Paris-based wine connoisseur Preston Mohr from Paris by the Glass reveals his favourite wine bars in the City of Light.
Redd wine bar is owned and operated by charming sommelière Marketa, from the Czech Republic, and her partner Rob, from New Zealand. Communicating in English is therefore not a problem if your French is as rusty as a glass of old Bordeaux.
The stone walls of this jewel-box wine bar beautifully reflect the flickering candlelight used to illuminate the comfortable space, just steps from one of Paris’s best market streets: rue Montorgueil. After a few sips, you’ll be transported back in time on this quiet and ancient street.
I love that they have Reidel wine glasses, appropriate glassware often void from most Parisian wine bars (Austria isn’t that far from France..?). They also serve the wines at the perfect temperatures, which makes a big difference.
Try their extensive by the glass list or a flight of 3 with some fabulous small bites of cheeses and charcuteries, including some imported cheeses and cured meats, if you’ve tired of French options.
2. Les Caves de Prague
As a visitor to Paris, you’ll immediately feel like a local in this neighborhood mecca of wine. Located in a hip and eclectic working-class neighborhood of the 12th arrondissement, not far from Place de la Bastille. Rustic wooden tables and bottle laden shelves line this cozy establishment. The idea is simple: pick a bottle off of the shelf (some offered by the glass) and add a slim 5 Euros corkage fee on top of the retail price to enjoy the bottle at one of their tables inside, or outside in fine weather. The prices are very reasonable if you were to compare to the typical restaurant markup.
Savor a bottle from their selection of interesting and spicy reds from the Languedoc, such as the Domaine de Montcalmès, along with some of their artisan charcuteries.
3. Dilettantes La Maison du Champagne
Fanny Heucq, the daughter of a champagne producer in the Marne Valley, seeks to bring to light the boutique growers of the famous Champagne region. These artisans, often anchored in the area for many generations, use their own grapes and their own hands to produce one of the world’s most remarkable wines. These champagnes tell a story of the place in which the grapes were grown and the people that make them.
Just one block from the Seine in St. Germain des Pres, Dilettantes is the perfect spot to escape the noise of central Paris while shopping or sightseeing. Their terroir tasting is very educational and includes a flight of three glasses of boutique grower champagnes, illustrating the diverse soils and grape varieties grown in the region. Make sure to stash a bottle in your checked luggage as these small-production champagnes are not often widely exported and often great value for money (they also do ship, tax free, to many countries). The cheeses and charcuterie on offer have been specifically chosen to best accompany the champagnes on offer.
4. Ici Même
Started just over two years ago by a group of four friends, Ici Même has become quickly one of my favorite places for wine in Paris. Their concise selection is hand-picked by the knowledgeable staff and almost entirely organic and or biodynamic. For these producers, respecting the earth and humans in their winemaking techniques is of the utmost importance. You’ll discover some of France’s rising star producers along side some tried and true classics. Bottles can be consumed sur place (on site) with a corkage fee of just 3 Euros plus added to the retail price. Attached, is a small gallery featuring contemporary art with frequently changing shows. Art and wine, what a wonderful combination!
Ici Même has one of the best selections of small grower champagnes that happen to go marvelously with their raw-milk cheese plate and also an extensive Loire Valley wine collection.
5. Caves Legrand
Pop into the atmospheric Galerie Vivienne, a 19th century shopping arcade, to discover this old fashioned grand dame of a wine shop. The selection is spectacular, even if just for window-shopping. Afterwards, retreat to the bar area where many of the great bottles are served by the glass with light lunches and other nibbles during the rest of the day.
This is your chance to try a glass of something on which you may not want to splurge for an entire bottle. You can enjoy top quality classic Burgundy and Bordeaux wines along with many of the best producers from France’s Rhone Valley.
6. L’Ebeniste du Vin
This friendly neighborhood wine cellar and bar is tucked away on a quiet street in the Batignolles neighborhood of Paris, well off the beaten tourist track. The by the glass selection is short, but sweet, changing frequently. I often go for a bottle of their delicious Côtes du Jura by Philippe Butin made from the Trousseau grape variety.
You also must try a plate of their outstanding nutty and complex Comté, a cow’s milk cheese from the French Alps.
Preston Mohr, is a wine expert and wine educator, based in Paris, France, where he has made his home for over 12 years. Originally from the United States, Preston first came to Paris to compliment his studies in Art History and is now a French citizen. After falling deeply in love with France’s food and wine culture, he now specializes in old-world wine with a particular passion for the wines of the Champagne region.
Preston holds the Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the Champagne Master Level Certificate from the French Wine Scholar Guild. He founded Paris By The Glass in 2011, providing unique wine tastings, private vineyard day trips and gourmet food walking tours in Paris and beyond.
Where to Stay in Paris… to be close to restaurants and wine bars
Assuming you’re coming to Paris primarily to eat and drink, Preston recommends the following hotels…
4* Hotel Da Vinci in St. Germain des Pres ~ Very central, great foodie area for traditional, family-run shops.
3* Hotel Le Muguet in the 7th ~ Near the Eiffel Tower and gourmet street of rue Cler
4* Hotel Mansart on the right bank ~ Near the Louvre and within walking distance of many excellent top quality places on rue St. Honoré
Or use the search box below to search for the best hostels, hotels and apartments in Paris and benefit from Booking.com’s “Best Price Guarantee”.