This new book from local wine shop owners takes drinking wine to a new level

The Urban Grape.
The Urban Grape. –The Urban Grape

If you’ve ever taken a trip to the Urban Grape on Columbus Avenue in the South End, you know it’s a mecca for wine lovers. The Urban Grape bills itself as the first store in the world to incorporate progressive shelving, allowing drinkers to browse bottles by body. And no need to wait for those tried-and-true weekend sampling sessions — the Urban Grape’s wine tasting machines dispense samples anytime you want them.

Now owners Hadley and TJ Douglas are taking that wine-ovation (did we just coin a term there?) a step further. Their new book, Drink Progressively: A Bold New Way to Pair Wine with Food, takes their progressive shelving concept and extends it to what they call the “Progressive Scale,” a system that identifies wines by their weight — from light-bodied to full-bodied — as opposed to by varietal or region.


RadioBDC’s Julie Kramer talked to TJ and Hadley about their book, the scale, and how they use it to pair some of their favorite wines with some of their favorite dishes.


Drink Progressively: From White to Red, Light- to Full-Bodied, A Bold New Way to Pair Wine with Food by Hadley and TJ Douglas, with recipes by Gabriel Frasca; Spring House Press; $24.95