Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wine Tasting At Ô-Chateau, Paris

We were looking for clarity and legs....first impression and taste....a nice open aroma, and of course, balance. We began with a crisp glass of Champagne in this 17th century cave that was once the cellars of Louis the XV. The lively glass of bubbles tickled our noses as the evening began to unfold during our Ô-Chateau, "Tour de France" wine tasting. We were given a list of the selected wines that were being tasted and a blue ballpoint pen to jot down notes. I had also brought along a book for my observations. Going around the table, we all introduced ourselves. The limestone cellar was filled with people from all over, sitting around tables set up in a U-shape, eager for what was to come. My friend, Doug who had made the arrangements for the evening, just sat and took it all in while our host, Olivier bounced around the room as he kept us entertained and informed. Baskets of bread chosen as the best bread fit for the French President, were dotted around the tables. Generous Champagne seconds were offered. Then a white Loire Sancerre was poured, that was described as being "fresh, smiley and fruity, borderline flirtatious." After swirling it in the glass, like a lusty youth we checked for age and length of legs. Taking a sip we perceived the grapefruit and pear flavor with it's mineral and acidic fresh taste. Ahhhh...nice....make notes, perfect for fish on a warm summer evening. Next came a Burgundy Chablis which was described as having "tamed minerality, gentle balance and tender texture---yummy." And that it was, as well as being lemony and buttery. Please pass the President's bread...I need to soak this all in!! After visiting Champagne, Loire, and Burgundy, we moved on to the Southwest for a Fronton. Conversations at the tables became more animated with each pour. Olivier kept us smiling with his anecdotes and colorful descriptions of the wines. He described the Fronton as having a "Delightfully silky texture---charming berries and vanilla-a lollipop wine." Our next stop was in Bordeaux with a Haut Medoc. Envision "a sunny day---old convertible cruising slowly through the vines, and having a taste of cassis and tannin." Swirl, look, smell, taste.....soak in the sunshine and dream of roast duck or grilled beef to accompany it. Hop back into the convertible and head to the Rhone. There we had a "sensual and voluptuous" Côtes du Rhône Village. It was fruity, spicy and peppery with a hint of black olives. This was the final stop on our "Tour de France" tasting. Olivier passed out a cheat sheet just in case our memories became a little impaired ;-) Just click on the photo to enlarge.

As we were leaving, some lingered and sat and talked.
We stopped and chatted with a few people and met a lovely mother and daughter who were also from Boston. The daughter, Alex is now living in Budapest and has a blog, Adventures in the Pest. We exchanged websites to view as this wide world just gets smaller and smaller.

I followed Doug up the steps as we made our way to meet our friends for dinner in the Marais at a favorite restaurant, L'Epouvantail.
We had no idea the Icelandic volcanic plume was shifting towards France and would be extending our stay. To be continued.......

Les Caves du Paradis-Royal Cellar
52 rue de l'arbe sec
Paris - 1st arrdt.
+33 (0) 1 44 73 97 80

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