As regular readers know, we occasionally feature passionate players in the Paris food and drink scene and ask them to share their favorite bars or tips. Grape harvest season has been wrapping up and in honour of the upcoming arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau and the somewhat recent vendanges, we’ve asked some of our favorite professionals in the Paris wine scene about their favorite spots for a drink.
Joshua Adler is the founder of Paris Wine Company, a wine export company based in Paris since 2012. Paris Wine Company brings “balanced, elegant wines that are redefining the direction of French wine” to wine shops around the United States.
Joshua isn’t afraid to go off the beaten track for a great glass of wine. “One of my favorite places to drink a glass of wine in Paris is the Yard wine bar deep in the 11th. It’s on a charming side street far off the tourist path and draws a mix of informed travelers and locals.” Joshua’s pro tip for truly enjoying Yard? “The restaurant is excellent, and the wine list features a great selection of talented young producers that will be new to most people – so go thirsty and with an open mind!”
Thierry Givone is the founder of Wine Tasting in Paris which proposes wine classes in English for visitors who want to discover more about French wines without traveling out of Paris. He was born and raised in Burgundy, with an uncle and some friends making wines, and worked 20 years in marketing before deciding to transform his passion in a full time job.
Thierry’s favorite place to drink wine is l’Avant Comptoir in Odeon, the Tapas bar created by famous chef Yves Candeborde. The restaurant tops Thierry’s list because they “have great natural and organic wines, with some excellent finger food.” Another thing he loves is “the crowded atmosphere, with locals and tourists together in this tiny room, sharing their bread basket and butter pot.”
Laura Adrian is the co-owner of Verjus, Verjus wine bar, and more recently Ellsworth. She is behind all of the establishments’ wine lists and has helped Paris travelers and tourists discover a wide variety of French wines.
When Laura goes out for a drink she keeps it local, “I often find myself at Juveniles not only for it’s proximity, but for it’s great selection of wine. You can always find a hearty, delicious red, for which they are know, but I love their selection of whites and rosés.” Juveniles is also a great place to discover new wines and make new friends, “Tim has a knack for finding amazing value wines from all over the world. There is always something delicious to drink in a warm, convivial atmosphere. I often run into wine makers and wine professionals doing the same at the table next to me!”
Jérome Huard of Les Grandes Caves and Aux Verres de Contact suggests an interesting and under the radar address with Ambre. Huard explains, “l’Ambre a bar that is a little hidden, while it might not look like much from the outside, it’s run by two former Crillon bartenders who ensure the same level of quality that you’d find in the Palace hotels.”
Our final Friday Five voice belongs to a friend and occasional wine consulate to the site, The Chamber and related events. Phrederick Hume is a most passionate enthusiast who can (and does) go head to head with the pros. Phrederick is always a fountain of knowledge when it comes to eating and drinking in the capital. For wine, he suggests “The Cigar Bar of Hôtel La Maison Champs Elysées for a dessert wine or a digestif in the most comfortable cigar bar in town. Elegant, quiet, downright luxurious.” Otherwise, he advises anyone seeking Port and “Petiscos” to check out “Portologia, from the people with the most well-stocked wine bar in Oporto itself. Also great for Portuguese Tapas.”
Another of his favourite finds: “Lengué. A real Japanese Izakaya. Authentic food, great atmosphere. sit on a high perched stool. Small plates Japanese tapas. A STELLAR collection of great french wine from old vintages at ROCK BOTTOM prices. The owner is, well, as wine-obsessed as I. If the wine isn’t good, you can’t send it back, but who cares? The list changes frequently. Try a 20 year old Margaux for 150 yo-yos a bottle that went for 1,200 at auction last week? Or maybe for 50 something you’ve seen in a wine shop for 120.”
As usual, a big thanks to all of our friends and colleagues who took the time to share their wisdom with us. Cheers!