Learning about wine, vines and vignerons whilst living in the Languedoc

Four nights in Paris

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I seem to be developing a link between wines and songs. I am cheating a little, as 10CC sang about One Night In Paris on their album The Original Soundtrack.

I digress. As well as being mad about wines I am a passionate horse racing fan, a turfiste. Following my retirement it is now possible for me to attend race meetings I have always longed to visit. Top of the list was a trip to Paris to the Arc De Triomphe race meeting at Longchamp. So we booked 4 nights in Paris for a little sightseeing and an art gallery as well as the races on Saturday and Sunday. The racing was excellent (and, happily, profitable), highlighted by the victory of Treve in the big race following up her success in 2013.

Treve coming back after her victory

Treve coming back after her victory

We stayed in the 11e arrondissement which was a new area to me and it proved to be upcoming and trendy  with a buzzy café and restaurant culture. The Canal St Martin for example was a pleasant surprise with Parisians enjoying the warm evening looking over the water.



We ate at a number of good restaurants, especially those based around wine. The trend of wine bars serving excellent food is one I love. Paying around 7€ for corkage it means that good wines are affordable to accompany the food rather than the usual restaurant mark ups. Two strong wine bar/ restaurant recommendations:

Le Verrre Volé beside the Canal was excellent. They had sold out of Coutelou wines (as had everyone in Paris!) and we wanted to drink something non Languedoc in any case. The natural wine movement is strong in Beaujolais so I chose Jean Paul Thévenet’s Morgon 2012 which was excellent. I don’t write good tasting notes so I won’t start here but well worth a try, available in UK here

La Cave De L’Insolite was just around the corner from our apart-hotel and was a chance discovery in some ways as it was one of the few places open on Sunday evening. I loved this place and would return in a heartbeat. It soon filled up and had a warm, welcoming and was far more trendy than I am! The food was excellent, seriously good. We drank a white wine to accompany perfectly cooked pollock. It was Clos Des Grillons Cotes Du Rhone Blanc 2013, organic and very good. Interesting to read in Midi Libre that the vigneron Nicolas Renaud is a History teacher, as I was for 33 years. How could he not produce good wine. If you are in the area go to La Cave De L’Insolite for a meal, it’s a terrific place.

On Monday we walked around the Marais, Ile De La Cité and central Paris before lunch at Glou in the Marais. A very good menu fixe included a vegetable main course so I was happy to go there and it was very good too. To accompany we chose another of the Beaujolais natural wine big four producers, Guy Breton and his wine, Le P’tit Max. This was delicious too, perhaps less typically Beaujolais than the Thévenet but a memorable wine. I can’t find an English merchant for Breton or Grillons sadly but there is information about Breton on this well known US website

The other welcome visit was to Philippe Cuq owner of Le Lieu Du Vin on Avenue Gambetta next to Pere Lachaise cemetery. A great wine shop with a tremendous range including Mas Coutelou of course. What a friendly man Philippe is and if I hadn’t been travelling by plane I’d have been buying too many bottles for my credit card. One of his recommendations was a Vin De Pays du Puy De Dome called Badoulin from Stéphan Elziere, the only organic producer in Cantal apparently. I was unaware of any wine producers in Cantal! It was an unusual but inspired suggestion by Philippe as I asked for a wine to drink with light food back in our hotel. I think it is Gamay (again – the weekend was a true Gamay celebration) and it was full and spicy, a real surprise. No English links here but an article from Le Figaro on Philippe showing his Classe, and Elziere

So Group 1 racing, top food and wine and some lovely people, it all left me with a smile on my face almost as wide as:


Ribbons smiling at me before finishing an excellent 2nd in the Prix De L’Opéra



Author: amarch34

I'm a recently retired (early!) teacher from County Durham in North east England. I am going to be spending most of the next year in the Languedoc leaarning about wines, vineyards and the people who care for both.

One thought on “Four nights in Paris

  1. Thanks for the Bistro a Vin tips. Sunday night in Paris is a big challenge which makes La Cave De L’Insolite a special find.


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