The Urban Grape

Last week Miss Yunks had the exciting opportunity to attend a wine tasting at the new Urban Grape in Chestnut Hill,organized by Michelle from The Economical Eater.   The Urban Grape is conveniently located on Rt. 9 in the same shopping plaza as Shaw’s and Rosie’s Bakery.   A pre-wine tasting treat from the bakery? Don’t mind if I do!

I was immediately impressed with the small store as soon as I entered.  I’d never seen such a variety of wine in such a small space.  The walls are elegantly decked with unique wines and I couldn’t wait to get started.  TJ, the store owner, is a major wine enthusiast and it was truly a pleasure to listen to him speak so passionately about wine and about his new store.  The first thing I learned was TJ’s personal rating scale for wine.  He compares wine to dairy products and rates it on a scale of thickness.  1 is like skim milk; 10 is like heavy cream.  He uses this scale to organize his store.  Instead of heading to a shelf full of $15 bottles, he will ask customers what type of wine they usually drink and what thickness they prefer.  This organization method makes it easier for customers to try a new wine while staying in their comfort zone.

The next thing I learned about TJ is that his store is based on hospitality.  He keeps customer profiles to remember what each customer purchases.  This allows him to act as your personal shopper.  You can call the Urban Grape and ask TJ or any store employee to put together a sampler package for you and if you’ve shopped there before, they will know what types of wine you like.  They also offer free delivery for locals.

Now on to the wine!

We tasted the wine in order according to the thickness scale, starting with a white wine number 1 and ending with a red wine number 10.  I also learned that red wine is only red because the skin is used.  If they didn’t use the skin to make red wine, it would be white.

Out of the 10 or so wines we tried, I have two favorites.  The Sangiovese ($13 bottle) is a red wine at a 5 on the scale.  It’s a light red wine that drinks almost like a juice.  In TJ’s description of it, he said it would be good chilled at a BBQ.  That alone had me sold!

My other favorite was the Cabernet we tried.  It’s about a 7 (I think) and $22 bottle.  It was smooth and went down easy.  TJ said to enjoy it with a steak.  I think I will enjoy it on its own or with pasta :)

Another thing that makes the Urban Grape special is the labels on the bottles have a lot of useful consumer information.

After sampling the bottles that TJ had selected, we were able to sample additional wines from this case in the wall.

There are two cases like this built into the wall for tasting purposes. I tasted an expensive Cabernet, a 10 on the scale.  I preferred the $22 bottle.  It was really interesting tasting a red wine as thick as heavy cream.  It’s definitely not a wine I could drink on its own.

Overall, I had a really great time at the Urban Grape and learned a lot about wine.  It’s always fun going to blogger events and seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones.  It was great to see Katie and Michelle and I was so glad my old friend Emily, the newest to the blogger community, could also attend.  I’m glad I got to meet Lara and Jon after tweeting with them regularly!  Thanks again to Michelle for organizing such a fun event and to the Urban Grape for hosting!

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  1. Emily
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    Yahh! So much fun! Great recap! I can’t wait for more fun bloggy events in the future! :)

  2. MichellePC
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Thank YOU for coming, and for bringing Emily! Great recap!

  3. Josh Healy
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    Hi, hope it’s OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  4. Jaime
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    Sounds so fun! Funnily enough- my dad and step mom know TJ pretty weel! He used to be the manager at Armani Cafe (loved it there, miss it) on Newbury, and they went all the time. My dad just sent me the Urban Grape eNL…I signed up! A tasting would be awesome :)

One Trackback

  1. By Tweets that mention The Urban Grape -- on July 29, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Foodies@work, The Urban Grape and The Urban Grape, Foodies@work. Foodies@work said: better late than never: my review of the @urbangrape wine tasting! [...]

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