When The Vineyard's wine curators determine whether a bottle is eligible to join the company's collection, they weigh three factors: quality, origin, and value. During tasting events and weekday meals, they uncork bottles and suss out age, flavor profile, and suitability for food pairings. When considering origin, The Vineyard's wine connoisseurs seek out family wineries, which generally devote more personal attention and goodnight kisses to their grapes. Additionally, family wineries tend to operate with lower costs, thereby fulfilling The Vineyard's third pillar, value.
Although the selection continually evolves, the shop currently stocks domestic and international wines from locales as distant as Australia, which only exists in our imaginations. They complement wines with gift baskets of cheese and chocolate, as well as accessories such as olive wood corkscrews and chrome champagne stoppers.
Cecile's Wine Cellar stocks a wide variety of wines, from inexpensive dinner pairings to lavish varietals, in an atmosphere of grape-loving camaraderie. Staff members' brains are chock-full of facts about food pairings, wine regions, and bottles to meet any need. For a month-long impromptu barbecue, pick up a pair of quality bottles such as a Monte Degli Angeli 2008 Sangiovese ($8.99, on sale for $6.98) with a 2009 Chateau La Roche S. Jean Blanc ($9.99), or celebrate a job that you invented with a bottle of Guillon Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc De Noirs ($24.99), a sparkling wine with notes of fresh berries and earthy expressions. If you're looking to splurge on a fresh young wine to adopt and care for until it matures into beautifully blushing Bordeaux, check the regional varieties for investments in oenophilia such as the Château Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan, which matures from 2012–2030 and was produced from the winery's 700th vintage in 2006 ($129.99).
Professional sleep counselors facilitate peaceful slumber at more than 80 Mattress Discounters locations nationwide, where showrooms brim with mattresses from brands such as Sealy Posturepedic, Tempur-Pedic, and Space Age Foam. Unlike pet stores, Mattress Discounters encourages customers to lie on the merchandise, as sleep counselors use the Discover Your Comfort system to ask questions about sleep position and comfort level. With this information in hand, client and counselor select the right mattress for restful slumber, with each sleep surface backed by a 60-night comfort guarantee.
Short of creating physical clouds to hold people aloft, Mattress Warehouse stocks almost every imaginable furnishing to help customers catch a few Z’s. Rows of name-brand mattresses from Sealy, Simmons Beautyrest, Serta, and Tempur-Pedic entice customers to replace their worn pad for new bedding, such as a standard mattress, a fluffy pillowtop unit, or a memory foam piece that conforms to bodies. Beyond mattresses, the warehouse also carries an ample collection of box springs, full bed sets with rails and headboards, and even premium futon mattresses that revitalize foldable couches.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
A parade of fixtures from brands such as Kohler, Moen, and Grohe tempts kitchen and bath savants at The Somerville Showroom. An Aqueous single-hole bathroom faucet shoots a steady flow of water into waiting basins ($111.07), and a Kohler Cachet elongated toilet seat snaps off easily to be cleaned or used as an emergency Frisbee ($59.30). Alternately, a polished chrome Kohler Flipside showerhead caresses soul cases with four different flavors of spray—a traditional shower, a dense and drenching spa mist, a pulsating water massage, and a circular-patterned spray ($95.30). Homeowners can also bring along detailed plans of a bathroom or kitchen remodel, and knowledgeable staff members can advise which faucet finishes will complement countertops or pink-and-red Hello Kitty color schemes.