Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12 Photo - Buying Wine in France

We are lucky to be living in the largest vineyard in the world. The Languedoc Roussillon is the biggest vineyard in the world, producing more wine than Bordeaux, Australia and Chile combined. With over 2800 vignerons and over 30 different appellations, we really are spoilt for choice. 

The challenge is to find the diamonds in the rough, as, just like any other wine growing region, there are some very fine wines out there and also, some very mediocre ones. 

I have handpicked ( pardon the pun!) my favourite cavistes in the Perpignan area who will help you choose the right wine for the right occasion. Buying wine in a supermarket is fine and handy dandy, but it is nice to support the local economy by purchasing from a local caviste or a local vigneron. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised at the quality and price.. 

Maison Gulhot

You are always assured a very warm welcome from proprietor Georges Guilhot in his new cave in the historic centre of Perpignan. Previously the manager of the Parisian franchise ‘Nicolas’ in Place Repuplique, he has just returned from four years in Tahiti where he learnt about New World Wines in nearby Australia and New Zealand. 

His new cave is stocked with lots of local goodies – 80% of his wines come from the Roussillon region. Georges sources his wines from interesting independent vignerons and chooses with care. He is passionate about wine and food and a visit to his shop is always full of anecdotes and laughter , along with a taste of his favourite tipple of the day. His wines range in price from 3€50 for a bottle of VDP Cote Catalans, ROC du Gouverneur 2007 to his most expensive bottle at 290€ for a Chateau Rothschild and then everything in between.

Once a month , he organises soirées gourmands, sumptuous wine and food matching nights in conjunction with chef, Bruno Léger. Having attended a couple of these delightful evenings, there are worth going on the short list for!

Georges can also organise private evenings in his cave – he can cater for about 20 people or if you want to organise an evening at a different venue, he can cater for this also.

Georges has over 15 years experience in the restaurant trade in England and the US and speaks perfect English.

He also stocks a selection of fine champagnes and whiskies.

Maison Guilhot
13 place de poilus
Perpignan 66000
Tel : 0678445480

Aux Vins 4 Canons

An old armoury situated at 24 bd Clemenceau ( hence the jeu de mots with the name), Fabien Plane and his Mother Francoise head up this beautiful cave on the snazziest Boulevard in Perpignan. Fabien opened the wine shop in 2006 and has developed the cave as a serious platform for biodynamic wines in the region. Specialising in biodynamic, natural and organic wines, mostly from the Roussillon region, he has carved a niche in the market for himself, offering the largest selection of biodynamic wines in the region.

Every Tuesday evening, he invites a vigneron to the cave for a chat and tastings – numbers are always limited .

Thursday evenings, the cave is transformed into a bar where you can purchase a “formule” ; a glass of wine with charcuterie, fruits de mer or even pizza ; they have a different theme each Thursday. Price is usually 8€. Kick off is 19h30 every Thursday evening and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly as people ease themselves into the weekend.

They also sell a lovely selection of organic charcuterie as well as some interesting artisanal icecream. 

Francoise Plane, a renowned sculptress in her own right, fronts the show at the moment. She speaks excellent English.
Vins 4 Canons,
24 bis bd Clemenceau,
66000 Perpignan

V and B
Vins et Bieres

Situated in the centre commercial in Mas Geurido, this cave offers a unique experience in Perpignan with it’s extensive range of beers and wines from around the world. Doubling as a cave and a bar, the cave a vins offers more than 250 wines from all around the world. The cave a bières boasts over 350 beers from Belguim, Germany, Ireland, England and Argentina.
Parking is not a problem in Mas Guerido which is a huge bonus for people popping in after work or at lunch time for a nice cold beer before heading off home. The atmosphere in the bar is family orientated ( Think Cheers!), everyone seems to know each other and with an early closing hour of 21h00 , the ambience is chilled out with no messy clients. 
The huge bar is open for private functions and owner, Romuald , is keen to open his doors for private soirées .. he also holds wine and beer tasting nights on a regular basis.

The terrace, will add another new dimension to the bar and Romauld is planning on having barbeque nights and parties there – as you are in the middle of a non residential area, you can make as much noise as you like!

V and B
22 rue Michel Carre
66330 Cabestany
Tel : 0468863668
Web : www.VandB.fr

Cave Gustumo

A relaxed cave in the centre of Canet plage, this cave has over 350 wine references and is always on the look out for new and interesting wines. Jean Phillipe Agen, the owner is very knowledgeable about wine and is very enthusiastic about his local wines and terroir. He speaks good English too.

You can also order on line for collection or delivery at very competitive prices.

11 avenue de la Méditerranée

Cheers !


  1. I loved this post, thanks. We were near Perpignan in May, but didn't get into town and having since discovered your blog I am regretting that, but there is always next time!

  2. Yup, that settles it. I'm moving to France when my kids are grown! BEAUTIFUL! WRITE ON!

  3. Just seen this Karen and would encourage you to add "Au Part des Anges" and "Le Comptoire des Crus" in Perpignan. Plus your neighbouring caviste, Cellier St Guilhem in Cabastany.

    1. Thanks Jon. I like these cavistes too. This article was written a number of years ago and could do with updating.


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