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From Cellar to Sensation: My Paris Wine and Cheese Tasting Experience

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As a lover of all things culinary, I’ve always dreamed of experiencing the legendary flavors of France firsthand. So, I jumped when the opportunity arose to attend a private wine and cheese tasting in Paris. Little did I know that this cheese and wine tasting workshop would not only tantalize my taste buds but also deepen my appreciation for the artistry behind these iconic French delicacies.

The tasting was at Paroles de Fromagers – La Ferme du Faubourg, which is right near Canal St. Martin in the heart of Paris. This cheese shop featured an excellent selection of wine and cheese. It was hard not to go home with a box of each.

This wine and cheese tasting is bookable on Viator if you want to purchase tickets in advance. This foodie experience has great reviews, and I would also echo that. It was a well-done tasting featuring a nice assortment of each.

Artisanal cheese aging process at Paroles de Fromagers in Paris, France, showcasing various stages of cheese maturity, French cheeses, wine pairings, and traditional aging techniques.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Descending into a Parisian Cheese Cellar

Explore the Authentic Cheese Aging Process at Paroles de Fromagers in Paris
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

My unique wine and cheese tasting adventure began as I descended the stairs into a charming Parisian cheese cellar. The air was cool and humid, perfumed with the earthy, nutty aromas of aging cheeses. My host, a passionate fromager, greeted me with a warm smile and a glimmer in his eye that hinted at the delicious discoveries that awaited.

As we gathered around the tasting table, I couldn’t help but marvel at the cheeses. Just take a look at how nice this spread is.

Wine and cheese tasting event at Paroles de Fromagers, showcasing a variety of French cheeses on a rustic table with wine glasses and tasting cards.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

From creamy bries to pungent blues, each morsel seemed to tell a story of the French terroir and the generations of cheesemakers who have perfected their craft.

The Art of Wine and Cheese Pairing

Amaranthé Chinon red wine bottle from the Loire Valley, vinified by Christophe Baudry and Jean-Martin Dutour
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Our knowledgeable host began the tasting by introducing us to wine and cheese pairing basics. “The key,” he explained, “is to find a balance between the flavors and textures of the cheese and the characteristics of the wine.”

We started with a crisp, pale yellow Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. As I swirled the wine in my glass, I noticed aromas of citrus, pineapple, and a hint of flint. Our host encouraged us to take a sip, letting the wine coat our palates before introducing the first cheese.

Here are some of the key principles of tasting wine that I knew a bit already but learned a bit more in detail about during the tasting:

Technique/Principle Description
Visual assessment of wine Checking wine color against a light background (using an apple in this instance).
Aromatic assessment Swirling wine to open flavors, noting initial and changing aromas (e.g., pineapple to almond changes).
Wine tasting Tasting with and without cheese to note changes in flavor profile, particularly how fat content in cheese affects wine’s acidity and flavor.
Cheese assessment Smelling and breaking cheese to release different flavors, noting changes from rind to center.
Pairing principle Fat in cheese pairs well with acidity in wine, can reduce perceived sourness and enhance sweetness.

A Taste of French Cheese Heritage

Authentic Parisian cheese and wine tasting experience in a rustic Paris bistro
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The first cheese we sampled was a Maroilles, a pungent washed-rind cheese from northern France. As I brought a piece to my nose, I was struck by its earthy, almost meaty aroma. The taste was bold and complex, with a hint of nuttiness that lingered on my tongue.

Our host explained that Maroilles is one of France’s oldest cheeses, with a history dating back to the 10th century. “It’s a true testament to the French cheese heritage,” he said, his eyes sparkling with pride.

We moved on to a classic Comté, a nutty, buttery cheese from the Jura region. As I savored a bite, I couldn’t help but notice the tiny crystals that formed on my tongue due to the cheese’s long aging process. Our host explained that these crystals are actually amino acid clusters, a sign of a well-aged cheese.

Exploring the Nuances of French Wine As we progressed through the tasting, our host introduced us to an array of French wines, each carefully chosen to complement the flavors of the cheeses.

We sampled a robust Syrah from the Rhône Valley, its notes of black fruit and spice perfectly balancing the creaminess of a ripe Camembert.

One of the most surprising pairings of the evening was a tangy goat cheese with sweet, honeyed Sauternes. The contrast of flavors was stunning, the wine’s luscious sweetness taming the cheese’s assertive tang.

Throughout the tasting, our host shared stories of the winemakers and cheesemakers behind each product, painting a vivid picture of the passion and dedication of creating these French delicacies. It was a reminder that behind every sip of wine and bite of cheese lies a rich tapestry of history and tradition.

A Newfound Appreciation for French Cuisine

Parisian wine and cheese tasting with assorted French cheeses and white wine.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

As the evening drew to a close, I found myself satiated and inspired. This unique wine and cheese tasting in Paris opened my eyes to French cuisine’s incredible depth and complexity. Each cheese and wine we sampled represented generations of artisanal craftsmanship and an unwavering commitment to quality.

Reflecting on my experience, I realized this was more than just a wine and cheese pairing workshop—a celebration of the French culinary heritage. The flavors I encountered in that cozy Parisian cheese cellar will forever be etched in my memory, a delicious reminder of the magic that happens when passion, tradition, and expertise come together.

As I emerged from the cellar, I felt a renewed appreciation for life’s simple pleasures. A slice of perfectly aged cheese, a sip of a well-crafted wine—these things that make life worth savoring. And there’s no better place to indulge in these pleasures than in the gastronomic heart of France, Paris.

If you find yourself in the City of Light, I highly recommend seeking a private wine and cheese tasting experience. It’s a chance to tantalize your taste buds and better understand the rich cultural heritage behind these iconic French delicacies.

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