4.51pm, Brookhollow, Houston (Space City)
Tuesday, 29th September: Austin Rewind (last one!)
I can’t speak highly enough about the city of Austin, centre of the Hill Country, state capital of Texas, great food, great music. Getting off the plane at the airport, you get a sense that this town really is happy to see you there. When I came in last Saturday afternoon, the place was full to overflowing because the college football team Texas Longhorns was playing. It’s huge. Their orange colours are everywhere. Thank goodness they won! The town has got everything from diners and ancient hamburger hideouts to cutting edge Southern/Mexican/Texan fusion, to Asian to traditional Mexican to great wine bars.
We’ve been able to work with one of these winebars – Cru – several times, and this is where we did our trade and distributor master class for Austin – at their downtown spot. We also went out to do a happy hour at their new winebar – Cru at the Dominion. This is a residential, shopping and dining precinct away from the city centre – very sharp – tucked in and around giant old native trees. We did a tasting of the Eden Valley Viognier, the Bush Vine Grenache and the Barossa Shiraz Viognier that Cru has on its list as a “getting to know a region” flight. Lovely evening, nice folks, we won a few friends – then headed off into the night for the drive across to Houston. Pity we weren’t staying in Austin this weekend, as one of their massive music events will be on – Austin City Limits (ACL). Always good to have a reason to come back! ACL, South by Southwest (the other big music show), the pancake of the day at Magnolia South (open 24 hours – today it was cherry cheese cake!), the wine dinner experience at Mirabelle, the chef at Mirabelle, the chocolate fondue at Cru. And that’s just off the top of my head. Thanks Austin – see ya next year, in the spring if we get our way!