Our last visit to Austin’s Infinite Monkey Theorem (IMT) was in June of this year, just after they opened their new location on Shady Lane in East Austin. (They also have a winery in Colorado) At the time, the very friendly tasting guide told us that the owners (Ben and Meredith Parsons) had no immediate plans to have air conditioning in the very large warehouse space. A sign out front on this visit informed us otherwise, and we were thrilled for it as the day was only growing hotter!
Inside the tasting room that had large windows with plenty of natural light, there were large ceiling fans as well. We opted to start our visit with their frose – a frozen rosé that was delightfully dry and fruity with tart strawberry notes. We settled in on a retro 50’s vinyl couch with assorted layered oriental rugs underneath. This place is huge and very dog friendly – our tasting guide made sure the pup had a bowl of cold water to lap, which was most appreciated. IMT also had a food truck outside, but they weren’t open, so we asked if we could dig some snacks out of our tote and were told yes.
Tastings are combined with tours that you need to schedule for on their website, but you can also get a public tour on Saturdays at 5 and 6 p.m. There is a tasting fee for a flight of three wines and being primarily red wine drinkers, we opted to split three: Blind Watchmaker – a bold blend of Syrah and Cabernet with distinct herbal/tea notes, the Texas Merlot – dry and fruity with medium tannins, and a Cabernet Franc – my favorite, with dry plum (raisin) notes and soft tannins. IMT sources their grapes from Colorado and the Texas High Plains and the tasting menu denotes grape origins for some of them. We enjoyed all three and plan a tasting of the whites on our next visit.
Our tasting guide eyeballed the pours and wrote the names on the glasses with a marker. The wine bottles are screw cap and all of the reds were priced exactly the same on the menu. The prices listed on their website are quite a bit lower per bottle, and the menu says they have “take away pricing of wines to enjoy off-site,” but those prices weren’t published on the tasting menu. They had quite a few wines on tap, including a Sauvignon Blanc, a sparkling Riesling, a Malbec, and the Blind Watchmaker. You can purchase a glass wine growler and bring it back for a very reasonably priced fill of what they have on tap. The tap wines rotate out every so often so there’s no guarantee you’ll find your favorite.
There was no gift shop, but they sell koozies for their cans of spiced or pear cider, peach Bellini, and lightly sparkling canned wines which are all in a big lighted cooler up at the bar. Tours are on a scheduled basis, but you can see into the production room from the main tasting and lounge areas. We were unable to get information on their wine club which was revamped in March of this year. The tasting guide did not have any details about it and the winery’s website directs you to a page with a broken link.
I would have loved to chat with the winery owners, but they were not on site and the lone tasting guide had her hands full with about a dozen customers coming and going during the course of our visit. IMT hosts several fun events, mostly in the evenings, that range from Silent Disco to trivia nights and Bachelorette watch parties. They have an events calendar on their website where events are posted. You can book space at the winery for private events as well as sign up to be one of their volunteers for bottling or other events which are a good way to get to know the winery a little better (something I have done in the past at IMT and greatly enjoyed a personal one on one tasting hosted by Meredith). The decor and general feel of the winery lends itself to more of a bar with retro kitsch styling featuring many couch and lounge chair groupings which make for a fun and cozy setting in which to enjoy your wine. Local graffiti artists were commissioned to paint the walls giving it a very colorful and fun appearance – definitely not your traditional wine tasting room setting and designed to make wine approachable and fun!