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Buying champagne/sparkling in Paris

o
ooeygooey May 1, 2012 08:05 PM

We are staying in a rental in the 2nd arr., just north of rue Montorguiel, in June. I am a champagne/sparkling wine fan and am looking for suggestions of where I could buy bottles to enjoy back at the apartment. Are there liquor stores or wine shops I should look for? Can you buy bottles of wine at stores like Monoprix? I am not interested in splurges necessarily, but a variety of options to sample. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can make!

  1. j
    Jackie_du_Monde May 20, 2012 11:50 AM

    I'm not sure how much time you have in Paris, but the Champagne region is just over an hour by train. Why not go straight to the source? There are so many beautiful small producers that you can buy bottles from directly, for much less than what you'll buy them for in Paris. Go with a private guide if you can, as they will be able to take you to some of the small producers in the region. My favorite is Tasty Side to Life Tours:

    http://www.tastysidetolifetours.com/T...

    Alternatively, if you can't make it to France, she does tastings in Paris and you can buy bottles from her after.

    1. p
      Ptipois May 5, 2012 12:38 AM

      If you're staying near rue Montorgueil, the very first place to consider would be Ma Cave Fleury, in your very neighborhood!
      Created by Morgane Fleury, from the Fleury house of biodynamic champagnes, it is specialized in organic and biodynamic champagnes, and serves a few snacks on the side. A great place to buy bottles.
      I recommend anything by Fleury (particularly the rosé) and especially the Beaufort organic champagnes.
      177, rue Saint-Denis.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ptipois
        p
        parisjo May 5, 2012 04:07 AM

        Thanks for the suggestion for Ma Cave Fleury, Ptipois. Since we are celebrating my birthday in paris next weekend and I'd ilke to have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower with hubby and grandson, this sounds like a very nice champagne we could celebrate with. Of course, we will be discreet, lol
        Jo

        1. re: Ptipois
          j
          jock May 5, 2012 10:16 AM

          Fleury is one of the best producers in all of Champagne. Most Champagne, including the names you know, is more about the marketing than the wine itself. Not Fleury! The grow the grapes, make the wine and sell the stuff that isn't good enough to Moet or Clicquot or whatever.

          With regard to Montorgueil, near where we stay each year, there are three shops. Two are chains; Nicolas and the slightly better Repaire du Bacchus. A few doors up the street from RdB is a Caviste Independent who actually cares about wine. It is the only place on the street I even go into anymore.

          To stay in that neighborhood your best bets are in order: Fleury, Juveniles, Caviste Independent and for the high end stuff - Legrand (expensive but very good)

          Tim Johnston, owner of Juveniles on Rue de Richelieu, is one of Paris's most knowledgeable wine merchants. He always has one or two really good Champagnes that he personally selects. His selection of Champagne and other wines as well is relatively small but extremely well chosen.

          Excellent also if a bit farther away is Le Grande Cave on rue Poncelet. Jerome Huard is very knowledgeable as well. Poncelet is close to Parc Monceau and has a full range of provisions for a picnic. We Picnic at Monceau regularly and have never been hassled. We are discreet and usually find a tranquil spot away from the crowds.

          Another great park for a picnic where we have never been hassled is Buttes Chaumont. It is very large and far more picturesque than Luxembourg (we find Luxembourg the least appealing pack in Paris). I shop on Montorgueil and take the picnic with us when when we go to Buttes Chaumont. I am sure you could buy your picnic near there but I do not know the area well enough to suggest where.

        2. mangeur May 4, 2012 06:29 PM

          There is a Repaire de Bacchus on rue Montorguiel. While this is a chain shop, its stock is quite serviceable and the staff is always helpful.

          http://www.lerepairedebacchus.com/fra...

          1. o
            ooeygooey May 3, 2012 04:26 PM

            Thank you all so much! I had Legrand on the list, but wasn't sure if wine is sold with groceries or in wine shops or both. Seems like both, so lots of shopping for me!

            Can you fill me in on drinking in public rules? Can we bring a bottle of bubbly to Luxembourg Gardens and have a drink and a snack while the kids play on the playground? Can we bring a bottle to picnic on the Champs du Mars? I guess I need to know what the rules are and also what is generally allowed or intentionally overlooked.

            Boy but does champagne make everything better!

            3 Replies
            1. re: ooeygooey
              PhilD May 4, 2012 05:33 PM

              Most parks have no drinking rules but most ignore it and thus many do drink. I suspect the police would be more concerned about group of teenagers or big groups getting rowdy. Not certain if France has a "drunk in charge of children" law though....;-)

              1. re: ooeygooey
                Parnassien May 5, 2012 01:59 AM

                PhilD is quite right that drinking alcohol in public parks is against the law and can carry quite a hefty pay-on-the-spot fine. Enforcement does seem to be pretty haphazard in most parks but, unfortunately, the Luxembourg is an exception. Because it is so popular with kids there seems to be a zero tolerance of drinking in public as well as of glass bottles. If you pop a bottle of bubbly at the kids' playground, I think you can expect a lot of bother, not only from the "gardiens" but also from outraged mothers. Strangely, the park's "buvettes"/ snack kiosks/ mini-restos do sell wine by the (plastic) glass but in theory it can only be consumed in designated snack areas. You might have better luck in the sunbather's grassy bits at the far southern end of the Luxembourg where officious eyes tend to be blind to occasional bare boobs and open champagne bottles.

                1. re: ooeygooey
                  sunshine842 May 5, 2012 04:00 AM

                  it's legal to drink on the Champs de Mars until 4 pm -- but as above, keep it subtle -- this is probably not the time to guzzle out of the bottle.

                2. Peg May 3, 2012 11:49 AM

                  Can anyone give a review of Wine and Bubbles on Rue Francais?
                  Is it open on Sundays? (googling gives different info on different websites)
                  Thanks!

                  1. b
                    bronwen May 3, 2012 10:22 AM

                    There is absolutely no shortage of places to buy Champagne in Paris! As has been said, Nicolas is a good wine shop chain and they usually have a little bar in them. We actually buy rather cheap vin moussant as we drink quite copiously, in Paris we start our day off with it and it's pretty good, most supermarkets have it.

                    1. s
                      souvenir May 2, 2012 10:03 PM

                      Not too far from where you will stay is the historic wine shop, Legrand:

                      http://www.caves-legrand.com/index.asp
                      http://www.galerie-vivienne.com/en/in...

                      I have happily bought many bottles of Champagne there.

                      1. Delucacheesemonger May 2, 2012 04:45 AM

                        Chek Crus and Decouvertes on Rue Paul Bert, all organic stuff and very unusual bottles.

                        1. m
                          Maximilien May 2, 2012 03:38 AM

                          You can buy Champange ( and wine) pretty much everywhere.

                          The basic generic (industrial) Champagne can be bought at monoprix and wine store chains like Nicolas.

                          For better Champagne and sparkling wine (crémant, ...) and not necessarily more expensive, better check the smaller wine marchants (cavistes), there are many in the city, just google for "caviste paris rue montorgueil" )for example.

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