All posts by Aaron Ayscough

Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau 2016

In a depressing, semi-apocalyptic year defined by reactionary responses to globalism, it’s fair to ask ourselves what, exactly, we are celebrating, when we celebrate the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau on Thursday. Is Beaujolais Nouveau a symbol of international marketing run amok, an artificial wine-like confection of sugared-up,

Le Siffleur de Ballons

Sommelier-turned-restaurateur Thierry Bruneau’s versatile and tasteful neighborhood wine bar is a cherished mainstay of the Aligre neighborhood. It’s got a long, lively bar for solo diners, a bevy of small tables for couples and small groups, and a rear room that can be privatized for

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

Fine l’Épicerie de Belleville

Founded in 2010 on rue de Tourtille, Cécile Boussarie’s gourmet food and wine shop moved around the corner in 2014 to its current, more prominent rue de Belleville location. Its bold, clean red sign belies the unpolished dowdiness of the shop’s interior, where teas, jams,

Ô Divin Epicerie

Naoufel Zaïm earned the loyalty of foodies willing to go the (literal) extra mile with his far-flung former Buttes Chaumont restaurant Ô Divin. That restaurant has closed and converted to table d’hôte service, available only for privatization upon demand. But one can still enjoy Zaïm’s winning

La Cave de Belleville

La Cave de Belleville’s unlikely origins sound like the set-up for a knock-knock joke: a pharmacist, a sound engineer, and a gallerist open a cave-à-manger. François Braouezec, Aline Geller, and Thomas Perlmutter deserve a lot of credit for the scale of their ambitions, as La

Le Vin de Bohème

Nestled on a shady corner of the up-and-coming Square Gardette, Le Vin de Bohème is thoughtful little wine shop so discreet it would probably wink out of existence altogether if it weren’t so usefully, crucially open every day of the week. Personable owner and sole

La Cave du Daron

“Daron” is French slang for “father,” but there’s nothing fatherly or fusty about La Cave du Daron, which at night becomes a casual and intimate wine bar with a healthy cast of loyal habitués. On most evenings gregarious proprietor Jean-Julien Ricard offers a simple menu of charcuterie, cheeses,

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

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

Philovino

Philovino’s proprietor, Bruno Quenioux, is a singular figure in the world of French wine. A radical for his age, he fought all his battles from within the institutional retail outlets of the French wine establishment, first at Caves Legrand, and later in a long stint as

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

The imminent annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau – no longer a media firestorm in the best of circumstances – may seem, in the wake of last Friday’s Paris terror attacks, about as pertinent as a rubber duck. In such troubled times, who needs wine? Who

Edible Montreuil

Don’t get excited: Paris has no Brooklyn. Due to short-sighted urban planning in mid-century, Paris is cinched into its ring-road, le péripherique, like a dress it wore sixty years ago and never removed. The sheer impracticality of crossing this eternally congested ring-road has long prevented, in

Crus et Découvertes

Betrand Lemasle specialises in the more extreme fringe of natural wine, including many small-production wines vinified and bottled without the addition of sulfur.

Beaujolais Nouveau in Paris

Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau In Paris 2014

Loving the night of Beaujolais Nouveau in Paris is like loving country music. One is constantly obliged to explain oneself. No other genre of wine has been so rightly derided by the international wine press for its superficiality. And yet, as in country music, there

Aux Deux Cygnes

Well-appointed, informal and lightly exotic, rue Keller wine bar Aux Deux Cygnes is the answer for any casual diner looking to drink natural wine and snack on something other than the usual cheese plates and charcuterie.

Bacchus et Ariane

You’ll find natural and biodynamic wines from small producers, and a nice selection of grower Champagnes at this wine shop in the covered Marché Saint Germain, where you can also drink on the spot.

Champagne: A Bubbly Buying Guide

How to spend your bubbly budget this year? Aaron Ayscough shares his favorite independent wine shops with the best Champagne selection and service, along with his picks for which bottles to pop this New Year’s Eve.

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Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau In Paris 2013

Wednesday November 20, 2013 (night before) La Robe et le Palais (13 Rue des Lavandières Sainte-Opportune, 75001) Owner Olivier Schvirtz and sommelier Loic Mougene throw what is possibly Paris’ last remaining quality-conscious midnight-release party for Beaujolais Nouveau on Wednesday the 20th November. The multi-faceted event will run