There are hundreds of local wine merchants
in Paris, most of which are family run operations, and some of which have been handed down to younger generations. Wine merchants not only offer extensive collections of wine, they also provide expert advice in helping you choose what to buy. Some wine merchants offer rare collections of wines, and it can be fun to walk into these museum-like shops that have not changed for over decades, if not a century or two. While you can find that bottle of Petrus, Lafite Rothchild, or Chateau Margaux, these “cavistes” also sell every day top quality wines for as little as 10 Euros, so it is both fun and good value to visit these shops.
Although wine, champagne and spirits may be purchased at the grocery store, it is best to buy wine at a local “caviste” (wine store) unless you are in a pinch and need to get something right away and cannot find a caviste within walking distance, which would be rare. If you are just looking for an inexpensive (3-9 Euros) but drinkable bottle of wine for lunch or dinner, a grocery store will have a decent Bordeaux available in that range, but unless you are familiar with the appellation, chateau and year your purchase may be hit or miss. Additionally, wine merchants store the wines literally in a “cave” where the conditions help maintain the quality of wine at correct temperatures for decades, while most grocery stores mostly just stock wine on shelves or in boxes, not in temperature controlled conditions.