Ô Chateau wine tasting, Paris

Christmas week in Paris. What to do, where to go, what to eat and drink? Who better to ask than David Lebovitz? Checking our his blog, I noticed some Paris wine tastings that might interest our friend, Mr budding sommelier, Neil.

Off to the Ô Chateau website I headed and found the perfect gift for Neil that our good friend Alicia (also in Paris as the same time as us) and I could also participate in: a Paris wine and cheese lunch! Heck – we might even learn something!

Strangely jetlagged, we woke up at 9.45am but by 11.45 we were at Les Caves du Paradis, an “authentic wine cellar under Paris.”

Greeted by the lovely Lionel (“you know, like Lionel Ritchie”), we checked out the said authentic cellar.

And the food… Rosettes de Lyon and Jambon de bayonne:

and cheeses – (from left to right) Camembert de Normandie, Sainte Maure, Comté and Cantal

and food of the gods, Sainte Nectaire:

We started out with Champagne Montmarthe Brut Premier Cru:

Described on our menu as “loving bubbles stroking your palate – use with care,” champagne is said to have been discovered by Dom Perignon in Languedoc in the late 17th Century. On tasting it for the first time, he is said to have proclaimed “I am tasting the stars!”.

Next up, Sancerre. Domaine de la Garenne 2008.

Described as “fresh, smiley and fruity – borderline flirtatious”. Indeed. This was my choice for favourite wine that we got a second taste of at the end of the session.

Next, a Cote Chalonnaise, Domaine Venot 2007.

A “subtle and elegant interpretation of the Chardonnay grape – take that California!” Love it! Not a fan of the big oakey Chardonnays and this one was very subtle.

Onto the reds. A Fronton Château Coutinel 2004:

Alicia and I LOVED this. A “delightfully silky texture – charming berries and vanilla. A lollipop wine”.

Lastly, a Haut Médoc, Château Lanesson

The notes said “Think of a sunny day – an old convertible cruising through the vineyards.” Me? I tasted notes of chocolate. Yum.

We all enjoyed this 2 hour session very much. Lionel was very knowledgeable but made the information very accessible for those of us who aren’t the wine experts.

Oh, and all that cheese? Well I tried valiantly but just had to have a little bite of each:

Because in Lionel’s words, the “fatness” might just have been too much!

We left with warm, full bellies and a “cheat sheet” all about wine so that at our next dinner party, we can sound more knowledgeable than we really are (well, than I really am – Neil doesn’t need the cheat sheet). Excellent value for money! Totally recommended for the wine aficionado and the novice wine lover.

If you live in Europe or might be there in the near future, you can actually bid on some Ô Chateau wine tasting sessions in this year’s Menu for Hope, including the very same tasting as we participated in!

(the following information copied from David Lebovitz’s site)

“Tour de France” of Wine

During this Tour de France tasting, a multilingual sommelier will take you and a guest through the tastings of 6 French wines, coming from 6 different regions of France. This fascinating two-hour group presentation will help you learn more about how to read a French label, what terroirs and appellations truly are, and how to navigate a wine list.
Bid item code (Tour de France): EU02

Wine and Cheese Lunch

During this Wine & Cheese Lunch, an Ô-Chateau sommelier will take you and a guest through the tastings of 5 French wines and a selection of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. During this group presentation, you will learn more about the wines and cheeses of France, along with tips about food, cheese, and wine pairings. General information about French wine will also be given and all questions answered

Bid item code (Wine & Cheese Lunch): EU03

Check out the full list of items here.

24 Responses to Ô Chateau wine tasting, Paris

  1. The Best Family December 22, 2009 at 13:23 #

    all of those cheeses . . . swoon . . . and the lovely wine descriptions . . . in a french wine cellar . . . i think you're actually on my dream vacation. 😉 your photos are gorgeous, even more so than usual. are these with the new camera? they're really good!

  2. Simply Life December 22, 2009 at 15:01 #

    Yes, please – I would LOOOOVE to have this opportunity! wow, looks amazing!

  3. Conor @ HoldtheBeef December 22, 2009 at 15:07 #

    Good to see you are taking full advantage of your holiday location so far, just don't burn yourselves out! There's only so much wine and cheese and fun and excitement you can take, after all 😉

  4. Megan Gordon December 22, 2009 at 16:26 #

    Oh good lord…the cheese. I haven't eaten breakfast yet, and I'm thinking I'll revise my healthy plan of granola and yogurt and have some brie on toast. Lovely photos. Glad you're having a great time so far!

  5. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 22, 2009 at 18:57 #

    Best Family – yes it's my new camera!

    Simply Life – so go bid at Menu for Hope!!!

    Conor – you will be pleased to know we had a salad for dinner…

    Megan – brie on toast is always good for breakfast!

  6. My Man's Belly December 22, 2009 at 20:50 #

    We did the "cave experience" when we were in Paris. It was cold and rainy the day we went so it was a perfect excuse (like we needed one) to sit inside and indulge.

  7. The Duo Dishes December 22, 2009 at 23:07 #

    Gotta put the wine cave on the to do list for the next trip to Paris!

  8. penny aka jeroxie December 23, 2009 at 04:43 #

    Oh wow! Beautiful setting for lovely wine and cheese.

  9. lindsaymeyer December 23, 2009 at 05:22 #

    Amazing photos! Wine caves are SO cool! Glad you're having fun over there.

  10. Natashya Kitchen Puppies December 23, 2009 at 12:25 #

    Wow, what an incredible experience! I would have sat next to you.. and finished your cheese for you. 😉

  11. SippitySup December 23, 2009 at 19:40 #

    What a wonderful flight of wines. i have been to les Caves and your well written account took me right back GREG PS I nominated you for a Homie at The Kitchn so get over there and vote for yourself and your other fav blogs http://homies.apartmenttherapy.com/2009/category/home-cooking

  12. Unplanned Cooking December 24, 2009 at 02:51 #

    Very cool — an authentic wine cellar. Food looks great, too.

  13. Chez Us December 24, 2009 at 13:45 #

    Oh, I am glad you got to do this. We have friends who have. We tried to get in last time we were there but it was full. Sounds like fun & the food & the wine …. yum

  14. whineaux (Dawn) December 24, 2009 at 14:26 #

    Oh how I wish I was with you. Looks like you are having an amazint time, I'm happy to share it through your site!

  15. Divina Pe December 24, 2009 at 16:41 #

    What an amazing time for you. Lots of learning yet so much fun. Take me with you. 😀

  16. The Gypsy Chef December 24, 2009 at 18:35 #

    Sounds like a wonderful time. Good wine and food in a lovely place. What more could you ask for? Just discovered your blog on Food with Style. I am going to enjoy exploring it. Pam

  17. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 25, 2009 at 08:30 #

    My Man's Belly – well you hardly need an excuse, right?

    Duo – you guys would LOVE it!

    Penny and Linda – yes the setting was gorgeous…

    Nataysha – that would have been fun 🙂

    Sippity Sup – thanks and glad you enjoyed the writeup.

    Unplanned – thanks

    Chez Us – next time, right?

    Dawn – glad to oblige!

    Divina – wish we could!

    Gypsy – glad you found my site – hope you enjoy it!

  18. myblissfulbites December 26, 2009 at 18:47 #

    I love classes like the these and it looks like you had an incredible time. Not only does all the wine sound amazing – the CHEESE!!! I want to go to Paris if only for the cheese. I am sick of these American pasteurization rules. Le sigh..

  19. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite January 5, 2010 at 10:33 #

    My blissful bites – I know what you mean about the pastuerization regulations – makes for a very boring cheese platter, huh?

  20. Olivier January 25, 2010 at 09:27 #

    Looks like an awesome time at O Chateau!! Just one little correction maybe… the last cheese, in the pot is I believe a Saint-Felicien!

  21. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite January 25, 2010 at 10:32 #

    Olivier – thanks for commenting! We loved your place! Thanks for the correction – it was listed as being a St Nectaire and I can't believe I made that mistake. Sorry!

  22. Olivier January 30, 2010 at 23:49 #


  23. The Mistress of Spices October 5, 2010 at 18:14 #

    Lovely post! I love all the photos. Isn’t O Chateau great? I’ll have to go back for a tasting with the cheeses….looks delicious!

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