Wouldn’t it be great to jump on a plane and travel to France at a moment’s notice? To leisurely explore the country’s regions and get a better understanding of its varied terroir?
While a spontaneous flight may not be realistic, it is possible to travel the country by glass, all from the comfort of home, with a little help from the Paris Wine Company.
I last ran into Josh Adler, creator and owner of the Paris Wine Company, several months ago at a favorite wine bar, Verjus. At the time he had just left his position of three years as the Wine Director at Spring Restaurant – where he also managed their boutique – to start up this latest venture. So, it seemed appropriate to catch up with him again over a glass of wine at Verjus and chat about his project.
The Paris Wine Company connects people with exceptional wines through an online shop, club and tastings. And while there are plenty of places to both buy or learn about wine, I wanted to find out what sets the PWC apart from the rest.
Both enthusiastic and passionate about the wine profession, Josh’s attitude reflects the current culinary zeitgeist for interesting, well-crafted and artisanal products. While there is more than enough choice at both ends of the spectrum, from cheap and drinkable to big names with equally big prices, he appears to work in an interesting space between the two. PWC sets itself apart by providing remarkable offerings at prices that remain accessible.
Josh is able to source these interesting wines thanks to a list of contacts built up over a decade in the business plus his natural affinity for discovering the new, interesting and worthwhile. Rather than the lofty ideals and language often associated with wine, it’s the human touch and the agricultural side that drives his discoveries.
Verjus Wine Bar (Julien Hausherr)
It’s difficult to talk about terroir and production without touching on natural wines and their growing prominence in popular wine bars. Josh explains that his focus is on ‘good’ and not necessarily ‘natural.’ And, while he doesn’t find it necessary to take a stance for or against natural wines, he admits that more often than not his best discoveries are made with natural methods.
And he should be familiar with his producers’ methods. He usually spends at least a week a month on the road, meeting with producers, tasting their products and checking out production.
The PWC’s goal seems to be to take people on a voyage of discovery. Josh bemoans the tendency to shop by price and points and suggests that it’s the first thing to remove from the equation when trying to find a wine. Rather than monitor numbers, he’d prefer wine to be viewed as something to be discovered, a personal experience. He believes there is “something really rewarding about this idea of really getting to know something and seeing how it changes over time, and not needing to get something and drink it all in a day.”
As such, he suggests that it’s always possible to find a little “space in your life” (or basement) to store a few bottles and open them up over time to see how they change and ultimately enrich the whole experience. Each bottle is something that can be shared, that can spark old memories or create new ones. And, it’s hard not to be seduced by the romance of that notion.
This idea of discovery also drives his wine club. Members sign up for a quarterly selection of 6 bottles delivered to their door (worldwide, 250 USD including shipping). Each pack comes with information about the wine and winemaker and an opportunity for subscribers to learn more about a region and – hopefully – their own tastes in wine. And, for those already in France, the PWC also does wine tastings and occasionally collaborates with local restaurants like Verjus to showcase their wine selections.
Ultimately, the PWC aims to deliver more than just a bottle. These wines go beyond the supermarket fare and bring you something a little more rare than the big names already being exported. These wines are a way to take home a bit of France, explore it from a far, prolong a visit, or share it with your friends. And, really, what better way to armchair travel or relive your French holiday than with an outstanding bottle of wine?
- Sign up for the Paris Wine Company email list here for more info on the all their great artisan wines
- Garagiste offers hand selected wines delivered to your door. Find out more here.
- Don’t miss Forest’s previous post for the HiP Paris Blog about Paris’ best and trendiest wine bars at the moment
- Looking for other great wine shops in the French capital? Time Out has listed the best for us
Written by Forest Collins for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.