Five years of living here and I still haven't acquired the habit of imbibing wine. Usually I'll take a glass of champagne or wine and it'll stay in my hand long after everybody else has been served their seconds and thirds. Which is not to say I don't have certain favorites. For apero, I love a bit of Muscat which is sweet and complements all the salty savories that we munch on. I like white wines like the slightly sweet Pouilly Fuisse; I don't even mind having it with red meat. Ooh and whenever I have foie gras, I love Sauternes, the sweet wine that goes so wonderfully with it. Re-reading these sentences, I've noticed a distinct pattern. Hmmm...I guess I have a sweet tooth. But this isn't to say that I haven't met a couple of reds that have been memorable to the palate.
So in general, a wine bar is wasted on someone like me (pun unintended). Except of course if there is a special occasion that warrants a visit like a friend's recent surprise birthday dinner party. On the appointed date and time, we hied off to O-Chateau, the city's latest wine bar located in the heart of the 1st arrondissement. It has a young hip vibe and they have three rooms available for private parties. We lucked out because the Bibliotheque (Library) room was reserved for us. Instead of books, the shelves in this library was stocked with what looked to be hundreds of bottles from all over the world. What sets O-Chateau apart from the other wine bars is that wine tastings take place practically everyday and is not limited to certain kinds of wine. According to their brochure, even the most exclusive vintages like Chateau Margaux and Petrus, to name just two, can be tried by the glass. And, because they believe that wine tastings shouldn't be limited to the French, they even offer tastings to the Anglophone crowd!
For this birthday party, we had at least 4 -5 different kinds of wine, both red and white. Given my "wonderful" capacity for wine, I could only remember one and it was just really really good and smooth. It was the Chasse-Spleen, a Bordeaux classe premier cru. According to my French half, this category was established in 1855 to denote a first class wine. And first class this one was!
And because this was a wine bar after all, the food part of the dinner came in tapas form. Platters and platters of charcuterie, fromage and foie gras. Oh but lest I forget, the chef also made this wonderful dish of parmentier de canard which is basically layers of potato interspersed with roasted duck. This version had just enough creaminess so that it just kinda melted in your mouth. Yummy!
68 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau