Sommelier Chas Boynton of Dante - Biography

Cambridge, MA

September 2011

A student of cognitive neuroscience and social behavior, Chas Boynton was drawn to the intense scrutiny and detail of oenology. He was hired as a server at Legal Sea Foods right out of college; at the time they had the second largest wine cellar in Boston. Initially intimidated by the wine list, he read everything he could and completely immersed himself in the wine world. Boynton began developing his knowledge under Master of Wine Sandy Block. Boynton developed a passion for answering peoples’ wine questions. Block invited Boynton to taste with him and eventually asked the young server if he wanted to be a part of his beverage council.

Boynton went from drinking Carlo Rossi to drinking wine side by side with Sandy Block. He spent two years designing the Legal Sea Foods wine list and also attended Block’s classes at Boston College’s Wine Studies Program. Eventually, wanting to make his own mark, Boynton set out to find a position at a smaller restaurant that would allow him to experiment more, and create his own wine list. He eventually headed to Dante in Cambridge, focusing on finding affordable wine with top-notch flavor profiles. Over the past four years as wine director of Dante, Boynton has crafted a multi-dimensional wine list that variously appeases, challenges, and elevates Boston’s oenophile community. Meanwhile he continues to pursue the “spellbinding, charismatic allure” of his favorite beverage.