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.
Having already taken on the unprecedented challenge of publishing (and thereby endorsing) a detailed guide to Paris’ best Beaujolais Nouveau parties, the editorial team decided to put its money where its Mouth is and attend as many as possible in one night.
Meg Zimbeck called it “the Beaujolais Death March”: a tipsy trek from the 14ème to the 11ème. Along the way we met winemakers, shared bottles with strangers, used car roofs as bars, and, completely by accident, obtained actor Willem Dafoe’s opinion on Beaujolais Nouveau (“I prefer full-bodied reds,” he said, before ducking into an anonymous café in an unsuccessful bid to avoid paparazzi).
- June 24 (Thursday) at Les Taulières: tasting of two Cabernet Francs from the Château du Petit Thouars (selection 2009 and reserve 2008) from 7pm. Later on, Sébastian du Petit Thouars (winemaker/DJ) will be spinning a special Cab Franc-inspired mix of music from 9pm to 1:30am at 10 rue de la Fontaine du But, 75018.
- June 26 (Saturday) at La Cave des Papilles: Tasting featuring wines from Domaine Nicolas Rousset à Prissé (Macon Prissé 2009), Domaine Alexandre Jouveaux à Uchizy (Vin de Table le Mont 2008), Domaine Karim Vionnet à Villié Morgon (Beaujolais Villages 2009) and Chiroubles “Vin de Kav” 2008. From 11am-7pm at 116 boulevard Haussmann, 75008. From 4pm at 35 rue Daguerre, 75014.
- June 26 (Saturday) at La Dernière Goutte: Regional wine tasting accompanied by cheeses and bread from Cosi. From 11am-7pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
Paid Tastings, Classes & Wine Events
- June 24 (Thursday) at Spring Boutique: Tasting of four wines: a 2005 sparkling Vouvray from the Domaine Huet, a 2008 Luxembourgois Moselle (La Chapelle) from Alice Hartmann, a 2002 Lebanese Val de Bekaa (Hochar) from Chateau Musar, and a 2008 Saumur Champigny from Antoine Sanzay. €5 for two six ounce glasses or €10 for all four glasses. From 5-9pm at 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 75001.