I suppose that when the people I once worked for — Nick, Maureen, David and Liz — were traveling together in Italy and noodling the idea of opening a wineshop together their first concern wasn’t what to call it. But the name they finally settled on — Central Bottle Wine + Provisions – is a particularly apt one, it seems to me, in part because of the subtle wordplay involved. The name closely identifies the shop with its physical location — Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts — but it also suggests something important to understand about wine: the bottle is central.
The story of how the glass bottle emerged as a near-ideal solution to the problem of how to deliver wine to the consumer in a way both convenient and secure has been told many times – and it’s not my intention to rehash it here. Instead, I’d like reach back to the very beginnings of wine and talk about how we first learned how to contain the fermented fruit of the vine and, in turn, how wine may have taught us the art of containing ourselves.