Spring is in the air and I am eagerly waiting for our trip to Champagne next week. On Monday the 20th of April, The Winecurious is attending Terres et Vins de Champagne, a festival dedicated to grower Champagnes held in the town of Reims located 150 km north-east from Paris. While we are anyway travelling via Paris, we thought that we would take an extra day and spend it looking around town. I have been there once before, but it is such an overwhelming city, that there is always more to see. I doubt we will be visiting the Eiffel tower or the Champs-Élysées, but rather going around in wine shops and bars amazing at the selection at hand. Paris feels like the mother-ship of wine, and we are going to take a trip to “our roots”.
As I am a novice when it comes to Paris our plans are based on what we have been reading about. I found a nice article on the Guardian that seemed to have a list of places that match my taste. So here are a few interesting places I am contemplating on visiting:
1. Albion: Located close to Gare du Nord train station Albion is run by English chef Matthew Ong and New Zealander barman Hayden Clout, who used to work at the Fish La Boissonnerie. They have a monthly changing selection of wines and some traditional eats such as vichyssoise with oysters, and orange and lemon curd tart. Mmm, sounds good!
2. Le Verre Vole. A hipster spot near Canal Saint-Martin, this bar is considered by many the best new-style wine bar in Paris (I don’t know what new-style bar means, but Parisian hipsters sound like they know wine). It was recently expanded, making it easier to bag a table – a reservation is probably a must. The tipsters say to check out the wine bottles on display, library-style, on open shelves – perhaps these are the bottles that are open on the day?? The food also sounds awesome with dishes like lamb and fig terrine. Also the cheeses get very positive reviews.
3. Frenchies Bar a Vins by chef Gregory Marchand’s, an annex to his bistro Frenchie. The bar gives a great opportunity to sample his cooking without the ordeal of trying to book a table at the restaurant. Sample is the right word as one can expect excruciatingly small plates of such delights a an earthy terrine de campagne with country bread and smoked trout with cucumber, pickled onions and garlic flowers. I also hear that Sommelière Laura Vidal manages one of the most interesting wine lists in Paris right now.
4. Willi’s Wine Bar owned by Englishman Mark Williamson, who has had a big influence on what Parisians drink today. The crowd is international and I hear there is a brilliant selection of wines by the glass. The menu follows the seasons with dishes such as quail breast on salad leaves with spiced nectarines.
All of the above sound great and interesting. I think we will prioritize places with a wide selection by the glass as having a bottle at each bar is perhaps a bit too much. I have not visited any of these places yet, nor have we decided on an agenda, so it would be great if any of the readers would share your experiences and tips for Paris (preferably with a focus on wine)