Wine and cheese tasting in Paris with Preston Mohr of Cook'n with Class

"Cheese and Wine Class in Paris" with Preston Mohr of Cook'n With Class  

Perfection is a bottle of French wine paired with a selection of cheese and a crispy baguette.

But … if you're accustomed to buying wine in the United States or Australia, selecting a bottle of wine in France can be rather daunting. The reason? Wines in Europe are classified according to their appellation, basically the region where they're produced. In other parts of the world, grape names are the primary method for labeling wine. So, if you like Merlot, Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc, it’s helpful to know that you’ll probably enjoy wines labelled Bordeaux, Burgundy or Sancerre in France.

The cheese displays at your local cheese monger or grocery store may present even more of a conundrum. With more than 350 distinct types of French cheese grouped into eight categories, it's challenging for even the most savvy gourmet to pair wines with different types of cheese.

Preston selected some excellent wines and cheese!

To help demystify the process, I asked a friend who was visiting from Boston to join me for a "Cheese and Wine Master Class" with Preston Mohr. The evening started with a glass of sparkling champagne and a creamy Brillat Savarin served with artisanal bread. As we sipped our glasses of bubbly, Preston used an easily comprehensible pyramid chart to explain the differences between AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) and Vin de France (formerly vin de table). Once our international group of nine had mastered the classification of French wine, I had an “aha” moment when Preston showed us the correct way to open a bottle of wine. Gone are the days when half of the cork gets stuck in the neck of the bottle!

By the time that we were sipping glasses of an incredible St. Emilion Grand Cru, the fourth wine of the evening, we were pros at cutting even the oddest shaped French cheese (the trick is to preserve the original shape). We also had a good understanding of the meaning of terroir, the magical French word that describes the influence that geology, hydrology, soil, climate and human knowledge (savoir-faire) has on wine and some agricultural products, such as cheese.

Preston’s enthusiasm for his adopted homeland, insightful anecdotes and extensive knowledge of French gastronomy made for a delightful evening. If you would like to optimize your wine and cheese tasting in France, I highly recommend joining one of Preston’s classes at the start of your sojourn in Paris. They're also a great way for solo travelers to connect with other people.

In addition to the "Master Cheese and Wine Class", Preston is the resident wine specialist for "The Chef's Table" and "Champagne Day Trip in Reims" at Cook'n with Class. Preston also offers wine tastings in Paris and culinary walks through his own company, Paris by the Glass.

If Preston's name sounds familiar, you may recognize it from a recent Condé Nast Traveler article about the one wine to order in Paris or my post about independent winemaker Bonnevie-Bocart.

Wine always tastes best with good company. -- Preston Mohr

Cook'n with Class
6 rue Baudelique
75018 Paris

With over 1,000 reviews on Trip Advisor, Cook'n with Class has an excellent rating of 5 out of 5. For anyone with mobility issues, it's helpful to know that the wine tastings are held in the cellar at Cook'n with Class.

"Cheese and Wine Class in Paris" with Preston Mohr of Cook'n With Class 

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