Where to Rebel Rebel, a wine bar inside Somerville’s Bow Market.
What for To mingle with wine professionals, or just drink like one. You’ll find natural wine — funky, alive, unfiltered — selected by Lauren Friel, who was the wine director at Oleana and Sarma and developed a list for New York’s Dirty Candy solely featuring women winemakers. (She also writes for sister publication Boston.com, among others.) “We believe a wine bar can be a place for the community to engage, grow, and communicate. We also believe in the power of natural wine to bring us back to the foundations of our connection to farmers, to women, and to the planet,” reads the website’s copy, then leavens the sentiment with a few well-placed cusswords.
The scene A tiny room with maybe 20 seats, a little wood square of a bar, candles flickering beside a vase of dahlias. Shelves lined with glassware and bottles are bathed in low light cast by gooseneck lamps, and a chalkboard features the night’s glass pours. A sign reads, “It’s all for you.” On the stools perch wine geeks and local freaks. On the patio a pair of black poodles hold court.
What you’re eating You’ll find a few snacks: Spanish potato chips; plastic cafeteria trays with Formaggio cheese, baguette from Forge Baking Company, raisins on the vine, and a dab of honey. Or bring in food from other Bow Market vendors. What pairs well with pierogis?
Care for a drink? That’s why you’re here. Greek grapes seldom seen, vertical tastings from the small Northern Rhone appellation of Brézème, grower Champagne . . . The chalkboard changes and the shelves are replenished regularly.
Overheard Talk of terroir, minerality, and industry gossip. Two friends share a bottle. “Cheers!” “Cheers! It’s so good to see you.” A man perks his ears at the soundtrack: “Playlist or Pandora?” A woman laughs and shakes her head: “I love when people say, ‘I don’t drink chardonnay.’ ” “Ooh, is that the ’17?,” someone asks. A patron is hungry. “You want cheese and baguette?,” a staffer offers, and everyone looks in her direction. “You want cheese and baguette?” Everyone wants cheese and baguette, and maybe another bottle.
1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville, www.rebelrebelsomerville.comDevra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.