Seductive birthday celebration

At the beginning of March is my fiancé’s birthday. March can be a humdrum time of the year, so it’s always great to have his birthday to break up the rainy Paris winter blues. This year I wanted to do something a little different than the usual gathering of friends at our place or at a bar. Besides, Chéri was turning the all-important…33 years old. It is apparently a year of great change and evolution in many people’s lives. Some call it the “Jesus year”.

In order to ring in his 33rd year with a spark, I needed inspiration. I got some, quite by accident one evening when I went to with my friend Kasia to a wine tasting at a boutique hôtel just around the corner from where I work. The hôtel du Ministère is full of contemporary charm and is a quiet haven for a cozy glass of wine, or…a 4 star hotel room tucked away on this quiet street of the 8th. And that is just what I got! I was the lucky winner of the raffle held at the wine tasting. The prize : a night in the hotel! I immediately thought it was perfect for Chéri’s birthday. Continue reading

No whinning, just wine!

I recently attended a little soirée with my friend Kasia Dietz, at a cozy boutique hotel in the 8th arrondissement. The newly renovated hotel has added a wine bar, and most importantly…a wine specialt who goes by the name of Judith. In addition to being witty and fun, she also has her wits about her when it comes to wine. And she doesn’t hold your wine ignorance against you in any way! (I was relieved about that, because although I can appreciate it and I know what is good and what is mediocre and what is not good, I am at a loss to tell you anything intelligent about wine). She hosted a fun wine tasting, greetings us with a glass of champagne to open our palettes and offering a spread lots of delicious things to munch on. Once we were well lubricated from the champagne that she poured rather liberally, she announced that we would be having a wine tasting challenge where we would have to guess the wines that we were tasting. The only clue we had was the color of the wine in our glasses. Some, no, most of use, quite immediately admitted to knowing next to nothing about wine tasting, but Judith put us all at ease by saying that there were no rules to describing wine. It’s a very personal thing, she said.

One of her best feats of the evening was the tricky difference between the first two wines. Both white. VERY different flavors. We were throwing out all sorts of (wrong) answers when we tasted the second one. Choosing regions of France far away from the first wine we had tasted. Well it turns out, it was the same exact wine, only aged in oak barrels instead of steel barrels. We were all floored.

Two glasses of champagne and four glasses of really good wine later, I was ready to attempt the metro ride home.

Check out this friendly cozy place. You don’t have to be a client of the hotel to go and have a drink and talk wine with Judith!

31 rue de Surène, 75008 Paris