If you enjoy natural wine, chances are you have tried or heard stories about wines from Jura. At the heart of these exceptional wines are two small villages called Arbois and Pupillion, where it seems like every other person is a legendary natural winemaker. In Arbois, there is a humble restaurant and wine bar called Le Bistrot des Claquets, which is an absolute must-visit for wine lovers and food enthusiasts. We at Raisin recently enjoyed visiting this very special bistrot with More Natural Wine who are already big fans of the place.
The bistro has been open since 2010, but it came under new ownership by Rachel in 2020. Their delicious lunch menu changes daily, offering a single dish and dessert, accompanied by a starter that you can create yourself from the salad bar. The food is expertly prepared by their talented chef, Isreal, who focuses on creating home-style, honest dishes filled with love and without pretension. In the evening, the bistro transforms into a wine bar, placing more emphasis on the extensive wine selection, while still offering appetizing platters of cheese and meat.
Being located in Arbois, they have access to wines that are often difficult to find elsewhere, and at reasonable prices. What makes the experience even more exciting is that you might just order a bottle and find the very winemaker who made it sitting at the next table. This place is truly a winemaker's bar, to the point where it is almost impossible to go there without meeting a famous winemaker or their team, all enjoying the food, wines, and ambiance. Bottles are very fairly priced too, and there are even some natural wines from just 2.50€ a glass, which winemaker Michel Gahier made possible by selling a wine cheaper to ensure locals can get a bargain deal!
We highly recommend making a reservation in advance, as the bistro tends to get very busy during lunchtime. If you visit on a Friday, be sure to try their renowned steak frites. Also, be prepared to taste some of the best wines of your life and make new friends who will eagerly share their bottles with you. It's not uncommon for the best bottles to be passed around, allowing everyone in the bar to have a taste. Cheers!
Video by More Natural Wine