Wine as an ally of Cupid

© T.Joly
For a year a new concept of meeting has been going on in Paris, the wine dating. Lonely hearts are gathered together for tasting and playing a game about wine in a friendly and playful atmosphere.

[ Practical ]

- When
First Monday every month at 8 pm except in July and August
- Where
Caves de l’Abbaye, 52 rue de l’Arbre Sec, 75001 Paris
- Price
35 € per person, compulsory booking on Ô Chateau’s website.
- Information
Ô Chateau : 0800801148
Will the speed dating be soon out of date ?... Maybe. Launched a year ago, the concept of wine dating is attracting a growing number of people. Invented by Olivier Magny, sommelier and director of the company Ô Chateau, the concept is very simple. To gather together singles from both sexes in order to taste several wines, to learn how to recognize them and to participate in a quiz about this beverage.

© T.Joly
 Four wines and a Champagne
Thus, between fifty and hundred men and women meet every first Monday of each month at the O Château “Rencontres” event in the 17th century vaulted cellars “Les Caves du Paradis”. Located near Châtelet, they were once the personal cellars of King Louis XV’s sommelier. The participants, some on their own, some with friends, are either newcomers or regulars – a proof the concept is appreciated – and everybody is welcomed with a flute of pink Champagne. Men and women are from all ages and different nationalities but French people form the bulk of the attendance. The cellars consist of three rooms with a sommelier serving wines and a buffet of cheese and coldcuts in each one. So everyone cans go wherever he wishes according to one’s affinity or where one feels more comfortable.
During the evening four wines are served : first a white, then three reds. Each time the sommeliers give explanation about them. How they were produced, which grapes are used to elaborate them, which dishes are going well along,…. On request they also provide information about the techniques of tasting. What do the transparency, the brilliancy and the color of a wine mean ?... And its viscosity ?.. Why is it necessary to aerate a wine in the glass and in one’s mouth to free its aromas ?...

© T.Joly
 Friendly atmosphere
One glass succeeding to another, the atmosphere in the cellars becomes more and more friendly as the evening goes on. Some exchange opinions, others make fun or begin to get acquainted. In addition the quiz really moves closer the participants closer. It is indeed played by teams, one by room, and everybody then begins consulting, advancing one’s arguments and communicating with the others. Besides the questions are often more anecdotal and funnier than technical. Moreover, to make it easier it’s almost every time possible to choose between three answers. Perfect to launch the debates and allow everybody to play no matter one’s level of knowledge.
Who asserted that Champagne is the only wine which leaves a woman beautiful after she drank ?... Where the vine Carmenere is most planted ?...In which rugby team plays Sebastien Chabal ?.. What was the first name of the Veuve Cliquot?.. Does Barack Obama drink wine ?... Those are some of the questions asked only in French but there are always a few bilingual Parisians to help out.

© T.Joly
 To become more acquainted
The atmosphere still rises of a notch when correct answers are given. In order to promote and ease meetings between people, men are invited to switch to another team and another room after each of the three series of questions. Lastly, the wining team gets a reward.
When the quiz is over everybody then meets around a glass of wine. That’s the right time to become more acquainted and to exchange one’s points of view on the evening. Globally everybody is satisfied, in particular of the playful approach, the conviviality generated by the quiz and the quality of the tasted wines. Does couples form ?.. Who knows ?... But for sure business cards and telephone numbers are exchanged. Furthermore, discussions keep going on even outside once it is over. It is the sign that the participants have a good time and enjoy themselves. And quite a few already plan to come back, not only to meet the Right Person, but also to taste new wines as there is a different theme every month. Wines from the New World, on April 6th, wines from South on May 4th, summer wines on June 1st,.. Make your choice.

April 02, 2009
Pascal Lefeuvre