On our last trip to Paris, we were invited to a wine tasting at O-Chateau, an authentic wine bar located in the 1st Arrondissement, not far from the Louvre.
Our tasting was called The Tour de France, and during the hour and a half session, we tasted wines from the Loire, Bourgogne (Burgundy), Bordeaux, the Rhone and Languedoc regions. Our tasting group consisted of about 20 people, mostly from the USA, with some Australians and New Zealanders. The group had differing levels of knowledge and experience in wine-tasting; my husband and I were on the less experienced side.
We started out with a delightful flute of Champagne (Monmarthe) and while we sipped away, our instructor introduced himself. Pierre is an Oneologist (winemaker) not to be confused with a sommelier (wine steward), or as Pierre laughingly likes to call them “sommeliars”.
Pierre showed us how to choose a good wine and what to look for when reading the labels. He taught us how to take a sip of wine and hold it on your tongue while pulling in air over the wine in order to appreciate its flavors and complexity. This was not an easy feat for me!
After the Champagne, we tried a Sancerre from Domaine de la Garenne in the Loire. This wine was made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Although I am not a frequent white wine drinker, I really liked this crisp wine that retails for under 20€. We moved from white to red wines and from light to heavy, ending with a lovely wine from the Languedoc region, a Grenache,Carignan and Syrah mix that retails for around 25€. The “tastes” were full glasses and although we had some light snacks between the wines, I was beginning to feel light-headed. Of course, I could have spit into the vat, but it was too good to waste (especially the reds.)
This was a wonderful experience, and I really did learn a lot. O-Chateau offers several different tasting options; I think you will find one that will be just right for your budget and wine tastes.
Written by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com