Smoldering summer months put a cork in your wine drinking, but with fall just a hop, skip and a bootie purchase away, you're ready to break out the goblets. Meet Ross McLauchlan, pictured, CEO & President of The Austin Winery
. He and his right-hand man, Cooper Anderson
, contract acreage on small, biodynamic-minded vineyards across the country and, at harvest, bring the grapes to Austin in a refrigerated truck to start the crafting process. We stopped by their East Austin urban winery-meets-tasting room for a flight, to find out what to drink on a first date and whether Ross is a fan of "bro-sé." (He is.)
Your pairing notes are delightfully brief. Are you trying to "uncomplicate" wine drinking?
Absolutely. We want it to be accessible to a wider audience. Ex: "pair our sauv blanc with guacamole and fish tacos" - we eat lots of that in Texas, and the fatty mouth-feel of the avocado will be balanced by the acidity and minerality of the wine, leaving a refreshing, crisp finish.
Nic Mathis. We wanted something that Austinites would connect with but also illustrated our winemaking methodology... snob-free, high quality, and 100% unique. The first label [was] Violet Crown.
What's the most romantic type of red wine you bottle?
We affectionately refer to our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir as "First Date Wine" - because it's from a prestigious region known for producing light floral, feminine red fruit and soft, silky acidity that is incredibly easy drinking.
Men should be drinking more...
Zinfandel. Most haven't tried it, or don't have a great handle on its character - but will love its depth of fruit, spice, and earth-driven flavors that linger on the palate. Always a good pairing with grilled meats and cigars.
Which wine would you drink too much of if left with a bottle opener and a day off?
I can really do some damage to myself with our Old Vine Zinfandel while grilling or making a pasta sauce.
Favorite hangover food in Austin?
Winemakers don't get hungover! Just kidding. For me, a big porchetta sandwich from epicerie really sets me right.
Are you single?
Married to my job, but I've got a lovely girlfriend, Tessa Jacocks, who's amazingly supportive - though she might just be in it for the free wine.