Wink Wine Restaurant Review – A Wine-Lover’s Dream in Austin, TX

Along my road-trip from Las Vegas to New Jersey, I stopped in Austin to prospect the city as a possible place to move. I researched Restaurants and Winebars in Austin and stumbled upon Wink.  I’m surely grateful I did!

Not only was the food delicious, but as my site states, I’m here to remove snobbery from the world of wine; Wink does just that. Wink is Fine-Dining level food in a chic and relaxed atmosphere. As a Sommelier I’m surrounded by elitists and many would probably underestimate any restaurant in Texas; doing so would be a huge mistake.

The staff was antithesis of wine snobs yet just as knowledgeable as anyone in my field. It was so much fun being able talk not only the staff(which felt more like hanging out), but I also met the General Manager(whom I believe was also the owner) who was as the kids would say, “Totally Chill.” It was a laid-back and friendly atmosphere.

Wink has one of the best wines-by-glass lists I’ve encountered. You can tell that a lot of careful planning when into this list to ensure they run the gamut of wines built to pair with food. While I love buying a super cool bottle, when you have a great wines by the glass list, you take advantage as it allows you to play around with different pairings.

My meal at Wink:

Salad – Baby Arugula, candied walnuts, goat cheese in a light vinaigrette
Wine Pairing – 2011 Charles Grove Chenin Blanc, Vouvray

photo(5)Second Course – Chicken Liver Pate
Wine Pairing – 2011 Henri Morel Grenache Blanc Blend

 

 

 

 

photo(2)Third Course – Pork Tenderloin, pickled cabbage, roasted potatoes in a mustard and apple gremolata finished with a fried egg.
Wine Pairing – 2011 Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer

 

 

 

photo(4)First Dessert – Fois Gras served with radish, basil pesto finished with a quail egg.
Wine Pairing – Henri Giraud, Ratafia De Champagne

 

 

 

 

photo(7)Second Dessert – Crème Brulee
Wine Pairing – 1998 Nieport Colheita

 

 

 

 

One of the things I loved about Wink is that almost everything is local and seasonal, so the menu changes regularly. You know everything is fresh and they take pride in what goes into their dishes.

The salad was crisp and had a wonderful balance of sweet and savory. Pairing Off-Dry Chenin Blanc is perfect not only the sweetness, but for the pungent aromatic goat cheese.

The chicken liver pate was quite a surprise with a hint of herbs and spices that was reminiscent of an Indian flare. The rich texture of the pate along with the body of the Grenache Blanc were in harmony as the wine allows the flavors of the pate to shine.

The Pork Tenderloin was simply awesome. I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy, especially pork and nothing in my opinion pairs better with Pork than Gewurztraminer. Pork and Gewurztraminer are natural and classic pairing. This dish along with the wine was opened up an array of flavors from sweet, spice, savory and every texture you can think of.

photo(2)My favorite pairing was Darcie’s own recommendation: Fois Gras and Ratafia de Champagne…MIND BLOWN! I’ve never experienced Ratafia before which you could compare to something in-between a Madeira and Sauterne. This sweet, rich and complex wine set off every single favor of the Fois Gras which was just melt-in –your-mouth amazing.

 

My experience at Wink is enough to make me consider Austin as a possible destination for my move. I felt right at home and anyone who loves wine or wants to start trying wine should go there IMMEDIATELY.

Yours Truly,
The Modern Somm

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