Saturday, April 30, 2011

El Xadic del Mar: a gem of a natural wine bar

On the face of it the back streets of the small town of Banyuls-sur-Mer seems an unlikely location for a natural wine bar but given that Roussillon has more than its fair share of natural winemakers, one of the most renowned of which, Casot des Mailloles, is just up the road, it’s not so surprising.

El Xadic del Mar was opened a year ago by Emmanuel aka ‘Manu’ Desclaux who used to run Le Verre Volé in Paris and has an exemplary selection of local wines and natural wines from further afield.

We stopped by for lunch before our visit to Casot des Mailloles (of which more later) and had a couple of interesting whites - Domaine Yoyo’s Restaké 2010 and Bruno Duchêne’s Val Pompo, both Grenache Gris . . .

. . . and some inventive plates of tapas including calcots and anchovies (of course, in this part of the world) and marinated mackerel with asparagus.

Desclaux’ view is that the Parisien wine bar scene has lost touch with its roots - that places that started as bars have become fully fledged restaurants. Well this is thoroughly unpretentious and a great place to drink natural wine.

El Xadic del Mar is at 11, av. du Puig-del-Mas, Banyuls Sur Mer (66650)
TÉL : + 33 4 68 88 89 20

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