Last Friday, Jean had the opportunity to visit a new place in Austin called East End Wines located off 11th street and I35 (thanks to Margaret and Lance). Here she met Sam – Sam, is half of the East End team and Matt is the other. Together these two have put together a wonderful wine shop, tasting room that is described as “East End Wines is chock-full of obscure bottles just waiting to inspire anyone who loves wine. – Wes Marshall, Austin Chronicle” and “The shop’s inventory is like a restaurant wine list compiled by an obsessive savant, peppered with labels you’ve never heard of and some you’ve heard about in breathless conversations with wine people – Mike Sutter, Austin American Statesman”
Have to admit, when she opened the door of the old house that the shop resides in – she stepped back in time to Ingram and the original location of Grape Juice owned by Patrick and Keri Wilt. In fact, Sam reminded her of Patrick – Sam’s love and appreciation of wine came through loud and clear . . . he got his Sommelier degree in 2005 and on that Friday was sporting a shirt with SAMMELIER written across his chest (gotta just love anyone with that sense of humor). The shop has a huge (and we mean HUGE) inventory ranging in price from under $10 waaaaaaay over $10 – truly something for every palate. Here is a sampling. Jean picked up a few labels for the blog – we wrote about one on Day 273 – and we look forward to sampling the others in days to come.
Tonight’s wine is one that she picked up for $12.57 (plus a 10% discount when one buys four bottles of wine at East End – nice touch) – 2008 Big Woop Red Wine from Southeastern Australia. Being huge (and we mean HUGE) fans of Australian wine, expectations were pretty darn high for this wine. This wine comes from the Woop Woop Wine line. Apparently “woop woop” is an Aussie expression that means “somewhere in the middle of nowhere”. So that would make a big woop what happens when one’s GPS dies and they have to navigate with a REAL map! Actually, if you add the “h” into woop, you get an expression that means “no big deal”. As in, “What’s the big whoop? It’s one tiny scratch on the car, Mom.”
Big Woop Red is a blend of grenache, shiraz, and petite verdot in a 1 liter bottle. Since she was with a group of folks at an offsite retreat, Jean decided to take the wine to the masses and get their input. Thanks to Renee, Rachel, Scott, Dave and Rosie for offering themselves up – we know, a dirty job, but someone had to do it! All agreed that although a bang for your buck – the wine was a disappointment. The color was a deep red and set an expectation. What’s the flavor factor you ask? Well, the nose was pretty healthy with pencil shavings, wet cedar, leather and red fruit . . . Really? What’s going on here – an inexpensive wine, all these aromas used to be the exclusive right of the expensive stuff. The mouth feel was kinda sorta full – but more medium body, a bit of an explosion of dark fruit with a dose of Shiraz spice . . . the finish is not so much, nothing that really set the world on fire . . . not great, but not bad or as one might say – “Big Woop is no Big Whoop”.
While a return trip to East End Wines in no doubt in order, a return trip to Big Woop is not. We do look forward to popping the cork, or in some cases unscrewing the cap, on the other bottles that await us.
Have a great night and remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible as you go out on a limb and try something new!