Les Caves de Reuilly

Dynamic young Bretonne Pierre le Nen took the helm of this well-regarded neighborhood wine shop in February 2014 and promptly turned it into one of Paris’ most welcoming terraced wine bars, where an impressively wide selection of natural wines and their more conventional forbears can be enjoyed with zero corkage fee. For anyone peckish, plates of cheese and charcuterie are available, along with an array of tinned and jarred rillettes and the like. Le Nen also stocks an indulgent wall of whisky and a respectable range of French craft beer.

Les Caves de Reuilly’s out-of-the-way location in the 12ème arrondissement ensures an ambience worlds apart from the bustle and hype of more central neighbourhoods: here instead are bands of quality-conscious, budget-conscious Parisians, enjoying honest, inexpensive wine, each other’s company, and the cool evening air. Be sure to ask the staff if the terrace looks full – as often as not, they’re able to simply whip out another table and some chairs for newcomers.

Le Cave

Longtime Le Chateaubriand sommelier Sebastien Chatillon opened this tiny wine shop in 2013. Sandwiched between Le Dauphin and Le Chateaubriand, Le Cave is a narrow space and a deceptively narrow concept: it sells only no-holds-barred natural wines from outside of France. Expect exotic glass selections ranging from skin-macerated Slovenian Malvasia to Assyrtiko from Santorini. While it may contain less intrinsic interest for visitors wishing to discover French wines while in Paris, Le Cave’s most ingenious selling point is its surprisingly involved plat du jour program, a rotating nightly dish for take-out only prepared in the kitchen of Le Chateaubriand. Octopus tandoori? Chakchouka(North African ragù)? We’d expect nothing less from Inaki Aizpitarte’s idea of comfort food. And if nothing else,  Le Cave functions as a cosy, well-run waiting room for anyone in line for a table at its neighbours.

Chatillon is soon to depart for the south of France to begin a winemaking project, but will continue to run the selection at Le Cave, aided by managing partner Paul Braillard.

Les Caves du Panthéon

Situated on a perpetually shaded nook just paces from the Panthéon, Les Caves du Panthéon’s boxy wooden room is wedged floor-to-ceiling with the cream of contemporary French natural winemaking, supplemented with a healthy stock of allocated classics from the Rhône, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Current owner Olivier Roblin began working at the historic wine shop (founded in 1944) in 2001, before purchasing the business in 2009. He’s known for his longtime support of natural vinification, and his close relationships with many cult winemakers are evident in Les Caves du Panthéon’s 1000+ references. When, say, Jura winemaker Jean-François Ganevat makes a one-off cuvée for the French natural wine website Glougueule, here is where you’ll find it. Les Caves du Panthéon, along with nearby historic natural wine hotspot Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, make this flush, studenty corner of the 5ème an unlikely destination for anyone interested in the vanguard of French wine.

Faggio

Practical information

Address: 72 rue de Rochechouart, 75009
Nearest transport: Anvers (2)
Hours: Closed Monday & Tuesday; Open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Walk-Ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 40 37 44 02
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 
Style of cuisine: Italian & pizza
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Reviews of interest

Alexander Lobrano (2015) “At Faggio, it wasn’t that anyone was unfriendly, but rather that no one was going to acknowledge that you’d had a long wait before being fed. And of course the wine list was really top-heavy in terms of pricing, since the only way to make the rent if you’re running a pizzeria in Paris is to sell a good amount of pricey wine.”

Crus et Découvertes

The rue Paul Bert – home to acclaimed restaurants by Bertrand Auboyneau and by Cyril Lignac – also contains this beloved, insidery natural wine shop, opened in 2003 by former wine agent Michael Lemasle. The narrow, slipshod space is perpetually overrun with new deliveries and Lemasle’s loyal clientele, who endure the proprietor’s relaxed, almost narcoleptic pace for the sake of his soft-spoken and well-considered wine counsel. Lemasle specialises in the more extreme fringe of natural wine, including many small-production wines vinified and bottled without the addition of sulfur. The well-priced selection is heavy on wines from the Loire, Beaujolais, and the southwest, while wines from marquee regions like Champagne, Bordeaux and Chablis are rather scarce on the shelves. One last draw: Lesmasle is among the rare Parisian cavistes who perform the true duties of the role, cellaring wines for years at a stretch at either of his two off-site locations before returning them to the sales floor when the wines have matured. Crus et Découvertes accordingly remains a source of fun discoveries even for the most jaded natural wine aficionados. 

Le Rubis

Practical information

Address: 14 rue Léopold Bellan, 75002
Nearest transport: Sentier (3)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Book a day or two in advance
Telephone: 09 84 39 42 49
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Classic French
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Reviews of interest

Figaroscope (2014) “Adieu à l’Hédoniste (dommage!), remplacé illico presto par ce repaire s’essayant au genre du café populaire. Las, l’assiette besogne trop pour emporter conviction et enthousiasme.”