Tuesday, December 2, 2014

City Wine Tours of Boston's Italian North End

Whether you are a local Bostonian and/or New Englander or visiting from another state or country there is an opportunity to visit some of the local Boston neighborhoods including local restaurants and sampling worldwide wines. City Wine Tours is a company that provides guided tours that explore multiple neighborhoods in Boston including the South End, the North End, Back Bay and the latest edition to their tour list providing a sparkling wine tour of Harvard Square in Cambridge. City Wine Tours provides an opportunity to tour each neighborhood, visit a few local restaurants and wine shops paired with great wine and a sampling of food to pair with the wines at each stop. The tours offered are a fun way of exploring new wines, restaurants and learning about wine in a warm atmosphere.

City Wine Tours of Boston's North End

Of course being an Italian wine blogger and lover of all things Italian I chose to attend the North End Tour, which was led by wine ambassador, Joanne Frette. Joanne is originally from Scotland and has been living in Boston for the past couple years. She is a WSET Advanced Certificate holder, which is one of the world's top wine certifications from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. 

Boston City Wine Tours
Joanne Frette
We began our North End tour at the Aragosta restaurant located at the Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel tucked away off of Atlantic Ave where we were greeted by Joanne along with a group of about 13 wine and food lovers for the day. We started our tour at an intimate part of the bar where we were introduced to one another and the wines of the day. Joanne educated folks on how to read Italian wine labels and the process of viewing the color, aromas and tastes of each wine. We sampled wines from the Veneto region including Prima Perla Prosecco DOC and the 2013 Cantina Santa Maria la Palma Vermentino di Sardegna. It was served alongside a nice platter of fresh sliced meats, cheeses, fruit and figs.

We then walked up to the main street of the North End, Hanover Street, where we paused briefly in front of the Old North Church for a brief historical background. We made our way over to Gennaro's at 5 North Square where we sat in their dining room upstairs and sampled wines specifically labeled for Gennaro's including the Gennaro 1st edition 2013 Pinot Grigio and 2012 Valpolicella Classico from the Veneto region of Italy. Both of these dishes were paired with a variety of cheeses and meats.

Boston city food and wine tours

Our last stop was right around the corner at the Wine Bottega on Hanover Street where we headed downstairs to their wine cellar and gathered around the table. Katie from the Wine Bottega introduced the 2013 Cellario Favorita and Dolcetto from the Piedmont wine region. The Wine Bottega sells wines that are organic without additional additives. I've attended wine tastings there in the past and if you can catch an opportunity to meet a winemaker or a representative from the wineries themselves in Italy I recommend it whether it's there or at any establishment. It's the best way to get a true understanding regarding the winery and the land in which the wine comes from. 

North End Wine Bottega wine tasting

Each tour offered with City Wine Tours lasts about 2 hours with the opportunity to sample six wines in total between the restaurant and wine shop visits costing $66 a person. The walking is very minimal as you leisurely stroll between establishments. The tours are led by knowledgeable wine ambassadors that are all certified or have direct experience within the wine industry.

It's a nice way to get to meet folks from around the country or world while getting a taste of the local flavors of Boston's neighborhoods and the world of wine.

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