Wine. Apart from that vodka with the little bits of gold leaf floating in it, it truly is the classiest of boozes. So with that in mind, we send you out into the 512 to reap the harvest of our hunt for Austin’s 10 best wine bars. Carry the wisdom with you and, whatever you do, don’t chug.
Apothecary’s menu comes with helpful descriptors like “creamy mousse” (the Peillot Brut Bugey Champagne) and “amazing w/ cheese” (the Albert Mann auxerrois, or really anything) to help drinkers who know what they’re in the mood for, but can’t quite tell the difference between chardonnay and... stuff that’s not chardonnay. Experienced winos will also feel at home amongst the seasonal offerings and the edgier picks like the “Sex in a Glass” Langhe ‘Finalmente’ nebbiolo.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed at Vino Vino when faced with its impenetrable wine wall, so let us shoot you straight: forget the hundreds upon hundreds of bottles and just point and pick from its 21-option, by-the-glass menu. It’s hard to go wrong with any one of its carefully curated picks from small vineyards in France, Italy, Spain, and Austin, particularly if you plan on pairing your choice with the mussels and fries.
Barton Springs Road
Since good wine is the nectar of the affluent and the cultured, a sweet nip can sometimes reach exorbitant prices. Bring the glorified grape juice back down to Earth at House Wine, where the setting is intimate and the drinks are fancy and attainable, thanks to daily house specials like Monday’s $20 revolving bottle list, Sunday’s half-priced glasses, or its Happy Hour Every Hour $5 glasses.
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.
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?
If 360 Uno Trattoria’s wine list was assigned in school, you’d skip it and read the SparkNotes instead -- it’s just that long. Luckily, the restaurant offers affordable flights for the uninitiated, plus drinks by the glass, reds and whites on tap, and retail-priced bottles for those looking to take the tipsy home.
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.
Nestled inside a south Austin home decor store, Aviary Lounge is the perfect place to pop into if you’re just looking for a quick fix of du vin or a small bite to eat. The atmosphere is laid back, the food packs a punch for its price, and the bar is one of the few wine spots in the city to feature live DJ sets all Friday and free wine classes each Thursday.
Fork & Vine is where you go if you’re hopelessly indecisive, in the mood for something new, and/or desperately ignorant about wine. Seek somm help from certified professional, Chris Howell, and go with what he knows in terms of featured bottles and wine flights. As far as food is concerned, go with your gut, but pay special attention to that chicken liver pâté, because it is straight-up delicious.
Go for the personalized cheese board, stay because you drank way too much white wine to drive home responsibly. While Henri’s prices can get steep, the entire list is half off on Treat Yourself Tuesdays (cute, right?), plus it’s worth it for its small plate afternoon snacks -- did we mention the cheese board ?
Sign up here for our daily Austin email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.
1. Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar4800 Burnet Rd, Austin
2. Vino Vino4119 Guadalupe St, Austin
3. House Wine408 Josephine St, Austin
4. Winebelly519 W Oltorf St, Austin
5. Mulberry360 Nueces St, Austin
6. 360 Uno Trattoria3801 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin
7. Red Room Lounge306A E 3rd St, Austin
8. Aviary Lounge2110 S Lamar, Austin
9. Fork and Vine3010 W Anderson Ln, Austin
10. Henri’s Cheese & Wine2026 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
A cozy interior, fresh ingredients, and affordable, inventive cuisine make Apothecary a great place to go and enjoy a delicious meal.
Giving life to Austin’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood, this casual and comfortable wine bar with its low-lighting and warm wooden interior is fit for a romantic rendezvous. Vino Vino gives hope to winos seeking a global selection focused on old world, small production vineyards and features 21 by-the-glass options and over 350 bottle selections.
As they say themselves, House Wine is "A wine bar as unpretentious and inclusive as Austin itself!" Daily house specials like Monday’s $20 revolving bottle list, Sunday’s half priced glasses, and their Happy Hour Every Hour $5 glasses keep things good and affordable.
Good wine made great by the smattering of eats to gorge on at this wine bar. Tapas and small plates are just $5 during happy hour.
With 100+ wines and mouthwatering bites like the FoieBerry Burger and Asian Pear Salad, you'd have to be particularly picky to not find something to like at this downtown wine bar.
360 Uno's wine list is so long that if it was assigned in school you'd skip it and read the sparknotes. The restaurant offers affordable flights for the uninitiated, drinks by the glass, reds and whites on tap, and retail priced bottles for those looking to take some home.
The Red Room Lounge provides a great atmosphere for consuming multiple glasses of wine and relaxing. This tasting room is helmed by Alex Andrawes, owner and operator of Personal Wine, and his team of experienced somms who maintain an impressive list of newer and some of the most rare vintage wines on the market. Oak barrels, guitars, and leather-upholstered furniture adorn the space, creating the perfectly-laid-back environment you want in a wine lounge.
Aviary Lounge is the spot if you’re just looking for a quick fix of du vin or a small bite to eat. It's a totally laid back atmosphere and the bar is one of the few wine spots in the city to feature live DJ sets all Friday and free wine classes every Thursday.
Located in North Austin, Fork & Vine offers New American cuisine with a playful Austin twist. Be sure to try the fried free-range chicken, which comes with Gouda mac 'n' cheese, watermelon salad, and a jalapeño cheddar biscuit. They also have lots of craft beer.