Cave Hélios (Paris)

© Estelle Thalassinos

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“Wine is sunlight, held together by water,” Galileo is said to have declared between sips of the precious nectar. And Estelle Thalassinos, the owner of Hélios who used to work at Les Enfants Perdus and at the local wine website Les Grappes, would most certainly agree… From her small yellow wine shop decked out with terra cotta tomette tile floors and good intentions, the Greek-native wine merchant radiates sunshine as she enthusiastically discuses each bottle in her collection and the winemaker behind it. And she really knows her stuff! There’s plenty to sip on, seated inside the shop or in the shade of a leafy lime tree, from a glass that’s been hand-engraved by Laszlo Badet: Pipelette, a 100% Sarthes chenin from the Domaine des Pies Blanches (€5 a glass); Wah-Wah Watusi, a pet’ nat’ rosé made with pineau d’Aunis grapes (€25, including a €10 corkage fee); a primarily pinot noir Cheverny from Le Clos du Tue Boeuf (€38)… And for something to nibble on, there are green olives (€5) and Comté aged for 36 months (€9). At Hélios, it’s all about sunshine and wine, baby! // Omar Ciboulette

THE BULLET-PROOF BOTTLE: Exception, a trousseau produced by Jérôme Arnoux that really embodies its name (€26, not including the corkage fee if you want to open it up in house).

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