Paris wine bars

Halliday - - Contents - By WINSOR DOB­BIN

How to hang like a lo­cal next time you’re in the City of Lights

e only com­mer­cial wine pro­duced in Paris comes from a cou­ple of hectares of vines in Mont­martre. Tucked away in the shadow of Sacré-Coeur, this tiny vine­yard pro­duces wine of av­er­age qual­ity at best, but its nov­elty en­sures it sells out each year. On the cor­ner of Rue des Saules and Rue Saint Vin­cent, the vine­yard dates from 1932 and fea­tures no fewer than 27 di er­ent grape va­ri­eties, al­though it mostly com­prises gamay and pinot noir. On the rst Satur­day of each Oc­to­ber, a cel­e­bra­tion marks the an­nual Grape Vin­tage Fes­ti­val and pro­duc­tion of about

500 bot­tles of Clos Mont­martre.

Paris is a par­adise for wine lovers, with ex­cel­lent bars, wine shops and restau­rants that o er the chance to sam­ple some of the world’s great wines, as well as su­perb French coun­try wines that never make it onto the ex­port mar­ket. You’ll even nd venues ded­i­cated to nat­u­ral, bio­dy­namic and or­ganic wines.

Two must-visit venues are Ju­ve­niles, founded by ec­cen­tric Scot Tim John­ston, and its near-neigh­bour Willi’s Wine Bar, run

Head­ing to Paris? is run­down of some of the city’s best bars will have you hang­ing like a lo­cal tout suite.

by English­man Mark Wil­liamson. Both men are vet­er­ans with more than three decades on the Paris scene, and many young in­dus­try stars have spent a sum­mer sea­son at one, or both. Willi’s is up­scale with a multi-lin­gual team. Mark also owns the slick, more ex­pen­sive Maceo restau­rant next door, with sim­i­larly eclec­tic wine choices. At Willi’s, try Do­maine d’Aupil­hac Langue­doc Blanc for €28 or La Soula Cotes Cata­lanes for €49. Ju­ve­niles, a favourite with jour­nal­ists and wine in­dus­try folk, has no airs and graces, but is a ter­rific spot to dis­cover some­thing new; maybe a Cor­nas, or an older Fron­sac by the glass, carafe or bot­tle (from around €30). It also o ers good bistro food, which has gone up­mar­ket as owner Tim’s daugh­ter Mar­gaux has taken con­trol of the space and put her stamp on it. e sta are al­ways keen to share their knowl­edge here.

Across town, near the Bastille, you’ll nd Le Baron Rouge, a blue-col­lar bar on the fringes of the Marché d’Ali­gre, where lo­cals bring their empty bot­tles to be lled from gi­ant oak

bar­riques. e place has au­then­tic­ity and a rough-and-ready charm, as well as a mas­sive se­lec­tion of wines by the glass from around France. ere’s a small se­lec­tion of char­cu­terie avail­able and, from Oc­to­ber to March, an oys­ter ven­dor sets up on the pave­ment out­side.

A decade or more ago, the walls at the Baron were dec­o­rated with porno­graphic car­toons. ings have since taken a classy turn, but the prices re­main rea­son­able. ere are plenty of wines for €2 to €3 a glass (a merlot d’Ardeche is €1.50, but you can splash out on a 2015 Petit Ch­ablis for €3.50). If the Baron is busy, try Les Caves de Prague down the road.

An­other favourite is La Cave de Belleville in the gritty 19th ar­rondis­e­ment, a wine bar/store with hams and saucis­sons hang­ing from ceil­ing hooks, plus a good choice of cheeses and nat­u­ral wines. La Cave du Paul Bert in the 11th ar­rondis­e­ment, owned by one of Paris’s chefs du jour Paul Bert, is an­other hotspot. It’s cramped, de­cid­edly hip and spe­cial­is­ing in wines from small pro­duc­ers matched with bistro clas­sics.

Small bars en­cour­ag­ing cus­tomers to take bot­tles away in­clude Le Sif­fleur de Bal­lons and Le Barav, as well as En Vrac, while Squatt Wine Shop spe­cialises in nat­u­ral wines and small plates. Vi­brant duo Si­mone and Les Petits Crus have a sim­i­lar fo­cus. ere is even a store sell­ing Ital­ian wine in bulk – surely a niche mar­ket in France. One of the big­ger wine ranges can be found at La Verre Volé (‘the stolen glass’), which has a mas­sive list that gets served along­side cheeses and char­cu­terie plates in a tra­di­tional style in the 10th, near the Canal Saint-Martin.

In hip side street Rue du Nil in the 2nd ar­rondis­e­ment, you’ll nd a chic quartier of restau­rants, take­aways and bars, in­clud­ing re­cent ar­rival Frenchie Bar a Vins, the lat­est in a chain of suc­cess­ful gourmet en­deav­ours by su­per­star chef Gre­gory Marc­hand. Turn up here early or be pre­pared to wait. ink small plates in mod­ern-French style and very lit­tle el­bow room. All Frenchie lo­ca­tions are full to the brim, but dishes are well priced, be­tween €9 to €19.

One of the big­gest wine shops in Europe is Lavinia, just o the Place de la Madeleine. It has a huge range of French and in­ter­na­tional bot­tles, as well as bio­dy­namic o er­ings. ere is an on-site wine bar and restau­rant that at­tracts a suited af­ter­work crowd, and dé­gus­ta­tion ma­chines on the ground oor al­low cus­tomers to a sip (lit­er­ally) of up to 10 di er­ent wines each week for €10. From the great names of Bordeaux and Cham­pagne to small, in­de­pen­dent vignerons or wines of the world, you’ll nd them here.

This tiny vine­yard is tucked away in the shadow of Sacré-Coeur.

Frenchie Bar a Vins by

Gre­gory Marc­hand.

e writer was a guest of the wine-fo­cused Pav­il­lon de la Reine Ho­tel in the Marais, a mem­ber of Small Lux­ury Ho­tels. slh.com/ho­tels/le-pav­il­lon-de-la-reine-and-spa.

Ju­ve­niles is a great place to dis­cover some­thing new.

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