Mixing wine bars and the Austin City Limits (ACL) 2008 Music Festival
The 2008 Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival at our lovely and dusty Zilker Park is about two months away. It’s on September 26-28th to be precise, and we thought you might like to know the best way to incorporate some good wine into your festival time.
There is a wine tent at ACL. That is to say, there is a tent and they serve fermented grape juice in it – the likes of which are a closer relative to box wine than anything else. I’d recommend just using it as a place to meet up with your friends in the sea of crowds. (You can, however, buy a bottle of wine that they will dump into a sports bottle for you, if you’re just looking for a good wine buzz with your music.)
Though you’re not technically supposed to bring in any outside beverages, there’s no harm in having a few quality glasses of wine at a nearby wine bar before or after taking in the sounds of your favorite bands.
To help with that, here are some tasting notes on the wine bars around Austin. If you follow the hyperlinks, you can read our entire review. I’ve listed them in order of our preference, with the best at the top of the list.
Have a great time at ACL… and remember to stay hydrated if you’re drinking in the hot Austin sun. It’ll getcha before you know it.
Wine bars to visit before or after ACL
- Taste Select Wines – Taste serves wines by the bottle, glass, or by the taste. They serve 32 reds and 16 whites out of self-serving dispensers that you operate with a card that you put money on. They have some fun choices and wonderful, elegant food. Hours are M-Th 10am to midnight; F-Sat 10am-1am; Sun noon to 9pm. Located at 202 W. Cesar Chavez.
- Wink Wine Bar – Wink offers 40 wines by the bottle, glass, or 2-oz pour, so you can easily make up your own flight. Part of a great restaurant in Austin, the snack food in the next-door wine bar is fantastic and filling – and half-price from 5-7pm to boot. Hours are 5pm to midnight each day. Located at 1014 N. Lamar.
- Vino Vino – This is hands down the best BAR that is a wine bar in town, with an intimate setting and beautiful, rich colored wood everywhere. There are limited wines by the glass, which are also a bit overpriced, so do it right and just buy a bottle to share. Hours are M-Sat 6pm to midnight; Sun 3-10pm. Located at 4119 Guadalupe.
- Aquarelle Wine Bar – This cozy little wine bar is also connected to a great restaurant in town, and their appetizers are excellent. They have an emphasis on French wines, and the staff is very friendly. Hours are T-Sat 5pm to restaurant close. Located at 606 Rio Grande.
- The Grove – Located outside of town in West Lake, The Grove has the best patio of any wine bar in town, just in case you’re craving more sun after a long day at ACL. They offer plenty of food, too. Hours are Sun-Th 11am to 10pm; F-Sat 11am to 11pm. Located at 6317 Bee Caves.
- Cork & Co. – A happening spot for young urban professionals, Cork & Co. offers a great selection of wines and drink specials, but no food. If you live in town or are around on Thursday before ACL, they offer a nice champagne and chocolate special that day. Hours are M-F 3pm to midnight; Sat noon to midnight; Sun 5pm to midnight. Located at 308 Congress.
- Uncorked Tasting Room and Wine Bar – Just to the east of IH 35, Uncorked is a cozy wine bar in an old house. It has plenty of wines by the glass, as well as flights. There are good food options too, but most are a bit overpriced. Hours are M-Sat 11am to midnight. Located at 900 East 7th St.
- Vinosity – This is a small wine bar with, unlike many others, easy parking. Vinosity offers delicious food and wine by the glass, the bottle, or you can buy bottles and take them home. Since it’s a small place, you might want to get there early. I’ve had to leave because all the tables were full up. Hours are 3 to 11pm on Tuesday thru Saturday. Located at 3500 W. Jefferson.
- Tierra del Fuego – This is a new-ish, groovy little wine bar with a friendly staff, plenty of wines by the glass, but little food. Hours are T-Sat 4pm to 1am. Located at 313 E. 2nd St.
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