Wednesday, December 20, 2006

70 000 wine bottles in the heart of Le Marais


Last evening I had the privilege of visiting an extraordinary place: the Au bonheur du vin wine cellar. This cellar is located in the heart of Le Marais (rue des blancs manteaux) in a bank (the Credit Municipal) and all the wine you can find there (70 000 bottles!) is not for sale but belongs to individuals who simply want to keep their bottles away from light, thieves and changes of temperature. It costs about 10 €/month for 50 bottles which, I think, is pretty reasonable. This wonderful idea originates from 2 guys: Thibaut Meslay and Frédéric-Jean Hoguet (on the photo).

63 comments:

  1. How did you discover this place?

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  2. How many bottles of wine do yue have kept here? Love the lighting - quite eerie!

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  3. I was invited by the PR person, I would have never discovered it by myself!

    Rickemmanuel. None! I do not drink wine... Nor alcohol in general.

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  4. Eric: It looks like you were on the floor when you took this picture. Are you sure you didn't have too much wine? ;)

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  5. This really is fabulous. Like the catacombs, with wine bottles instead of femurs and skulls.

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  6. Well... hel..LO Frederic-Jean!
    lol. This photo has such a great angle. To be invited, that's great you lucky thing, Eric. Well who wouldn't want to invite you anyway, of course? So it's just storage - i wonder how often people come to retrieve their wine or whether they will keep it there for many years. It's not a bad price, no, but i can't help thinking it's a bit decadent to pay someone else to look after your wine for you?

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  7. This is a brilliant business enterprise.

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  8. Est-ce que Frédéric-Jean est célibataire?!

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  9. Eric, I was going to ask if that is where you are keeping all your regulars Christmas presents and then I read your post :O...A frenchmen that doesn't drink wine!?! Why that's....that's....that's UnFrench!!! For shame! Kidding...but I am surprised!

    What is that guy doing with his hands?

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  10. lol Buzzgirl! Je vous comprends, mais surement pas! Le regardez...

    Est-ce que vous cherchez des bouteilles de vin en ce moment la, chez vous, pour une petite visite a cet homme? lol .. ah! - en tout cas, il porte une alliance! C'est dommage, uh?

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  11. He's resting his hands, Susan, in a nonchalant way but really he's firmly showing us female DPs that he's taken, by displaying his wedding band to the camera. Oh and there's some wine in the picture, too, apparently. Yawn.

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  12. Careful there, Eric; there's an interesting short story of Edgar Allen Poe's that involves a Cask...

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  13. Eric, I love your capture of the young business man showing you his trade. He appears in motion with the light above proving his way.

    Very personal.

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  14. some kind of a safe deposit box for wine?! that's a good idea for a wine-loving culture...and this is a very nice photo!

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  15. This is just one great idea. Eric, you always have the most interesting things to show us...thanks!

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  16. Eric, you know me, I did the maths.
    70 000 bottles at 10€/mth per 50 necks is 14000€ per month of gross revenue.
    I guess the Credit Municipal would not charge that much for some basement/no window/no confort space.

    Well, sounds a pretty could income to me. For doing not much but posing in front of PDP's crafty reporter!!...

    These two guys are definitely smart.

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  17. Out of curiousity, did you get a release to post this photo? I mean, it's taken inside a private establishment with a person posing in it; not a photo taken in public space.

    I'm learning the ins & outs of photojournalism; not that I'm either a photographer or a journalist. :-) Just curious!1

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  18. Eric, you know me, I did the maths.
    70 000 bottles at 10€/mth per 50 necks is 14000€ per month of gross revenue.
    I guess the Credit Municipal would not charge that much for some basement/no window/no confort space.

    Well, sounds a pretty could income to me. For doing not much but posing in front of PDP's crafty reporter!!...

    These two guys are definitely smart.

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  19. sorry, my server stutters. apologies for the constant repeat.

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  20. What a clever idea! A wine-bank...
    Just one apprehension: I think he shouldn't be smoking inside a "vault" full of wine boxes that cost quite much!

    And Eric: A Parisian who doesn't drink wine? Maybe that's because you haven't tried Chilean wine...

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  21. :)
    cool shot!!and i like the angle you chose.
    and wine...sounds romantic for me.
    hee hee...the 2 guys must be the romantic Parisian.:))

    jing

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  22. A view aboveground, thanks to "anonymous" on 17 Décembre 2006.

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  23. Oh, look, BV has gone to Blogger Beta! ;)

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  24. Eric, viens boire un coup chez "ma tante" !
    Ça c'est des relations publiques !!!

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  25. > Buzzgirl. Je ne sais pas s'il est célibataire !! The visit did not include marital status check!

    > BV, I was ROFL when I read your comment (once, not 5 times though ;). Only you can think of that LOL.

    I agree it sounds like a brilliant business and it is for sure, but the profit must not be as good as what you calculated.

    1st they must pay a rent to the bank and considering the location I suppose it's pretty expensive...

    2nd they do the logistics: customers are not allowed to go in there by themselves. So they have to hire people and, you know how much labour costs in France!

    3rd they have to pay insurance. Even if it's in a bank they still need to insure the bottles and some of them are as old as 1936! So you can imagine...

    4th they invested in a pretty advanced web site (although I was amazed to see that there is no English version!) where customers can follow, live, their inventory and even perform stats!

    5th, well I don't know, but there must be a 5th reason why they don't make that much profit! 4 seems uncomplete...

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  26. hi everybody!
    Nice photo Eric, as always!

    Madrid dailyphotoblog again update!

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  27. Eric, It's probably incomplete because the 5th reason is that these poor chaps then have to spend quite a lot of dosh on the sort of high society lifestyle you'd expect of a Parisian wine banker. lol.

    Chilean wine,i must agree, is delicious, though like Eric, i hardly drink at all. You should have a taste though, if you haven't already Eric. Lovely!

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  28. héhé tu m'avais caché çà..
    bon tréve de plaisanterie, dis moi qu'est ce que les dépositaires laissent veillir en général des millésimés, de grandes maisons,des découvertes, du vignobles Corse???
    j'aurais bien aimé découvrir ce lieux...
    a prestu...

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  29. Great photo and story! Perhaps this will become as popular as Swiss accounts. ;^) Always an entrepreneur or two in Le Marais. Although it seems strange to think of an archival wine cellar located at the site of a former swamp (I always think of swamps as hot and muggy). Were you just coming up a stair case or had you put your camera at floor level? Nice point of view and captures your story well.
    -Kim

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  30. Great photo and story! Perhaps this will become as popular as Swiss accounts. ;^) Always an entrepreneur or two in Le Marais. Although it seems strange to think of an archival wine cellar located at the site of a former swamp (I always think of swamps as hot and muggy). Were you just coming up a stair case or had you put your camera at floor level? Nice point of view and captures your story well.
    -Kim

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  31. Sorry for the multiple posts. . .bloger said there was a malfunction, so I posted again. . .but it did have the orginal post. -K.

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  32. I love the photos but the best part, to me, is reading everyone's comments! Very entertaining!

    Ed, I also have had some good Chilean reds (but I don't know the names of them)! California is also producing excellent wines (winning lots of international awards too!). I have become very interested in reds over the past couple of years and if I do say so myself, I've developed a good palette for them. So, I like to try a lot of different wines from different regions.

    Can you recommend a few mid-priced Chilean cabernets? I had an excellent one at a friend's house but neither of us can remember which one it was. When I go shopping for wines, I tend to buy the Californians, Chileans, and sometimes Australian shiraz. Any recommendations would be appreciated!

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  33. Oh, and any recoomedations for French wines also. French wines are very cheap here...but I seem to pick the worst ones when it comes to the French wines so I stopped trying them! So recommendations would be helpful!

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  34. >>Pennsylvania saw a 403 percent jump in reds from Australia, and a 263 percent boost in whites, between 2001 and 2005.>>

    I put this down to my influence. After returning from my trip to Australia in 2000, I encouraged all of my friends to drink Australian wines and they told their friends who told their friends, who repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat......................

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  35. Susan, I'm a lover of french wines living in USA so here's my shortlist:

    RED
    The lesser-known Beaujolais Crus: Saint-Amour, Chenas, Moulin a Vent especially. Should be under $20.
    Cotes du Rhone. Very variable, both in price and quality. Also available in white, and -- only recently -- as a delicious rosé.
    Macon -- same applies but no rosé.
    Chateauneuf du Pape (Pope's Newcastle, as we Brits call it). From the Avignon region, also variable.
    Corbieres. From the extreme south. Can be very affordable.
    Then there are all the "zip-code wines", so called because they only identify their origins by postcode. I have a taste for the wines of Herault, (numbers beginning 34) which are made from the Carignan grape and very very cheap, good, table wines.

    WHITE
    Chablis -- obviously, but you need serious $$$$
    Bourgogne Aligoté is almost exactly the same wine, and cheaper. Around $20
    Puligny Montrachet -- another you can't afford, HOWEVER:
    Saint Veran, from exactly the same region, much cheaper. Maybe $15.
    Macon Lugny, expect to pay under $10.
    Rully, from further north. Over $20 but really fine.
    Be very suspicious of zip-code whites, although I'm not saying you couldn't get an occasional bargain.

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  36. Oh, another bargain red or rosé is Coteaux de Nimes, from the next-door department to Herault, numbers beginning 30.

    I do realise I'm leaving out the entire Loire region and the entire Bordeaux region. The Bordeaux wines tend to be much more sérieux although we see a nice Entre deux Mers occasionally.

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  37. I am a oenophile, though not knowledgeable enough to be called a connoisseur. I just don't much like California red wines, reputed awards or not. They're sour and snarky for my taste. Bordeaux, Cotes du Rhone, Languedocs are my favorites. The lovely Chateauneauf du Papes are a bit pricey for a poor public servant's budget. Let's not forget the Beaujolais neuveaus every year. Buy, try, learn. Lovin' the Italian Temperanillos as well.

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  38. I just took my own advice and bought a Macon Villages for $8. I'm sure it'll be perfectly fine with my sole meuniere tonight :-)

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  39. Susan (atl) and running lateDecember 20, 2006 at 8:33:00 PM GMT+1

    Stu, Thanks so much all for the recommendations! I will cut and paste them into "Word" so that I can save them.

    Jeff, It's so funny (coincedental) that you say that because I could say the same thing but reverse the wine origins! Maybe we should have a "wine sharing" day so that both of us will find more to choose between! You're invited too Stu! Ah...but that's one thing you can't do over the internet I suppose! LOL!

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  40. I was driving down the road and it hit me: Clos du Val! I should tell Jeff about Clos do Val...a very good California cabernet sauvignon! So, when I arrived home, I googled it so I could include a link to it. And that's when I discovered that Clos du Val was one of the California wines in the "legendary Paris taste test" that won. I thought I had good taste! Turns out I do! LOL! I'm just kind of proud of myself because I've never studied wine but "thought" that I had a good palette...but you never know if it's true. Anyway, if you come back Mr. Jeff, try this: Clos du Val. Isn't it funny that so many Californian wines have french names! I suppose that is paying hommage to all the great French wines! A kudos so to speak. Anyway, let me know if you like it!

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  41. Eric...You don't drink wine..and you were in that cellar??? Whammm...!![the sound of me hitting the floor...]..I would have been in heaven!! I was hoping maybe I could find a way to get locked in there for a while...LOL!

    It reminds me of that BBC show.."Absolutely Fabulous", on one segment Patsy and Eddie go to France for a holiday and they visit a Vineyard and they are in the Cave with the vintner tasting bottle after bottle of wine. When they leave with all the wine they bought they are walking through a meadow to their car and keep falling down in the grass and when Eddie gets to the car she forgets she is in France and gets in the car on the right side as if she was in Britain and is moving her arms in the air...searching for the steering wheel that doesn't exist!! Very funny!!

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  42. I'll give it a go. Thanks, susan. And Stu, I'll check your list. Twice, it being that time of year. So, does that make me...

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  43. uh - oh... no picture change and it's 1.19 am in France. Can only mean one thing. Eric's out partying again!

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  44. Well, we now know he doesn't drink...so I wonder what how he party's? Maybe he will tell us!

    Jeff, I explored that website later and the price it listed was expensive! I've drank it many, many times in restaurants and it was much cheaper ($12 per glass at one restaurant and $14 at another). And since restaurants double the price, I don't understand why the bottle is listed so high on the website. I wouldn't buy it from there.

    It is very good, so I hope you can find it. My neighborhood liquor store doesn't carry it (I've looked before).

    Where oh where is Tenin-san?

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  45. mistakes, mistakes

    omit the "what" in first sentence and "drunk" instead of "drank"...what happens when you type that often you or rather, (I) type completely different from how I speak?

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  46. Yeah i reckon he's attending some late night competition/publicity stunt where people have to decorate a wall whilst wearing a scuba diving suit and standing on their heads (see ironing post some while back), or some such ordinary event (in Tenin's life at least) lol

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  47. I'm about halfway through Crime and Punishment by the way Susan. Been picking it up only now and then for over a year! (whilst reading other stuff). I love it and aim to complete it over Christmas. At least get further. Too much to read, most of which i HAVE to read; that's the prob!

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  48. Stu...do you know the story of the bourgogne aligote??? this is the wine used for the drink kir! Also, in San Diego, if you find a French wine that is imported by Kermit Lynch[of Berkeley, CA]make sure you try some. You won't be disappointed!!

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  49. He must have stayed out really late!

    Lynn, I've done that with Don Quixote. I started it a long time ago (I think about three years ago) but just couldn't get into it. If I ever do read it, I'll have to start over again. But I was interested in Crime and Punishment from the beginning. For me, it seems that most older books are a little slow in the beginning (first 100 pages or so) before they get interesting except for a few. I don't know very much about recent books, I hardly ever read them. The most fascinating book I ever read was The Sound and the Fury. I've never seen that writing style before. It was a challenge...a challenge that I loved! I literally couldn't put it down and was analyzing all the way through. The only bad thing is that I think most people in the world would have a huge problem reading it because some of it is written in phonetic south U.S. I'm from the south and even I had to say some of the words out loud to figure out what was been said! But it was fascinating!

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  50. This is just too darn amusing! On my third glass of Ca Cab Jeff...sorry...doesn't taste too snarky to me....but then again, after 3...who could really TELL the difference! Great chatter here Eric...thanks for keeping us so entertained! LOL! ;-)

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  51. LOL Lynn!!! I am far from partying at the moment. I'm off to some vacation time at the end of the week and I have tonnnnnnnns of things to do beforehand (yes, including posting photos for 10 days on PDP!!)

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  52. You learn something new every day and this is IT for me today...had no clue one could "store" their wine off-site in Paris. Sort of like the many storage units we have here in the US....but in a much grander fashion. Very clever!

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  53. This cellar is just a great idea!
    Especially for "Bourgogne" wines that need to be kept very long to be at their best.
    To keep 50 bottles of good Bourgogne for 10 years in this cellar, it would then cost 1200 Euros, meaning about 25 Euros per bottle in addition to the basic price.
    Well, that is a bargain!

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  54. oooh Eric's going on hols! Where does a trendy Parisian head to i wonder? mmm the south, swanning around cannes perhaps with trusty camera, or popping over to USA to visit DPers. OH! Perhaps he's coming to see me in Cheltenham; and i have just the hotel for you Eric; suit your style. Take a look at my blog.

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  55. I must say, it's a darned shame the wine man's married. Not that I even noticed how handsome he is!

    Never had a wine I've liked, except for a home brew by someone I once knew. It was a very wonderful blackberry wine. Of course I've never been able to afford the expensive, so-called good wine, so I can't say as I have much wine experience.

    And lynn, I'd say it's probably a very very good thing you and I don't drink much. Just imagine all the trouble we'd get into if we did! And especilly if we knw eac other in real life!

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  56. Hello wine man, you look better on my big tv!

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  57. Very exclusive photo and article thanks for sharing.

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