Championing a simple yet authentic ethos of “for lovers of good wine,” husband-and-wife team Thomas and Anne Cabrol opened N°5 Wine Bar in 2013 in Toulouse where head chef, Anne is master of the kitchen, while Thomas, master in enology and nicknamed “The Palate,” oversees the wine program as wine director.
Since its initiation, N°5 has established itself as a leader in fine wine, claiming an esteemed three-star award in its first appearance in the World’s Best Wine Lists in 2016—a standard it has upheld year since. In addition to this N°5 took home a World’s Best Wine Lists Jury Prize, making it one of the top 50 wine lists in the world. Perhaps its most distinguished award is that for Best Wine Bar List in Europe in the World’s Best Wine Lists 2016, an achievement all the more remarkable as it was making its awards debut that year in an established field.
In 2017, N°5 went on to achieve the global award for Best Wine Bar List (one better than winning the regional award for Europe), and Best By-the-Glass Wine List in the World. For the 2017 awards, the extensive list offered 300 wines by-the-glass and a grand total of 3,200 wine references.
Heading into the 2018 World’s Best Wine Lists N°5 took a giant leap forward with its by-the-glass selection—almost doubling the offering—and increasing the overall extent of the wine list by 10 percent. And the gamble paid off when last September N°5 repeated its 2017 crowning as Best Wine Bar List in the World for 2018. Indeed for by-the-glass specifically too, with its Coravin®-dispensed collection garnering best in Europe. The latest addition to the N°5 roster came in the form of the Most Original Wine List in Europe award; an accolade that honors flair, inspiration and bold selections.
Now with more than 3,500 wine references and thanks to its aforementioned wine dispensing system, N°5’s unparalleled selection of wine by-the-glass allows guests more than 500 choices to discover every day, all perfectly preserved. Starting at €6 per glass, the wine list journeys through France and abroad to key regions as it reaches the high-end, where prices fall around the €400 mark for a glass of 2009 La Tâche.
The plethora of wine available is thoughtfully curated. N°5 is certainly a destination for Champagne, with its broad selection of Jacquesson, Roederer, and Deutz vintages, alongside Bruno Paillard 1999 NPU and 2000 Krug, as well as sparkling wines from around the world including Nyetimber, Chapel Down, and Gramona Cava. N°5 has a noteworthy selection of Bordeaux with remarkable vintages of Haut-Brion, Margaux, Lafite Rothschild, and Petrus (including the 1982). In Burgundy, there is a good selection from Francois Mikulski (to single out only one grower), including his Meursault 1er Cru and Volnay 1er Cru). The list houses a substantial collection of wines available in magnum, such as Raveneau 1er Cru Chablis 2008/9, Mouton Rothschild 1990, and Trapet Gevrey-Chambertin 2011, in case the larger format is the more desirable option.
With a mix of hidden gems and well-reputed names from across the globe, including Adelaide Hills’ Shaw + Smith in Australia; Spain’s Pago de Los Capellanes in Ribera del Douro, and Verité in Sonoma Valley, USA, plus a strong selection from Italy, N°5 has put together an eclectic and exciting list for wine lovers, honoring its motto’s promise. The vast selection of French wines caters to Francophiles, while a notable range of sweet wine has also earned its place on this list; where Bordeaux icons such as Suduiraut, Rieussec, and Yquem take center stage, though renowned German producer Joh Jos Prüm is also featured.
It was after becoming a master of enology that Thomas decided to open N°5, where he and Anne now also host wine and food sessions with varying focuses, including marrying chocolate and wine, discovering the elegance of Burgundy wines, and comparing key countries or regions, like Chile vs Argentina, or Northern Rhône vs Southern Rhône—all for an impressively accessible price of €20. Guests can be assured that Thomas, a professional sensory analyst, will assist them with a suitable wine choice whenever their good fortune, good sense, or good taste takes them to this Bachannalian temple in Toulouse.
Since first triumphing in the World’s Best Wine Lists, N°5 has progressed in leaps and bounds. The wine bar now has two gastronomic menus formed curated meticulously to achieve the best food and wine pairings. The tapas menu is so popular with customers that there are only two pre-booked sessions per evening. On weekends, some 1,000 individual plates are prepared for customers each evening. The team has expanded from seven to ten, and Thomas has designed a training program to advance their wine knowledge.
Anne prepares the high-end menus with unforgettable pairings of regional wines to complement. The small plates menu includes charcuterie, featuring a selection of chorizo and Iberico ham, cheeses, breads, and more. The tapas include a 63-degree truffle egg, a N°5 specialty, innovative vegetarian options, artisan terrines, and other traditional French dishes. The chic interior encompasses a warm and inviting ambiance, creating an atmospheric social spot for guests.
The dynamic duo clearly have an understanding of their Toulousain customers, with their ability to maintain their reputation in Toulouse and throughout the rest of France, but their destination wine bar and its extraordinary list are now drawing visitors from all around the world. More and more customers are traveling from the UK, USA, China, and elsewhere to visit the renowned neighborhood hotspot.