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Austin wine bars?

Does anyone know a good wine bar in Austin that serves wine flights? Preferably away from downtown...

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  1. My favorite wine bar in Austin is the Wink Wine Bar, nextdoor to Wink, on Lamar near 10th street.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tom in austin

      I know that Cru is opening a wine bar in the Domain. Bad news, I just don't know when... But, they have wine flights. As does Trulucks (arboretum & downtown), Cool River, Jaspers. Good luck!

      1. re: Aggiegirl1998

        Cru already has a winebar open in Austin. I'm pretty sure it's on 2nd st.

      2. re: tom in austin

        I agree that Wink Wine Bar (not the restaurant) is the best of the limited ones we can choose from. That's if you're into diverse and interesting wines and more of a wine fanatic. I think their selection is best (not quantity-wise but interest-wise). I'll make the caveat though that one of the bartenders/owners can be really nice one minute and then pretty unfriendly the next. It really affected their service for me. The other bartender has always been really, really cool.

      3. There's a wine bar on Guadalupe (between 38th and 45th) called Vino Vino that I haven't been to, but I'm sure they serve wine flights. Seems to be a chummy joint from what I can tell.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bookgrrl72

          Chummy is a good way to describe the place. The owner and manager are pretty laid-back, probably I would be to if I worked/drank in a wine bar all day. They just got their licenses to sell wine by the glass, don't know if they have flights or not though. And, it's not downtown. http://vinovinotx.com/index.htm

          1. re: Ken W

            Just to follow up on this: I went to Vino Vino on Saturday night and they do not sell flights. In fact, of the hundreds of wines they have, only nine are sold by the glass.

            That said, the prices are VERY reasonable; bottles range in price from $10 to $245, so there's something there for every budget. We split a bottle of pink bubbly, being girly girls and all -- and damn if I can't remember the name of our wine. We also shared the dark chocolate mousse, which was light and airy and rich and perfectly satisfying. I'll definitely be back.

            1. re: bookgrrl72

              I was there Friday night with my wife and we had the same bubbly ( lucien albrecht cremant d'alsace rosé alsace ). For the price, that was a pretty good glass of sparkling wine (and they give you a full glass). We also split an order of the gravlax (a cured salmon in case you don't know - I didn't), which was quite good (although the presentation needs some work). A pretty good wine bar for the central area.

              1. re: Ken W

                Finally tried this place on Saturday night. Still no flights on the menu that I could see, and I counted 8 wines served by the glass. The gentleman at the bar (the owner, I believe) told me that if you can guarantee you'll purchase a minimum 2 glasses, he'll open any wine in the house. I wish I could remember the names of what we ordered; my coworker had a $38 bottle of a Côte de Rhone and I had a selection that was at the very bottom of the "wine-by-the-glass list." A 2004 Italian cab, bold chocolatey and minty. When I first received my wine it tasted as though maybe it had turned. I swirled and waited hoping it might open up, no dice. I hate complaining (esp. in local places) but I went ahead and mentioned this and asked if that was just the way the wine was supposed to taste. The wine steward tasted and said it was just opened in the AM but it seemed like maybe it was a bad bottle. Not sure if he was serious or just being polite (I'm sure it's obvious I'm no wine expert) but either way he was very accommodating. He graciously offered to try another bottle, or let me pick something else, or both. I chose a fresh bottle of the same and it was much, much better, though I'm not sure I would order that particular again (just not a huge mint person). There was an Oregon pinot noir on the WBTG list that sounded promising if you're sticking to that list. Another server came over and encouraged us to purchase food, mentioning that they were again sold out of their top seller (salmon tartare or some such??). Other food items on the menu include Anise Creme Brulee, and Watermelon, watercress, and pistachio salad, as well as the mousse mentioned above. I was definitely impressed by the service and appreciated the laid back atmosphere. Plan to return.

        2. actually Cru has a wine bar downtown on 2nd street next to Taverna. Good selection of wine, but a little pricey for what you get. Try the appetizers; their gourmet pizzas are delicious. They also have cheese flights to go with your wine flights.

          1. If you'll give it a few months, Four Seasons is remodeling their cafe and (I'm on the construction crew) they are going to be opening a world-class wine bar.

            1. On Congress there is a place called Cork and Company that has some nice flights. They also offer a sparkling shiraz which I think is fun because you don't see it too many places.
              The guys who run the place are really nice. One time, I was there late with a friend and we were having trouble finding a place that was still open where we could get something to eat. As they were closing, the manager decided to make a food run to an all-night place for some of the staff. He heard us mention we were hungry and included a food order for us. We ate with the staff as we finished our wine and they did their sidework.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Honey Bee

                Vin Bistro does a great job with wine flights and delicious food. Remarkable presentation, excellent service. They also do pretty good wine specials on Monday & Wednesdays.

              2. Central Market South just turned their coffee bar into a wine bar. They did a really nice job, but it is in the middle of the store so it's not quite the atmosphere of Cru (or their prices). Their flights are very reasonably priced and their cheese selection is incredible since they're pulling it from the cheese dept. The best part is they encourage you to grocery shop with wine!

                1. Try Vinocity on 35th Street, just west of Jefferson. They serve light appies that are pretty good. They have a good selection of wines for sale, and the lady that owns the place is usually there serving the wine.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gawain44

                    Vinosity (sic) has a pretty good selection, and it also has covered parking. That's a good point not just during this Noahesque period but also on hot days. And Vinosity is especially good for people who are allergic to wheat. My girlfriend is, and she likes this place because they have a lot of food selections that she can eat, unlike most places.

                  2. You have to try Vinocity on 35th & Jefferson. We've always had a really great experience there. They have good prices on flights, really interesting and out of the ordinary wines, and great weekly menus for food. And the service is wonderful. They are so nice and helpful. Give it a try!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: step4822

                      A place called 'Uncorked' (?) just opened in the old Angie's restaurant on 7th street, one block east of I35.

                      -sw

                      1. re: sqwertz

                        it's a very cozy & intimate place - nicely laid out with a patio/courtyard out back under a pecan tree. the owners are a texas couple returning from the bay area. Good wine selections, and the food menu (currently charcuterie/cheese/pate) should expand greatly after their "hard" opening this weekend.

                        1. re: sqwertz

                          I really like Uncorked. They have some entres now, as well as really interesting wines. The owners are extremely nice and hospitable, and have made some really great recommendations. The patio is wonderful, and I'm looking forward to some dark winter evenings in the side room with couches and my friends. It's just a nice place to hang out and be comfortable.

                          I also love Vino Vino. Jeff is great, as are his recs. I love buying a bottle to share with a friend and ordering a few nibbles (paté plate!). To me, Vino Vino is a little more well suited for groups, while Uncorked is a little more intimate. Overall, they're my two favorites in town though!

                          1. re: sqwertz

                            Visited Uncorked last week- wines were interesting and well priced, menu has recently expanded. Gnocchi were very tender and brown butter sauce was great; local cheese tray was my favorite because it was appropriatley goat cheese heavy (although the bread served alongside was less than impressive- day old perhaps), seared tuna was wonderful if a little overpriced. Homemade cookies for dessert were good, not great.
                            Service was casual and courteous- our server was a transplant from Saltlick 360 (??) and had lived in South Africa- very knowledgeable, extremely helpful with the flights, very personable. There are some kinks being worked out- he let us know on a few occasions there might be delays on food due to several orders being in the kitchen at once. The check was handwritten- unusual in 2008 to see that.
                            View from the back patio is great- as long as you don't look directly at I35.
                            Overall, I loved this place- it was much more comfortable and less snobby than some of the other wine bars in Austin. For some, this may be a turnoff. If you're there for the scene, stay away- if you don't mind an East side vibe with you vino- get there asap.

                        2. The Grove, on Bee Caves a little west of 360, has wine flights. They also have an extensive list of wines by the glass. Prices are reasonable. Food is casual italian with many appetizer options including a board of cheese & meats.

                          1. Vino 100 is great and has multiple locations including Round Rock and North Austin (Cedar Park area)

                            1. I Second the kudos for Vino Vino. Every time I've been in there the owner (Jeff) has been behind the bar and always makes excellent suggestions. The prices are very reasonable, and now they serve light to heavy appies. I love the idea of buying a bottle at just below retail and drinking it there. Cru, Taste, Cork & Co have good selections, but they're so damned expensive. Nigh impossible to get out under $100.

                              For the opposite reasons, I strongly suggest staying away from Vinocity at 35th and Jefferson. I've been in there three times and have yet to take away a good bottle of wine, all of which have been suggested by the owner (Myrna I believe), who is about as pleasant as a dirty shirt. Seems like a charming place, but the prices are high and the quality of the wines is mediocre at best in my experience.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: gawain44

                                OMG I am snorting with laughter at your unique way of describing someone as unpleasant. I'm so stealing the phrase "about as pleasant as a dirty shirt".

                                1. re: gawain44

                                  Hummm.... I would disagree. At Vinosity, we enjoyed a nice cru Beaujolais, a dry sparkling wine from an unusual grape, and started a bottle of respectable Monastrelle cuvee from Spain. With these, we had a visually appealling, delicious salmon tartar, a toasted chorizo & cheeze sammich, and fresh shrimp with tomato relish and creamed corn. Very Tastey. Through it all, I was impressed by the relatively fair pricing, great presentation, and flavor. Regarding the wine selection, the surest way to avoid unsuccessful recommendations is to educate oneself on your own preferred grape and style of production. The decor is a bit spartan, but I noticed a comfortable sitting area in the front while we hung out at the wine bar. We will definitely go back. I would like to see more variety on the shelves, but we had a successful experience. And I would say the hostess was even funny.

                                  On a different topic- I suggest you look a bit further into the list at Cork. They've got some really good selections for WELL under $100.

                                  1. re: Joey Foodman

                                    I would agree that Vinosity is a really nice choice, particularly if you want to stay away from downtown. What I like most is the casual atmosphere and the regularly changing flights and food. I've had several nice flights there and while the service is very casual, sometimes that's just right. Compared to other wine bars in town I didn't find their prices overly high.

                                    1. re: everydayfoodie

                                      I completely agree with your assessment of Vinosity. We've been going there for quite some time and have had numerous in depth conversations with Myrna, the owner. She is actually quite lovely, extremely knowledgeable and very funny. I love the current chef, too. We had some wonderful cheese with drunk cherries, pork meatballs, half a hen with celery root, and rich, tasty chocolate truffles. I find the wines to be very fairly priced and often unusual. I bought the single best sparkling Moscato of my life there, from a very small winery in Italy. In my experience, she works hard to find unusal wines with interesting grapes.

                                  2. re: gawain44

                                    I agree with you about Vino Vino. It has been my favorite watering hole for some time now but the food menu is so much better. The charcuterie plate is great and now they offer entrees. I haven't been in for a whole meal yet but I have tried a few of the new appetizers and they were all really good, the cheese plates are very interesting too. I have always loved the wine selection, last night I bought a bottle of fabulous Chinon that was about $35, it tasted like so much more. it's still my favorite spot to buy wine to go.

                                  3. Wine bar not downtown......second the rec for The Grove. Great by the glass selection and small plates.