L'Atelier du Vin
Maryam Montague
December 19, 2014

Booze in a Muslim country, what? Morocco is the 35th largest producer of wine in the world. Sure, it is a fraction of the top producers like France, Spain and the US but it’s reasonably significant nonetheless. Morocco produces mostly red wines, from grapes like carignan, cinsaut, alicante, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah. Even French actor Gérard Depardieu has gotten into the act, making a Moroccan wine called Lumière. While there are many good Moroccan wines, the Moroccan beer offerings are limited to less than half a dozen. Morocco’s trademark beer is called Casablanca, a lager. Islam’s stance on alcohol means that production and advertising is low profile; so don’t expect to find wine tours and signs to the nearest outlet. Liquor stores or caves, as they are called in French, sell wine, beer and spirits and close at 8 pm.  Outside of restaurants and bars, here are the best places to score a bottle.

Nicolas

Located in the Hivernage area, this wine store was founded in France in 1822.  So it’s got the wine chops to know its stuff.  You’ll find it to be a good sized, well stocked cave with knowledgeable staff who can assist you choosing a bottle or two of good Moroccan or European wine. 

Atelier de Vin

This chic wine store can be found in the new city of Gueliz.  Competition for Nicolas, it offers great wine advice from an educated staff.  While it is small-ish in size, it should have something for everyone.   It also carries expensive celebratory champagne, should you want a bottle.  It's a bit off the beaten path.

Carrefour

Part of the French supermarket food chain, Carrefour has a cave with no-frills service. There’s a good selection to choose from.  Don’t expect suggestions or recommendations from staff, but on the other hand, you can pick up some nice bread and cheese to go with your wine.  

Acima

This supermarket has two locations in Guliez. One is in the basement level of a small mall and somewhat inconspicuous.  The selection is not as deep as the two specialty wine shops or Carrefour but should meet your needs. Once again, no knowledgeable staff but it will do the trick in a pinch.

Label’Vie

This is another supermarket food chain with a variety of wine, beer and spirits in the Hivernage neighborhood.  It’s conveniently located nearer some of the larger hotels and has a small, but adequately-stocked cave. Again, no advice, but you can pick up some chocolates to go with your wine.

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