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Wine.Down Pick of the Week: Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco

July 20, 2010

Why don’t people opt for bubbly at night? And not frothy showy overly expensive bottles of Cristal; I mean real bubbly — the sparkling kind that makes cheese taste sharper and doesn’t make your whole mouth feel like a sticky jar of jam should you accidentally drink the whole bottle. While it’s half off, give our Prosecco a chance tonight. Not only will its hints of pear and almond hit just the right refreshing note on a summer night, you’ll be sipping history. Carpenè Malvolti comes right from the source of real Prosecco, in Conegliano, a little Venetian castle town that happens to be the home of Italy’s oldest wine academy. If Champagne is a party in your mouth (all Las Vegas-style, complete with hiccups and an aftertaste of porn flyers), Prosecco is a lively dinner party — friendly, relaxing, and fizzy enough to make you giggle after a few.

Wine.Down and the half-bottle deal kick off at 6 pm tonight. See you there.


Summer Film Series

June 17, 2010

The screen is getting a workout for the next month, with World Cup games all day long and of course the famous Foreign Flick Fridays (join the Meetup!). So is there any time left for more? Of course there is.

First of all, Foreign Flick Friday is expanding to take requests from any Meetup members who show up, and we’re not just restricting it to strictly foreign anymore. Basically, arthouse, cult, fringe, foreign … anything non-blockbuster, non-mainstream will do. Come, have a glass, watch a good flick, make a suggestion.

What, do you have something against blockbuster mainstream movies, Aviary? Are you elitist? First of all, with house beers from Turkey and Argentina and pate on the menu, damn right we’re elitist, but in a friendly come-join-us way, because everyone deserves to feel elite sometimes. (Besides, how elitist can a place be if it sells beanbag chairs and coasters with the face of Samuel L. Jackson on them?)

But we loves us some blockbusters, too, so Colleen is hosting a summer film series on Sunday nights. This week features National Lampoon’s Vacation, featuring everyone’s favorite HomeAway pitchman and serial career resurrector, Chevy Chase. Come, watch dead bodies get strapped to cars, feel vaguely aroused and uncomfortable at the same time during the swimming pool scene, and curse Wally World to your heart’s content. Just like all the other big-screen entertainment, it’s free.

Ripe and ready

May 27, 2010

A lot of people who wander in plop down and ask for advice on which wine to order. If you want to go straight to the good stuff, ask for Seleccion 12. It’s a blended Spanish red from Castillo de Luzon that was harvested in 2005 — quite a vintage for a $9 glass. This Jumilla (named for that region of Spain, which sits at 1,500 feet above sea level) is incredibly smooth and complex, with hints of anything from licorice to espresso underneath the fruit. If you don’t drink too much of it to focus, you’ll also enjoy the bar code label that conceals thousands of tiny little 12s. Come Friday during Foreign Flick night and drink it by the bottle for $10 off.

The new beer in the fridge is the Real Ale Devil’s Backbone. We’re usually flying in crazy beers from all over the globe, but in this case, the favorite sons of Blanco have come up with a beer that can hold its own against any in the world. This spring ale used to be draught only, and just got bottled for the first time this year. A Belgian trippel, it’s finished with candy sugar made in-house by Real Ale, giving its final touch of alcohol and natural carbonation a kick without the weight of most other 8% ales. You know how all those “lite” beers promise great taste without being filling? Have a beer that can actually follow through on that promise. It’ll either spoil your Memorial Day weekend or make it. Either way … mmm … beer….

TV Tuesdays have arrived

May 24, 2010

Starting tonight, every Tuesday will feature a season (or as much of one as possible) from a different beloved television show every week. Yep, we’re taking requests. Things kick off with Arrested Development’s first season, and there are plans in the works for Mighty Boosh, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Freaks & Geeks.

The $2 Tuesday specials are still in effect: Quilmes, Efes, Real Ale, plus $3 Fox Hollows. Come all you cousin kissers and show us how a chicken dances.

Slice of Life

May 22, 2010

If you’ve heard an electric saw type of noise coming from behind the curtain lately: no, we’re not chopping up the bodies of our enemies. (That’s not until Phase IV of the business plan.) We just found this beautiful vintage 1960s deli slicer in Wimberley.

Right now, it’s being used to shave off perfect morsels of Toscano salami from Salt & Time, which features black and white peppercorns and toasted fennel and goes great with a little creamy cheese and honey on a hunk of locally sourced artisan bread. We’re not sure whether or not you’ll taste the difference a little solid state motor makes, but it’s a blast to use. And look at it. Just look at it.

My Own Private Alamo

May 12, 2010

Let’s say you and your friends are obsessed with a certain movie. Let’s say it’s My Own Private Idaho, starring Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. This one time, years ago, you all got together to watch it with a few bottles of wine and had a blast. You’d like to do that again. Maybe as a double feature this time, with Point Break? Don’t crowd into some apartment living room with cats walking all over everyone’s lap and a one of those old tube TVs and that bathroom that you’d really like to tell your friend to clean but you’re not sure how to mention it politely.

Come to Aviary. You see, in addition to a new HD projector and a 10-foot framed screen in the lounge area that we’re super proud of to the point of bragging all the time, hosting group events has become THE BEST TIME we could possibly have, and we want to do more more more of it. There are already regular groups nabbing time slots up — for society meetings, book clubs, company parties, you name it — but we haven’t booked up too many regular gigs yet.

So this is your chance. Want to watch a movie with your buds every Thursday night on our screen? Just ask. Bring your own movie. We won’t charge you. But we can feed you. And we promise our wine and beer are better than the Fiesta Mart special and sixer of Lone Star your friends usually bring. Our bean bag chairs and lounging cushions are way more comfortable than the floor you’re always stuck sitting on because the Ikea couch is already full. (We promise. Otherwise we wouldn’t keep selling them.) And, best of all, nobody gets stuck with the dishes. (Okay, Marco gets stuck with the dishes. But he doesn’t mind. Really.)

Think of Aviary as your own private Alamo Drafthouse experience, only with no admission charge and you get to program the movies. Give us enough lead time, and we’ll even brainstorm a special menu with you. One group brought in Amelie and got treated to specially-made crème brûlée.

Here’s what you do: e-mail with what you want to do, about how many people you expect (we’re cool with any number between 4 and 40), and the day you’d like to do it. We book these on a first-come, first-served basis. Or just stop in and ask Marco in person. Some brainstorming, some pencils on some calendars, and voila, you just got yourself the best spot in town for a movie night, or a weekly film club, or a place to finally do that live action recreation of the naked dance scene from the original Wicker Man (followed by a drunken mockery fest with the updated Nicolas Cage version), or whatever.

That’s just the movies. We’ll take any other kind of social club as well. So call (512-916-4445), e-mail or stop in soon. We’re going to be promoting the heck out of this idea until we get parties coming out of our ears, so the sooner you lock in your group’s time, the better.

PS – There’s a new weekday happy hour with $1 off all beer and wine from 4 to 7 if that helps you schedule your plans.

Show Your Love With Pillows

May 9, 2010

Somehow missed all our reminders that today is Mother’s Day? Looking for a quick but sincere fix? Drop on by for two mimosas and a bread plate to share for just $15, or come in and pick out one of our funky and interesting throw pillows. Each one is filled with a fresh down insert and stitched in vintage fabric. Just look at these beauties: