You are using an old browser that may not function as expected.
For a better, safer browsing experience, please upgrade your browser.

Log in Become a Member

In Paris, the trend towards open wine has caught on: A glass of "caviste" before going to a restaurant has long been considered chic. Neo-bistros are also focussing on natural wines from young winemakers. Anke Sademann lived in Paris for a long time. Here are her personal insider tips for wine fans.

Seen from above, the pavements and terraces of the Parisian boulevards and their side streets look like asphalted rivers, with brasseries, cafés, wine shops and restaurants lining their banks. In addition to tourists from all over the world, it is mainly residents from the neighbourhoods in the 20 arrondissements of Paris who sit here. They love to watch street life from the pavement - people eat, drink and talk about what they eat and drink. The furniture often looks like something from an old French film. Because in Paris, savoir-vivre and casual (wine) enjoyment have long since made history.

Vinophile habits of the locals

Where and how do you drink wine in Paris? The best place is at a picnic on the banks of the Seine, directly on the pavement, in a café or in a local pub in the centre of the neighbourhood. Going to a restaurant, bistro or wine bar after - or between - work has long since become an everyday ritual for many residents. But for some time now, people have also been having a "gorgée" (sip) as a wine aperitif in their favourite wine shop. These wine shops, known as "caves", not only offer formidable advice, but now often also open bar and small tastings.

Anke Sademann

For a glass - or more...

One of these hosts is Thierry Guemas, who opened his Vino Sapiens on Rue Saint-Dominique in the 7th arrondissement three years ago after 25 years in the wine trade. The former cobbler's workshop from the turn of the century with just six seats, the smell of the cellar and storage space has been joined by the former cheese shop next door as a "drinking centre". Just a few steps away from the Eiffel Tower, the wine here remains affordable and can be taken home by the bottle at the shop price. 98 per cent of the wines come from France, preferably from Burgundy. "An urban wine village with loyal guests has been created here in a short stretch of road," says Thierry. The place is as warm and cosmopolitan and full of "vinebration" as the real Parisian bistros used to be. It's easy to strike up a conversation - and Thierry's winemakers regularly present their wines in masterclasses. The patron is delighted with the new generation of winemakers, who he believes have a "finer tongue for vinification". Thierry closes his "Cave" at 10 pm: people come here to enjoy a good glass before going to the restaurant.

Anke Sademann

Cheese culture and bistronomy

Wine and cheese go hand in hand in France. There is a huge selection at Monbleu, a synergy of "fromagerie" (cheese shop) and restaurant. Many delicatessens, which are only open during the day, represent individual regions and also offer the right open wine with local colour - such as the family-run Maison Tête - Comptoir Gascon, which exclusively offers spreads made to a secret recipe and wines from the Gers region. The slightly sweet, mineral L'Eté Gascogne 2021 from Domaine de Pellehaut goes perfectly with the duck paté. Bistronomy has long been a trend: small, quick, good dishes in an informal atmosphere. This food and wine culture thrives on former Grands Chefs who have grown tired of wearing stars and other classic labels and are now realising themselves in a more popular setting. The neighbourhood around Rue Oberkampf in the 11th arrondissement, where refuges such as Châteaubriand have established themselves, is a hotbed of this movement.

Anke Sademann

La Traversée: by friends for friends

Neo-bistronomy is just as casual and informal. Young restaurateurs such as Benoît Jésupret and Antoine Legrand celebrate this hip gastronomic variation at La Traversée. The "bar for friends" in Rue Ramey is located near the Butte de Montmartre. In keeping with the name, a young clientele comes "from diagonally opposite" to enjoy internationally interpreted cuisine with French products. Benoît serves Antoine's starters, such as lightly fried mini artichokes with parmesan and aioli, exclusively with biodynamically produced natural wines ranging from (cloudy) white to orange (as an aperitif) to light red. Small wineries from Languedoc, the Loire and Alsace fill the glasses here. "They have more freedom to experiment, and we give our guests a choice beyond the classic pairings," explains Benoit as he pours "Energie". The single-varietal Syrah "Cosmoculture" from Domaine Viret comes from the southern Rhône and is pure biodynamics.

Anke Sademann

Aux Deux Amis: natural wine pioneers

At Aux Deux Amis, the lively David Loyola and his partner Sylvain Lavigne have been serving exclusively organic and natural wines from France, Spain, Austria and Germany in their wine bar with a "dining cellar" ("Cave à Manger") for 15 years. They have charmingly named it "Canteen plus-plus". Hard to beat in terms of nonchalance, David swirls the light red fruity Grenache-Cinsault cuvée Salve Ager 2020 from Domaine Mont de Marie (Thierry Forestier) in his glass. The current day's menu with "tapassiettes" (plates of snacks) is written in beautiful script on the receipt pad.

Anke Sademann

Nellu: Mediterranean cosmos

Sommelier Riccardo Pattaro from the elegantly minimalist "gastro-wine bar" Nellu, near the Île St. Louis, only serves his guests "precisely and elegantly matured, European artisan wines". The Valencia-born Italian sets modern accents in his selection. To accompany the raw langoustine with creamy mango bisque and apple emulsion from Clément Vergeat's "cosmo-French" cuisine, he recommends the Spanish Chiguita Rioja Blanco 2022 from Japanese-born winemaker Jade Gross.

Riccardo's credo: 80 per cent of the wines do not come from France, they are Mediterranean Europeans. The long matured, very round Slovenian orange wine Rebula 2018 from Klinec with aromas of dried apricots offers just as much drinking pleasure with cod with barigoule sauce and pickles as it does with mimolette cheese and dessert, a hibiscus génoise with yuzu cream painted on the plate.

Anke Sademann

Mamagoto: Intercontinental fusion

Parisian food culture is a potpourri of cultures and fusions. Young restaurateurs leave the city and get input from around the world - or the world comes to Paris to "cook French food their way". This can be experienced at Mamagoto opposite an old market hall in the 10th arrondissement. Here, Thomas Loustau and Koji Tsuchiya present the symbiosis of Japanese and French cuisine. In their neo-bistro, they surf the wave of sharing plates. Koji's cooking is as purist, precise and product-based as it is artistic. The 98 per cent French organic natural wine accompaniment from little-known producers is also stringent. They come round in person like good friends and introduce their wines. The Poil de Lièvre 2022 from Calvez-Bobinet harmonises with Koji's ceviche of sea bream with green lemon and the red of shizu and cherries.

The unfiltered natural wines with their earthy purism first have to be introduced to the mostly international guests, who often come here en route from the nearby Gare du Nord. Right next to Thomas' record collection, he has proudly arranged his natural wine repertoire as if in an art gallery. Just as the labels bear poetic and political messages or QR codes with music playlists from the winemakers, the wines themselves are also ambassadors of the neo-vinophile habitus in Paris.

Anke Sademann


Nellu - Gastro wine bar 5 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 4th arrondissement

Elegant, modern gourmet enclave near the Ile St. Louis. Italian sommelier Riccardo Pattaro invites you on an un-French journey with rare craft wines from all over Europe. Refined flavour cuisine with in-house fermentation. The wines can also be purchased.

A Lot of Wine - Caviste & Wine Bar 54 rue de l'Hôtel de ville, 4th arrondissement

In keeping with its name, "A Lot of Wine" offers just that: a large selection of vins d'artisans. The wines by the glass can be enjoyed very casually in the wine shop or outside on the wine island terrace.

Le Bon Georges 45 rue Saint-Georges, 9th arrondissement

In this very Parisian Art Nouveau bistro, wine comes before food. Large wine estates and small domaines from all territories are perfectly combined with delicious bistronomic fine cuisine on the well-stocked menu. You may linger for a long time.

Mamagoto - Japanese-French Néobistrot 5 rue des petits Hotels, 10th arrondissement

Thomas Loustau and Koji Tsuchiya play out the food and wine menu at Mamagoto with precision and creativity. On the sharing plates: cosmo-French, but "Japanese-cooked" dishes with plenty of flavour culture. Fancy natural wines from small winegrowers. Music from the record player. Vis à vis is a typical Parisian market hall.

Vino Sapiens - Cave with wine tasting and masterclass 145 rue Saint Dominique, 7th arrondissement

Lots of expertise and little pretentiousness: experienced cave master and connoisseur Thierry Guemas has a great story to tell about every wine. A large selection of French wines can be tasted in the shop, in the "terroir museum" or on the wine island. A young, well-trained team supports the "wine partisan". Within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower, wine is served until 10 pm. There are also winemaker masterclasses in English.

Les Climats - a starred paradise for Burgundy wines 41 rue de Lille, 7th arrondissement

Michelin-starred restaurant for fans of Burgundy wines: 200 open positions, over 3,000 "de Bourgogne" references on the menu. Open dining rooms with beautiful, partly hand-painted original décor with mosaics and marble d'Estours from the turn of the century. A jewellery box full of wistful nostalgia. Grande Carte.

Monbleu - Fromagerie & Resto-Vin 37 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 9th arrondissement

A lavishly stocked cheese counter (fromagerie) and restaurant with specialities, accompanied by a good wine - this symbiosis could not be more French. From raw milk cheese to "blue from the mountains", a well-selected range of wines is combined with the soft and hard exhibits from the large showcase.

Maison Tete - Le Comptoir Gascon - Delicatessen & Tasting 20 Rue Cadet, 9th arrondissement

Since 1986, this family-run speciality shop has been a cantine and atelier offering duck pâtés and spreads in a wide range of flavours from the Occitan Gers in south-west France. The accompanying wines come exclusively from this region. In Paris, every French wine-growing region has its own culinary and vinophile stage.

Aux Deux Amis - Bar à Vin and Cave à Manger 45 rue Oberkampf 11th arrondissement

Popular wine and food bistro with an orange and yellow 60s look in the heart of the Oberkampf neighbourhood. Daily changing "Tapas Bistronomiques" - small plates to share with friends. Pioneer David Loyola has also been the best friend of his natural wines for 15 years.

Chateaubriand - the original cell of bistronomy 12 Avenue Parmentier, 11th arrondissement

Cosmopolitanism and non-conformity versus rigid traditionalism: this is where the pioneer and nucleus of bistronomy resides. The single-set menu by Basque chef and bistronomy initiator Iñaki Aizpitarte is served in an original 1930s Néo-Rétro-style interior. Natural wines from independent winegrowers. High priced, but very delicious. Be sure to make a reservation.

Sémélé 75 rue Sedaine, 11th arrondissement

Feminine wine: 80 per cent of the natural, organic and biodynamic wines at Caviste Mathieu Levy are made by women. He has visited them all and presents their fine wines as part of quiz, cheese and chocolate tastings in his wine shop Sémélé (get involved). Open from 11am to 8pm.

Clown Bar - Bistrot 114 rue Amelot, 11th arrondissement

The Clown Bar is a small listed bistrot in the former bar of the Cirque d'hiver. The grinning ceramic figurines survey the bistro-authentic cuisine of the Japanese chef. Large selection of natural wines. Charming location in the heart of the Marais.

Foldero - wine and ice cream 10 rue du Grand Prieuré, 11th arrondissement

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for wine" is the credo of Jessica Yang and Robert Compagnon. This pleasantly minimalist establishment celebrates the exotic symbiosis of ice cream and natural wine. Sommelière Amanda Philip selects rare wines to accompany creamy ice cream variations. That's not quite true: ice cream is served during the day and wine in the evening.

La Traversée - neo-bistronomy for friends and neighbours 2 rue Ramey, 18th arrondissement

Neo-bistronomy at the foot of Montmartre in the northern district of Paris. The "Salle & Cuisine duo" Benoit Jesupret and Antoine Legrand serve an international interpretation of light cuisine with no pretence of pairing. Natural wines from young winemakers. Concerts on Wednesday. Great, smart, casual!

Mob House and Feuille de Chou - hotel, bistro-canteen, wine bar 70 rue des rosiers in St Ouen, 18th arrondissement

Organic-certified triad of design hotel, (wine) bar and the Cantine-Bistrot Feuille de Chou, which interprets down-to-earth bistro cuisine. The stylishly designed hotel complex with a mini park oasis is located right next to the large flea market in St Ouen for sustainable vintage shopping.

Paris wine museum with restaurant 5 Square Charles Dickens

The impressive vaulted cellars of the Abbaye de Passy are home to the Paris Wine Museum. Wine tastings, oenology courses and themed evenings take place in the 15th century vaults. The restaurant is located in the vaults.

Related Magazine Articles

View All