Gift ideas!

Special releases

–Buy the beer lover in your life a bottle of “From/To” by Mikkeller.  You won’t even need to wrap this one since the label of the beer doubles as a card!  Or buy the cider drinker some Reverend Nat’s “Providence” a still hard cider spiced with warm flavors and raisins.

Wine Club Membership

–Give the gift of wine ALL year long!

Chocolates

–We have a brand new stock of specialty chocolates including Mana, Pearl Chocolate, Woodblock Chocolate and Bees & Beans.  There are lots of options for the sweet tooth in your life.

Gift Certificates

–These are available in any amount that you’d like.  Leave the decisions up to the recipient.

St. Johns!

–Our beautiful little neighborhood is chock full of cute retail shops.  If you can’t find something here, check out our neighbors like Olive & Vine, Coffee Kids, Heart Fire Yoga, or perhaps a gift certificate to The Baowry.

Barrique Barrel Wine Club

Our new fancy wine totes!  Free with wine club membership!

Our new fancy wine totes! Free with wine club membership!

It’s been in the works for a bit…but we’re excited to announce the beginning of our Wine Club.  The basic details are this: you can subscribe to the wine club for a 6 month membership or a 12 month membership and choose to receive 2 wines a month or 4 wines a month.

6 month/2 bottle Wine Club membership: $149
6 month/4 bottle Wine Club membership: $289
12 month/2 bottle Wine Club membership: $289
12 month/4 bottle Wine Club membership: $578*

All wines will be chosen by myself.  I frequently taste wines that I would love to share with my customers, but I don’t always have the space in the store to bring them in.  However, this will allow me to share some of these wines with you.  Or, we may do a “focus” month.  For example, one installment could all come from the Loire Valley of France or perhaps we could focus on Riojas, or maybe Portugese wines from the Duoro.  Half the fun is the surprise!

Along with the wines, you will receive a monthly email with wine descriptions and a reusable 4 bottle wine tote.  

All 12 month/4 bottle members will also receive $50 dividend.  The dividend comes in the form of store credit and can be used in December 2013.

Installments will begin in January 2013, but you can sign up now by emailing barrel.pdx@gmail.com or visiting the store in person.

These are just in time for the holiday season – do you know somebody who would like this as a gift?

*These prices are valid as a one-time payment only.  There are adjusted payments for a monthly payments.  Please inquire.

New York, I love you.

Today is Barrique Barrel’s one year anniversary.  Right now, I should be finalizing the last minute details for our celebration tonight.  Ciders!  Wine!  Cake!

But I find myself with a heavy heart & New York on my mind.  Many of my customers know that I came to Portland from Brooklyn.  I love both these cities, but today it feels like I am not at home.

Last Monday, I followed Hurricane Sandy’s arrival on social media.  I couldn’t look away.  And the whole time, I worried about my friends and family in New York.  I worried about the restaurants and bars of New York.  The families on Staten Island & Breezy Point.  Coney Island.  Red Hook.  Everything.  I love that city and it is difficult to see it like this.

If I could, I would fly there right now and volunteer for clean up, cooking, whatever.  But I can’t.  I’ve gotta sell wine here and celebrate Barrique Barrel’s first full year in existence.

I’m thrilled to do that & to throw this party for my incredible customers & community…still, I can’t NOT give back to New York right now.

At this very moment, Barrique Barrel’s facebook page has 359 likes.  For every “like” between now & next Friday, I’ll donate $1 to Hurricane Sandy relief.  Let’s set a minimum of $200, but let’s aim high.

 

Thank you!

 

The Portland Mercury Online Reader Survey came out a few weeks ago and I was thrilled to find my little shop on this list.  Just to be included with that list of Portland wine shops is an honor and a privilege.

I have been blessed with the most AMAZING customers!  Thank you for voting, for welcoming me to the neighborhood, for your support, for EVERYTHING.

P.S. For the life of me, I could not manage to photograph this list with the title “Wine Shop” without including the “Porn/Sex Toy Shop” so there you go.  Welcome to my life.

Arsenic.

I am not gluten-free, but I was still pretty psyched when Omission beer came out.  Omission is brewed by Widmer in a very much traditional manner.  The beer is then filtered to below the “international gluten-free standard of 20 parts-per-million or less”.

You can even check YOUR bottles test results on their website.  Technology is cool, huh?

Anyway, TJ and I were telling a gluten-free customer about this recently and she explained to us that she tries to replace the word “gluten” with “arsenic”.  So frequently, she said, people will say to her, “There’s just a little gluten in this!”  It sounds much more crazy when you say “There’s just a little arsenic in this!”, doesn’t it?  I mean, people can truly have allergic reactions to gluten.

This phrase is now TJ’s new favorite phrase.  For example, TJ hates goat cheese.  It’s crazy, I know.  Chèvre is one of my favorite cheeses!  I made something with it recently and told TJ that there was just a little chèvre in the recipe.

“Oh, just a little arsenic in the recipe, huh?” he replied.

I think he’s silly.

Best meals?

What are some of your most memorable meals?  I have a few…

Fall 2008

With my dear friend Emily & Steve in Brooklyn.  Steve made an incredible meal of braised lamb shanks with swiss chard, carrot & butternut squash risotto.  We drank Racer 5 and bourbon.  This is the Brooklyn that I miss.

Thai Vacation 2007

Why didn’t I take a picture of this meal?  I can only find this picture of TJ, making a face at me while we shared a banana leaf salad in restaurant the next day.  But it’s the meal before this one will stand out in my mind forever and yet I have no proof that I ever actually ate the most amazing soup I have ever had.

TJ and I land in Bangkok late at night.  We are jetlagged and starving but close to Chinatown and I am convinced that although it is 1am, we will find food stalls open there.  We found several – chicken & pork skewers and a spicy, brothy rice noodle soup with various bits of pork.  We drank tamarind juice to wash it down.

I swear, this truly happened.

Cairo, March 2011

In this picture, you can see (moving from lower left and clockwise around): fuul, babaganoush, falafel, and hummus.  TJ and I were lucky to even get to Egypt, which was fresh off the revolution.  We were there during a very happy time.  People were elated and they wanted to share their experiences with us.  I can’t say this often or loudly enough: The Egyptians & Jordanians that we met on our trip were the nicest people that I have ever met while traveling.  I have never felt so welcomed into a foreign country.  I found so much inspiration in their hospitality…and I miss their bedouin tea – sweet, sweet black tea brewed with sage.  It tastes like the desert.

May 2012

On the day of the St. Johns Parade, my first one as a new shopkeeper, I sat down in the plaza to enjoy this pretzel from Urban German.  Since I was heading into work, I couldn’t have a beer from my friends at Occidental Brewing.  That’s a  shame, because I can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny afternoon in St. Johns.

 

Here’s hoping to many more meals like these!