my favorite: Jackson Cannon himself showing us how to make punch.
7. Tuesday Tweets
Each week, get 20% off two selected bottles. And speaking of Twitter…
8. @UrbanGrape and social media
Hadley is on target with UG’s social media presence. My favorite is actually the monthly newsletter, chock full of what’s going on the store, and most importantly for me, a full schedule of upcoming tastings. And check out their blog!
9. Staff second to none
Knowledgeable. Very knowledgeable, and friendly. Ask for a recommendation and they nail it every time.
10. TJ and Hadley
Their love and passion for Urban Grape is unmistakable, genuine and unbreakable; this is evident in their store(s), the incredible staff they employ, and in person.
(photo credit: Mike Diskin, link)
Plans are in the works for a second Urban Grape location in the South End. While the paperwork and permits are being finalized, the Urban Grape will be celebrating the 2-year anniversary of their Chestnut Hill store tonight. From the BeantownEats family, a huge congratulations to TJ and Hadley and the Urban Grape staff, and best of luck in the South End!
Do you have a favorite wine store?