....wine bars specializing in AF Approved wines, ones made with no hanky-panky.
Don’t expect these wine bars to be high-concept trendy joints. Many of the new bar a vin are working with a limited kitchen and budget. While some are impossibly cute (check for these over the next few weeks), design usually takes back seat and all eyes are on the wine.
Like at La Muse Vin over in the 10th --the bustling Bastille (101 Rue de Charonne, Tel: 01 40 09 93 05). Three years ago I walked in frozen faced from a February wind. When I saw the library-like walls lined with 200 plus references, mostly unfamiliar to the American wine drinker (many I knew from importer Joe Dressner, do visit his blog at Joedressner.com), I was not leaving, even though it seems as if I had made a reservation at the wrong place.
I pouted and it worked. The impishly side-burned owner Guillaume (there are two Guillaume’s) sat me at the bar on a rickety stool. We talked wine and he tolerated my crappy French. He is infectiously enthusiastic and eager to recommend his latest favorite wine from some honest wine guy in the Loire valley who works his land with a horse instead of a tractor.
Since that first long wine drenched night, whomever sits next to me is inevitably chain-smoking, knocking back an unsulphured bottle of let’s say, Domaine St. Anne Bandol and slurping a shiny pumpkin soup with disk of foie en flotnt while talking about their latest film editing gig. Being a creature of habit, I always order something from Dard & Ribo, a Northern Rhone producer whose presence I deeply miss in the states. (Look for it in the states soon, thanks to the efforts of Jenny Lefcourt of Jenny & Francois imports.)
After my fifth dinner at Muse I decided I had to expand my horizons. And so I hiked up to the shabby part of the 3rd arrondissment to…………….