French wine is unquestionably some of the best and most refined in the world. With so much variety and classics on offer, it can be somewhat overwhelming when confronted with a mouth-watering selection of France’s finest. With so many opportunities and outlets on offer, Paris is the perfect spot for wine experts and novices alike to indulge in this most valuable of France’s jewels.
The wine bars
L’Ecluse des Grands Augustins
15 Quai des Grands Augustins 75006
Overlooking the Notre Dame, this wine bar presents excellent Bordeaux wines alongside names such as Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Angelus. Be sure to expect excellent service and a general attitude of knowledge that is highly regarded in the wine community. With over 600,000 glasses of wine sold annually here, chances are that you’ll find that perfect glass after a long day in Paris.
Le Baron Rouge
1 rue Theophile Roussel
A neighborhood favorite, this wine bar offers a huge range of boutique wines at very reasonable prices. Wine served direct from the barrel is a commonplace here, as is oysters and plates of cheese that accompany the wine list perfectly.
The wine restaurants
Le Verre Volé
67 rue de Lancry 75010
It’s commonly known that in Paris, the best places to buy wine are also the best places to grab lunch or dinner. Such establishments as Verre Volé offer an opportunity to sample the best French terroir both in the glass and from the land, all in the company of locals. With its small plates and increasingly vibrant selections of wine, this Parisian gem is definitely worth a visit.
Le Chapeau Melon
92 Rue Rebeval 75019
If elegant langoustine carpaccio, oysters and a fantastic bottle of wine sounds appealing, you should try Le Chapeau Melon. Oliver Camus’ Belleville shop transforms from a highly regarded caviste of amazing natural wine to a table d’hotes, serving a hearty three-course meal in his warm and friendly venue. With an impressive wine list and equally impressive menu, this restaurant is a must for serious wine lovers.
The wine stores
La Dernière Goutte
6 Rue de Bourbon Le Chateau 75006
Named “The Last Drop”, this American owned temple of wine selling has been attracting customers to its heavily packed shop for decades. Specialising in estate-bottled small production, this store is perfectly suited for anyone who desires top end wines and good value wines. Special attention is paid to Cote du Rhone, as well as wines from the Loire Valley and Languedoc-Roussillon.
116 Blvd Houssmann 75008
Being the oldest and most prestigious wine store in Paris has allowed this local masterpiece to acquire perhaps the best selection of artisan and small production wines in Paris. Just meeting the avant-garde sommelier Marc Sibard and discussing his selection of over 6000 French and foreign selections gives a glimpse into the unquestionable knowledge and taste that can be found in this establishment.
The wine tasting classes
Wine tourism has become an increasingly popular form of attracting wine lovers, so the courses on offer have become so elaborate and well curated that there is something for everyone. These light-hearted classes and courses invite guests to learn about every aspect of wine culture, from the perfect wooden barrels to ordering wine properly at a restaurant. Everything is covered in a delightful manner that appeals to so many, and not just because there’s amazing wine on tap.
Novice and master classes can be booked here, with English speaking guides trained by French sommeliers. Learning about terroir and appellation is genuinely a fascinating experience, and all of this takes place in a historic wine cellar full of stories and tales to keep you entertained as that next glass of Bordeaux comes rolling in.
You don’t need to go to Paris, to learn everything about wine. My VitiAcademy, a French startup located in Paris, will turn you into a pro of wine tasting with their 10 modules of online wine courses and videos.
Irina Raileanu is the owner and Director at Avenue Story.