More on Wine in Paris

Photo of the interior of the Musée du Vin from their website.

Blogathon June 27

If Ô Chateau (Blog: whetted your appetite for more, test the waters (er, wine) with a visit to Musée du Vin (the Wine Museum) in Paris, indulge in other tastings, or enroll in classes from beginner to advanced. But, really, you don’t need a degree in viniculture to enjoy sipping French wine.

Musée du Vin (16th arrondissement)
5, square Charles Dickens / Rue des Eaux
Tel: 01 45 25 70 89
Metro: Passy – line 6

Head for the wine tasting room in the preserved fifteenth-century medieval wine vaults of this former Passy Monastery. Within walking distance from the Eiffel Tower, the Wine Museum—actually a museum, restaurant, and boutique—has over 2,000 objects in the permanent collection that celebrate wine making. View the tools of production, follow the various stages of wine cultivation, and then dine in the vaulted cellar of Les Echansons (wine waiters) Restaurant. Check their website for the museum’s offering of classes, conferences, and events throughout the year.

Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM

Les Echansons Restaurant Hours:

Tuesday to Saturday 12 noon – 3 PM To reserve phone 01 45 25 63 26

La Maison du Vin et des Vignobles (17th Arrondissement)
178 boulevard Berthier

Dinners, tastings—wines and whiskies—wine tours, and other events and small private group meetings by appointment. This fifth generation wine merchant family says, “Everything is possible at the House of Wine.”

Le Cordon Bleu

Since 1895, the world-renowned school of gastronomy has been training future chefs. If you’re more interested in advancing your spirited knowledge than culinary skills, you can just enroll in their Wine and Spirits Initiation program ( But brush up on your French—classes are taught in French and translated into English—and save up. The course given in three modules is pricey: 480 € for each module or 1365 € for the three modules if taken sequentially. These classes naturally come with multiple tastings. Of course, if you don’t care about a discerning palate, you may just prefer to save up, bag the lessons, buy a case, and drink up whenever the spirit moves you.

Wine Tasting in Paris

If you’re a novice, this one claims to provide you with fun and information. What could possibly not be fun about wine? In fact, they offer tastings for all levels and ages from beginner and connoisseur, specialized for groups of six. Their Paris French Wine Tour tasting is two and half hours and covers six different wines and champagne. And you leave with a pocket guide to assist in your restaurant wine choices.

Drink French Wine in Paris the American Way: O Chateau Restaurant

Blogathon July 20

Today’s feature: O Chateau—Restaurant, Wine Bar, Tastings
rue 68 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1st arrondissement

“Wine education is too old, too stuffy, too pretentious,” says Olivier Magny, owner and founder of O Chateau, offering wine tasting experiences in Paris. “I’ve always thought that most people talking about wine were just boring and uptight.”

Magny is anything but old, stuffy, or pretentious. On the contrary, the youthful, clear blue-eyed entrepreneur smiles broadly while deftly opening the first bottle of wine for his audience of American tourists. Instantly, Magny uncorks the stuffiness in French wines and simultaneously releases a full bouquet of fun, American style.

Magny promises a unique experience and delivers. “To me, wine should bring people together. And I’ve realized that most people talking about wine just set barriers between them and ‘novices’ with unnecessary jargon or supposedly refined, deep and chic wine-related thoughts and analyses –more or less consciously. While in the USA, I realized most Americans thought French wine was very complex and intimidating. I figured I could try something to cope with those two things.”

With un-bottled enthusiasm, charm, and humor, Magny dispels the mystery of French wines as he chats casually about the regions of France and asks questions that prompt taste buds to discover that hint of oak or berry or spice.

I was invited to one of Magny’s original wine tastings when he was just getting started about 10 years ago, and it was a delight. Today, he has expanded his offerings to include a restaurant, wine bar, private events, and tours including a Day Trip to Champagne as well as different levels of wine tastings.

“Our tastings are a great opportunity to meet new people,” says Magny. “People get to talk with me, with other customers. And it’s actually quite rare when you’re traveling to get a chance to really sit and meet with other people. I enjoy it very much. And wine is my best ally for this—the more the tasting goes, the more people talk and have fun! It’s great to see people open up.”

Magny, a rugby player, selects wine with the same energy and passion and openness he brings to the game.

“Wine like rugby,” he says, “gives you an excuse to go talk to the person next to you. An oval ball and a glass of wine are just like an open door. A warm welcome.”

His infectious delight in wine extends to his customized tastings for any personal or business occasion. “Wine when used properly and not in a boring manner is a great and oh-so-effective team building tool because it makes it possible to go beyond just work talk.”

In the words of rugby player Pierre Berbizier, Olivier Magny is “the best ambassador for French wines in Paris.“

I’ve yet to try the restaurant or the wine bar, but given the fun I had on the first wine tasting, the restaurant is on my list for my next visit. By the way, the location is a five minute walk from the Louvre and you can enjoy complimentary wifi with your wine.