A Wine Tasting, Wine Not?

I love wine. You love wine. We all love wine. I wanted an opportunity to truly understand the wines I would be trying here in Paris, so I signed up for a wine tasting class to take place at the beginning of the trip.

Ô Chateau is a wine bar and restaurant offering over 50 wines by the glass as well as wine tastings and classes. They also have a “baby” sister location at Les Caves de Louvre, basically a wine museum, where smaller wine tastings are offered as well as a make-your-own-wine class (you even get to design the logo that goes on your bottled creation). At Les Caves you have different rooms dedicated each of the senses and how they are stimulated during the wine tasting (or simply drinking) process.

Our sommelier for the evening, Gerald, was very entertaining and has been in the wine industry for almost my entire lifetime. Gerald got his start in the wine industry by accident, sort of. He was studying in California and needed a part-time job (as most college students do) to supplement his income. He applied at a restaurant and, as he shared, being French meant he was automatically assigned to be the sommelier. Gerald had to learn a lot on his own during the start of his career. After graduating he left the restaurant business to pursue a career related to his degree and years later decided he enjoyed wine better so went back to school to become a certified sommelier. In my book, Gerald has the best job ever–he gets to drink wine (all day, every day!).

Our tasting consisted of six different wines, all French: three whites (including one champagne) and three reds. (Note: I am leaving this here mainly so I can remember it later, haha).

  • Champagne Region – Premier Cru
    • Monmarthe – Secret de Famille
    • Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay
    • This champagne is prepared start-to-finish by the Monmarthe family–most pleasant one I have ever tried.
  • Loire Valley – Sancerre (this one was my favorite!)
    • Domaine De la  Garenne
    • Sauvignon Blanc
    • This wine is pure silk in your mouth and that is all I will say.
  • Alsace Region – Alsace
    • Albert Man – Senteur des Vignes
    • Assemblage (blend of Riesling and Pinot Blanc)
    • I liked the rose notes in this wine!
  • Sud Ouest Region – Cahor
    • Château Combel La Serre – Pur fruit du Causse
    • Malbec
    • Known as the “black wine” for its tint, this wine is ideally aged for 10 years before drinking.
  • Rhône Region – Côtes-du-Rhône
    • Domaine de La Janasse
    • Grenach, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault
    • This acidic red is not designed to age for long. The bottle we had was from 2015.
  • Bordeaux Region – Haut-Médoc
    • Château Belgrade – Diane de Belgrave
    • Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc
    • This wine spends two years in old oak barrels and has notes of vanilla and blueberry. In Gerald’s words, Bordeaux has, if not the best wines in the world, certainly the most expensive.

Much to my surprise, my favorites were Monmarthe and Domaine De la Garenne. I expected to love the reds as I am a cabernet sauvignon girl so this change was very pleasant–especially since two of my closest wine-drinking buddies are white wine girls.

I loved this experience and would definitely do it again! Also, small world, there was a family seated next to me and the daughter (whose birthday was the reason for their trip) was from Greenville as well–what are the odds of that?! Gerald thought we were messing with him! Check out some pictures of the underground tasting room at Ô Chateau:

p.s. Friends at home, when is our next wine party?


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