November 26, 2012

Deep inside La Grande Epicerie


On December 6, La Grande Epicerie de Paris will officially open its spanking new wine cellar. The circular space with white brick arches spans an impressive 550 sq.m. of floorspace in the basement, stocked with 2,000 wines and nearly 1,000 spirits and champagnes, all carefully conserved.

At the heart of the new cellar is the 'vault'—home to 375 bottles of the rarest and most prestigious wines, selected by chef de cave Hugues Forget. A wine steward keeps a close eye on these treasured flacons and is available to help and advise.

La Grande Epicerie's wine cellar also offers oversized bottles (from the classic 1.5-liter Magnum to the truly exceptional 18-liter Melchior), champagnes (400 references from Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Moët & Chandon and others) and spirits (fine whiskeys, brandies, vodkas and rums).

The watchwords behind the cellar's six-month redevelopment were discovery, conviviality and advice. It now has six tasting tables, three of dedicated to exploring the winegrowing regions of France. Special events are planned, with winemakers invited to introduce aficionados and the simply curious to new vineyards.

Visitors will also be impressed by the cellar's all-new restaurant and wine bar, open from midday to 9 p.m. Chef Jean-Jacques Massé proposes a menu of finger foods, each associated with a selection of wine suggestions. A great way to learn about which wines best complement different dishes!

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