CAMBRIDGE — Peering in at the floor-to-ceiling windows that frame Central Bottle, I’m surprised to see such a large group of people inside a wine shop on a frigid weekday evening. But Central Bottle is no ordinary purveyor of wine. When Liz Vilardi and Nick Zappia, owners of The Blue Room, and their friends Maureen and David Rubino visited Venice in 2008, they were inspired to return home and create a Cambridge-style enoteca, the small wine shop get-togethers so cherished in northern Italy.
On Thursday nights, Central Bottle offers a flight of wine paired with cicchetti, plates of salumi (cured meat), cheese, and other dishes like a yummy fava bean spread prepared by Stacey Daley, longtime Blue Room supplier and chef. Stand around the tall, glass-topped wine carts and sample four glasses from one of Liz and Maureen’s favorite wineries such as Alois Lageder, the fifth-generation winemaker in the Dolomites. “We wanted to create a gathering spot in the community,” says Maureen.
Central Bottle Thursday Wine Bar, 5-9 p.m., flight $15-$25, food is extra. 196 Massachusetts Ave., www.centralbottle.com.