This is a caviste with a difference. For those who love drinking wine and saving the planet En Vrac provides an opportunity to combine those two worthy objectives in its small boutique just near the Marché de l’Olive in the 18th arrondissement. Here, as in many cave à mangers around the city you can purchase a bottle of wine either to take away or to drink in the café, but what really sets En Vrac apart is how those bottles get filled – the wine comes from huge, gleaming stainless steel vats inside their premises (En Vrac is French for ‘in bulk’). The wine is sourced from small producers from well-known wine appellations such as Loire, Coté Languedoc, and Rhone, and red or white varieties are available. Customers can either bring their own containers to be filled (and then re-filled), either a modest bottle or ‘family-sized’ cubi, or, for a small deposit, En Vrac provides charming custom vessels, the design based on vintage lemonade bottles. The concept originated from the owner Thierry Poincin’s fond memories of his childhood, when he would regularly go with his uncle to collect wine ‘en vrac’ from local vignerons. The wine available at En Vrac is all ‘vin naturel’ – wine made with minimal intervention, in the case of this shop, without sulfites – so you’ll taste the terroir.
Proprietaire-made Champagne is also on offer, but this come pre-bottled for safety’s sake. En Vrac have even expanded their repertoire to include beer as well! For those who aren’t quite ready for wine this rustic, an excellent selection of producer-bottled vin naturel and craft beer is also on the shelves, but why not take the plunge and go ‘en vrac’. While enjoying your wine, wherever it came from, you can munch on small plates of fresh, tasty produce from Claires de Bouzigues Oc Thau oysters, locally sourced charcuterie and homemade meals and cakes. En Vrac also runs wine ateliers, where participants are introduced to the theory of wine-making and even have the opportunity to create their own basic wine blend in class. Going green never tasted this good!
2 rue de l’Olive, 18th
Ph: 01 53 26 03 94
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-midnight
Metro: Marx Dormoy (12), La Chapelle (2)