The Urban Grape, a hip new shop that recently opened in Chestnut Hill, has so much more than wine to offer. It is what every wine shop should be – and more. I have not been as excited in visiting a new establishment in so long…and this is why…
In addition to the 16 varietals they’re sampling for customers daily (for free) on their Enoline Elite Wine Tasting system, they have over 650 wines on the shelf (with a planned 800+ in the works). They have a wonderful selection of spirits, a growing sake section and some great craft beers in addition to perennial favorites like Sam Adams and Blue Moon (and I even spotted the retro-favorite Pabst in the cooler!)
The store is conveniently located in the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, next to the newly renovated Star Market, and there’s plenty of free parking. It is absolutely gorgeous..no expense or attention to detail was spared when creating this space – be sure to look at the “counter” when you check out, as well as the stunning blonde wood that wraps the room, and the artwork which will grace the back entance very soon. I was also impressed with the 11 foot long, rough-hewn wooden tasting table, adorned with fresh flowers, that is the store’s hub…I can only imagine meeting friends – both old and new – there as we discuss TJ’s picks of the week, their merits, pairings, and mad dashes to the register to make our purchases.
The Urban Grape is owned by a husband and wife duo – TJ and Hadley Douglas of Boston. TJ spent years in the restaurant business, working for such notable eateries as the Armani Café, before moving to the wine industry as a sales rep for Ruby Wines. It was there that TJ, inspired by his love of wine and travels to the great wine regions of the world, hit upon the idea of The Urban Grape. It combines his passion for wine with his background in hospitality, to create a winning combination. He really wants his customers to experience wine without being preached to or feeling intimidated. His wife Hadley has a background in marketing and philanthropic events, and is doing a fantastic job at keeping their Facebook and Twitter fans updated on happenings at the store as well as their “Tuesday Tweets” (the staff favorite pick of the week is offered at a 20% discount, bottle 1, through close of business Sunday on a limited basis – which means sign up! on their Facebook & Twitter pages. I bought last week’s Hugo Gruner Veltliner, which was an amazing find at $12).
They also offer an “Urban Sampler 4 pack”, which is 4 wines in an already assembled, easy to carry pack. I was given a complimentary “World Cup” 4 pack – which I easily would have purchased – it retails for $50, but has a $62+ value. You can’t beat it, and I was told that will be their standard pricing, although the themes will vary every 3 weeks. I will review those wines on a separate blog.
Urban Grape employees are graduates of the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Program at Boston University, and they help customers pick out which wine to buy, based on the shop’s unique rating system, which lines bottles up by “weight”, similar to a restaurant wine list. The Urban Grape is pairing with the Capital Grille’s Master Wine Tasting Event – all of the wines featured in this stellar promotion (10 hand-selected wines for $25 pp) are available for purchase for a great retail price at The Urban Grape.
The Urban Grape also offer a full range of spirits – Vodka, Rum, Gin, Bourbon, Whiskey, etc. – presented as elegantly as the wine – as well as Sake and Craft beers. The store is open 7 days a week, delivery is available, they have a wine registry, wine cellar management and private tastings and events can be booked on Sunday evenings.
You MUST visit if you are “within 100 miles of Chestnut Hill!” – Chef Robin White (@canapes45).
I, personally, cannot wait to go back! This is what every wine shop should be, and more.
The Urban Grape, 7 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill MA, 617.232.4831. theurbangrape.com