Apr 20, 2013

A visit to Musée du vin

Today I went to the Musée du vin with other students in the program and had the first wine class in my life! The class includes a brief introduction to the production of wine/fromage and the definition of some techinical terms such as AOC, croûte, etc. Then we tasted five different kind of wine and their corresponding fromage. The whole class lasted two hours and it was SO MUCH FUN! Here is the link to the museum: http://www.museeduvinparis.com/francais/

The museum situates in a cave close to the metro station Passy. After entering the cave, I was greeted by an aroma of wine and strong humidity. Then I took a quick tour in the museum and saw the ancient tools for wine-fabrication. They look no different from the weapons.. Andry and I made a conclusion that in the past people use these tools to work and protect family members. Assez economique, n'est-ce pas?

Then comes the main part - cours de dégustation!
Some basic knowledge: wines are classified according to the production area of the grapes, whereas cheese is classified by the type of milk and the production method. Generally speaking, white wine goes well with more kinds of cheese than red wine does; salty cheese goes with sweet wine. At this moment I would interpret the match as a balance of taste (beginner level..). There are eight categories of cheeses according to their degree of l'affinage (maturity). The longer the "affinage" lasts, the harder the cheese is. Below is a plate of five different cheeses that go with specific kinds of wine. The one in the round shape is chèvre (goat cheese), the one on the left is roquefort (blue cheese, strong smell), the little white soft piece is brie. I did not get the names of the other two, but I remember that the one on the right would turn orange as it's exposed in the air, and the triangular one is the softest among all.

Wine number one is white wine that has a fruity smell. It tastes acid and narrow (excuse me for this abstract word; my wine vocabulary definitely needs developing..). matches with goat cheese.
Wine number two, Arbois, is also white wine. It is a bit mature than the first one and therefore has a more sophisticated taste. It goes with the triangle shape cheese, which is my favorite combination. The cheese itself is not strong at all, but when you sip at the glass after having a piece of cheese, the taste of chees comes back to your mouth and becomes stronger. What a magic chemical reaction!

Wine number three is red wine. Fabricated in Château Labastidié, 2008. When paired with the brie cheese, they create dry feeling in the mouth.

Wine number four is another red wine, more ageing compared to the previous one. In terms of color, this glass looks a little bit more purple and is more transparent. Just a sip and you will feel the warmth coming through your body.

 Wine number five is a kind that I've never tasted before. Although it belongs to the white wine family, its flavour is unlike other white wines. Sweet, light, fresh, the Sauternes tastes more like juice than wine. This dessert-like white wine softens the flavor of blue cheese and creates a balance.

The end of the class.. Tout le monde était content!! Merci beaucoup musée du vin!!

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