Our wine bar of the day is located in the very center of Paris, in a narrow street which is not really on the tourist beaten path, the rue Montorgueil. Patrick Fabre, the owner, has made of this place what I consider one of the top wine places in Paris.
Whatever, the market is gone, but the Tonneaux des Halles keeps living, with a renewed spirit and with a new clientèle.
When you come from les Halles, the bar is on the right in a corner [picture above]. There are quite a few bars and cafés in this street and you can easily pass it without noticing, as even though it is a great wine bar, it doen't flash it outside in big letters...
The typical wines-by-the-glass list comprises 9 reds and 5 whites, and all of them are tasty, full of life, natural wines. Patrick has of course a number of bottles not listed on the blackboard that you can inquire about, like this white Saumur. These days for example, he has among other bottles a nice Cotes du Rhone 2006 from Domaine de L'Anglore, Cuvée "les Pierres Chaudes", a hit among customers, also a Macon-Cruzille red (Pinot Noir) 2005 by Julien Guillot, and a Corbières Domaine Faillenc, Cuvée "Conference de presse" 2004 (a Syrah from the Languedoc).
A last word about the wines : The prices for a glass go from 2 to 3 Euro in 7cl glasses (at the counter only) and from 4 to 6 Euro in 14cl glasses. Different volumes and prices : for a wine priced at 2 Euro/7cl or 4 Euro/14cl, you get 25cl for 7 Euro, 50cl for 14 Euro and 21 Euro for the bottle. A few names that I read recently on the list : Tribouley, C&P Breton, Queyroux, Descombes, les Griottes, Chidaine, Cadart. The bar kept the long working days from the wholesale-food-market era, and it is opened 6 days a week from 8am to 2am. The staff is relax and as it is a real neighborhood bar, you don't need to be a wine geek to feel at ease here, but Patrick shines when you show you genuinely liked his wine. Alain (the man on the left, picture at the top), the chief waiter, retired last august but the young generation is there.
If you want to have a better than average experience of Beaujolais Nouveau day, this is one of the bar to visit not only because you will be sure to drink something worth, Lapierre, Descombes, Foillard (or whoever, you can trust Patrick's choice) but also because the place is alive and crowded (plus, the musicians..). Patrick knows personaly the artisan vignerons you drink the wine from, and you even might see some of them if you are around at 1am, as this is usually in these late hours that the vignerons come at the bar to deliver a few cases (Thanks to the mayor, Paris has become a nightmare to drive by day).