An introduction to French Wines: Frenchie Caviste

What about a small immersion into the world of French wines? As a gourmet, I have always had the feeling that something was missing in my culinary education because I knew zero about wines. Food and wine pairing? I had no clue. This is why I recently decided it was time to fill in the gap and book a wine tasting class. I chose a 2-hour introduction to French wines at “Frenchie Caviste” because I knew it would be very professional, given the reputation of the Chef behind the wine shop, Gregory Marchand.  

The most gastronomic street in Paris?

In a tiny street of Le Sentier neighborhood in Paris, French Chef Gregory Marchand has built, over the years, a small culinary empire. The highly acclaimed fine-dining restaurant (read my review of Frenchie here), open in 2009, was quickly followed by a wine bar across the street (Frenchie Bar à Vins), then by a takeaway deli (Frenchie to go) and last but not least, a wine shop (Frenchie Caviste). On the same street, “Terroirs d’Avenir”, a firm that supplies high-end restaurants also opened 4 shops (a butcher, a fishmonger, a bakery and a grocery store/produce dealer). And you will also find a “l’Arbre à Café” shop, which imports and roasts biodynamic coffees. Incredible what the formerly unknown rue du Nil now has to offer to epicurean Parisians!

Who is Frenchie caviste?

Frenchie Caviste is the latest arrival in the Frenchie group. An opening (in 2015) that was justified by the restaurant and wine bar patrons’ frustration for not being able to buy and bring home the wonderful wines they were served.  Sommelier Aurélien Massé, who is in charge of the cellar, explains that the idea was also “to enlarge the offer with more winegrowers from all over the world and at all prices”. Note that wines from the Rhone region are slightly over-represented, Aurélien being a native of this area;).

A 2-hour session with a tasting of 5 wines

Actually, the session started at 8 pm and ended well after 10 pm; we had so much fun with Aurélien and the other guests that time flew by without us noticing. There were 1 Champagne, 2 White and 2 Red from different regions (Loire, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, etc.) and we learned how to identify and taste them. For Champagne, for instance, the first thing to observe is the bubbling (small or large bubbles?), then the color and the hue, then the viscosity (if the wine flows slowly or not inside the glass), the first smell then the second smell after you turn the glass. It was so interesting, even for a non-wino like me!

For each wine, Aurélien told us what made it different, with plenty of details, tips, and fun anecdotes and we had to guess which were the dominant olfactory notes (like licorice, peach, citrus, berries, honey and many more) thanks to a box of more than 50 aromas. A perfect tool to educate one’s nose!  Needless to say, I was the worst guest at that game! Quite surprising since I -think I- have a fine palate, but it seems that the tongue and the nose are 2 very different things!

At the end of the course, we had the pleasure of tasting English cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy and a homemade terrine made by the Chefs from Frenchie. It was about time to eat something because I was clearly drunk :D! My little tip: try to eat a little something before the class in order not to feel dizzy after the second glass of wine.

Practical information

4 types of tastings are available, from 42 euros (beginners) to 120 euros (outstanding wines) per person, with a minimum of 5 wines, cheese, cured meat and bread at the end of the class. The classes can be held in English. Special discount for justviseating readers: Contact me to get a discount of 5 euros on the 55 euros class (« Discover French Wines »):

To book a course by email:

Frenchie Caviste

9, rue du Nil 75002 Paris
Tél. : +33 (0)

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