While most travelers seek out the most talked out Paris restaurants, I’d much rather pull up a stool at a wine bar. Tucked into a tiny space in the Odeon area on the left bank, is a great little Paris wine bar I visited on my last trip, called La Crémerie. You may be wondering why a wine bar would be called The Dairy? Well, the building in which the wine bar is housed, actually used to be a dairy. Very clever marketing by the owner.
When you first walk in, you’ll see a few tiny tables, walls lined with wines (with a focus on organic varietals), and a bar lined with a few stools.
A fire-engine red vintage meat slicer takes center stage at the bar as well as ham, salami and sausage from France, Spain and Italy, dangling from the original hand-painted ceiling. Even though we did not order any meat, we still got to see big red in action.
We arrived right before the afternoon lunch crowd, and the owner informed us that most of his tables were reserved, so we had a seat at the bar. Every Paris wine bar require you to have a little bite to eat with your wine. Pesky rules and regulations. Doesn’t seem like much a stretch for me.
We ordered wine by the glass. I sampled an organic red. I was forewarned of the impending earthiness and sediment, but I loved it.
The menu is handwritten in French on a small blackboard, but the owner helped us with translations. It took us forever to decide, but we finally agreed upon a plate of marinated vegetables, which included roasted red peppers, eggplant and mushrooms, dressed with olive oil and garnished with parsley.
And you can’t possibly be drinking wine and not sample some French cheese. Though I don’t remember the name, it resembled a Brie.
The tiny cave filled up with locals while we were dining. It became a loud, bustling, convivial, well…wine bar. Since Le Crémerie is also open to the public selling the wines that line the walls, people drifted in and out making wine purchases, perhaps to go with their own lunch in the nearby Luxembourg Gardens.
Whether you are in the area and need a bottle of wine or you are hungry and want a nosh, this Paris wine bar should definitely be on your short list.
9 rue des Quatres Vents