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Our Story


Loyal to Quality for 75 Years

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Our Story


Loyal to Quality for 75 Years

OUR STORY

Loyal to Quality for 75 Years. 


Here at Lower Falls Wine our role is to offer to our clients the best wine selection in the Boston area, or for that matter, the best wine selection available in the market place.

As a staff we taste, study, and travel extensively to continually refine our wine offerings. We are not content to merely respond to market demand; we challenge ourselves (and our clients) to consume (and cellar) wines of merit. Such wines can come from any number of regions, be of varying styles and showcase all price ranges. Shopping at Lower Falls Wine is an intimate/individual experience. It is like having oneʼs own sommelier who has tasted each wine assist with choices. Many offerings are not commonly recognized, they are selected on merit not popularity. As a relationship develops with our clients we are able to tailor our service and wine recommendations specifically to them.

The result of our effort and focus is a unique Boston-area wine shop where every product sold has been tasted by those who sell it. We know the wines we stock, the places they come from and, in many cases, the people who make them. As a result we can provide our clients with the finest service possible.

Our services include; fine wine, spirit and as part of our commitment to our customers, we make it a priority to visit as many vineyards as we can to educate ourselves and help us to offer the best selection possible.

At Lower Falls Wine we don't just talk the talk, we walk the walk. Winery visits are an important part of our continued education and exploration of the wine world. Proof of this is in the list of vineyards we have visited.

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Our History


Our mission, indeed our passion, is to offer selections of singular merit

Our History


Our mission, indeed our passion, is to offer selections of singular merit

OUR HISTORY

Our mission, indeed our passion, is to offer selections of singular merit


As the end of Prohibition neared, J. Harold Shaughnessy, Grandfather of the present owners, had the idea of opening a package goods store.  Harold was a man of humble origins who had worked his way to success in several endeavors. Since the late 1800’s his in-laws, the Early’s, had owned the building that would subsequently house the Lower Falls Wine Co. Initially the shop was one of a few on the street level space.  From its opening, Lower Falls was an instant success staffed by a crew of men in pressed white shirts, dark pressed pants and black ties. Photos show several of them wearing white aprons.

The structure itself has had many uses and gone through several renovations since its original construction around 1840.  [These updates have disqualified it from any precise historical status].  Over the years, Lower Falls has grown to fill the entire footprint of the building.  The second floor, Boyden Hall, was previously a high-ceilinged open room.  It contained a theatre stage and bench seating for local gatherings such as voting and bandage rolling during World War One. There is strong evidence that Catholic masses were said on site as well.

In the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, Lower Falls sold a good flow of wine and a river of Bourbon.  From the outset, a “carriage trade” mentality was practiced.  Industry insiders marveled at the “little store in Newton” that consistently outsold other merchants in equally worthy locations.  From our vantage, we would state the reason goes back to the attention to service.

Lower Falls was one of the region’s first wine shops to embrace the ‘boom’ in wine interest that began in the ’80’s and exploded in the ‘90’s. By the late-eighties Phil followed by Chris was regularly visiting wine producing properties around the world. The relationships we forged (in many cases with the parents of the generation now running them) have allowed us to be on the cutting edge of the industry.

Our adherence to high standards has earned Lower Falls a national visibility.  Taken as a team, our staffing is regarded by our peers as being the finest in Boston. The in-house tasting regime – augmented by travel – results in upwards of 9,000 bottles per year coming under review.

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The Cru - Our Highly Knowledgable Owners & Staff


Meet our highly knowledgable Owners & Staff. 

The Cru - Our Highly Knowledgable Owners & Staff


Meet our highly knowledgable Owners & Staff. 

Meet The Owners & Experts 

We value tradition and welcome innovation.


At the Lower Falls Wine Company, the only thing that can match the quality of our product is the quality of our wine experts.

In order to maximize the pleasure from a given bottle, it helps to be guided by a knowledgeable staff. From daily staples to celebratory bottles, from options at important gatherings to buy-and-hold collectibles, we have the experience to assist you in making a suitable purchase.

Our personnel are the MOST WIDELY TRAVELED AND TASTED group working a retail floor you will encounter. Collectively visiting close to 1,000 wine properties and tasting over 100,000 wines.

View Our Growing List of Wineries Visited


Philip Minervino, Owner

pminervino@lowerfallswine.com

After graduating from Georgetown University, Phil did an obligatory tour in lower Manhattan.  Two years later, he returned to Boston with a desire to apply his undergrad business training and revitalize the enterprise which his late Mother was not actively running.

Phil has a preference for so-called “heritage” wines.  “In my view, the world of flavors is becoming more uniform  – the true thrills come from the artisanal masters and other risk-takers,”  he states.  Hence the need to tour the source – Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Spain, and South Africa have all been explored.  While on hiatus in 1994, Phil worked at two California wineries, Diamond Creek Vineyards and Seghesio Family Vineyards.  In 2009, he graduated from the Northwest Culinary Academy in Vancouver, Canada.  Every summer, Phil enjoys spending time farming at Four Season Farm on Cape Rozier, Maine.

Phil devours mature Bordeaux, traditional-style nebbiolo and in summer months, drinks rose.  When dining, he prefers chef-owned haunts.  Personal motto:  First secure the restaurant booking, then book the flight.

Phil’s annual tastings in Bordeaux over the last twenty five years make him the Boston wine trades most widely tasted student of Classified Growths. He has been a leading wine personality in Boston for over twenty years known for his lively presentations.


Christopher Minervino, Owner

cminervino@lowerfallswine.com

In the fine wine business for over twenty years Chris has traveled and tasted extensively. He enjoys starting with the question; what is the application? This allows him to engage his clients in the process to arrive at the correct selection for the table or the cellar.

Developing relationships with clients over time allows him to work collaboratively. When not focusing on all the details of being an owner/operator he simply enjoys talking about wine.

For Chris wine is all encompassing allowing him to study history, agriculture, geography, gastronomy and commerce. Wines greatest attribute is it remains a never ending exploration. Areas of focus include Burgundy, the Rhone, Piedmont as well as Malt Whiskey. A major critic of the hundred point rating system for wine, Chris is currently planning a tasting in Napa Valley to commemorate twenty five years of tasting in the valley.


Stephen Pope

spope@lowerfallswine.com

Phil and Chris refer to Steve as ‘the other brother.’ Stephen earned a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, complete with a stint in London. This led to a twenty plus year career in Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, and San Francisco before returning home and to our former neighbor The Pillar House. Having run every aspect of restaurants Steve viewed gaining a mastery of wine as the next step in his personal evolution.

A seasoned wine traveler and taster who has been praised nationally for his customer service skills, Stephen truly embodies the heart of the business.All time favored bottles include Raveneau 1986 Chablis Foret & Soldera 1997 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva.


Josh Kelly

jkelly@lowerfallswine.com

Sometimes cooks need a break from their work.  Josh toiled in the restaurant industry for over a decade eventually working the line at the highly acclaimed Ten Tables.  His love of food led him to explore the culture of wine. 

Josh studied in the Boston University wine program and eventually decided to pursue wine professionally.  With a boundless thirstfor knowledge, Josh relishes extracting information and assorted minutia from the many visiting winemakers who frequent Lower Falls.

After all this talk and dissection of food and wine, a palate cleanser is often in order.  Josh has created a strong local following for his innovative selection of Craft and Belgian beers. Josh has represented Lower Falls in Napa Valley, Piemonte and Burgundy.


Josh Gainey

jgainey@lowerfallswine.com

A veteran of retail, Josh joined Lower Falls in 2007. Quickly catching wine fever he has developed a thirst for knowledge and a drive to provide exemplary customer service.  Josh’s family is deeply involved in the restaurant business and he enjoys marrying food and wine.  

He has a great grasp of flavor and communicates well with his clients. Josh has represented Lower Falls in Napa Valley and Burgundy. Josh is our point man for expediting all aspects of our fine wine auctions collection and delivery. Josh has a pair of lofty wine memories, Ferret 2004 Pouilly-Fuisse Siecles & Gaja Sori Tilden 2005.

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