Review: Wink wine bar in Austin, TX
1014 North Lamar, Ste. E
Website: Wink Restaurant
Hours: Monday thru Saturday, 5pm-12midnight
Happy Hour 5pm to 7pm - ½ priced bar food
Wink, the restaurant, has been one of the best places to eat in Austin for years. About three years ago, they opened a wine bar a couple of doors down from their restaurant. And boy, are we glad they did.
Wink offers more than 40 wines by the glass. The wine list is well-thought out and has interesting wines from around the world. Wink offers either a 2 ounce or 6 ounce pour for their wines. The 2 ounce pour is great because you can make-up your own flights or just try a small glass of any wine that catches your eye. In addition to their wines by the glass, the wine bar also offers wine by the bottle from the restaurant’s wine list.
We stopped by Wink recently for our second visit. We got there at just about 5, and by 6:15 the bar was full.
I ordered a flight of Rieslings, and one of the bottles was corked. This is not unusual — somewhere between 1 and 3% of all bottles have detectable cork taint. What was unusual was how well the bartender/waiter handled the situation. He inspected the wine, found it faulty, and immediately opened another bottle.
Tasting as much wine as I do, I encounter “corked” bottles fairly often. Corked bottles are not the fault of the establishment, but the way the situation is managed makes a huge difference to the customer. This was the first time that a wine bar in Austin handled the situation appropriately — a knowledgeable and efficient staff can make all the difference in the world. What could have been a negative event turned was quickly diffused, and we went on happily drinking.
The food in some of Austin’s wine bars is not very good, but the food at Wink’s wine bar is different. The bar food is brought over from the restaurant where they turnout some of the best plates in Austin. The food is even better during happy hour – from 5pm until 7pm, the wine bar offers half-price bar food.
If you are looking for a snack, a glass of wine before heading downtown, or a night cap before heading home, Wink’s Wine Bar is a great choice.