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New to Austin: Need Wine Store Rec`s

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Just moved to Austin and am looking for a good quality wine store near downtown or SoCo area. Prefer a store that carries a great variety of grapes from France, Spain, Italy, or whereever. And a store that features smaller growers of those regions, particularly biodynamic growers. Can anyone help?

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  1. Here's a list of wine stores in or around downtown. Better you check them out yourself, since you have quite a list of wants. It's hard to know what any individual wants in a given store or what treasures they might find.

    Some comments based on my experience:

    Austin Wine Merchant -- Knowledgeable, will deliver orders locally, good selection of French and Italians. Best bet for a dedicated wine merchant in downtown area.

    Whole Foods -- don't knock it. Can get good deals on everyday wines, larger than most organic selection

    Cissi's -- small selection but interesting. Note that shelf prices are for in-store consumption. Check what the reduction is for buying a bottle to take home. (Maybe their signage has gotten better about this)

    Taste -- more wine bar/restaurant than shop, but does have a selection of bottles.

    Somewhat further out:

    Specs -- several locations. Large selection.

    Central Market -- again, good deals are possible.

    Grapevine Market -- French, Spanish, Italian, modest Australian. Plus their deli serves good lunches.

    Twin Liquors (Hancock Center at 38th & I35) -- New superstore for a local chain. Good selection.

    If you've come from out of state, know that liquor stores are closed on Sundays, so Whole Foods and Central Market become your friends for that last-minute Sunday bottle.

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    Cissi's Market
    1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX

    Grape Vine Market Austin
    7936 Great Northern Blvd, Austin, TX

    Austin Wine Merchant
    512 W 6th St, Austin, TX

    Wiggy's
    1130 W 6th St, Austin, TX

    Whole Foods Market
    525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX

    Central Market
    4001 N Lamar Blvd # 100, Austin, TX

    Spec's Liquor Warehouse
    5775 Airport Blvd # 100, Austin, TX

    Taste Select Wines
    202 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX

    3 Replies
    1. re: zebcook

      Great informative post. We need more detailed responses like this one on the board.Thanks zebcook

      1. re: zebcook

        One additional tidbit about The Wine Merchant is that they keep track of your purchases, so that if you remember you had a terrific wine, but you can't remember the name or what it was. They can find it for you.

        1. re: zebcook

          Just perfect. I thank you for your completeness and the ready links to locate the stores. Grazie mille.

        2. Don't the the convince-store name and locale confuse you, Whip-In at 1950 South IH-35 has a broad assortment of wines.

          1. The Austin Wine Merchant is great. Subscribe to their email list, as they do tastings twice a week and they'll let you know in advance about what they're pouring. John (the owner) has worked in Oregon Pinot Noir and also loves French wines, so those are two specialties of the shop. Prices are reasonable for an independent retailer.

            2 Replies
            1. re: tthorn

              I don't see a place on their site to sign up for email newsletter, can you tell me where it is?
              Thank you!

              1. re: gulch

                Send them an email at info@theaustinwinemerchant.com and ask to be added.

                Great shop, John is awesome.