A Grape Time In Austin, Texas

Considered by many to be one of the premier nightlife spots in the country, Austin, Texas boasts a high-energy bar scene and entertainment district, and the moniker, "The Live Music Capital of the World." In addition to the literally hundreds of bars, clubs and restaurants that make up Austin's downtown, a newer type of establishment is quickly growing in popularity among locals and tourists alike: the wine bar. The twenty-something University of Texas at Austin crowd can keep 6th Street and it's rowdy, raucous bars and dance clubs; Austin's older, more sophisticated set has found a posh and cozy new home in Austin's burgeoning wine bar scene. Let's take a closer look at three of the most popular spots for fans of the fermented grape.

1.Cork & Company
Cork & Co.'s fun, flirty atmosphere makes it one of Austin's most popular casual wine bars. With its low-key vibe and emphasis on making wine fun, Cork & Co. consistently serves up a good time. Patrons enjoy wine appreciation classes (think "Pottery, Paint & Prosecco"), great happy hour specials, a wide selection of wines for sale by the flight, glass, or bottle, and even lively trivia games. Located at 308 Congress Ave., Cork & Co. is uniquely situated in the heart of downtown, close to restaurants, clubs, and a great view of the capital.

2.Cru Wine Bar
Self described as "an exciting destination to experience and explore the fascinating world of wine," Cru offers Austin's wine aficionados more than 300 wines to choose from, with a selection of more than a dozen unique wine flights daily. Cru's welcoming, yet sophisticated atmosphere make it a great option for any personality, and its two convenient locations (with one downtown, at 238 West 2nd Street, and another at North Austin's trendy Domain shopping center) make it one of the more accessible wine bars in Austin. In addition to an extensive array of wines, Cru's patrons can enjoy a delectable, Mediterranean inspired menu of starters and entrees (including steamed mussels, seared ahi tuna and stone-fired pizzas), or can simply snack on one of their deliciously creative cheese flights.

The newest edition to Austin's sommelier scene, Taste (officially called Taste Select Wines) offers a unique spin on the traditional wine bar concept. Offering a full (though brief and often changing) menu, Taste combines delicious culinary treats (the roast Texas quail is a true delicacy, and the cheese plate is creative, decadent and delicious) with exquisite wines and an extremely knowledgeable (and yet surprisingly unpretentious) staff. Perhaps the best thing about Taste (located downtown at 202 West Cesar Chavez St.) is the self-serve section. Wine aficionados on the go can sample one of the dozens of wines Taste offers literally on tap. Simply hand over your credit card upon entering the bar, and you'll receive a key card that provides access to a wealth of different wines from across the globe for you to swipe and sample at your leisure. Just hand the key card over when you're done, and the staff will tally your drinks and charge you accordingly. But sampler beware, this is a deliciously easy way to blow your budget!

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About The Author, Dane Smith
Working in Austin Texas Ki helps people interested in the Austin real estate market. He provides a search of the Austin MLS along with updated statistics on his Austin real estate blog.