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Top Five Paris Wine Bars

BEST FOR A LIVELY EVENING

Le Verre Volé
Le Verre Volé could be my perfect wine bar. As I stepped into this small room, just off the Canal St.-Martin, I was greeted by a bustling open kitchen, jazz playing on the stereo and a man eager to get me seated and serve me one of his wines. Except it appears not to be a wine bar at all; a sign outside insists it isn’t. Indeed, it looks more like a wine shop with a few tables. Whatever it is—a bistrot perhaps?—it’s well worth the detour. An eclectic wine collection, creative and hearty cooking and a noisy kitchen make for a truly wonderful experience. 67 rue de Lancry, 75010. leverrevole.fr

BEST FOR A LATE SUPPER

Fish La Boissonerie

Fish La Boissonnerie’s garishly decorated mosaic frontage is the perfect introduction to this lively and friendly wine bar-cum-bistro. Set in a converted fishmonger’s, its well-lit floor, exposed beams and polished zinc counter give the space an airy feel. Run by a trio of expats—co-owners New Zealander Drew Harré and American Juan Sanchez, and English chef Ollie Clarke—this is a place where you don’t have to worry about speaking the local language. The wine list, which is mainly French, is comprehensive and will interest both the oenophile and the novice, while the food, as you might expect, will delight seafood lovers. Sit at the bar and watch the locals come in after 9 p.m. 69 rue de Seine, 75006; +33 1 43 54 34 69.

BEST FOR A ROMANTIC MIDDAY STOP

Caves Legrand

Halfway down the dreamy Galerie Vivienne, you’ll come across a collection of tables and chairs. Look to your right and you’ll see they belong to the spectacular Caves Legrand. With its wooden floors, sleek lines and brass fixtures, it oozes old-style Parisian elegance and is one of the most beautiful wine bars I’ve encountered. Although there has been a wine shop on the site for more than a century, the horseshoe-shaped bar at the back is a relatively recent addition. There are 14 wines by the glass, but oenophiles can also choose from one of the 3,000 bottles in the shop. This is an absolutely perfect spot for whiling away an afternoon. 1 Rue de la Banque, 75002. caves-legrand.com

BEST FOR A LONG LUNCH

Willi's Wine Bar

With its curved wooden bar, cleanly lit floor and white walls decorated with contemporary wine-themed posters commissioned by owner Mark Williamson, Willi’s has a reassuring upscale feel. The wine list is dominated by one region—the Rhône—and isn’t afraid to go off the beaten track, peppered with unfamiliar yet exciting wines. The food is traditional French provincial with a modern feel. 13 rue des Petits Champs, 75001. williswinebar.com

BEST FOR MAKING A DISCOVERY

Albion
From the outside, Albion doesn’t look like much. A short walk from Gare du Nord, the former tabac comes across as a large wine shop. But through the door lies a huge room that feels like a restaurant with a bar at the near end. With its stripped bare walls, wooden wine racks and mounted antlers, it has a modern, sophisticated feel. The wine list is 100% French (and 80% natural) and is dominated by three regions—the Rhône, Burgundy and the Loire. Its wine-by-the-glass selection starts at €5. When I stopped by late last year, I made one of my great discoveries of 2014: a supple, light and fresh white wine from the Roussillon. 80 rue du Faubourg Poissonniere, 75010; +33 1 42 46 02 44.

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