You’ll be surrounded by an array of tempting products if you decide to lunch at this canal-side épicerie. Bottles to go, too.
A small, thoughtful collection of natural wines lines the wall at this Oberkampf shop, where you can snack on charcuterie and cheese while enjoying a bottle, at zero corkage. There's more space at the second location, in the 20th.
Few shops approach the depth and range of the collection here.
Since opening in 2001, La Cave des Papilles has risen to become arguably the most dynamic, well-stocked, and brilliantly-curated natural wine shop in Paris. Its daffodil-colored exterior displays made-to-measure posters of the cult winemakers featured at the shop’s regular tastings. Founder Gerard Katz and partners Florian Aubertin and Aurélian Brugnau enjoy an industry pre-eminence that ensures a healthy supply of rare and allocated bottles among the shops 1200+ selections. Prices are fair and despite the shop’s deserved reputation for support of more-than-organic farming and low-sulfur vinification, the selection remains broad-minded enough to please even more conservative palates. Keep an ear open for the shop’s occasional block parties, which reliably feature jazz bands, fresh-shucked oysters, and a who’s-who of France’s natural wine community.
Wine afficionados Etienne Lucan and Sebastien Obert opened this bare-bones cave-à-manger in 2009, having put in time on the floor at Cali-transplant Kevin Blackwell’s only-slightly-less bare-bones restaurant Autour d’Un Verre. Years later, Lucan and Obert oversee one of Paris’ most surprisingly excellent and affordable wine selections. Their prices remain well-suited to the location on the sketchier side of the 9ème arrondissement, but their natural wine selection, heavy on grower Champagne and the wines of allocated cult vignerons like Jean-François Ganevat and Eric Pfifferling, would make mouths water in any tonier district. During apéro and dinner hours, the tables are reliably full of locals enjoying simple cheese and charcuterie plates, or one of the restaurant’s limited main courses (typically a choice between chicken and a sausage). Le Vin Au Vert is a discreet destination for anyone for whom food is an accompaniment to wine, not vice versa.
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.
The real specialty at this classic, luxe shop is Armagnac, with vintages dating back to 1868. Don't know the first thing about Armagnac? Just ask, and one of the friendly staff will pour you a taste. The back room houses an impressive collection of first growth Bordeaux (Margaux, Latour) and Chateau d'Yquem, and R-D bottles their own lines of port and Scotch, too.
In the heart of the colorful rue Faubourg Saint-Denis, this full service traiteur has an excellent cheese department, and boasts an impressive collection of Champagnes, whiskies, and other spirits.
Terroir-driven, estate-bottled, organic and biodynamic wines from small producers are the specialty at this beloved shop, run for almost 20 years by Juan Sanchez. Especially strong in their selection of growers’ Champagnes and bottles from the Rhone Valley. Stop by on Saturdays for their free tastings with winemakers from 11am-7:30pm. Check our calendar of Paris food & wine events to find out which winemakers they’ll be hosting this week.
You can call Quedubon a bistro or a wine bar or a cave. All apply to this address near the beautiful Parc des Buttes Chaumont. The simple food ranges from light (capriccios of fresh fish) to homey (braised meats) to downright offal (veal brains), and is washed down by one of the vins naturels that populate the impressive wine list maintained by Gilles Bénard. Owing in part to the non-central location, there’s a village-like feeling to this friendly place. You can also buy bottles to go.
Everyone needs a hook, and at this trio of shops it’s announced loud and clear in the name: wines are shelved by their (alleged) categorical culinary accompaniments. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach, but for casual browsing, the unfamiliarity makes it feel a little haphazard. Thankfully, passionate proprietors, whose enthusiasm (and laser-like ability to find things amongst the ontological chaos) is truly infectious, render this issue moot. The selection’s not just the usual natural/organic/biodynamic range, but includes some big names and a fair number of less-familiar, more personal choices. There’s food, too. It’s in the name, after all.
This wonderful place is both a shop and tasting space for the Claudel’s dual obsessions, wine and whisky. The shop sells 300 references for each, and those who want to sip on the spot can choose between 24 wines and 80 whiskeys by the glass. Leather club chairs and a selection of small bites make this a great stop before dinner nearby.
Address: 42 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011
Nearest transport: Parmentier (3)
Hours: Open every day continuously 10am-10:30pm
Reservations: Walk-ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 43 55 09 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
John Talbott (2011) “… we started off with a carafe of wine and some sliced sausage (very good products)… scallops (adequate product) with leeks cooked in an agrume sauce (unusual) and I had the echine of porc (standard) with potatoes dauphinois (great even for my potato-deficient palate) and beet greens. We ended splitting a “brownie” (extraordinary)…”
This little Italian épicerie-à-manger has just a handful of tables and plenty of heart. Plan to eat simple and product-driven fare and to drink whatever Pietro recommends.
A beautifully curated selection of hard to find Italian sausages, cheeses, honey, wine and other epicurean treats can be found at this tiny épicerie.
Whether you favor organic wines from small producers or the big names of Bordeaux and Burgundy, you are never far from a good bottle of wine in Paris.