Q&A: Jen Burton of The Barrel and Bottle

By Columbus Alive
From the November 24, 2011 edition

Last year, Jen Burton and Bodega co-owner Collin Castore opened The Barrel and Bottle, bringing to the North Market a place to buy quality wine and beer. He brought a love of suds, she one of vino. So far it’s been a great pairing. The business celebrated its first anniversary on Nov. 13.

Burton talked about helping Columbus have a good time with wine.

Collin and I met at a school dance in eighth grade. He liked one of my friends. I was always the funny one. We were just really good friends all through high school. We kind of lost touch at the beginning of college, but then we quickly became friends again sophomore year. We both lived on Chittenden Avenue.

I had grown up liking wine. My folks really liked wine. My uncle in England had a wine cellar that I always thought was pretty awesome. I got to try port and champagne when I was of legal drinking age there — but definitely not here. After college I moved out to California, and I lived in San Francisco for two years. I started to get into wine then.

I love enabling a good time. Wine definitely adds so much to your experience. It pairs so well with food. I feel like evenings when I stayed up really late talking with friends were gathered around a bottle of wine.

I feel like I have a pretty good palate. I’m by no means an expert. It’s better to be honest. I learn a ton every single day that we’re at the shop.

If stranded on a desert island, three things I’d like to have with me are my husband — Mark Van Fleet — Neil Young’s “On the Beach” and a bottle of vinho verde.

Something people might not know about me is that I’m a really good tap dancer.