Feeling natural in Paris wine bars

parisbonvin
The Parisians are getting natural. And I’m not talking about life on the Paris plage, the beaches that the current mayor put in a few summers ago, where topless sunbathing is prohibited. I’m talking about wine bars that are au naturel.

I read about the trend in Alice Feiring’s NYT story. I had to check some of them out for myself.

First stop, Aux Tonneaux aux Halles. On a non-touristy pedestrian street off of Les Halles, the owner was there pouring wine behind the bar. He buys the dozen or so wines available by the glass directly from the producers. Many of the wines are made without the addition of sulfites, some are made biodynamically, and they all taste distinctive. Be sure to try the excellent goat cheese. And the Morgon vielles vignes 2003 from G. Descombes.

Near the Chatelet metro, is Bistro Les Halles. No, Tony Bourdain is not the chef. But you can have a quick lunch at this olde tyme bistro–though it pays to arrive early to beat the rush. I love the Frenglish translation on the window (pictured above). Wines by the glass are between two and five euros.

Heading to the Latin Quarter, La Cremerie, mentioned in the NYT story has changed hands as of September 1. Pierre Jancou who had presided over the huge slab counter in the tiny wine shop/bar for four years decided to move to Germany and import the wines that he had been pouring in the sixth arrondissement. But he would only sell the shop to a like-minded owner so at least this space won’t become a fashion boutique.

Le Comptoir du Relais in the sixth is bigger and swankier than La Cremerie–indeed, swankier than most of the natural wine bars. With a more extensive menu, this spot in the hotel Relais St. Germain looks great. Pity I only had time to walk by it on this trip. Next time, a meal…

I also posted previously about the natural wines at Fish, a restaurant that also has a bar friendly enough to rival Cheers. As well as the 100 bottles of wine on the wall at La Muse Vin.

Anyway, just a few scribbles. Feel free to post your notes about your favorite wine bars among the new naturalistas.

Aux Tonneaux des Halles: 28, rue Montorgueil 75001
Le Bistro des Halles: 15, rue des Halles 75001
La Cremerie: 9 rue des Quatre-Vents 75006
Le Comptoir du Relais: 5, Carrefour de l’Odeon 75006
Fish: 69, rue de Seine 75006
La Muse Vin: 101, rue de Charonne 75011

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11 Responses to “Feeling natural in Paris wine bars”


  1. You just can’t get good “campinge deer” sandwiches in the U.S.


  2. If anyone is ever in Cape Town,South Africa – and looking for some great wine bars (with even better South African wine), here are two I can recommend and that I frequent at least once a week: The Nose Wine Bar (www.thenose.co.za) and Caveau Wine Bar(www.caveau.co.za).


  3. i am pierre jancou the former owner of cremerie wine bar in Paris.I sold the buisness to a guy who bott the concept and that is really snobish and uninteresting.He gave me a good price for my concept and thanks to his employe(Franck) they will continue the selling of authentik natural wines.I will not leave for germany but to switzerland Zürich to import extreme natural wines theire.I also am building with an Englisch partner a website about natural wines in London it will be on in december and the address is morethanorganic.com
    If you wish to contact me please do on pierre@morethanorganic.com or vinsnature@hotmail.com


  4. hello dr.vino,
    i am a sommelier and wine consultant who moved from new york to paris three years ago. there is a wine bar that you might like in the 10th on the canal st. martin. Le Verre Volé specializes in natural wines, is a shop by day and serves simple but incredible farmer food by night. love, william


  5. who is mr jancou?where is he living zurich??well i want to know more about his professional attitude ,what does it mean cru master said a little bla bla bla and a lot of wine .tell us more about the way you came a master?


  6. To the anonymous……… I am no cru master and dont even know what it meanes!… take care and stay anonymous…


  7. An update on Pierre Jancou.

    His new website (morethanorganic.com) is now up and running and includes a selection of the best natural wine bars, restaurants and cavistes in Paris, made by Pierre.

    And he’s no longer going to Zurich. Instead he’ll be opening a new restaurant in Paris, bigger than the Cremerie but still specialising in natural wine, later this year.

    Watch this space.


  8. Thanks for the update, Oliver. Do you have the restaurant name and location? And an opening date?

    Cheers,


  9. Barring a complete disaster he should sign this week on a place in the 2nd Arrondissement. It’s in the oldest covered arcade in Paris and was originally a printer’s, so the restaurant will be called l’Imprimerie.

    It will be natural wine and natural food. Pierre is pretty obsessed with the authenticity of his ingredients and wants to be totally transparent about where they come from.

    Opening early September. For more details, keep an eye on the site or sign up for the mailing list. I’ll try to post something on here once it’s all confirmed.

    http://www.morethanorganic.com/


  10. Does anyone know if any Paris bar/natural wine shop sell Frank Cornelissens Sicilian wines?


  11. A little later than expected, and with a slightly different name, Pierre’s Jancou’s new restaurant/wine bar/caviste is now open.

    Like the Cremerie, but with a proper kitchen and on a slightly grander scale.

    RACINES
    8, Passage des Panoramas
    Paris 75002
    00 33 1 40 13 06 41
    Metro : Grands Boulevards

    For more details and a map :

    http://www.morethanorganic.com/natural-wine-restaurants/racines

    A few photos of the opening, and a review :

    http://www.wineterroirs.com/2007/10/winebaropening.html

    We hope to see you next time you’re in Paris, Dr Vino.

    Thanks.


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