It is impossible to visit Paris and not be overcome by the beauty and deliciousness of the surroundings: the stunning gardens, the perfectly light pastries, the chic fashion, the architecture. And of course, the wine. But French wine can seem so complex and mysterious – there are so many unfamiliar regions and grapes, it is difficult to know where to start! The best place in Paris to begin one’s wine journey is at a local wine bar.
The 11eme Domaine is located in Oberkampf, a trendy area close to the Canal St. Martin, popular with young Parisians. This “Bar a Vins” is owned by Ramez and his wife Akime.
Ramez is originally from Lebanon and moved to France 20 years ago and Akime is from Japan. The 11eme Domaine used to be their favourite local wine bar, when Ramez worked for Lindt Chocolate and met Akime as an exchange student. When the previous owner retired, they jumped at the chance of taking over its ownership.
The place is rustically comfortable, and stocked from floor to ceiling with wines from all over France. The owners work directly with growers to offer a wide choice of wines fromBordeaux , Côtes du Rhône, Pays d’Oc , Burgundy, Beaujolais, Champagne and other French regions.
Wine is sold by the glass, and Ramez, Akime and their staff are very helpful in providing advice on what wine to choose. They try to find out what flavours you like in a wine, and to provide the best match. They are not happy until you are happy! The only requirement for drinking wine at 11eme Domaine is that you must also eat (the sacrifice!) which means making a selection from their menu of incredible cheese and charcuterie.
The cheese is extremely varied and exotic, with some having colours of red and green. There was one amazing soft cheese we tried the was baked and served with fig jam on top with fresh baguette. And, thanks to Akime, there is also an impressive selection of Japanese Whisky!
The wines here are incredibly delicious, and what is truly wonderful is that if you absolutely fall in love with a glass, you can buy a bottle to take home