East Austin is known for its diverse and thriving food scene as well as quite a few craft breweries but did you know you can get some of the best glasses and bottles of wine to drink too? From natural wines, to biodynamic ones, to bottles from Cali, Washington State, Oregon all the way across the pond to Italy, France, Germany, Serbia, etc., several wine bars and wine enthusiasts have been popping up and establishing quite a presence in East Austin!
When you’re looking for an excellent bottle or glass of wine, whether it’s a white, orange, rose, red, dessert wine, check out these spots that have quickly become my go-to for entertaining, treating myself or gifting wine!
Ok, so the Saba Sans bottle shop is too dang cute and I love the vibe in there! It’s tucked at the back of Bento Picnic in a teal colored room with a vast selection of natural wines, Japanese sake and local beers. Not sure what to try out? Their in-house wine expert, Veronica, can help you pick a bottle based on your preference, ocassion, gift-giving needs! They have a wine club for wine enthusiasts, which I’m a member of, so if you’re interested in a monthly subscription to some excellent wines hand-picked by Veronica, then definitely consider joining!
Saba Sans’ wines pair perfectly with anything and everything from Bento Picnic so if you do stop in for a glass, be sure to ask for a bite of something delicious as well!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I go to Birdie’s quite often because it’s SO DANG GOOD and you need to go if you haven’t! Don’t let the line to enter scare you. It moves fast, you can get a glass of wine while you wait, and take time looking over their menu so you can order all the food when you get to the counter. Their staff is knowledgeable about wine and won’t lead you astray if you need a recommendation! They also feature wines by the glass daily and every now and then, they’ll open up a magnum of something (definitely order a glass of it if you see a magnum available)! If you just go in for dessert (their vanilla soft serve or the Sicilian chocolate chip cookie), they have a large selection of dessert wines that will pair nicely!
This cutie, LoLo, celebrated its 2 year anniversary a few weeks ago – they opened right before the start of the pandy – and you bet I went back in 2020 and have been a long time fan! They have a massive selection of wine from all over and natural wines too of course! I find their menu overwhelming but I just tell them what I like, and let them choose for me. I’ve never been disappointed! For most of the pandemic, the inside of the wine shop was closed but they might have recently opened it up with the wintery weather. They have a gorgeous back area though for your outdoor wine-drinking vibes! They also have some excellent bites to pair with your wine glass or bottle, so definitely check out their food menu too!
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If I’m recalling correctly, Apt 115 was the first intimate, wine bar that opened in East Austin way back several years ago. It is in the space where It’s Italian used to be off E. 7th! Ok, so it’s super vibey and the owner and staff there know their wine! I remember flipping through their menu that was as thick as a novel! Don’t let that intimidate you though – ask them to choose something for you! They’ve expanded their food menu which was previously mostly just charcuterie and cheese to some elaborate and fine-dining dishes as well as a Chef’s Tasting so go hungry and leave full and satisfied 🙂
Cork and Screw
I had my eyes on the Camp East space for a while now (it’s off E. 12th and Harvey) and is home to Cork and Screw, Fil ’N Viet, Do, Slow Poke Marfa and you’ve gotta go! Their outdoor space is just magical and you’ll literally feel like you’re somewhere out of Texas!
Cork and Screw has a bottle shop as well as a separate tasting room. The bottle shop has a huge selection of wine to-go or to enjoy there on the property. They have charcuterie boxes to satisfy your hunger and line your stomach before you imbibe! I’ll be scheduling a wine tasting in the tasting room soon too because OMG the decor looks fantastic and well, who doesn’t like a wine tasting?!
Salt and Time Wine Shop
If you’re a fan of Salt and Time, then you know that they mean business and are serious about what they do! So, when they decided to open up Salt and Time Wine Shop next door to the restaurant, I screamed for joy because I knew it would be nothing less than stellar! They specialize in small producers practicing biodynamic, organic and sustainable agriculture and low intervention wine making! Check, check and CHECK! These are all important values to me so naturally, I’m gonna have them on this list so you can support them too!
They have a super cute outdoor deck where you can enjoy your glass of vino so do take advantage of the weather when you can!
Wanderlust Wine Collective
I’d been to a concept similar to the Wanderlust Wine Collective in Cali and definitely see why it’s so popular! Imagine being able to try every kind of varietal possible and control your pour – 1 oz to 6+ oz of a pour! For those of us who like variety, this spot is a dream! No need to commit to am entire bottle!
Their East Austin space is massive and can accommodate a ton of people – they have some tables outside too and food trucks! Oh, they’re totally instaworthy so be prepared for lots of pics!
The newest wine tasting room and wine club is now open in East Austin! we made reservations at Blurred Vines for my birthday weekend – I wanted to be sure we could go there! Make your reservation asap and plan on tasting and learning about wines you’d never be able to purchase in TX! They focus on small producers out of the West Coast and change the lineup for the tastings monthly. Emma taught us so much about each of the wines and I even bought a couple because they were so good!
Each tasting comes with a cheese board! Enjoy!
Cape Bottle Room
Are you a lover of South African wines or want to try them? Austin now has a bottle shop and tasting room dedicated to sustainable South African wines. Cape Bottle Room is now open and a must visit! One of my BFFs is from South Africa and I have grown to love and appreciate wine from her motherland and I’m thrilled to have access to even more from the region at Cape Bottle Room!
More East Austin wine spots coming to this list so do not fear! Until then, cheers and support local wine bars!