Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

Best places to buy Wine in Paris

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France is one of the largest wine producers in the world, so there is no shortage of places to get French wine in Paris. From superstores, grocery stores to small neighborhood markets, Paris is THE epicenter of viticulture after centuries of perfecting their toil in the soil. No matter where you travel in this city, you’ll find stocked shelves with liquid gold in this land of sparkling reds and whites. Hand selected by vintners, each bottle has a superior quality and is chosen as the best representative of its region of origin. You should plan to add a wine tasting class in Paris to your itinerary to discover your favorite wines, and to learn the etiquette and culture.

During your shopping excursion, whether you live in Paris or travel there, expert advice is readily available, friendly, and knowledgeable. The merchant is always willing to assist when looking for the perfect wines for your milestone moments and Parisian experience. 

France has an extensive set of national and region-specific wine laws. To help make your selection easier, it would be prudent to understand what you will see on the labels and what the classifications mean. It’s also important to know that in Paris you must be 18 or over to purchase it.

where to buy wine in Paris

What’s on the label

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  • Winery name.
  • Vintage.
  • Village.
  • Appellation title.
  • Grape varieties.
  • Domain bottled.
  • Producer name and location.

Three official tiers of quality classifications

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  • AOC (Appellation d'origine contrôlée), or Controlled Designation of Origin. The wines are produced on a specific terroir which, combined with natural and human factors, determines the quality and characteristics of the beverage. For example, Burgundy's AOC Bourgogne Blanc includes 300 appellations and designates dry white wines made from Chardonnay. Grand Cru is the very highest classification. Premier Cru is superior quality or the very highest tier within a Grand Cru classification.
  • IGP (Indication géographique protégée), or Protected geographical indication. Previously known as "Vin de pays", the IGPs are produced on a territory that guarantees quality, reputation or other specific characteristics. They may be made out of several grape varieties.
  • VDF (Vin de France), or Wine of France. These include French wines made from blends of grapes grown anywhere in the country. Vintage and grape variety are optional on the label. These can be very tasty and budget-friendly.
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Places to go shopping

Read more about our Wine Tasting Classes here


Read more about our Wine Tasting Classes here

All Paris superstores or supermarkets have a dedicated section. This is your least expensive place to make your purchase. You can select from super inexpensive for about 2 euros to the more expensive, that will be anything over 20 euros. If you choose one in the 5-8 euros range you should have an acceptable everyday table wine to drink. The supermarket is OK for purchasing a few bottles, you can even French food souvenirs, but the real experience is found at a shop that specializes.

Fine Wine Merchants or Caves

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Paris shops are easy to find with their beautiful window displays. Many Paris merchants keep their showrooms below room temperature, on the cooler side, so their product is stored properly.  This is where you will find merchants that have a passion for their product. The owner or member of the staff will be happy to guide you with selection details and recommendations. They can save you a lot of time with their advice based on your tastes, price range, and even what you are planning for lunch or dinner. It is definitely worth a trip to a merchant to choose the perfect one to enjoy. Even if you pay a bit more.

Small Corner Market

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Another option is l’épicerie or neighborhood small market. They carry lots of little items such as milk, snacks, newspapers, and toiletries too. You can usually find one of these open late at night when the big Paris supermarkets and specialty merchants are closed. You are going to pay a premium for anything you purchase. The choices are limited and more often not the best quality.

Very affordable recommendations

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  • Château du Bois de la Garde, Côtes du Rhône

Made from 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 12% Carignan, and small quantities of Cinsault, Counoise, and Mourvedre it is a medium to full-bodied red. It has a dark ruby color from dark fruit such raspberry and blackberry, with hints of white pepper, cinnamon spice, and licorice. Excellent paired with pasta, lamb, and other red meat. You can purchase for under $10.

  • Picpoul de Pinet

From southern France, Languedoc region, known for its Vin de Pays, or country wine. Made from one of the oldest Languedoc grapes, the Piquepoul is crystal clear with green highlights or golden from older vines. It has a soft and delicate nose with acacia and hawthorn blossom hints. it has an excellent acid/structure balance with a delicate and fresh taste. The high mineral content neutralizes the salt and iodine in shellfish and is paired well with cheese and charcuterie. The price is under $10.

  • Beaujolais Villages

Aged longer than your Thanksgiving Beaujolais Nouveau and made from the Gamay grape, it’s purple in color with a hint of dark cherry and fresh red fruits aroma will delight your senses. The taste is slightly spicy with a touch of grey pepper, licorice and a bit of rose flower. According to the winemaker, this Beaujolais is “very well balanced with a nice acidity and supple tannins on the finish.” In terms of pairing, it goes nicely with terrines, charcuteries, grilled red meat, white fish, or cheese. Pop it in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to serve chilled at around 55°F. The price should be under $15.

  • Crémant d'Alsace

As you may or may not know, only sparkling wine made in Champagne can be called Champagne. As an alternative, Crémant d’Alsace is the top AOC sparkling wine consumed in homes across France because of its unique personality and outstanding quality. It also has an international following. It is fresh and elegant. The price is around $20.

Screw or Cork

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Finally, you might be wondering if you should get a bottle with a cork or screw top in Paris. Either is the simple answer. More and more French winemakers, even the top end, have begun using screw tops. Research is showing that screw tops are perfect for fine wines that need to age, protecting them better than cork from oxidation.

If you’re looking for more advice on great wine and food pairings or which great restaurants and bars in the 16th arrondissement to try, a professional tour with a knowledgeable guide is always a wonderful experience and learning opportunity.

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

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More About Our Baguettes Classes

Getting a bit technical during our Baguette Class in Paris

The French baguette, actually probably better known as the Parisian baguette has beome a true symbol of French popular gastronomy. A true icon of French life even - look around and you will see the Parisians strolling back home with their baguettes under their arm. But if you are French why would you learn how to do this? You can buy a baguette at any corner of Paris for about one Euro a piece.  But in our Baguette Class in Paris  you will learn how do this from scratch. It is somewhat technical, but also full of tips and tricks. But when you leave, it will have not secret left for you. From the original mix to the famous "scarification" through adding water to your oven through baking, you will see and do it all.

Learning more during your Baguette class in Paris: Croque Monsieur Bread and Brioche

This class is like all our other baking or cooking classes: totally hands-on. So you get to practice from beginning to end - and to taste at the end. But not only will you learn how to make Baguette, but you will also learn to make two more types of bread: the French Croque Monsieur bread. The basis for the classic French bistrot appetizer. And in your Baguette class in Paris you will also learn how to make your own Brioche. Probably the most indulgent bread you will find in France - if not the lightest ...

And you might learn some history during your Baguette Class in Paris

While you will learn the techniques to create - and get to taste - three classic types of French breads, you will also learn some of the stories on the origin of the baguette. Just beware it is still being quite hotly debated. What is for sure though is that the Baguette is absolutely part of today Parisian's life. A classic you will be able to take back home with you.

More About Our Wine and Cheese Lunch in Paris

Cheese and Wine in Paris

The pleasures we can derive from French cuisine can seem endless.  However two of the best known and loved French gastronomic heroes are French cheese and wine. Whether we talk about a Brie which actually comes from very close to Paris, to a creamy Camembert from Normandy, or a Comté from the Alps, French cheese has a delight for all palates. And of course, French wines are even better known whether from Bordeaux great wines or Burgundy sophisticated whites – all of which enthral wine lovers.  Well, at our course on cheese and wine in Paris you will come to appreciate that although each is delicious on its own, properly matched cheese and wine together can make the experience of each even more enjoyable and an absolute delight.

How to pair French cheese and wine

Because not all pairings are actually what people expect, at Le Foodist we have decided to call these experiences 'Daring Pairings'. Maybe because we like to step out of the ordinary to challenge our taste buds, but really all we try to do is give you the perfect match fo cheese and wine in Paris.  So not only will you learn how to select the best wine to go with your cheese, but you will also learn what are the big cheese families in France – there are actually only five, and this is one of the keys to great pairing. In discovering all these pairings of cheese with wine you will be convinced that indeed two things together can be better than the sum of their parts.

It is important to have fun with pairing cheese and wine in Paris

Beyond the tastings though, we have found that the best way to help our clients remember and re-use their experience is to vary the way to approach both wine and cheese.  That is why during our courses on cheese and wine in Paris we share sensory games and many an anecdote to bring the produce to life in your mind as well as on your palate. Overall we will feature four excellent wines, one Champagne and demonstrate to you how best each combines with cheese, letting your taste guide you along with our teaching.

Understanding cheese and wine pairing while in Paris

While for many top Parisian wine stores and restaurant wine lists can be confusing and even intimidating, we believe that after our lunch learning how to pair cheese and wine in Paris, you will feel much more comfortable navigating all of those.  And we sincerely hope your knowledge will help you unlock a door to a whole new world of enjoyment of French wine and cheese pairing.  At every step of the way our sommelier will also share unique tips and tricks to understand wines better and how culture and wine are so related in France; hopefully enriching your own experience as well.

And they do not have to do with what you will find in those markets. They have to do with when you can go shopping there. Open Air markets are only open in the morning. Typically from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. And they are not open every day. As a matter of fact for the vast majority they are open either open every other day (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), or sometimes only twice a week. 

This is the case of the Bastille Market (Metro Bastille and Metro Bréguet Sabin )which is open only on Thursday and Sunday morning. We like to send people there because it is a very big market with over one hundred vendors. And it has a nice stand of Crêperie in the middle. Here you get a video of a lady preparing a crêpe there; and you can get that crêpe for only 3 Euros!
There is only one Open Air market open every day of the week, it is called Marché Aligre (Metro Ledru Rollin or Metro Faidherbe Chaligny) which happens on the eponymous street. It is an interesting market because you find all kinds of quality in that market – the good, the bad and the ugly. There is also a nice covered market in the middle of it called Marché Beauveau – sometimes called Marché Beauveau Aligre. On the contrary, Covered Markets are open every day, and not just in the morning, but also in the late afternoon. Typically from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

We are blessed with two markets close to where Le Foodist is located, so we can walk to a market every morning – sometimes it is the Maubert market, and sometimes it is the Monge market. Both nice with their own specififies. Last but not least, none of these markets is open on Monday. Do not sign-up for a Market Tour on Monday, you might never see that money again …

Choosing Ingredients in Paris

While all markets are different, they also have some things in common. First they work on specific schedules as explained before. But also you will find always at a minimum the following vendors: a Maraîcher – this is the name we give to people selling fruits and vegetables, a butcher, a fishmonger, a cheesemonger and a baker. Normally you will find several of each, with different levels of quality, organic or non-organic, local or not local (but mostly not local unfortunately).
And we explain how to recognize each of those of course during our Market Visits and Cooking Classes in Paris. But choosing ingredients can be daunting at first, because of the variety that is on display. A typical fishmonger will carry 20 different types of fishes, and as many shrimp and shelf fish varieties. A good cheese monger will easily carry up to 100 different types of cheese and obviously you could get over 100 different cuts of meat at a butcher (from the type of meat to the cut itself). And a normal Maraicher will carry between 50 and 100 fruits and vegetables as well.
This is what makes these markets so exciting – the variety of products, the beauty of their display, and the exchange you can have with most of the vendors. We give you tips though on how to make sure that exchange with the vendors go well – a few magic words, and everything will be fine!

Cooking in Paris

Obviously going to markets is nice, but actually knowing that you are going to cook what you find there is even more exciting. It is not uncommon for Parisians to buy a little bit too much food because they get so excited at the idea of cooking it all! But as most of us have hardly any space where we live, that can limit the enthusiasm sometimes. Because of the lack of space, Cooking in Paris can be quite different from cooking in the rest of France. And there are also dishes that are typically associated with regions which the Parisian will not cook at home – but taste when they visit friends or families in the various regions of France. However our kitchen has plenty of space, so we can cook traditional French dishes without a problem – whether they come from Paris or any region. And the most important part for us is to ensure that we share techniques much more than just recipes. As a matter of fact, we love to share a bit of the science behind what we do so people can better remember the “what” by understanding the “why”.

Sharing Stories

In November 2010, some experts from the UN cultural organisation, decided tha France’s multi-course gastronomic meal, with its rites and its presentation, fulfilled the conditions for featuring on the “world intangible list” of the UNESCO.
In this list you can find all kinds of cultural practices, including Mexico Day of the Dead festival for example. Importantly this is not suggesting French cuisine is better than other cuisines (even though we the French tend to believe that …). It is only saying that the gastronomic meal and what it entails is a very vivid cultural practice which people in France partake into on a very regular basis. That is why the same experts indicated that the French gastronomic meal is a “social custom aimed at celebrating the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups”. And in that social custom, there are many parts: the attention we pay to the way we choose ingredients, how we pair wine with food, how many dishes we will present to our guests, how we lay the table, etc… But one big part of the cultural practice is that commensality (the fact of sharing the food) is always accompanied by sharing stories about …. Well, you would have guessed it, Food of course!
To us it is THE perfect example of how Food and Culture come together – actually we decide to share food is a considered a cultural practice. I would argue that it is true of all countries, regions, etc… As the way we relate to Food is such a big part of anybody’s identity. But as a result and to make sure you have the most genuine experience of French culture, after the a coking class in Paris at Le Foodist, you will share a gastronomic meal at a common table with your Chef and fellow participants to the class.

French Wine and Food Pairing

As mentioned above, one of the big cultural practices in France is choosing how to pair Wine and Food in general and Wine and Cheese in particular. We actually have a class which focuses specifically on this. As it is so important though, we always make sure we share white and red wines during our meals, chosen to pair well in our opinion with the food we cook. And being at the table together is a good opportunity to discuss about wine as well, with concepts such as “terroir” (to simplify, terroir means “what you do depends on where you are”) which are essential to grasp the way the French think about Food.
And all this will always go with a cheering “Santé” – which quite simply means, to your good health!

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