Review: Cork & Co. (and Company) wine bar in Austin, TX
308 Congress Ave
Website: Cork & Co.
Hours: M-F, 3pm-midnight; Sat., noon-midnight; Sun., 5pm-midnight
Happy Hour: Everyday, 3 to 7pm
The other day, we visited Cork & Co. (or Cork and Company… I’ve seen them use both spellings), one of the last wine bars in downtown Austin that we needed to review.
When we arrived at around 5:30 on a Thursday evening, the tables were already about half-full. After looking at their website while writing this review, I’m not surprised – Cork & Co. certainly makes efforts at bringing in new and repeat customers. They offer wine tastings and various specials on different nights of the week, such as Chocogasm! on Thursday nights, which is a flight of four sparkling wines served with chocolate truffles ($18pp).
Happy hour is from 3 to 7pm everyday, and there are two sparklings, five whites, and six reds for $5 a glass ($2-3 off regular price). Cork & Co. also offers more than ten three-wine flights, and it is a retail wine store, with over a hundred wines by the bottle. And even better, you can get any one of these wines by the glass.
Since the temperature outside was just shy of 100 degrees, we wanted something cold. I started with the NV Brut Prosecco Cavit Lunetta, which was crisp and pleasant, with a slight acid aftertaste. This wine was refreshing alone, but it would be great with seafood. For a red, I had the McMannis Petite Sirah, which was a blast of new oak – “vanilla oak syrup” might best describe this wine.
The pours were good-sized, and the glasses were hands-down excellent (though I don’t know what the flights are served in).
On the downside, there’s no kitchen at Cork & Co, and they offer a few cold cheese plates, which didn’t look that appetizing sitting on our neighbor’s table. Also, the reds weren’t stored at proper temperature.
I found the general atmosphere at Cork & Co. to be a little annoying. There was awful pop playing, and a waiter hit on a solo female from ten feet across the bar not thirty seconds after she sat down.
But even though I may not go there again just for fun, I think a lot of people in town might really enjoy the place. So I’m giving it a 3-star rating because I can’t knock a place down just because its tone doesn’t suit my particular palate. If it suits yours, Cork & Co. might be just the place for you to get on a good wine buzz and get down.