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At Rue de Saveur, try before you buy

Shelves are lined with oils, vinegars, jams, and spirits, and it’s an interactive experience.

Barrels at Rue de Saveur.Dipl. Des. Sascha Kreklau

Rue de Saveur’s shelves are lined with ceramic amphoras that dispense a variety of olive, nut, seed oils, and balsamic vinegars. Wooden casks with spigots line a different wall and, surprisingly, hold spirits — Spanish brandies, aged Napoleon cognacs and Armagnacs, Irish single malts, and whiskies form Scotland’s Highlands and Lowlands. Glass balloon-shaped bottles filled with liqueurs are on view too ($20 and up). Owner Candace Rassias named her newly opened Coolidge Corner store Rue De Saveur, or Flavor Street, a franchise from the German company vomFass (translation: “from the cask”). The franchises are scattered across the world, and there are a dozen in the United States; Rassias’s store is the first in the Northeast. “Try before you buy” is the store’s theme. “You’re not just pulling a bottle off the shelf to take with you. It’s an interactive experience,” says Rassias. There are no recognizable labels since all of the oils, vinegars, and spirits come directly from growers and producers exclusive to vomFass, and it delights Rassias to share their stories with you (at a distance, of course). “It’s all about traceability and transparency,” she says. If you prefer a grassy olive oil to a buttery one, Rassias will lead you to one from Italy, Spain, or Crete, and explain the grower’s details, and then fill a glass bottle with your choice. Taste the whiskey produced near Mumbai in India, and she’ll describe the flavor profile of the barrels in which it’s aged, whose wood comes from the country’s forests. Rassias leased the shop pre-COVID and had intended to hold group tastings and after-work events. “One day, we’ll be up and running as planned,” she promises. It’s a fun place to visit and walk away with a bottle filled with something distinctive and delicious. Spices and sauces, bags of lavender, jams, and other culinary products are available as well. 305 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-505-5012.


Ceramic amphoras filled with olive oils at Rue de Saveur, a new store in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner.Candace Rassias


Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.