Wine Tasting/tour/wine buying
My husband and I are visiting Paris from 2/20-2/25.We are not wine novices, however, we do not know a lot about French wine. We would like to learn more, visit some wine bars and shops and purchase some wine--maybe a case or two.
There a re a lot of "wine tasting" tours--but they look a little cheesy. Has anyone had good experiences with them?
Or, better yet, does any one know a private tour we can hire?
Or should I just be brave and figure it out on my own?
I am not entirely certain I understand what a "wine tour" is in Paris as it isn't a growing area.
My advice is to head to a good wine bar with English speaking staff, explain what you like from home and ask to sample similar french wines. This gives you a good foundation from which you can branch out. Hayden now at Albion (a wine shop and restaurant) did ths for me when he was at Fish and it really helped build out my knowledge away from the mainstream. Fish can also be good if you grab a seat at the bar by getting there early.
At Christmas this year i asked Juan at Dernier Goute (Juan is a partner at Fish and owns the wine wine shop) to pick out a case plus a few magnums for Christmas and as usual he did a great job. So good i am hoping to ask him to put together "blind" shipments to send to me in Hong Kong because I trust his taste and i like that his shop focuses on independents. They also do free weekly "meet the winemaker tastings" on Saturday afternoons which can be interesting
Their are lots of other wine bars, but i find the very French ones tend to assume knowledge and thus are best visited once you know your way around, and the food driven ones like Frenchies and Verjus are a bit more limited. Willies and Juvenilles may be educative if your lucky with the bar staff or if the owners are there.
There is also Lavinia which is a big wine boutique near the Madeleine - it is morethan a shop - it has a wine bar/cafe upstairs but i suspect it may not have the bandwidth for someone who knows little of French wine.
Check out this site for wine tastings in English:
Go see Josh at Spring Boutique on rue de l'Arbre Sec, wine shop and deli, in the 1st. He's an
American and will set you on course.
Before you buy any wine to ship home check out freight costs and duty. Those may
If you wish to post the address where you're staying I may be able to provide you
with names and addresses of some nearby wine shops where English is spoken.
Many shops have free tastings on Saturdays, often with winemakers.
I do not know of any wine tours in Paris. I could set you up in Burgundy or the Rhone.
If what you are looking for is a great wine tasting, I know that Caves Taillevent at 199 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, 75008 Paris have tastings every Wednesday. they have wonderful selections at great prices. If I were you, I would go.
Contact the team at Crus, who are based in the 1st arrondisement. You can sup you way around the vineyards of France without leaving their 'cave'. The owner is English, the team are pretty much bilingual and can handle all the shipping etc should you choose to buy a case or two.