Where Radical Wines Meet Radical Books ...

Where Radical Wines Meet Radical Books ...

Posted by work inventions on

Where Radical Wines Meet Radical Books ...

... and razor clam rillettes. Creativity reigns at Miami natural-wine destination Paradis. Owner Bianca Sanon on how to bring a spark of their exuberant energy into your own home.

BY MEGAN KRIGBAUM
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAMES JACKMAN

Bianca Sanon and her business partners filled a gap for Miami’s natural wine lovers, bread heads, and social activists when they opened Paradis Books & Bread in July of 2021. “This kind of place didn’t exist down here,” says Sanon. “We wanted to have a multifaceted space, an accumulation of all our interests.” Paradis has since served as the all-inclusive wine bar, lending library, and communal living room the city was missing—a place where you can peruse paradigm-shifting queer theory texts over squares of sourdough pizza and pét-nat.

PRINT IS NOT DEAD

The hybrid reading room / dining area at Paradis.

NATURAL WINE FOR THE PEOPLE

Sanon's well-edited 130+ bottle list offers one of Miami's very best selections of natural wine.

Sanon and her partner, Brian Wright, both grew up around Fort Lauderdale and had been talking about creating a space like this for over a decade. During a lengthy stint living and working in New York City, the two realized they’d need to get out to realize their vision—so they moved back south to Miami, where they teamed up with Brian’s sister Audrey and friend Sef Chesson. The group found a space in North Miami: down the street from the Museum of Contemporary Arts, in close proximity to the Miami Workers Center and Miami DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), and among the Haitian community that feels like home to Sanon.

The owners of Paradis take a rare break on the space's back patio.

The walls of Paradis are shared by forward-thinking natural wines and books (a “definitely politically-driven” selection, Sanon says, covering everything from critical theory to Black and indigenous studies). While Sanon is most certainly the wine buyer for Paradis, filling a corner with 130 bottles floor-to-ceiling, there’s an “all hands on deck” vibe to the place—which means Sanon helps devise some of the wine bar’s dishes, too. One such dish: super-buttery razor clam rillettes, which she says were inspired by a fervent love for the tinned clams she’s been getting from Spanish conservas importer Donostia.

D.I.Y.

Paradis's razor clam rilettes with Alessandro Viola's 2020 Sinfonia di Bianco.

“I’m a big proponent of ‘most wines go with most foods’— unless you’re drinking Amarone with mussels,” Sanon says. “A lot of good wine goes with a lot of good food, especially if you’re a natural-wine drinker who likes high acid.” But she’s found her pinnacle pairing for these rillettes: Alessandro Viola’s Sinfonia di Bianco, an orange wine from the northwestern edge of Sicily that’s made from the Grillo grape. “It’s skin-macerated in chestnut and it still has that really beautiful acidity, but it reminds me of apple sauce, in a way. Beautiful spice with really beautiful orchard fruit.”

To Sanon, wines from areas with volcanic soil, like Viola’s part of Sicily, bring an earthy lusciousness, a savory character matched by their minerality. “When you’re biting into the creamy texture of the rillettes, it pairs with the suppleness and sharpness of the wine, which has a weight that can carry it with the food.”

Best consumed on a warm Miami night beneath twinkle lights in Paradis’s backyard, naturally.

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