An upcoming Austin wine bar wants to change the way local oenophiles experience wine. Wanderlust Wine Co. will open at 610 N I-35, near the corner of East Sixth Street, in early 2020 with an innovative format that allows patrons to pour their own glasses of wine.
Owner Sammy Lam tells CultureMap that the concept will feature over 56 international wines on tap. Pours are priced by the ounce, giving customers the ability to enjoy at their own pace and create customized flights.
True to its name, Wanderlust was inspired by a semester Lam spent studying abroad. He furthered his wine knowledge by working in different facets of the industry, from service to production and packaging. Recently, he completed a master's program that allowed him to travel to 27 countries in 11 months.
Though globally minded, Lam takes his role in promoting Texas’ developing wine scene seriously.
“One of our goals is to be a great ambassador to the Hill Country AVA [American Viticultural Area], which currently is the second most visited wine region in the U.S. after Napa,” says Lam. “Being that we are located right off of I-35 and Sixth Street, we are the gateway to downtown and we are working on being Austin’s starting/stopping point for wine tours and tourists.”
The physical space will be comprised of two buildings. One will act as a main tasting room; the other will accommodate yoga, painting workshops, wine certification courses, and winemaking classes.
Wanderlust will also feature a pet-friendly patio, complete with new Italian food truck The Heel of the Boot. Created by chef Vito Rossini, the concept hones in Pugliese cuisine from the southeast coast of Italy.
Lam says that he is aiming to debut by February 2020 so the bar can prepare for SXSW. An exact opening date will be announced at a later time.