Inexpensive couples of quality grower's champagne served on a nice outdoor terrace overlooking... a gritty street lined with sex clubs and prostitutes. It's quite a combo. The charcuterie and cheese plates are standard, but it's the warm, witty personality of the proprietor and former comedienne Morgane Fleury that is the main draw for those looking for affordable, natural wine.
Shopping for Champagne fills me with embarrassment.
Every year, I promise myself I’ll swear off the stuff. There are, after all, dozens of other sparkling wine types available in Paris, all arguably better bargains than the world’s most famous wine. For along with Champagne’s uniquely chiseled acidity and grace, we pay for the fame, the name Champagne. And to find a broad selection of what I’d call serious Champagne – upper-tier cuvées from independent grower-producers, rather than the predictable, cola-like entry-level bottles of the big houses – I’m often obliged to patronise the Paris wine shops I otherwise avoid.
- December 10 (Friday) at La Cuisine: A holiday party & book signing with three of our favorite Paris authors: contributing editor Alexander Lobrano (Hungry for Paris), David Lebovitz (Ready for Dessert) and Heather Stimmler-Hall (Naughty Paris). Stop by to say hello, sip Champagne, nibble Comté from 6-8pm at 80 quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004.
Free Wine Tastings
- December 10 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “2 1/2 Happy Hours” tasting with wine and cheese from 5-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
- December 11 (Saturday) at Les Caves Taillevent: a free tasting of suggested holiday wines, “Noël provençal: quels vins pour le sublimer?” From 10am-5pm at 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008.
- December 11 (Saturday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free tasting with Isabelle Champart from Mas Champart (Saint-Chinian), Jean Gardiés (Cotes du Roussillon Villages) and Champagne maker Franck Pascal, who will be pouring the prize-winning Sagesse Brut Nature and other bubbles. From 11am-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
Paid Wine Tastings
- December 10-11 (Friday & Saturday) at the Carrousel du Louvre: Le Grand Tasting, a two-day tasting event hosted by Bettane & Desseauve and featuring winemakers from all over France, including many top producers from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne (consult list here). The price of entry is €20 for one day and €25 for both days and includes a Riedel wine glass for tasting. From 10:30am-8:30pm on Friday and 10:30am-7:30pm on Saturday at 99 rue de Rivoli, 75001.
Free (or really cheap) Wine Tastings in Paris
- December 3 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “Happy Hour” tasting with winemaker Julien Labat (Jura) accompanied by a good Comté from the same region. From 4:30-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.