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Upcoming laV to carry more than 1,200 labels of wine

Arianna Auber

Although Austinites have had tastes of what’s to come with soon-to-open French restaurant laV over the past year and a half, most specifically through the now-closed Say laV food trailer, they haven’t yet had a taste of its core element.

But with a wine list that’ll carry more than 1,200 labels – “miles longer” than any other Austin restaurant’s wine menu – Vilma Mazaite, laV’s managing partner and advanced sommelier, hopes that will change as she shares her passion for the drink that she has been able to explore in her travels around the world.

The Provencal-inspired restaurant plans to keep France as a main focus on the wine menu, with most of the top Bourdeaux, Burgundy and Rhone wine producers all represented. The list on opening day (which isn’t a set date yet) probably won’t be the same as it will be in a couple months from then, but wine lovers might see ’45 Latour, ’61 Haut Brion and the 1996 Musigny from Roumier.

There will also be wines from Italy, the U.S. and elsewhere. Carefully curated by Mazaite and two other experienced sommeliers, Darren Scott and Rania Zayyat, the wine list is intentionally diverse.

“Having so many wines will appeal to so many people,” Mazaite said. “Some at $300, some that are $3,000. But go high and you have high expectations. Stay under $100 and the wine can really surprise you. I get really excited about that.”

That’s a bit of a specialty of hers: finding wines priced under $100 that might taste like they’d be far more expensive. These comprise laV’s Tour de France and Tour de Monde lists, where you’ll spot wines not normally on restaurant menus, but are nonetheless not too hard to find and very tasty.

If you’re wanting to go for a more top-dollar bottle, those are available, too. With laV, Mazaite, Scott and Zayyat all want to educate the people who visit the restaurant on all the types of wine out there. Once the East Seventh Street spot is up and running, they’ll start planning wine tastings, wine classes, wine pairings – anything they can do to share their passion.

“The goal is to be a wine destination spot,” Mazaite said. “A good dinner, a good bottle of wine – it’s a pleasure of life.”

Look for Michael Barnes’ profile of Mazaite in Wednesday’s paper. And to keep track of updates on laV’s opening sometime in March, visit