When in Paris, a girl must visit: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Versailles. She should stroll through the Tuileries Gardens, shop for French couture and cosmetics and, of course, drink champagne. My latest trip to Paris involved so much work and so little free time; I had to skip straight to the bubbles. But, where should I go? There are many great places to drink champagne in Paris. I decided on one of the city’s oldest champagne bars, Les Dokhans. Two girlfriends met up with me to help with the evaluation. We were not disappointed. The champagne, food, décor and conversation created an experience to be remembered.
Les Dokhans is an intimate salon, decorated with the original, Italian-made, wall panels in celadon. These are adorned with tapestries, mirrors and intricate gilded molding. Beautiful sconces and chandlers with long tapered candles give the room a warm glow, making everything and everyone look pretty and evoking deep life debates (especially after the bubbles).
The champagne is offered by-the-glass, by the flight and by the bottle (240 choices). We went for one of the basic flights which includes three champagnes.
The first two were from De Sousa, which is located in the Grand Cru village of Avize. Erick de Sousa is known for organic agriculture and late ripening (allows the vines to benefit from the mineral-rich soils). The flight finished with a champagne from Philippe Benard who uses his own vines for the champagne (also called Récoltant-Manipulant).
- De Sousa Traditional Brut: Tastes of citrus and sun-heated fruit added to a fresh, round, long-lasting taste. Acidity and freshness perfectly fit into a body of great balance.
- De Sousa Brut Réserve: Made from 100% Chardonnay, it had notes of fennel, pear and brioche.
- Philippe Benard Brut Rose: Expressive on the nose with notes of berries and a hint of fresh fruits.
Les Dokans offers a number of delicious bites to pair with the champagne. We ordered frois gras, which was sourced from southern France and served with toast points, a honey/balsamic reduction and Guerande sea salt. The combination was epic, so we ordered more. Other bites on the menu include desserts, cheese plates, caviar and prawns.
The whole experience was fun and fabulous. Les Dokhans is certainly a place to start or finish and evening, share champagne with friends, family or as a solo treat.
Avery Tip: Reserve a table ahead of time, as Les Dokhans is often busy.
- Paris Museum of Wine: The museum offers tastings and if you buy a bottle to drink there, they throw in a complementary guided tour.
- Le Grande Dame Bar: This bar has a nice selection and is named after Veuve Clicquot’s top cuvee and the nickname of the Eiffel Tower.
- The Ritz Bar: Because sometimes you have to visit the Ritz Paris.