Christina Mendenhall
Maybe the best wine list is no wine list. Restaurateur Tony Boueri and his brother Joseph have been collecting far-flung wines for a couple of decades and serving them to customers at Boheme Bistro on Atlantic Avenue. But three years ago, Tony built a better place to store those precious extra bottles. Around the corner on SE Second Street, Boueri bought a two-story Mediterranean-revival building and renovated it as Olio Bistro, installing a wine room at the rear of his new restaurant. The floor-to-ceiling racks hold 5,000 to 15,000 bottles, some of them old enough to have acquired a coat of dust. At night, the wine room — with its polished woods, crystal glasses, magnums, splits, jeroboams, rare cabernets wrapped in tissue paper, and, occasionally, a raucous private party — is as rich and strange as a scene in a fairy tale. Choose your bottle from an eccentric selection of California vineyards and the best of Italy and France, priced from $20 to several hundred (an Opus One goes for $150). The corkage fee you pay to sip your prize with a good shrimp curry or a bowl of Prince Edward Island mussels might be the easiest $15 you ever spent.

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