Caviste Georges Castellato wields a canny, professorial charm and a magnificent array of back-vintage bottles ranging from established classics to newcomer natural wines at this small, unassuming terraced wine shop in the marché Saint-Germain. Castellato, a former restaurateur who bought Bacchus et Ariane in 1998, is one of tragically few independent Paris cavistes who remain faithful to the true definition of their métier: a caviste who actually cellars wine, putting in on sale when it is ready to drink. So if one has a jones for quality 1989 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 1990 Madiran, or 2005 Burgundy, one is more likely to find it at Bacchus et Ariane than almost anywhere else in Paris. And at a better price: at a time when much of the surrounding 6ème arrondissement has become an overpriced circus for tourists, the value of Bacchus et Ariane’s selection is downright astonishing. Castellato offers bottle service for a 7€ corkage fee on the wine shop’s covered terrace and at its tiny interior bar, and while no food is prepared on the premises, he’s happy to bring over some oysters or charcuterie from his neighbors in the Marché Saint-Germain. In short, the shop is a perfect perch for fine-wine pre-gaming before dinner – as long as one doesn’t mind the evening’s oenological highlights arriving early.