Food & Drinks

A Wine Lover’s Haven in Paris

A wine cellar specialist shows a bottle of Romanee-Conti in Paris. FILE PHOTO | AFP 

The idea was to visit Paris’, AfroByte, the massive incubation hub that connects African tech industry to other international communities. Next door, there is a big food market; think 1,000 seats and seven restaurants.

Pasta, pizza, truffle pasta, mozzarella focaccia, burgers, among other foods go for anything between Sh700 to Sh900 at the La Felicità food market which is within Station F.

Station F was a former railway station. There is a bar in there. Of course there is a bar in there, this is Paris. It’s an open bar that rises to the roof with shelves upon shelves of... you guessed it, wine!

This is like a wine haven. It must contain anything like 200,000 bottles of wine. (I’m exaggerating). It’s the most wine I have seen in one place that isn’t a winery.

I know squat about wine. I know that there is red and white wine and that white is served chilled and red is served room temperature, unless you are in the tropics.

I know about full-bodied wine. But that’s it. One of the people asked our minders what’s the best wine they serve and she said, “there is no ‘the best wine’. In Paris every wine is great wine.” So much to choose from and so affordable. A glass goes for Sh400.

Over lunchtime, men and women, mostly from the tech start-ups next door, in their tech uniform of jeans and sneakers, eat pasta, drink wine and beer.

I asked, more like whispered, to the barman how much an Oban was and he said Sh800. I didn’t bother to ask if it was for a tot or a double.

The air at La Felicità is of bonhomie. It’s heated inside, which means after eating a good meal all you want to do is chase it with a drink. And why not, it’s the Parisian way after all.