Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Paris -- Augé Wine Shop

There is a wine and spirits shop in the eighth arrondissment that is worth a visit if you are interested in either: Augé, which has been in business since 1850. In addition to wines from all over France (primarily), Augé has a comprehensive selection of spirits, including their proprietary versions of famous single malt scotches. They work with leading distillers and, among other things, require them to use no dyes so the scotches look paler even though they retain the characteristics one would expect from the normal offerings by the same distillers. A wide selection of armagnacs, cognacs, calvadoses, etc. are also offered.

What distinguishes Augé from many other stores is the depth of expertise to be found there. I have had almost uniformly excellent recommendations for wines and wine pairings in various price ranges from at least three of the people there. Most interesting recommendation so far: to pair with beet soup, NO WINE. Indeed, the people at Augé believe that wine simply does not go with soup (or artichokes -- this being a more commonly held view), and they say that any sommelier worth his salt will not try to sell you a wine to go with a soup appetizer. I have mentioned this to other French people, who generally seem to agree in principle (but not in practice).

And it was at Augé that I discovered Drappier Brut
Zéro Champagne, a lovely champagne that is made with no added sugar (and only costs about $30 per bottle). This champagne is not available in the US, but other no-sugar-added champagnes are; I will have to try one or more of them and report. If you are familiar with any of these, please let me know by commenting below or emailing separately if you are too shy.

Bobby Jay

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know Drappier is available in the US --the burgundy wine organization I work with serves it a lot--but I don't know about this special one--I shall ask them and let you know what they say.