Wine lovers from all over the world are heading to the Loire Valley this week for some very impressive tastings. Check the SNCF site for travel times and ticket prices.
- January 30 – February 1st (Sunday-Tuesday) at the Parc des Expositions in Angers: The Salon des Vins de Loire is a massive trade fair that features 600+ winemakers and draws more than 8500 visitors per year. The Salon is reserved for wine professionals only, as is the Renaissance tasting at Greniers Saint Jean and a host of others, but this next one is open to the public…
- January 30 & 31(Sunday & Monday) at the Château de Brézé: La Dive Bouteille is hosting the “Roots, Sweet Roots” tasting down in the Troglodyte caves at the Château (dress warmly). Hundreds of the country’s most well-regarded winemakers will be pouring (the full list here). Admission is 10€, and shuttles will be running between the Château and the train station at Saumur (10km). Sunday from 2-7pm and Monday from 10am-6pm.
Free Wine Tastings
- January 28 (Friday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free “2 1/2 Happy Hours” wine tasting with nibbles from 5-7:30pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
- January 29 (Saturday) at Les Caves Taillevent: a free wine tasting from 10am-5pm at 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008.
- January 29 (Saturday) at La Dernière Goutte: a free wine tasting from 11am-7pm at 6 rue de Bourbon le Château, 75006.
Wine Tasting Classes
- January 27 & 28 (Thursday & Friday) at Spring Restaurant: The “Grand Afternoon Tasting” is a 1.5 hour class in English and will “go over the basics of how to taste wine, introduce you to six different wines from our favorite artisanal producers, and discuss wine and food pairing. Cost: 60€ per person. Classes in the 16th-century cave beneath the restaurant at 6 rue Bailleul (1st) begin at 4pm. More information here.
- Every Day (but Sunday) at Ô Chateau: wine tasting classes in English ranging from French Wine Introductory (30€) to the Grand Crus Tasting (80€). Classes (except the Champagne river cruise) take place at 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec in the 1st.
The name is cute but the homestyle Chinese cooking is serious at this minuscule address, run by a chef from Shanghai. BYOB, or wash it down with tapioca-filled tea.
Free wine tastings, a fishy dinner, and some wine classes at Spring Restaurant
Address: 3 rue des Tournelles, 75004
Nearest transport: Bastille (1, 5, 8 )
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch & dinner
Reservations: Walk-ins Welcome
Telephone: 01 44 78 03 92
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Japanese & sushi
Reviews of interest
Alexander Lobrano (2010) “We both went with the assorted sushi and sashimi plate, which was beautiful to behold… It was a guilty pleasure to eat some silky red tuna sashimi, and the yellow tail and scallop sashimi were excellent, too. Right away, we were impressed with the quality of the produce here…”
Address: 37 avenue Hoche, 75008 (in the Royal Monceau)
Nearest transport: Étoile (1, 2, 6, RER A)
Hours: Lunch and dinner, every day
Reservations: Book a week or two in advance
Telephone: 01 42 99 89 71
Average price for lunch: more than 100€
Average price for dinner: more than 100€
Style of cuisine: Italian
Special attributes: open Sunday, open Monday
Type of crowd: style hounds, suits
Interior: elegant & luxe
Reviews of interest
- Thierry Richard (2011) “les assiettes qui s’ensuivent ne décoivent pas dans cette veine italo-sophistiquée qui passe les standards transalpins à la moulinette de la modernité….dans son genre haut du panier, l’une des meilleures tables italiennes de la capitale. Service de palace et prix à l’avenant.”
- Alexander Lobrano (2011) “The remodeled Il Carpaccio is very pretty…Unfortunately, even though Rispoli’s debut dish–mackerel with Italian fatback, preserved lemon and a salad of bitter greens–was very pretty, it was also monastic and very bland, odd for such a full-flavored fish. Next up, a fancy vegetable minestrone… again, very bland.”
- Emmanuel Rubin – Le Figaro (2010) “une Italie comme on en croise rarement…Tête de cèpe farcie : si l’automne avait un goût, ce plat lui ressemblerait ! Tortellini de pintade, châtaigne et son bouillon : on en boufferait jusqu’à la porcelaine de l’assiette.”