Late night dessert in Austin is hard to find, despite reverse happy hours that are becoming ever-so-popular (i.e. Max’s Wine Dive, McCormick & Schmicks). But, it’s no surprise that the sweet tooth often knocks in the late evening hours. After all, is a midnight snack a midnight snack if it’s not sneaking a sweet something just before bedtime? Growing up, a midnight snack consisted of graham crackers or you betcha, dunking “milk’s favorite cookies” (oreos) in milk so far into the glass that my fingertips got covered in milk just before removing the oreo to a soft perfection, but not for too long, or else I’d lose half the cookie and give it up to the bottom of the glass.
I’ve since gotten classier with my oreo eating habits, and my late night sweets. This weekend, I was excited to stumble upon a perfect spot for enjoying late night decadence: Uncorked Tasting Room & Wine Bar on E. 7th, viewable from I-35. I had visited before with Karie and others, but simply for the wine (they also have a food menu). I like the home-y feel of the building and how the rooms of the “house” provide private seating so you can enjoy your company in a relaxing setting. And the outdoor patio, sprinkled with twinkle lights, mysteriously drowns out the sounds of traffic on the highway and sits beneath trees that enclose the outdoor setting.
What I remembered most about it was their Winedex. No, not the blue spray bottle that is used to make windows squeaky clean–an index to guide guests through the wine list. Icons are placed next to each wine selection, many of which are international in origin. Besides categorizing wines by White, Red, Pink, Sparkling, Dessert, the wines are categorized by Sweetness, Body, Fruit Flavor, and Non-Fruit Flavor (such as floral). This not only helps you select wines you like, but helps you remember characteristics of the wines you chose to help you be a more informed wino for your next glass.
Although the Winedex still comes to mind when I think of Uncorked, a new association has entered my mind: late night dessert. Open til 1 a.m., this unpretentious wine bar cooks up some simple, yet delicious desserts. For example, the picture above features Almond Macarons with Citrus Cream Cheese, Fresh Strawberries, and Powdered Sugar. And, check out this Brownie Sundae a la Mode (Italian- meaning served with ice cream).
It looks simple, a brownie topped with ice cream. But, if you look closer, you may see the vanilla bean spread throughout the scoop. And, if you taste close enough, you might notice the delayed, yet, faint heat that I felt in the back of my throat after eating spoonful of the brownie. I was convinced there was a spice hidden in the brownie mix, and sure enough, when I asked our waitress, I discovered it was cayenne pepper. Any kitchen that adds spice to chocolate (chipotle, habanero, chili) is a winner in my book, and Uncorked is no exception.
If you find yourself looking for a glass of late night vino and a sweet tooth, you know where to go!