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Wine stores in Paris: Looking for deals

  • Busk Aug 17, 2010 06:30 AM
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The Internet dealers have been looking pretty lame for the past year: no selection, no deals any better than Auchan, etc.

Where in Paris can I find some deals on traditional Bordeaux primarily, or other French wines, that I can cellar for a few years?

Where do you guys shop for wine in Paris? I am a big fan of stealing the last few bottles of a dealer's inventory of a particular wine for a deep discount.

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  1. My entrepot in the 18th has closed and while I recall another one near Radio France, I think you're indeed best off at a hypermarche ouside the Peripherique (eg Auchan, etc., as you suggest).

    On the other hand two of four wine stores in my neighborhood have fine selections of reasonably priced Bordeaux.

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Talbott

      Mmmmph... I guess I will wait until September for the Foire de Bordeaux.

    2. Caves Legrand is one of the best in the city, and they have a little wine bar in the back for tasting.

      I don't think this is the type of place for the negotiating tactics you've described, though...

      http://www.caves-legrand.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: menton1

        Looking good.

      2. oh i hope u don't mind me chiming in... since u guys talking about where to buy good value wines, where would i, as a tourist to paris, would i be able to get a good bottle or two at reasonable price, to be enjoyed in my hotel room in the 1e arr?? i'm not looking for dirt cheap price or anyting, i just don't want to be ripped off and i have no idea of wine price in france.

        37 Replies
        1. re: Tweety2004

          You're not going to get ripped off unless you buy fancy stuff at a place like Fauchon; the 1st is not where I'd start but the Monoprix near the Galeries probably is safe.

          1. re: John Talbott

            where i live, supermarkets don't stock good wine. would i be better off buying from wine stores or food halls in department stores instead of monoprix? or they would be carrying similar grading items but at a more marked up price?

            1. re: Tweety2004

              My advice would be to go first to the Galeries wine store near their food hall and scope it out, then go down the escalator past the bar and out to the Monoprix a few feet away and compare. That should inform you as to range, price, etc.

              1. re: Tweety2004

                Any Nicolas store will have a good selection at fair prices. They even have wines for 2-3 Euros! They are ubiquitous throughout the city.

                1. re: menton1

                  actually i have heard about these 2-3 Euros wines but are they really taste good, or should i say acceptable?

                  1. re: Tweety2004

                    In my time in Paris I found that we tended to get what you pay for. Is a €2/3 bottle of wine acceptable?

                    Well that depends on what you like, I tended to find anything below €10 was marginal and I tended to target the €16 to €20 area. Here I found you could get excellent wines from most French regions. In general I found the quality rose expodentialy and so difference between €10 and €16 was quite marked.

                    That said I come from a wine growing country and used to live 30 mins from good vineyards (Barossa Valley) so I know my standards/expectations are quite high.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      thanks PhilD, this gives me a perspective of what price range i should be targeting and is very useful indeed.

                      from where i am now, i'd be buying in the €20-30 for everyday drinkable wine, though sometimes one does get a steal at say €15. the expodential rise there would be from €30-50. that's why i need to put things in perspective first.

                      barossa valley... ah... that is my favourite wine region in the whole country when i lived there. i'm actually thinking of a short side trip (another one, this must be my 5th time!!) there at the end of this year, if i could spare a few days after getting my business done back home in sydney!

                      1. re: PhilD

                        Yeah those 2-3 euro bottles of wine are especially good when they have been in the sun out in front of the store in a basket or displayed on a barrel...

                2. re: John Talbott

                  If, Tweety, you just want something delicious to tipple in your hotel room, you can get this idea across by asking for a 'vin de soif'. This will suggest something delicious in its own right needing only a bit of cheese or nibbles, not an important wine and certainly inexpensive.

                  During a recent heat spell, we tremendously enjoyed a Mas de Mathilde Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul-de-Pinet Terres Rouges, crisp and juicy white wine, that I picked up at Galaries Lafayette for under 7€. Chilled in the bathroom sink, it was lovely!

                  1. re: mangeur

                    In my neck of the woods, the 10th, I really like Caves Bardou at 124 rue du Faubourg Saint Denis. I don't know if they have English, or if the OP has French, but the guys who work there are very astute and always steer me to what I want/can afford/didn't know I wanted.

                    For bin-ends, I go to Julhes further down on the same street. In a corner of the store, they have a basket of odds and ends at very good prices. The rest of the wines, like the cheese and the bread are excellent too, though the opening hours and the queing system are from the 19th century, and the staff reside in their own derrières. Great place though if you know what you're looking for.

                    1. re: vielleanglaise

                      Sounds perfect.

                    2. re: mangeur

                      "vin de soif" - i have already put it down in my trip note!! needs all the french i could learnt in this short time to get by really!!

                      "we tremendously enjoyed a Mas de Mathilde Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul-de-Pinet Terres Rouges, crisp and juicy white wine, that I picked up at Galaries Lafayette for under 7€."

                      if it said "rouges" on the bottle, i'd never guessed it's a white, haha... but 7€ sounds perfect to me. buy some cheese and baguette, i could have a pinic in the park... it is allowed to drink wine in the park, right?

                      1. re: Tweety2004

                        Phil has the expensive taste of someone who grew up bathing in good wine.
                        We often find good wines in the neighborhood cavistes for about 7 to 9 euro for everyday meals.

                        1. re: Parigi

                          haha, certainly!! growing up in barossa, i would be surprised if he hasn't acquired this expensive taste!! but parigi, i'll bear in mind and try some in the €7-9 range for myself to see.

                          btw, could anyone tell me if i could get away for not ordering wine at places like l'arpege or l'ambroisie?? just dining there alone would be pretty much breaking my bank already, and their wine would have a hugh mark up i believe. but i don't want to feel like the cheap tourist who can't afford, you know what i mean? i wonder if they would have a selection in 2 digit price range?!

                          1. re: Tweety2004

                            If I remember right, L'Ambroisie has lots of half-bottles costing around 50-60 euros. They will also give you wine by the glass; I think each glass costs around 20 euros (but sometimes they give free refills or free dessert wine). I would imagine any restaurant can cope with a teetotaler customer without going into spasms of horror, although I can't speak from personal experience...hic...

                            1. re: Tweety2004

                              You guess right. Ordering wine in that stratosphere is paying the stratopheric markup. If you are dining, there fine. If not, why donate the markup?
                              On the other hand, in restos in France now, if you can't finish the bottle, the resto is very gracious about giving you a long doggie bag to take the bottle home. We have done this many times. On the one hand, ordering by the bottle is always a much better deal than the half-bottle. On the other hand, this wine doggie bag system is a new habit, to encourage people not to feel pressured about finishing their bottle and end up drunk driving home. Win win.
                              Lastly, one great bistro with good food and very good wine, where you can buy bottles to take home at retail price is Les Papilles.

                              1. re: Parigi

                                yes, ordering a whole bottle certainly is better value and opening up more choices of good wines, however, i always find it challenging to pair one wine to all the different courses one would have for a meal. that's why i usually order by the glass and have the sommelier to pair for me. but then, i don't get to try the "better" wines available on the wine list. it is always such a dilemma for me. this is certainly a big problem for dining alone (though i totally enjoy dining alone on trips, don't take me wrong)!!!

                                1. re: Parigi

                                  "Les Papilles"

                                  that is right!!! i am going to have one of my lunches there, may be i could buy then. the only problem is that they seem to be still on holiday and i can't get my reservation done yet.

                            2. re: Tweety2004

                              Yeah, you can/should drink in the park.

                              1. re: Busk

                                Yeah, you can/should drink in the park.

                                Great!!!! I would certainly do that... from where I come, we are not supposed to drink wine in public places which are not licensed!!!!

                                1. re: Tweety2004

                                  "Yeah, you can/should drink in the park."

                                  Plus, Les Papilles is just half a block from Jardin de Luxembourg…

                                  The wine bar called "Autour d'un verre" on rue Trévisé is also very nice and relaxed, where you can have simple good meals and organic wines. 21 r. de Trévise, 01 48 24 43 74. Kevin who runs it is American and is very helpful in his "coaching".

                                  1. re: Parigi

                                    "Plus, Les Papilles is just half a block from Jardin de Luxembourg…"

                                    so if i don't get a table at les papilles, i could still get something to eat, grab myself a nice bottle of wine from les papilles and enjoy my lunch at jardin de luxembourg! really good talking to u guys, giving me all these altrenatives i never would have thought of by myself! thank you so much!!

                        2. re: Tweety2004

                          galleries lafayette has a first rate selection and is close. juveniles wine bar on rue richelieu in the 1st has a wonderful, if small selection but tim johnston knows his stuff and will not steer you wrong.

                          1. re: jock

                            The wine people at the Galeries Gourmet are good, as are the staff at the chicer Monoprix - the one at Nation comes to mind.

                            You can also find deals at Drouot. These will often be 3 bottles of one wine and vintage, or 7 of another, from restaurants that have gone out of business. The time it takes to follow the sales, go to Drouot, bid, and get the stuff home may counteract any economies you might make, but it's fun.

                            I find that if you stay away from Bordeaux and Burgundy and go for "lesser" AOC you can easily find decent reds and whites for under ten euros. Even more fun are those wines made by often younger vintners who prefer to sell their wines as lowly "vin de table" rather than obey the rigid AOC system. This is also happening in Italy.

                            1. re: jock

                              tim johnston, the name suggests someone who speaks english?? that would help!!! hey, but with a wine bar, you could buy and take away a bottle of wine and no need to sit down and have it at the bar? we can hardly do that from where i live! anyway, would it be a higher mark up to buy from a wine bar??

                              1. re: Tweety2004

                                tim is a scottsman with a great sense of humor and serious wine knowledge. he has even provided wine editorials for saveur magazine. he has worked in wineries in california, australia and france. juveniles is a small funky wine bar that serves very good food. he also sell a lot of wine at retail. his selection is small but extremely well chosen for quality and value. in addition to french wines he also has a few selections from spain, australia, italy, etc.

                                he does not have much bdx or burgundy and does not have close-outs or specials in the sense of reduced prices. he is particularly strong on rhone but not have the big guns. he finds the little known "lesser" wines that provide good value.

                                another excellent wine shop with an english speaking proprietor is la derniere goutte. i did not mention it earlier because it didn't meet a couple of your criertia. it is across the river in the 7th just off rue de seine. juan is also very knowlegeable and carries a very nice broad based selection of french wines from all regions. they also have regular free tastings where he has a visiting winemaker on hand to pour and discuss the wines. again no close-outs or discounts but good stuff at fair prices.

                                1. re: jock

                                  Since we're onto Anglos and wines, while not bargains necessarily, Josh and Sofian's selections at the Spring boutique are often unusual and their method of home delivery unique.

                                  1. re: John Talbott

                                    that's too cryptic for my feeble mine please elaborate.

                                    1. re: jock

                                      Sorry, I was trying to say that the Spring Boutique has a nice selection of wines that seem to me to be a bit out of the ordinary, Josh Adler is in charge of their selection; the wines at the resto are also out of the ordinary and Sofian Nait-Bouda is primarily responsible here for their selection and recommendation.

                                      1. re: John Talbott

                                        the real question is the method of home delivery.

                                        1. re: jock

                                          "the real question is the method of home delivery."

                                          There is no special method purr say.
                                          Such service is available chez Spring, which is unlike most cavistes.

                                          1. re: Parigi

                                            and here i was thinking bikini-clad babes or some such unique method. i forget that just the fact of home delivery is unusual in paris.

                                            1. re: Parigi

                                              "the real question is the method of home delivery."
                                              There is no special method purr say.
                                              Such service is available chez Spring, which is unlike most cavistes.

                                              do they do delivery to overseas too?? i know i'm asking a bit much... just asking...

                                            2. re: jock

                                              "the real question is the method of home delivery."
                                              I thought I'd try to slip that by. Just a joke about chef.

                                            3. re: John Talbott

                                              i will be dining at spring too... so i wonder if the wine list at spring the restaurants resembles those for sales in the boutique? and i 'll make sure i try their wine with my dinner there! thanks john!

                                        2. re: jock

                                          "i did not mention it earlier because it didn't meet a couple of your criertia. it is across the river in the 7th just off rue de seine. "

                                          i'll have lunch at l'arpege and the rest of the afternoon is shopping day... i suppose i could drop in to have a look. definitely will go on my list, whether i could do everyting on the list, i have no idea though.

                                          1. re: Tweety2004

                                            more specifically rue de seine and rue de buci

                                  2. Time to renew the thread
                                    Willing to purchase some Bordeaux Grand cru red wines, and purchase in volume, not just few bottles/boxes
                                    Will anybody suggest a wine shop in France (Paris in particular) where I can drive to, buy and collect the order by car?
                                    any advice would be appreciated as it will be difficult to get everything in Auchan. Discount for bigger quantity is also appreciated. Anyone?

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Ivan_Sh

                                      For large quantity (what is large?) you might have to go directly to négociants and/or go to wineries you are interested in.

                                      I would assume large resellers like "Legrand et Filles", "Les Caves Augers" or maybe Lavinia might be of service, but it all depends on the quantity involved.

                                      good luck and keep up posted.
                                      M.

                                      1. re: Maximilien

                                        this weekend is Salon des Vignobles Independents, at Espace Champerret :

                                        http://www.vigneron-independant.com/a...

                                        We had the *amazing* good fortune to be chosen as amateur judges for the competition...fabulous experience I hope against hope to repeat next time.

                                        1. re: Maximilien

                                          I bought 16 cases (192 bottles) when I left Paris and Lavinia wasn't at all interested in discussing a discount. I found I got the best deal from Juan at Le Dernier Gout but we were regulars. Remember it does weigh a lot and you need a big vehicle with good suspension!

                                          1. re: PhilD

                                            Unless you're working in a job where many people feel the need to string you up from a lamppost, I think it's nigh on impossible to get "deals" on reputable Bordeaux these days.

                                            However, the French wine industry has undergone and is undergoing a quiet revolution, and it's possible to come upon fantatstic finds (including claret), with the help of the right go-between. I have a guy who sells to a bunch of restaurants, and who also sells to me, but I also really like les Caves Bardou on the rue du Fbg St Denis. I've also recently discovered this: http://la-contre-etiquette.com/index....

                                            1. re: vielleanglaise

                                              "Unless you're working in a job where many people feel the need to string you up from a lamppost, I think it's nigh on impossible to get "deals" on reputable Bordeaux these days." - I tend to agree, it is all going to China for high prices, all the shops in HK seem to only stock high end Bordeaux and Burgundy. We tend to find the best value in the next tier regions.