Sip, Swirl, Sniff, and Savor

Grapes & Grains’ Matthew Amaral on under-the-radar wines


Matthew Amaral walked a long road to open Grapes & Grains, Barrington’s first package store after a long, dry stretch. At the end of three years of work, the “boozy pioneer” (his words) opened a store that offers uniquely curated wine, beer, and spirits and draws on his experience opening Capital Grille restaurants across the country. We talked wine tastings and why it’s so important to give back.

What makes Grapes & Grains different?
We stock the store thinking of these words: rare, vintage, small batch, natural, sustainable, craft, and local. Shoppers here can browse a unique inventory that includes more than 60 wines for under $13, a collection of coveted Pappy Van Winkle bourbons, and hundreds of craft beers, which can be dropped into build-your-own four or six packs. We also have food from Hope & Main and an expanding barware selection.

The team is passionate and knowledgeable about the product and is always happy to guide customers with pairing recommendations. We have what we call Concierge Service: if Grapes & Grains does not carry a product you have tasted, we are happy to find it and special order it for you.  

Tell us more about the events you host at the store.
We host Friday night wine education seminars, which run from 5 to 7pm, with some nights paired with a local food truck.  On those nights, the featured wine is 10% off, and 5% off for the rest of the week. Sudsy Saturdays run from 3 to 5pm, when we taste beers or spirits. What we’re pouring changes every week, and we post what’s being featured on Facebook and in our weekly newsletter.

What are some of the more unique wines you have, that we won’t find elsewhere locally?
Marc Berry, wine buyer at Grapes and Grains, recommends the following:

Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc, $26.  This wine is a combination of both tank and barrel fermentations that are aged in neutral barrels, made with grapes sourced from three vineyards in Happy Canyon in the Santa Ynez Valley: Grassini, McGinley, and Star Lane. Herbaceous and bright, with notes of lemongrass and lemon zest.

La Selve “Petite Selve,”  $17. The Petite Selve is a wine of medium body with intense aromas of red fruit and truffles. On the palate it is dry, fruity, and supple. Best paired with braised meat dishes and white meats.
Fritz Müller Perlwein, $19. Perlwein is Germany’s version of Italian prosecco. This refreshing wine, made from Müller-Thurgau grapes, has fresh green and floral notes, balanced by an earthiness, with a longer finish.

Do you really deliver?

We do – and if you order before noon, we can deliver same-day. Delivery is free to Barrington, Warren, and Bristol with a $75 purchase, and to the rest of Rhode Island if you spend $150. For smaller purchases, we still deliver for a fee. We also offer a half-case discount, which is unusual in the East Bay. I started it for the holidays, but people love it, so we’re going to continue.

Tell us about your community initiatives.
Grapes & Grains gives back to the community by partnering with local organizations and donating a percentage of sales from events to the charities.  This past January, we partnered with the East Bay Coalition for the Homeless for the 6th annual Taste of The East Bay at Hope & Main. I also chair the Barrington Business Association.   

Grapes and Grains
24 Bosworth Street, Barrington