Skip to main content

Central Bottle: A Taste of Venice in Boston

wine, central bottle, organic, biodynamic
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Hey. Let’s go to Italy and drink a lot of wine, and then come home and open a wine shop. Maybe substitute the wine for pizza, but this is probably every twenty-something, (or thirty or forty-something) American’s fantasy. But for longtime friends Dave and Maureen Rubino, Nick Zappia, and Liz Vilardi, this fantasy became a reality. Returning from a group trip to Venice, the four opened Central Bottle in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Vilardi, also co-owner and wine director at Belly Wine Bar and the blue room in Kendall Square, says that part of the inspiration for the store comes from a small shop that the four found during their time in Italy. “It was this perfect, intimate, neighborhood wine store. You could have a sip of wine and a little cheese and just hang out. We loved it and wanted to bring some of that back to the U.S.”

It was also crucial to the four partners that the store be clean and sleek, complete with Venetian red pillars and a floor-to-ceiling glass wall facing Massachusetts Avenue. Vilardi explains: “I think a lot of wine stores like to have clutter, like cardboard boxes and stuff lying around everywhere, because they think it’s very celler-ish. But we wanted to keep the store beautiful, easy to move through, and simple.”

Central Bottle’s wine selections mirror the store’s mission to reign in “small production, handcrafted, sustainable, organic, and biodynamic wines from all over the world.” bottles in the shop include a Frank Cornelisson Contadino No. 9 (murky and natural), a Vietti (“elegant…eloquent…remarkable”), and a Sybille Kuntz Riesling that Vilardi recommends.

“I want people to come in here and feel free to share their tastes: what they like and what they don’t like. I wish people knew that, when they buy wine, they aren’t being judged as much as they think they are. We want to talk with you and help you find the wines that you’ll really love, regardless of price,” Vilardi tells us.

As if the carefully selected 450 wines aren’t enough, the shop also sells 85 different cheeses – washed rind, blue, Italian, and several handcrafted cheeses from the Northeast. Vilardi also hopes to offer a four-part wine education series starting in February.

Wine, cheese, and salumi? All we have to say, Central Bottle, is grazie.

Lindsay McCormack
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Lindsay McCormack is a contributing writer to TheManual.com. Previously, Lindsay studied book and magazine publishing at the…
How to make Vietnamese pho, a perfect soup for any time of the year
A guide to making your own pho at home
Bowl of Vietnamese Pho with rice noodles, mung beans, cilantro, spring onions and limes

A steaming bowl of rich beef broth brimming with noodles and fragrant herbs, pho is widely considered the most famous dish of Vietnam. Thanks to a widespread Vietnamese diaspora, pho has become international, enjoyed by diners everywhere from California to Germany. You can enjoy pho any time of the year.

Beef pho 
(Recipe by Chef Greg Gugunin, formerly of Pho 66 in New York City)
Ingredients:
For the broth

Read more
How to make the finest Tom Collins cocktail, according to experts
Take notes so you can add these cocktail recipes to your home bar repertoire
Fresh home made Tom Collins cocktails with lemon

For a drink that has its own glass, you'd think the Tom Collins cocktail would be even more popular. It's a classic, without a shadow of a doubt, but many imbibers don't exactly know how to whip one up, let alone perfect it.

The Tom Collins is a relatively simple drink. That said, you still need to do it right. All the little things become that much more important, from effervescence and temperature to the freshness of the citrus. Assemble it poorly, and the drink is just a grown-up lemonade. Prepare it professionally, and you have one of the most refreshing cocktails ever devised in your hand.

Read more
The 14 best coffee beans to buy in 2024, chosen by experts
A warm cup of coffee and spoon on a saucer with coffee beans

We all have our favorite type of coffee. Whether you prefer a dark roast made from coarse grounds and a French press or something less strong and dark via your reliable Mr. Coffee, a cup of Joe is the best way to start your day. And like everything in life, there’s always room for improvement. Whether it’s owning a high-end coffeemaker or buying the right milk or milk frother, the ideal method for making the perfect cup of coffee is easier than you think. In addition to tasting great and kick-starting your day, coffee also promotes liver health and reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

While we’re all for coffee clubs and coffee subscription services, there will come a time when you need to be in charge of your coffee beans. We’ve done our research to bring you our comprehensive list of the best coffee beans that will surely please your palate and elevate your mornings. A word of advice: Coffee beans do expire, so don’t let them sit for too long in the kitchen. Oh, and keep your coffee pot clean, it'll lead to a better-tasting cup.

Read more