Scenes from the Urban Grape South End Opening

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Now that the Urban Grape is opening at 303 Columbus Ave, expect it to be very busy. The space is stunning – between the wallpaper designed from the Urban Grape logo, the oversized light fixtures, and the clean shelving – you’ll want to go just to ogle at it.

Then, if you like wine, beer and spirits, you can delight in the 760+ wines, 350+ beers + sakes, and premium liquors. The custom tasting machine, featuring 16 wines, is open for business as well.

At last night’s opening party, Martin Dupont from FAIR spirits was on hand to share his vodka, the first ever to be made from quinoa. FAIR. Spirits is the first and only fair trade certified producer of spirits, working closely with over 30,000 farmers. FAIR is proud to stand for a tasty product that also improves helps improve the lives of many. The company uses quinoa imported from Bolivia, Goji berries from Tibet and coffee beans from Mexico. FAIR’s distillery is located in Cognac with 10 full-time employees worldwide.

Martin sampled the premium FAIR. Quinoa vodka, which is quite sip-able; it has a nice flavor and weight versus the more traditional vodkas that burn on the tongue. A small scale producer of 60,000 bottles annually, FAIR’s vodka also differs from competitors as it is distilled only once. Also on hand was a pre-mixed vodka cucumber delight. Made simply with FAIR. Quinoa vodka, simple syrup, lime juice and cucumber, the drink would be delightful at summer events.

Martin also shared FAIR’s premium liqueurs: Goji, made from Tibetan Goji berries; and Cafe, made from Mexican coffee beans. If you aren’t a frequent spirt drinker, the Goji can be mixed with Prosecco, Cava or Champagne for a refreshing cocktail. The shocker was the Cafe. Pro tip: Put it on your ‘to buy’ list. It tastes like freshly brewed coffee. To get that fresh taste, the beans are roasted in the early morning, then ground when still warm and immediately infused in the distillery. It was delicious. To note: both the liqueurs are infused with a organic wheat distillate, versus the quinoa vodka. The quinoa vodka has a slightly different flavor profile than the more neutral wheat vodkas.

True to their mission, The Urban Grape is already educating the masses. Martin was happy to educate me about quinoa vodkas, and I was happy to learn (and taste test). I can’t wait to return as a customer, learn my wine profile, and start shopping.

Check out more from the opening below: