Welcome to Barrique, a cavernous wine-barrel wine bar putting the best of winery tasting rooms, cellars and bars together into one brick-walled, barrel-stacked den, open now in Jackson Square.
Named for the French word for “barrel,” Barrique is a wine bar dedicated to returning to the old-world tradition of drinking wine straight from the cask. And since each of the 18 barrels holds roughly 300 bottles of wine, you can count on the wine to be liberally flowing.
Of course, there’ll also be some bottled wine. In fact, when you walk inside, a library of about 120 bottles behind elevated tables with tall, red leather chairs will greet you. But you’ll want to walk back and take a seat at one of the sofas across from the long rack of barrels.
From here, you’ll order by varietal, vintage and appellation—not by the winery, label or winemaker’s reputation—as all of the barrels will be unmarked. In fact, the wine in the barrels hails from really small producers who don’t do the volume to actually bottle their wine (in other words, the true undiscovered treasures).
Soon, they’ll have wine lockers in back, so you can order, collect and store wines with them. Also, they’re considering bottling the wines for you to take home.
Barrels to go is still a pipe dream.
Opened by owner Jim Howell, the bar is capitalizing on the philosophy of the bulk bin (without the hippy stigma) and taking out the middle man. Instead of paying for the bottling and pretty labels—which is where a lot of your wine dollars go—the new Jackson Square wine bar is serving up wines straight from the barrel.