7 tips for buying wine in Dakar

1. Look for the wines recommended by L’Epicerie at Le Parcours chez Hoballah on the Corniche. So far, all thumbs up. Like these Maison du Sud…

2. Remember that Africa Gourmet and L’Epicerie deliver! Call them up and explain what you want, then trust the experts. Funny story: a friend once used a courier service to go buy wine at Casino. The delivery guy came back very proud of himself for finding such a great price – under 2000cfa a bottle! Yeah. Trust the experts.

3. Keep this recipe for Senegria on hand: Red wine + Fanta. Or if you’re feeling ritzy, us that carbonated Minute Maid mango or tropical fruit drink. Yum.

4. Don’t buy any supermarket wines under 5000cfa and expect them to be anything special. By the time you take into account the whopping customs fees and internal taxes, it isn’t possible for a bottle under 5000cfa to be worth much. (This nugget of wisdom came from Martine at Africa Gourmet.)

5. The same goes for restaurants selling wine for under 3000 CFA a glass. Buyer (drinker) beware. Thanks Africa Gourmet!

6. I’m all about buying local, but skip anything bottled in Rufisque or Dakar, y’all. If I find anything locally made that’s good, you’ll be the first to know.

7. CityDia seems to have moved to carrying locally bottled wines, but Auchan and Casino still have their sights set abroad… But again, the experts at L’Epicerie and Africa Gourmet are totally down-to-Earth and easy to talk with. French or English! For a fun evening, check out their wine tastings with some friends.

8. That said, both Karelle and Corinne are fans of the peach and grapefruit (pamplemousse) wine at CityDia, and I trust their food blogging tastebuds.

And a little bit more from some wine aficionado friends in Dakar…

“We mostly drink a lovely Chilean Tempranillo that you can find in City Dia. It’s only 4000 CFA I think but I’m not telling you the name in case there’s a rush from other folk meaning I can’t buy it any more due to no remaining stock.
The best place for discovering wine is by far L’Epicerie in Plateau. They often do wine tastings and if you are interested the owner will divulge all kinds of info on the wines they have in stock (and will negotiate prices on occasion). They do fab wine nights on Thursdays and Fridays. Otherwise Le Clos du Papillon (a little hotel in Saly) has fabulous wines, served at very reasonable prices, and the Belgian owner knows and loves his wines so worth going there.”
— Harriet

“We go to the little wine shop across from Ngor stadium, Africa Gourmet, and never buy same wine twice because we’re still experimenting!”
— Elizabeth

“For me the best place to know in Dakar for wine is L’EpicerieL’Epicerie with its excellent selection and wine bars on Thursday and Friday evenings. Plus they have something for every budget. If I’m going to splurge, it will be on a Sauternes, a white wine running about 9000 CFA a glass, but the only one that’s worth it to me.”
— Corinne


One comment

  1. We have a big fancy dinner party coming up with my husband’s coworkers, and we are wanting to impress so wine is a must. I like how you pointed out that it might be a good idea to buy bottles that are from local wineries. That is something that we will have to consider before we actually go buy, just to make sure that it is good local wine. Thanks for all of the different insight!

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