I’m a recovering wine snob. Years ago, I only drank high-end bottles with other wine snob friends. We would eat cheese while sipping, sniffing and discussing wines. Then I moved to Italy, where delicious wines cost as little as $5.
And then it hit me.
It’s not about this varietal or that vintage, or even what pairs best with what. It’s simpler than that. Much like any alcoholic beverage of choice, you drink it because you like it. And the reason you drink is to celebrate friends, family, careers or life events.
Here are some top-notch spots to sit and sip a glass of wine in Austin with your closest friends, family or colleagues. They aren’t necessarily the most high-end in town, but they’ve got soul.
While most wine bars and restaurants offer only a select number of wines by the glass, House Wine offers 100 different wines by the glass, making it the perfect spot to meet a large group of friends with very different palates. House Wine even holds weekly wine tastings for those wanting to learn more about their favorite type. There are daily specials, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique, sign up for a membership in the Wine Geeks Club!
408 Josephine St. – Website
The Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen
The Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen has been making Austin wine history for almost ten years. The original location in Westlake gives guests a picturesque backdrop while they enjoy their wine. The second downtown location offers reprieve from the West Sixth Street chaos. There are now two more locations in Lakeway and Cedar Park. The Grove offers the most diverse options when it comes to wining and dining, with something for everyone. If there are too many options to choose from, you can pick from the many curated wine flights.
Opa! Coffee & Wine Bar
While you won’t have any plates smashed over your head, Opa! Coffee & Wine Bar is perfectly Austin. It’s funky with a lot to offer–from live music and coffee to relaxing moments under the majestic oak trees. The wine list is small, but has a good variety to choose from. No matter when you go you’ll find tasty treats to pair with your drinks. But for an extra special “Funday” head over on Sunday to enjoy all-day happy hour.
2025 South Lamar Blvd. – Website
When Winebelly opened in late 2013, it was an immediate hit, especially with South Austin wine lovers. This spot offers tasty tapas alongside a list of international wines. The decor is inviting, but I prefer to sit outside on the covered patio. Looking for the best deals? Head over on Sunday or Monday for half off select bottles.
519 W. Oltorf St. –Website
This wine bar and restaurant in Hyde Park is exactly what you’d expect from a traditional wine bar. Vino Vino has an extensive wine selection and the dinner menu includes dishes such as escargot, quail and goat cheese cheesecake. It’s perfect for date night or a night out with esteemed colleagues. Be sure to take your time to enjoy every bite and every drop of wine at Vino Vino. It’s worth it.
4119 Guadalupe St. – Website
@jpino9 wants to know:
What’s your favorite wine varietal of wine?