Envrac is another concept of wine shop serving food, this venue also sells wine in bulk, either in bottle or in any larger container that you might bring yourself. I knew about another place in Paris with this sort of service, Le Baron Rouge, they also sell in bulk the old way there, but Envrac is a fairly recent place which opened 15 months ago at the corner of rue l'Olive and rue Riquet, in an area of Paris with both islands of gentrified streets and large stretches of neighborhoods populated by non-european migrants. The owner first opened this venue in the covered market nearby (marché couvert de L'Olive) in 2011 but resettled to an independent street address a couple years later. This covered market is worth a visit, you find a large choice of cheese, charcuterie, meat and vegetables, plus a couple or more of traiteurs and restaurants. Rain or shine, this is a market you can enjoy in all seasons.
Envrac, or "en vrac", means in bulk in French. While buying wine in bulk is still very commonplace in many wineries in the French provinces, it has mostly disappeared in the cities, but it was also very easy in Paris from what I know until probably the 1950s' or earl 1960s', and if you are familiar with the work of the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson you may remember this great picture of his featuring a boy coming home proudly with two liter-size bottles of red wine that his father had probably sent him get from the wine shop around the corner. The Vin de table (table wine) was then a simple, light wine (often diluted at 9% or 8% alcohol) which was probably much more drinkable than much of what you find today among those in the lowest price bracket. In the 1970s' and 1980s' bottling became much cheaper and bulk wine as well as returnable bottles (with deposit) vanished : Even everyday table wines were purchased in their own sealed bottles (the quality of what was inside was incindently beginning to change for the worse due to the growing number of winemaking additives on the market, but this is another story...)
The wine shop/bistrot Envrac was created by Thierry Poincin who began his wine adventures by opening a wine shop at the covered market marché des Enfants Rouges in 2000, adding a wine restaurant (L'Estaminet) in this same market. In 2011, he opened an import business in Hong Kong, and in 2011 he opened a first version of Envrac in the covered market of L'Olive (video on the left) a hundred meters away, before moving it to the present location at the corner of rue l'Olive & rue Riquet.
They also make sandwiches (from 4,6 € to 5,5 €) from ham (Serrano), saucisson, rillettes, terrine, samers and Fourne d'Ambert (cheese).
When you eat there you can have with your food bulk wine by the glass for 3 €, or by the pot (50 cl) for 10,5 € or by the bottle for 14 €. If you prefer a bottle from the wine-shop side, just add 6 € for the cork fee. Considering that many wines of these natural wines cost around 10 € or even less, this makes a cheap bill for having artisan wine in a restaurant.
On sunday there's a brunch at 20 € including charcuterie, cheeses, fruits, butter, jam & toasts, cake, fruit (or vegetable) juice, and coffee/tea/chocolate.
There are about 8 or 10 stainless-steel vat in the back along the wall, placed on top of blocks of wood to compensate with their small size and have the tap at easy reach. I would say they have a volume of 30 or 50 liters., each vat has a tag saying what's inside and how much it costs. The displayed price is for 75-centiliter volumes, not liters, which makes a big difference from the wineries and coops where you always buy in bulk (it's always counted per liter there).
As said you can bring your own container, bottle, carafe or whatever, but in case you didn't plan ahead and come empty handed, they have bottles with deposits for you, actually recycled swing-stopper bottles of the type used in the past for lemonade
Here are the wines available in bulk (priced per 75 centiliters) :
Beaujolais Villages Domaine Pur 2012 (red) 8 €
Macon Azé, domaine de Rochebin 2012, 6,8 €
Vin de Pays d'Oc, domaine Preignes le Vieux, le Petit Pont 2011, 3 €
Pont du Gard, Cuvée les Galets, Les Vignerons d'Estézargues 2012, 4,2 €
Bourgogne Pinot Noir, domaine de Rochebin 2012, 6,8 €
Beaujolais Villages, Domaine Pur (white) 2013, 7 €
Domaine de Montgillet (Anjou), Grolleau 2012, 4 €
Saint Pourçain, Cuvée des Vignerons 2012 (gamay), 4,2 €
They also sell olive oil in bulk, first-press, organic, from Italy at 15 € for 75 cl.
I'd say all these wines are conventional wines, the only natural wine being the one from the Estézargues coop. I had my bottled filled with Grolleau for a try. The wine did not meet my expectations and was not interesting, and just a couple of half-filled glasses gave me a dry mouth the following morning, next time I'll have the Estézargues.
There is some sort of nitrogen protection on the wines, which is why all the tubing connections running above the vats.
The venue being opened 7 days a week from 10 am to midnight, that's a place of choice to buy wine when you're going out for dinner at friends' and forgot to buy a bottle, that's the very convenient side of all this caviste-restaurant thing initiated by Le Verre Volé.
Here are a few bottles that I spotted, beginning with whites :
Jacky Preys Silex (sauvignon) 8 €; Domaine de l'Ausseil Papillon
vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes 14,7 €; Domaine de Pellehaut Gascogne 6,8 €; Domaine Sylvain Bailly Quincy Beaucharme 11,5 €; Domaine des Pothiers Fou de Chêne 12,5 €; Coteaux du Loir blanc L'Orée de la Berterie 11,5 €; Chinon Les Roches 2020 21 €; Domaine Bertin-Delatte Les Bouillons vin de France (chenin) 13 €; Domaine Bertin-Delatte vin de France Chenin 2011 L'Échalier 16 €; Overnoy vin de France Vin De Pagaille (50 cl) 47 €; Domaine Riberach Côtes Catalanes Synthese (white) 17,5 €; Mauzac Blanc (variety Mauzac Vert) 2012 15,7 €; Véronique Souloy et Anthony Guix Matin Calme (Roussillon) 16,9 €; Quite a few Alsace wines by Sylvie Spielmann prices from 12,5 and 19 €; Dard & Ribo Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2011 25 €; Jacky Preys Fié Gris (pink-skinned sauvignon)
A few white pet'nats (natural sparklings) : Domaine Bertin-Delatte Sautillant vin de France 17 €; Domaine Plageoles Mauzac Nature Quand Même !!! 2012 17,2 €; Marc Plouzeau Chinon Perle Sauvage pétillant naturel 12,5 €
Some reds : Vignerons d'Estézargues Les Grandes Vignes Côtes du Rhône 2013 6,5 €; Château Bas Coteaux-d'Aix-en-Provence l'Alvernègue 7 €; Domaine Riberach Rosé No 12 vin de pays des côtes catalanes 12 €; La Ficelle Saint Pourçain 2012 5,9 €; Jacky Preys Valençay Rouge 2010 6,2 €; Pascal Pilabeau Gamay Val de Loire 11 €; Brendan Tracey Pour une Poignée de Bouteilles 12,5 €; Brendan Tracey Gorge Sèche rosé 11% alc 14 €; Laurent Lebled "Ca C'est Bon" Touraine Gamay 2012 12 €; Elodie Balme vin de France 9,3 €, Domaine Mouressipe Alain Allier Pitchounet 11,5 €; Domaine Mouressipe Alain Allier Cacous 12 €; Domaine La Petite Baigneuse Maury sec Trinquette 12 €; Domaine Leonine Amédée vin de France 2013 14 €; Domaine Potron Minet Roulé Boulé vin de France 2012 14,3 €; Domaine Potron Minet Pari Trouillas vin de France 2013 10,5 €; Domaine Potron Minet Querida vin de France 2012 16 €; Axel Prüfer Brutal Fatal vin de table 2012 (turbid red - 12 %) 16,9 €; Quite a few cuvées from Jean-Claude Rateau from 16,2 (Bourgogne) to 34,5 € (Gevrey-Chambertin).
There are a few craft beers and artisanal ciders too.
They have a few magnums too : Le Temps des Cerises, un Pas de coté 50 €, Domaine de Pothiers Fou de Chêne chardonnay 2012; Laurent Lebled On est su'l sable Touraine (red - 11,5 %)