[title subtitle=”All you need for a great weekend in Paris”][/title]
Paris and wine are so closely associated with one another that, in the future, they may very well function as synonyms. From reds to whites to the very best in bubblies, Paris has it all — so much so that to the visiting traveller, the sheer ubiquity of wine in the City of Love may serve as a potential distraction from having a good wine experience. Thankfully, Paris is home to dozens of excellent wine bars, and their fantastic atmospheres, delicious food and knowledgeable staff will be sure to expand your love of wine.
The next time you head out on holiday to Paris, why not build your trip around the city’s burgeoning wine bar scene? The pressure is low, the wine is exquisite, and because wine bars emphasize variety, you’re more likely to try more wine and learn more about it than you would have with a more traditional wine-with-dinner experience. Here is a closer look at some of Paris’s best wine bars.
La Baron Rouge
1 Rue Théophile Roussel, 75012 Paris, France
Located in the Aligre market, Le Baron Rouge is a blue-collar wine bar that serves up great food. Their wine list is fantastic, with some excellent local vintages. In short, they cater to the unpretentious who still have good taste. Order oysters with Sancerre or charcuterie with a hearty red. No matter what you eat, or what you pair it with, Le Baron Rouge won’t disappoint.
43 Rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris, France
Vivant Cave has only been open since 2011, but its commitment to serving only natural wine and its delightful menu that seems designed to share have already made it a popular spot. From blood sausage with beets to house-smoked mozzarella, finding wines to pair with the food is an adventure that a knowledgeable staff will assist you in. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun, but the food and wine are all business.
1 bis Passage Saint-Sébastien, 75011 Paris, France
In many ways, Au Passage feels like one of Paris’s classic cafes with its crooked wooden bar and small, surprising plates of unpretentious food. They serve wines from independent producers, and the overall atmosphere is cosy, relaxed, eclectic and fun. The cuisine shifts, but the results are always excellent.
Le Verre Vole
67 Rue de Lancry, 75010 Paris, France
This combination wine shop and bistro is one of the rare wine bars in Paris requiring a reservation. The food, wine and atmosphere, however, are worth scheduling in. Bay scallops, broiled sausage and mashed potatoes, seasonal salads — each dish is perfectly prepared. The wines are pulled off the shelf in the adjoining wine store and served at the retail price plus a corkage fee.
Frenchie Bar a Vins
5-6 Rue du Nil, 75002 Paris, France
This wine bar is the annex to Chef Gregory Marchand’s Frenchie, and it offers diners a wonderful chance to eat his fabulous food without trying to get a reservation next door. Small plates of smoked trout and cucumber, terrine de campagne and more pair perfectly with many of the wines on their unique list. If you want the food to shine in your wine bar experience, this is the wine bar for you.
47 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris, France
A perfect spot to hang out and chat on an early evening, Juvenile’s is almost jocular due largely to its expatriate clientele. Owned and run by a Scot, Juvenile’s serves Australian wines in Paris, but they also have a tremendous selection of Rhone Valley wines by the glass. You can get haggis if you want it, as well as delicious British cheeses and meats.
Les Fines Gueules
2 Rue la Vrillière, 75001 Paris, France
Set in an 18th century stone house, this wine bar sources its food and wine from some of the finest producers in the region. The atmosphere is a little old-world but it’s still more relaxed than most restaurants that serve food this good, and their wine list is terrific.
When politician William Abitbol lost his bid for re-election, he went into the wine bar business and opened Alfred back in 2004. Across the street from the Palais Royal — a beautiful garden also worth a visit — Alfred sources wines from Abitbol’s friends, who, thankfully, produce high quality vintages. The food is unassuming but exceptionally well-executed. You can have smaller plates in the stone cellar or heartier ones in the dining room.
Paris has always been the perfect destination for food and wine lovers, and the wine bar scene only proves that point even more. Regardless of whether you are a true oenophile or are just someone who enjoys the simple pleasures of good food with a glass of wine, the wine bars of Paris are worth a visit.