Karen’s Pick: The Infinite Monkey Theorem
The Infinite Monkey Theorem
Fine, Fine Wine Meets Industrial Design
by Karen Spezia
Photographs by Chelsea Laine Francis
In a party town like Austin, there’s no novelty—or shame—in drinking your dinner. So when you’re more focused on spirits than sustenance, look no further than The Infinite Monkey Theorem, a new downtown wine-bar-within-a-winery.
First, let’s address the elephant (i.e. monkey) in the room: its funny name. The winery is based on a screwball theory that a bunch of monkeys banging on typewriters will eventually produce a literary masterpiece. In other words, with infinite resources and time, any problem can be solved … like trying to make wine in an urban warehouse. Since grapes don’t grow along South Congress, IMT solved that problem by sourcing them from partner vineyards in the Texas panhandle and Hill Country. They’re hauled to IMT’S downtown warehouse where they’re processed, aged and bottled. Boom! You’ve got yourself a winery smack-dab in the middle of Austin. Problem solved.
You’ve also got yourself a helluva cool tasting room that’s part wine bar, part rec center, and part art gallery. At night and on weekends, the place is filled with thirsty locals swilling vino. But it also attracts folks for its evening yoga classes held among the wine vats weekly trivia night and occasional music.. The warehouse is tricked-out in some legit graffiti art (mostly monkey-themed) and mismatched vintage furniture that creates cozy seating areas. There are communal bars and a pet-friendly patio —although no one’s brought a monkey yet.
Wines can be sampled by the flight or ordered by the bottle, glass or can. That’s right, IMT serves ‘em up in tall boys with simian faces on the label. They also fill eco-friendly growlers to take home. In warm months, they make wine slushies and, in winter, mulled wine. If you’re hungry, they sell a lovely cheese and charcuterie plate, but they’re also cool if you bring your own grub or dial up Favor for delivery. Meredith and Aaron Berman run the place and you’ll recognize Meredith from her kilowatt smile beneath a mass of blonde dreadlocks. This ain’t your mama’s wine bar.
IMT’s Texas wines are produced onsite, but they also pour selections from their sister winery in Denver, which utilizes mostly Colorado and California grapes. They’re all good, but the crowd favorite was the earthy, juicy 2013 Syrah made with 100 percent Colorado grapes. I also liked the bright, floral 2014 Cabernet Franc and the mellow, yet complex, 2014 Texas Cinsault Rosé. There are reds like Petite Verdot and Petite Syrah, and whites made from classic Italian varietals like Trebbiano and Vermentino. For the holidays, the Chenin Blanc would make a great Thanksgiving pairing and the bubbly Blanc du Bois would be a hit at New Year’s celebrations.
You don’t have to be a wine geek to love Infinite Monkey Theorem; you just have to like good drinks, cool vibes and nice people. It’s like a chill clubhouse for grown-ups. And even though it’s a transplant from Denver, it feels authentically Austin.
The Infinite Monkey Theorem
121 Pickle Rd. #110
Austin, TX 78704
Read more from the Arts Issue | November 2016