Let’s Eat for $7.70: Tasty menu makes Barriques special
June 9, 2010

With its spacious interior, innovative menu and mouth-watering baked goods, the Barriques location near the Capitol demonstrates why this small, local coffee shop chain is a delightful alternative to the ubiquitous Starbucks.  The great coffee and free Wi-Fi at Barriques, 127 W. Washington Ave., certainly attracts customers, but it’s the outstanding food that turns them into regulars.
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Recent Obsessions: Candied bacon, jigsaw puzzles, handbags, fantasy chocolate, love soup
January 12, 2010

Candied bacon was one of the stand-out dishes at the REAP Farm to School “Pork-Off” benefit on Sunday, Jan. 10, at the Weary Traveler. Mike Kiener, food manager at Barriques, developed the recipe: He coats applewood-smoked bacon in a dry rub of brown sugar and about 14 herbs and spices, including chili pepper; then bakes it to a crisp, cuts it into two-inch slices and dips them in dark chocolate. Yes, it’s divine. Chewy, salty, sweet and fatty, all in one bite. “Bacon candy,” as Kiener calls it, isn’t available for sale at Barriques’ wine and coffee shops, but he’ll make special orders of it upon request (call 277-9463).
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Barriques breakfast sandwich rules over fast food
September 17, 2009

For those seeking a local alternative to the fast food breakfast sandwich, Barriques Market in Fitchburg offers a tasty option that can be ordered morning, noon or night.
It’s a baked egg omelet with Hook’s Cheddar cheese, served on a pillowy multi-grain roll from Madison Sourdough. The price? $2.50. With an addition of Nueske’s applewood smoked ham or bacon, it’s $3.75.
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Retailers don’t feel sour grapes about returning bad wine
January 14, 2009

At a recent Barriques wine tasting, a bottle of Barbaresco was the talk of the evening. It wasn’t because the Italian red wine was intensely fruity or spicy, or even that it tasted good.
In fact, this Barbaresco was the star of the show because it was bad. The musty smell was a quick giveaway.
“I pulled a cork, and I could smell it right away,” said Barriques owner and wine buyer Finn Berge. “Everybody said, ‘Let me smell it, let me smell it.’ They wanted to be able to identify it.”
Bad wine happens. Wine merchants know it, distributors know it, winemakers know it. Consumers should know it, too, and realize they can take a bottle of wine back to the store that sold it to them.
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Local wine tastings have uncorked Madison’s passion for vino
August 6, 2008

Few places have contributed more locally to the democratization of wine than Barriques, the Madison area’s popular chain of five wine and coffee shops, which opened its Wine Cave on Monroe Street about 10 years ago.
With its “Wall of 100” — drinkable wines for $10 or less — and nearly 50 wine and spirits tastings this summer alone, Barriques has turned on thousands to the pleasures and nuances of drinking wine from all regions of the world, and at a wide range of price points.
Co-owner and wine aficionado Finn Berge, who can speak for hours (and does) about how local conditions, climate and handling have an impact on the taste of grapes and wine, said that one of Barriques’ goals is to allow wine drinkers to be adventurous.

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