fb-pixel Skip to main content

‘We’re bringing back community. This is a place to bond.’

The cozy Bonde Fine Wine Shop in Harvard Square seems as if it’s been there for ages, although the store opened less than a year ago.

The Bonde Fine Wine Shop in Harvard Square.Handout

The cozy Bonde Fine Wine Shop in Harvard Square seems as if it’s been there for ages, although the store opened less than a year ago. The afternoon sunshine filters through the picture window and brightens the space, while a timeworn, comfy leather chair in one corner makes it tempting to sit and stay awhile. This is what owner Bertil Jean-Chronberg, a master sommelier and restaurateur born in France (a former co-owner of The Beehive, Beat Hotel, and others), invites you to do. He fills this 200-square-foot room with his own particular vibrancy in a one-man quest to teach customers about the bottles he carries: a carefully curated selection of organic, natural, and biodynamically made wines from small producers. “This is my drive, to find wines that limit the impact on the planet,” says Jean-Chronberg. The assemblage comprises what he calls “author wines,” unique types that are unrestrained expressions of the winemaker — all unlike others from their regions, or even neighboring vineyards. “They can come from one barrel, one field, and exist only at one time,” he explains. Most at Bonde are from the United States. You might find a garnet 2019 Blaufrankisch, an Austrian varietal, from the Finger Lakes’ Keuka Lake Vineyards, or the 2019 Mother of Invention from Kivelstadt Cellars in Sonoma, a Rhone-like white blend of grapes. Along with wines, the shop also carries accessories: stunning, artisan-made corkscrews, feather-light crystal glassware from Mark Thomas, and a careful selection of wine-specific books and magazines. Some evenings, when passers-by glance past the wine barrel that sits in the window, they see a table set with wine glasses and plates of cheese. One might assume there’s a bash happening in the store. But actually, Jean-Chronberg is now hosting small-group wine tastings and winemakers’ nights, and there are multiple events happening in the store every month. “We’re bringing back community,” he says. “This is a place to bond.” 54 Church St., Cambridge, 617-945-2360. For information about the store and tasting events, go to bondewines.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

Advertisement




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