Cave at La Grande Epicerie de Paris
This grande dame of comestible retail has expanded rapidly and somewhat chaotically over the last few years. As a consequence, the once well-controlled wine shop has moved to the basement, leaving confusion in its wake.
As ever, there are a lot of well-known labels, in all price ranges (though carrying a not-insignificant markup; one doesn’t shop at Le Grand Epicerie looking for bargains). There’s a rare wine room, flashily-displayed champagne (sadly, largely devoid of its once-extensive grower-producers and now heavily weighted towards big négociants), a Bacchanalian surplus of magnums, and a fair selection of foreign wine and spirits that can be hard to come by elsewhere.
But that’s assuming one can find anything. Wines are wrapped around columns, shoveled under the occasionally-staffed registers, and laid to rest in coolers where one has to squint at tags to know what lies behind. For all its treasures, this is not a store that encourages unfocused browsing.