While many describe the attributes of Paris in terms of its grand tourist sites, I prefer to share the city through the lens of its eclectic wine bars. Sure, you can drink wine anywhere, but the city’s bars offer a unique sense of local culture and place by way of a number of staples: a scribbled chalkboard menu, tasty small plates, and a house cheese and charcuterie board known as a planche mixte.
Paris wine bars that should be on your radar
The landscape of the city’s wine bar scene has changed since I arrived in 2014; gone are the wine lists heavy with Burgundy and not much else, as well as the “rule” that you can drink wine only with dinner. Nowadays, I can pop into my favourite Parisian bars for single glass and unwind while good beats play in the background.
With its stone walls and wood floors, Freddy’s has a rustic, lived-in vibe that matches the warmth I always feel when I walk in. The bottle list takes you on an impressive tour de France, plus you’ll always find something special you won’t see outside the country, like a Vermentino from Corsica. Another standout is the food. Freddy’s tapas menu changes seasonally, but if you see the savoury beignets, order them with a glass of Bordeaux blanc.
Tucked away down a quiet street in between clothing shops, you’ll recognize Adonis Wine thanks to the name written in cursive neon lights in the front window. Settle into one of their plush high-top chairs and order from the extensive by-the-glass list, heavy on Bordeaux (where the owners are from). Their Friday jazz is a good night out with friends.
Frenchie Bar à Vins is the smaller offshoot of the famed restaurant of the same name across the street. With a substantial menu of elevated small plates and wines by the glass, its offerings feel just as generous as its big sister’s. Whether you’re alone at the counter, grabbing a table with friends for a quick glass of Vin de Savoie, or it’s your main destination of the night, everything about Frenchie just works.
When I want to taste obscure varietals or wine from smaller regions—like the Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh appellation in southwest France—the wine bar/cellar/tasting room at 228 Litres is the place. The sheer amount of wine offered is outstanding. How are you supposed to pick just one? Don’t worry; the staff (and often the owners themselves) will guide you at this sleek wine cave and bar.
I love a neighbourhood spot where you always feel welcome. The newly opened wine bar and store Au Tour du Vin is that place for me. Owner Edward Fuzat has selected wines from all over France to line one entire wall; high tables line the other. Their planche mixte is one of my new favourites in the city.?
Tanisha Townsend is the founder of Paris-based agency Girl Meets Glass, which conducts wine tours around the city.
This story first appeared on www.foodandwine.com
(Credit for the hero and featured image: Edward Fuzat)
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