Thursday, April 7, 2016
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Austin, Texas, USA
Lonely Planet: You'll see it on bumper stickers throughout the city: 'Keep Austin Weird.' And while old-timers grumble that Austin has lost its funky charm, the city has mostly managed to hang on to its laid-back vibe. Though this former college town with a hippie soul has seen an influx of tech types and movie stars, there's still a strong contingent of residents who just want to focus on their music or write their novel or annoy their neighbors with crazy yard art.
A German Wine and Food Dinner in Austin with Justin Bryan, Traubenhaus, USA/ Germany
Here is my list of favorite wine bars.
Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar
4800 Burnet Road, Tel. (512) 371-1600
Snooth, Tiffany Young: This wine bar stands out for its inside decor of dark wood that matches its name’s mystical qualities and tagline, “the cure for what ails you.” The atmosphere is intimate even amidst the loud chatter that fills the air.
In addition to a dinner menu, Apothecary is now serving brunch, one of the most important meals of the day in Austin. The menu says that most of the shared plate offerings can be made gluten-free.
All day on Sunday and Monday, wine glasses are $1 off and bottles are $10 off of the listed price. On Saturdays, sparkling wine bottles are half off. Excluding a few house favorites, the wine list rotates monthly, so drop in often to see what’s new.
4119 Guadalupe Street, Tel. (512) 465-9282
Austin Monthly, Meredith Bethune, Ramona Flume and Sam Sumpter, April 3, 2014: Whether you’re an oenophile or don’t know your merlots from your cabernets, the Vino Vino staff (see sidebar) is always enthusiastic about finding the best bottle, among its hundreds, for your budget and taste. With a cozy atmosphere and menu that allows for pairing french fries and Champagne (a recommended combination), as well as its Sunday paella nights, it’s sure to become your favorite neighborhood wine pub—even if it’s not in your neighborhood.
519 W Oltorf Street, Tel. (512) 487-1569
Thrillist, Taylor Prewitt: Good wine becomes great wine when surrounded by a smattering of platters to gorge on. Winebelly will get you there with its curated international vino list, but then it’s up to you to choose between tapas or small plate offerings, just $5 during happy hour.
408 Josephine Street, Tel. (512) 322-5210
Snooth, Tiffany Young: The name says it all. This wine bar, located near the downtown area in a small, intimate house, has a patio where you can hang out with a view of downtown Austin. In addition to nightly specials and half-priced glasses of wine on any bottle opened the previous night, available on Sundays, it also has wine tasting classes.
This is the place to go if you’re looking to wile the night away gabbing with close friends or looking for an intimate venue at which to catch up. You’ll feel right at home [pun intended] on one of the couches or on the patio furniture outside.
Small nibbles like cheese plates and desserts are available, including a local artisan cheese plate for a sampling of the nearby farms’ products.
2110 S. Lamar Blvd, Tel. (512) 916-4445
Austin Monthly, Meredith Bethune, Ramona Flume and Sam Sumpter, April 3, 2014: Shopping local is even more fun thanks to Aviary, Austin’s only home decor store and wine bar, offering patrons the unique ability to shop while they sip. The boutique’s inventory of modern and whimsical home decor items pairs perfectly with a curated selection of wine, beer and gourmet tapas. And daily specials, like $10 wine flights on Mondays and $10 off all bottles on Fridays, make the experience guilt-free.
360 Nueces St #20, Tel. (512) 320-0297
Thrillist, Taylor Prewitt: With 100+ options to choose from, you’d have to be particularly picky or especially snobby to not find something to like at Downtown’s Mulberry, wine or otherwise. Happy hour Tuesday through Friday, 5-7pm means 20% off bottles, and $2 off wine glasses, but the real treat is the discounted cheese and meat plates with names so unpronounceable as to ensure their quality. Finocchiona anyone?
The Grove Wine Bar
6317 Bee Cave Road, Tel. (512) 327-8822
Snooth, Tiffany Young: If you’re looking to avoid downtown but are still in that general area, head west to Westlake’s The Grove Wine Bar. It has 10 different flight selections to choose from, ranging from “Pure Pinot pleasure” to “Cabs you may want to go home with.”
In addition to its wine selection, which varies from California selections to Italian and Argentinian labels, The Grove Wine Bar serves soups, salads, starters, pizzas, pastas and paninis. While the menu sounds casual, it also has fine dining options, such as blue crab cake, seared miso sea bass and sesame-seared Ahi tuna.
Crú Wine Bar
238 W. Second St., Tel. (512) 472-9463
11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Tel. (512) 339-9463
Austin Monthly, Meredith Bethune, Ramona Flume and Sam Sumpter, April 3, 2014: With locations in two of the best shopping areas in town, Crú Wine Bar is the perfect place to relax after some retail therapy. The cozy bars feature 30 wines by the glass, in addition to hundreds of bottles to accommodate any price range. Stop in for a customized wine flight or indulge with the Napa-style cuisine, which ranges from roasted wild mushroom stone-fired pizzas to seared Georges Bank scallops. It’s a sophisticated scene without the snobbery.
The Red Room Lounge
306 E 3rd Street, Tel. (512) 501-1536
Thrillist, Taylor Prewitt: Red Room Lounge keeps things chill with its relaxed interior and its tufted leather couches, convenient for when you start to lean from sipping all that juice. Do what you will with the $15-$25 wine flights, but don’t forget to toast yourself, with wine glass in hand, for checking out one of Austin’s classiest joints.
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