I’m pleased to report that wine lovers need not worry if they are vacationing in Saint-Martin. During my trip last week I was thrilled to find wine all over the French side of the island, the quality is good and it is very affordable. (French wines do not have import duty in Saint-Martin so they are actually cheaper than what you’ll find in the U.S.) Even the smallest corner stores have a great selection of Bordeaux and other French styles.
If you’ve traveled in other parts of the Caribbean, you’ll know that good wine can be tough to find. Sure, you can get wine at the main hotels, but often it is not so good – which is why this came as a pleasant surprise.
One place in particular that I recommend is Bacchus, a restaurant, wine cellar and gourmet grocery. I met with owner Benjamin Laurent, a French ex-New Yorker who showed us around. Bacchus is the largest wine store on the island and they have over 2,600 wines from France, Italy, Spain, California and Argentina. The wine cellar is 5,000 sq ft and houses over 80,000 cases.
Conveniently, they deliver all over Saint-Martin/St Maarten and also to the islands of St Barth, Anguilla, St Kitts and Nevis. Part of the reason why high end stores like this do so well on the island is provisioning required by the luxury yachts. Not a bad business at all.
You can also find meats, cheeses, pastries, Nespresso and cigars. Just about anything a gourmand expects to find while enjoying a vacation in the French Antilles!