I never expected arriving around 5 p.m., the first official day at Max’s Wine Dive, that there would be a question of finding a place to sit. The place was absolutely packed with a who’s who in the wine (including winemakers), food and spirits industry. And there’s good reason. You put a dream team of Paul Pinnell of Dali and Nana fame; Patrick Russell formerly of Craft; and Juan Pablo Trabado (JP) who never got to spread his talented wings at Decanter and people will attend.
The vibe is cool and laid back. The people are helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. How could it not be with great wine, gourmet “comfort” food and a mantra of “Fried Chicken and Champagne? Why the Hell Not.” Nuff said. I see myself quickly becoming a regular here.
The wine list is well thought through (150 selections) and there is an extensive by the glass program. Also, if you commit to buying two glasses of wine, you can get anything on the list at a by the glass price. A word of advice is to ask the price and see if the bottle is a better deal. We started with a glass of sparkling, moved to a wonderful (and complimentary) glass of Sauternes paired with our bison sliders and a great carpaccio taco, which rocked with our red. And try the Brussels sprouts – even if you hate Brussels sprouts – trust me.
JP bearing Sauternes
The Texas-based restaurant has locations in Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Also of note is the reverse happy hour with $2 off wines by the glass from 4-7 and then the last two hours before closing.