More Freaking Delicious Wines: Recommendations from local wine merchants

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last week, I ran a piece on 5 Freaking Delicious Wines (that wine geeks won't make fun of you for drinking). I promised to follow-up with some picks from local wine merchants. Establishing a relationship with a trusted local wine merchant is advice I hear quite frequently, and we're fortunate to have some outstanding shops here in the Boston area.

Raphael Keller-Go is the owner of VinoDivino in Newton, MA. His recommendation continues along the lines of the Riesling pick that we discussed last week and goes even sweeter with a late harvest selection:

“If you love dessert, but so far have not found your passion for wine, you’re in for a treat with this late harvest Riesling from Washington’s beautiful Columbia Valley. Think of an orange and apricot tart with honey on top that has been turned into wine. That does sound appealing, doesn’t it? And beware, this nectar is addictive, especially at its low level of alcohol of just 10%!”

Click here to shop for the 2007 Washington Hills Riesling Late Harvest Summit Reserve Columbia Valley on

Further reading: A mystery shopper review I wrote about VinoDivino

One of my favorite stores in the country is the Hingham Wine Merchant. Every time I go down there, it reminds me of a trip to my favorite baseball card shop as a kid. I could spend hours there talking with them, or comparing notes with other customers on some of our favorite wines in the store. They've even got a kids play area! Now that's smart retailing.

Sean Perry graciously offers up a red wine for his "freaking delicious" pick:

“I am always hunting for wines that stand out amongst the others, not only in taste but quality and price.” I have found the highest quality to price ratio in a lovely Malbec made by Argentina powerhouse Luigi Bosca. Luigi Bosca bottles an array of different wines and varietals, but none have the mouth feel and finesse for a better price than their D.O.C. Malbec. For a sound $17.50 their 100% Malbec from the Lujan de Cuyo D.O.C. is superb and will out beat any other in its class and with ease. Ripe cherry and plum aromas on the nose with sweet black fruit and a lengthy finish combine to give your palate a quite pleasurable experience. All of the fruit follows strict protocol to protect the integrity of the Lujan de Cuyo denomination and further adds to the wines single vineyard status. “It’s a knock out”, simply put.

Check 'em out:
The Hingham Wine Merchant
74 North St
Hingham, MA 02043
(781) 740-9393

Further reading:
Mike Reardon of RWJ Beverage runs the wine stores within the BJ's Warehouse Club locations in Danvers and Stoneham. A while back, I stopped into his Danvers store to do a little mystery shopping but I was foiled- Mike recognized me from this site! I'll have to start wearing a disguise. Kudos to Mike for reading local wine blogs to get a feel for what potential customers are saying about wine. Well done.

Mike's business model is one I actually like quite a bit: Operate within a warehouse club to keep foot traffic high, stock a limited number of wines from recognizable brands that have received high ratings from publications like Wine Spectator, and offer them at impossibly low prices.

He offers up not one but two picks, both at amazingly low prices:

Dashwood New Zealand, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (available for $7.99). "This is the perfect crisp clean Sauvignon Blanc that is vivid and refreshing which makes it my favorite summer deck wine."

Caymus Conundrum (available for $17.99). "This is rich with apricot, melon, pear, and a hint of vanilla and is balanced with sparkling acidity of citrus fruits. I love this table wine to enjoy with friends and family during these summer months."

Further reading: Which grocery stores in MA sell wine?

I'd like to thank Raphael, Sean and Mike for their recommendations. They are truly appreciated and I'd encourage you to check their stores out if you're ever in the neighborhood.

Question of the Day: What do you think of these retailer picks?


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