“Meet the Vendor” Alan Howarth, MA Wine Shop

Tell us a little about your business.

The name speaks for itself – Massachusetts Wine – and everything that we have here is made in Massachusetts. I work with 21 different winemakers spread across the state. Needless to say, they have very diverse personalities and it is reflected in the wines that they make. So it can go from very dry to very sweet and everything in between. I feel that we have something that will appeal to everyone’s palate.

What makes your business unique?

We try to do three things here. First, we try to sell as much wine as we can. Second, we really want to educate the customer about, ‘How do they do it?’ and ‘What does it taste like?’ Third, we want to encourage customers to go out and visit these wineries. These are all small, family run wineries. We are not making thousands and thousands of cases of wine like other parts of the country are; everything is crush, aged, fermented and bottled right here in Massachusetts.

What is your favorite item to sell?

I love them all and all for different reasons. Wines go perfectly with certain types of food and the wine accentuates the food and the food accentuates the wine. People will ask me, if I had one place to visit what would I recommend? I tell them to go to Westport Rivers because they are the largest vineyard and winery in New England. They have 80 acres under vine, they grow 16 different varieties, and they are just really on the cutting edge.

What is your favorite restaurant in Boston?

Neptune Oyster. It is a small bistro over on Salem Street that has the best oysters. What is unique about them is that there are dozens of different kinds of oysters to order.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

Oregon. On top of their wonderful vineyard is the Crater Lake National Park – the most breathtaking place I have ever been and if anyone ever visits the Market and says they are from Oregon, I always ask if they have been there.