A choose-your-own-adventure guide to Austin’s wine-centric bars, restaurants
When it comes to wine, people tend to have very strong opinions — the grapes we swear by, the regions we prefer. Some of us only drink red wine. Others are all about rosé (all day). Maybe the one and only thing we can all agree on? That you can never go wrong with a good glass of bubbly.
Here, we’ve compiled a guide to Austin’s best wine-centric bars and restaurants based on what you’re looking for.
Food as good as the wine
Thanks to master sommelier June Rodil, even the pickiest wine connoisseur would probably be happy at any of the McGuire Moorman Hospitality restaurants. Rodil serves as the beverage director for the group of eateries, which include Josephine House, Clark’s Oyster Bar and Elizabeth Street Cafe.
But if you truly want a transcendent meal — wine included — head to June’s All Day on South Congress Avenue, where Rodil not only cultivates the wine list but also serves as part owner (it’s even named after her). In 2016, our restaurant critic noted in his review of this chic spot that it is “arguably the group’s best restaurant.” And the wine is a big part of the program.
On the extensive wine list, you’ll find a blend of both accessible and esoteric bottles, of both by-the-glass staples and special-occasion splurges. Reds and whites pretty equally get their day in the sun, and my, have you seen that roster of sparkling options?
Rodil also helped create MMH’s first private label wine, a brut rosé ($12 by the glass, $46 by the bottle) made by Austrian winemaker Markus Huber. It’s available at any of the group’s eight restaurants, and as a dry, refreshing and vibrant sparkling wine, it’s going to be your go-to drink for Austin’s upcoming patio weather.
On South First Street, Lenoir regularly falls on the American-Statesman’s top 25 Austin restaurant list (at the number two spot last year). Lenoir’s wine director Chris Kelly is a big reason why, crafting a fluid wine list — divided by the glass and by the bottle — that pairs brilliantly with chef and owner Todd Duplechan’s seasonal dishes.
Drink like a celebrity
Texas is best
Texas Reds & Whites
Infinite Monkey Theroem & The Austin Winery
Rose all day
Bubbly is best
Tried and true
Winebelly, Vino Vino, Wink
Wild card (unexpected)
Bufalina - 50-page wine list, seats 50 people