Barrel 9, Lusby, Calvert County, Maryland

A wine bar in Lusby! Ain’t we goin’ uptown! I usually associate wine bars with cities or historic districts, but here one is in a shopping center in Lusby, and it’s great.

Liza, Michael, and I went to Barrel 9 with Julie Rokala, who’s recognized as a regular although Barrel 9 is yet to have its grand opening, and we were joined by Laura McPherson. Here’s the drill: Barrel 9 is a wine and whiskey bar offering a selection of small plates. Here’s the whiskey and cocktail area, featuring some “rare: whiskeys.”

Michael had a Smoke Old Fashioned, which he declared “solid.” Here’s the enomatic wine dispenser area, or at least most of it.

Huh, you might ask. The dispenser allows Barrel 9 to serve high quality wines by the glass without the waste that comes with glass sales. To give an idea of the wines, that’s a Jordan Alexander Valley cabernet on the right next to a Duckhorn cabernet, and the whites include chardonnays by Grgich Hills and Cakebread. There also was a rosé by St. Supery, and other wines with which I’m unfamiliar.

The nomadic dispenser prevents air from getting into the bottle as wine is dispensed. It also allows you to buy small amounts of the wine — one ounce, 2.5 ounces, or five ounces — so that you can experience expensive wines without breaking the bank. It works this way: you purchase a reusable declining balance card with a chip. You grab a glass, insert the card into a slot at the top of the dispenser (one above each of the four-bottle section), press a button to select the amount of wine you want, and hold the glass under the appropriate spigot. The exact amount of wine appears, you sniff, you taste, you smile. It’s as simple as that.

Barrel 9 also offers some very good wines by the glass. I had a very good buttery chardonnay before grabbing a card and getting a taste of the Grgich Hills chardonnay and, after some water and a few bites of food, a taste of the Bel Glos pinot noir. All of the wines were delicious.

The small plates of food include a delicious country pâté with warm crostini, shown in progress,

and a very flavorful chicken wrapped in prosciutto.

In addition, but not photographed, we all liked a cannellini dip with tomato and basil, smoked salmon with very thinly sliced onions and lots of capers, and some meatball sliders with a sweetish sauce. I guess they avoided garlic in the sauce with a view to date night customers. You also can get olives, a steak skewer, and some other things I’ve forgotten.

The food and the wine options change from time to time. Julie was crushed that the gigondas that paired so well with the paté wasn’t available, but she pulled herself together. Really, you can’t go far wrong with anything at Barrel 9. And if you really like a particular wine, you can stroll around the corner (during store hours) and buy a bottle at retail. Barrel 9 is a venture of the good folks at Patuxent Wine and Liquor, which offers very good selections of liquor, wine, and craft beers. It’s our go-to. They envision Barrel 9 as a place for tastings, teaching about wine and whiskey and other events, with a Bourbon and Brunch on the horizon.

I’ll add that Barrel 9 is very well staffed, a pearl of great price these days, and the staff know what they’re about. It’s a fun place, and we all definitely will be back. You definitely should give it a try.


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6 thoughts on “Barrel 9, Lusby, Calvert County, Maryland

  1. Thank you John for the review! It was a pleasure serving your group that evening. Only correction to your article is that unfortunately only staff is allowed through the connecting door to the wine shop. Other than that I loved the article!

    Liked by 1 person

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