Mercer Island welcomed new wine bottle shop and tasting room, Barrels, late last month at 7605 SE 27th Street, Suite 107. The shop, located in the island’s business district, sells bottles and single-glass pours from wineries in Washington and around the world. There’s also a small kitchen for light food like cheese plates, smoked seafood, charcuterie, and nuts.
Barrels is owned by wine industry veterans Tina and Joe Kennedy, who live on Mercer Island and have worked at a number of tasting rooms around the state. The Kennedys took a page from the space’s previous life as an art gallery, and they now display various works from local artists.
The warm space features leather chairs and stools, with tables constructed of wine-stained barrel lids, and various wine barrel parts incorporated elsewhere in the decor. There’s a rack of 1,500 wine bottles for sale along one wall, plus a custom-made glass table in the room’s center that shows off a selection of 40 bottles for purchase or tastings. Right now, there are daily sampling options, and the Kennedys plan for live music and winemaker events down the road.
Barrels utilizes a Coravin Wine Preservation System for its pours, which allows wine to be extracted from the bottle without popping the cork, thus preserving the wine for much longer. That means patrons can try more expensive wines without having to buy the entire bottle.