Drifter's Wife, a bar in the front of the wine shop Maine & Loire, opened last night, just in time for us to huddle up in the cozy space as a Nor'easter passed through. Maine & Loire sells a selection of natural wine, which the owners define as wine "farmed without chemicals, harvested by hand, made with native yeasts, and minimal interventions." The owners, Peter and Orenda, have always been very helpful picking out wine in their shop, but their new wine bar lets you try new-to-you wines. It's also a lovely place to hang out and spend time with friends.
If you visited the shop before the addition of the bar, then you know it was a large warehouse-esque space with racking along the walls. No frills. Now the space is divided in half, with a small bar near the front and a few booths and cafe-style tables surrounding it. A metal partition separates the tables from an aisle that leads back to the wine shop. It's a nice transition of the space.
The wine menu offers several whites and reds by the glass and a larger bottle list. I chose a sparkling wine ($10), while Original Roomie A. went with a muscadet. In a place like Drifter's Wife, you don't have to worry about sweet, garbage-y wine;
while muscadet can be very sweet, this one was pleasantly dry with warm spice notes.
There's a small menu of snacks like chicken liver, a cheese plate, and a plate of winter radishes. We sampled some warm olives, the "egg" or deviled eggs topped with bottarga and sitting on a smear of mayonnaise, and raw Maine shrimp with fried heads, topped with horseradish. Both were a delicious and light accompaniment to the wine.
Stop by the Drifter's Wife at 63 Washington Avenue for a glass of natural wine after 4PM, every day except Sundays (the wine shop is open 7 days a week).