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Jun 24, 2009 05:28 AM

Wine in Paris

Are there any must go to places for wine in Paris? Any restaurants with low mark ups and great wine lists? Any can't miss wine stores?

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  1. My favorite wine store in Paris is Caves de Taillevent, which is around the corner from L'Angle du Faubourg in the 8eme. They have a huge selection, and carry all the wines on Taillevent's legendary list at much lower prices.

    1. Caves Taillevent indeed. Caves Augé. La Dernière Goutte (open sundays). Les Caves du Panthéon.

      1. try Racine in passage du panoramas for natural wines and very good food.

        Tour D'argent has the best wine list in the city, and whilst expensive its very good value.

        Caves Taillevent is very good for shopping also.

        1. It is a bit of an open ended question. I am certain you understand Paris has lots of options for wine. The range from the traditional, big names through to the interesting new producers including organic and bio-dynamic, and/or great wines from lesser known regions.

          I find "La Dernier Gout" good for the organiic/biodynamic/individual producers, and their wine bar (around the corner) called "Fish" is pretty good to sample their stock and grab a bite to eat. The barman is a Kiwi so can be really helpful as he speaks passable English.

          Batfink and Souphies recommendations are good; another top wine shop would be in the "La Cave de Joël Robuchon" in the 7eme. And of course there is Lavinia in the 1eme, which is enormous and stocks lots of wine from all over France. It isn't a personal favourite but other like it, it is too big for me and they didn't want to negotiate a good discount when I bought 15 cases...!

          Some good rough and ready wine bars are Le Rubis in the 2eme and Le Baron Rouge 12eme. Both of these are very, very unsophisticated but great fun.

          3 Replies
          1. re: PhilD

            I have had some memorable glasses of wine at Le Rubis that were poured out of unmarked bottles. Along that line, John Talbott wrote an interesting article in his blog on June 16; all about ordering the "cheapest bottle" in a restaurant. He is spot on, IMHO.

            1. re: Oakglen

              Oakglen, I agree. Our second apartment in Paris was just around the corner from Rubis and thus we were frequent visitors and had a chance to become familiar with the owners. IIRC they are originally from the Beujolais region and have quite an extensive selection of wines from the different villages.

              I down played it a bit because I assumed the OP was looking for the bargain bottles of Cheval Blanc or Romanée-Conti

              1. re: PhilD

                Phil, you know what happens when you assume anything.....

                People who are really "into" wine are not necessarily looking for a legendary bottle, but for a great experience. Thankfully that does not onlycome from from prohibitively priced "name" wines.

          2. It is pretty hard to go wrong on wine in Paris. Any "house red" is probably better than most everything you have had elsewhere. And, the middle priced bottles in any grocery store are wonderful. The only thing you really should avoid are those baskets of discount wine out in the sun in front of a wine shop; they have probably been "cooked."

            8 Replies
            1. re: hychka

              I am pretty versed in wine and have a sommelier designation. To be more specific, I was wondering if there were any places that pride themselves in a low or fixed mark-up on wine so that one can enjoy a nice bottle without doubling or tripling the price. There are quite a few places in NY that do cost plus $20 for instance.

              1. re: pscurfield

                I am also ITB and wine has been a passion for over 40 yrs. You are unlikely to find what you describe in Paris. I have not in 25 years. There are lots of places with great wine lists of well known stuff but they are seldom priced reasonably across the board. You can frequently find a gem that is well priced but usually because it has been on the list for a long time. There are also lots of places that have excellent wine that you never heard of because the owner of the establishment cares and knows what he is doing.

                That said - I suggest this place. It is not even close to a great wine list but it is great fun. La Baron Rouge 1, rue Théophile-Roussel (12th) is great fun especially on weekends. Charcutrie and cheese and dirt cheap wine, many dispensed out of barrels, that is very good. If you do not have fun you probably need to check your pulse. :-)

                1. re: pscurfield

                  Sorry I did not read your question with more attention. Low markups are indeed hard to find in Paris. The most interesting ones are the old restaurants with old wines at bargain prices: that includes Taillevent and Tour d'Argent and Gérard Besson (though the really best for that is Troisgros in Roanne). But there are also more modest places like Joséphine (Doisy Daësne 69 for 86eur) or Le Pétrelle (they have auction wines, also some very old Bordeaux and Bourgogne very reasonably priced). To my knowledge, those rare bottles -- especially the magnums are the only good deals you'll find in Paris wine wise.

                  1. re: pscurfield

                    sommelier designation? is that an American thing, something like the court of master sommeliers? anyhoo, you should definitely try Racine then.

                    you could always try the slightly cliched but still good Willies and Juveniles.

                    Cave de L'os a M'oelle or Fish is pretty good too.

                    1. re: batfink23

                      From what I can gather and a few calls, "sommelier designation" means some formally recognized spot along a life long continuum of wine tasting that starts with as little as a couple hours on line to a skill level only about 200 people (presumably alive today) have mastered.

                      It probably also means that the fellow has enough sense not to buy wine either from a basket in the sun in front of a wine shop or scandalously priced in a restaurant.

                      1. re: hychka

                        um, thanks... I am pretty familiar with wine education though, and have been known to conduct a little myself.

                        the equivalent of the WSET/Institute of Masters of Wine in the US is the court of master sommeliers. which does have a branch in the UK, but isn't very widely used. I was asking this chap to see what he meant by designation, and whether it was this body or another.

                        1. re: batfink23

                          WSET, to answer your question. but no matter, not interested in people's "witty" remarks. I was just trying to be clear so that people can answer my question of which "Jock" , "Delucacheesemonger", and "Souphie" have done a great job. Thank you for your help.

                          1. re: pscurfield

                            ok, just wondering. thanks for clarifying - albeit in a overly defensively.

                            I sure would hope you exclude all of my "witty" recommendations from your plan though. lol