Recently, I was thirsty, so, naturally I stopped by Barrel Thief on Patterson Avenue. During my visit I chatted more with Booth Hardy to learn about the store and wine (of course). While living in California for two years, Booth worked at three different vineyards, so he knows his stuff.
Located at Patterson & Libbie and Short Pump, Barrel Thief is half wine shop, half café. Pick a bottle of wine and drink it in the café. Barrel Thief doesn’t tack on traditional “restaurant markups”, so customers can eat and drink wine at retail prices. (Sometimes bottles of wine at restaurants can be more than three times the actual cost!). Keep in mind, there’s also a $6 corkage fee. Make sure to rely on the staff for wine advice, they won’t steer you wrong. Not only can you sip quality wines, but you can also enjoy a variety of dishes from duck-pheasant-wild mushroom pate with cornichon & whole grain mustard for an appetizer to a foil poached fish du jour for an entrée. Let’s face it: Bobby Flay doesn’t even eat this good.
I’m always interested in what the expert wine types like Booth are drinking. At the moment, Booth suggests trying “anything” from the Loire Valley in France. Try a glass of 2008 Louvetrie Muscadet for a reasonable $6 at Barrel Thief.
Here’s a fun fact for you: the color of wine comes from the skin of the grape (thanks Booth!). This means that white wines can be made from red grapes.
And, because I’m trying to learn here too, Booth explained to me about the term “tannin”. Tannins are found in most plants, including grapes. Tannins originate from the skins, seeds and stems of grapes – if the wine is fermented in contact with these, it increases the amount of tannins in the wine. Tannins create a dry sensation that you’ll feel on your cheeks and tongue. For a very thorough and technical explanation, check out: http://www.wineanorak.com/tannins.htm.
It’ll be cloudy and 48 degrees on Saturday, the perfect day for a glass of wine and some duck pate. Go enjoy the day at Barrel Thief. Until next time, cheers!
Barrel Thief is located at 11747 West Broad Street and 5805 Patterson Avenue.
Have a glass of wine Out of the Box every Wednesday on GayRVA.
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