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Jan 13, 2012 03:32 PM

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?

Thank you!

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  1. Try Spring. Information on wine tasting is on its site -

    1. 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.

      3 Replies
        1. re: PhilD

          FWIW, Dernier Goute provided us with 6-pack cartons, that we checked as luggage on our flight home. Inside double boxes provided a safe ride for our purchases which arrived home with us in perfect condition.

          1. re: mangeur

            We do this as well on each visit to Paris.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. 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
            dissuade you.

            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.

            2 Replies
            1. re: carlosnbud

              Also, if you are American, you need to check out your state's alcohol import regulations. They may be complicated and require special documents, or they might limit imports to licensed brokers only. Know this before you leave for France.

              1. re: boredough

                Import rules for alcohol you bring in on the plane with you apply to where you first land in the US. If you ship your home state rules apply.

            2. 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.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ChefJune

                Hi ChefJune - what would you suggest for wine tours in Burgundy? Thank you!

                1. re: leahknight

                  You may have seen it already, but there is another similar thread that June posted to: