Thursday, June 17, 2010

Drinking Wine Just Got Easier

It’s always refreshing to meet people who are passionate about what they do – and are eager to share that passion with everyone that crosses their path.

I had the pleasure of visiting The Urban Grape earlier this week on their media day, a new wine shop located in Chestnut Hill – with a very unique (and extremely effective) set-up.

Husband and wife owners Hadley and TJ Douglas opened the doors to The Urban Grape just last weekend, but are already turning heads with their varied wine selection (including kosher, organic and biodynamic wines), as well as how they organize these wines on their shelves. Unlike most wine shops that display wines by region or varietal, The Urban Grape organizes their wines by weight, or body. 

The Douglas’ even have two wine tasting machines in the store to help customers choose the right body of wine for them. 

One of TJ’s goals with The Urban Grape is to make all kinds of wine approachable to wine “snobs” and amateurs alike, and I believe organizing wines by body makes purchasing a bottle that much easier. Personally, I’ve never cared which region a wine comes from or what varietal it is – I just want a wine that tastes good and is affordable. And The Urban Grape made that easy for me. 

Another bonus about this new gem? The prices. 50 percent of the wines at The Urban Grape are $15-25, and about 30 percent are under $12. Not too shabby for a wine shop right outside of Boston. The Urban Grape also loves their discounts, and gives customers special pricing on case orders. They even have a feature called Tuesday Tweets where the staff’s favorite wines of the week are 20 percent off until the following Saturday evening. 

I could go on for quite a while about the cool, unique features The Urban Grape has to offer, but I’ll just mention one more: Wine 4-pack, anybody? 

This treasure sells for $50, and the wines change every three to four weeks. The current sampler is inspired by the World Cup, and selections include wines from Italy, South Africa, and France.

In addition to wine, The Urban Grape also sells craft beer, liquor and sake. Since the store just opened a few days ago, the selection will only grow from here – TJ plans to have over 850 kinds of wine, 200 craft brews, and 30 or so sakes.

Oh, one more thing – have you ever bought a bottle of wine at a store and, when you go back, can’t remember for the life of you what the heck you bought? The Urban Grape has a magical system that remembers your wine purchasing history. Hallelujah.

When purchasing wine, what do you care about most? Taste, affordability, varietal, region? 


  1. I wish this was closer to the north shore...sounds so cool! Especially the fact that they can remember what kind of wine you got last time! wow

  2. I care about a combination of sustainability & cost. It's hard to find an affordable bottle of bio-dynamic wine, but after visiting Urban Grape (also on Media Day) I have been reassured those troubles are behind me! Great review. Look forward to reading future posts.

  3. I'm not a wine expert but for me affordability and taste go hand in hand!

  4. Thanks, GGG! Glad you got to experience The Urban Grape already, too!

    And Michelle, I agree - plenty of bad wines are cheap, but there are more great wines that are very affordable. It's got to be realistic, money-wise, but also taste good.

  5. Great post! I love wine and am always looking for new shops that carry a great list chock-full of some interesting and unusual finds at a decent price...will have to try them out, thanks!