I first met Olivier Magny in an airport. It was early morning on Thanksgiving Day, 2009. Orly Airport was barely awake, much like the passengers and staff who mulled about sleepily. But Olivier was alert, excited and ready to charm, and his energy was infectious.
On this particular day, Olivier and his Paris-based wine tasting company, Ô Chateau, had partnered with Spanish airline Vueling to offer a wine tasting aboard a flight from Paris to Barcelona. Over the next 45 minutes at cruising altitude, Olivier’s crew of sommeliers uncorked countless bottles of reds and whites while Olivier offered an entertaining background on each wine—in both French and Spanish.
Fast forward to March 2011, when Olivier realizes his dream of opening great new wine bar in the heart of Paris. After seven years of providing English-language wine tastings, the native Parisian has taken his passion for wine to a whole new level.
The new Ô Chateau wine bar is located on the rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in a trendy neighborhood near the Bourse. It took eight months of renovation to create the perfect space in this 17th-century building, but it’s clear that the final result was both deliberate and exacting. The granite bar provides an elegant centerpiece, where expert sommeliers chat with patrons eager to taste and learn about the wine. There are tables surrounded by leather armchairs, and a private wine room stocked with hundreds of bottles of wine, where groups can gather for private tastings or to celebrate a special occasion. Downstairs, several caves host Ô Chateau’s popular wine tastings, as well as other private functions.
Despite the elegance of the entire space, the main attraction is, of course, the wine, and the bar offers more than 400 different wines and champagnes, including 40 that are available by the glass. Lining the back of the bar is a glass-enclosed case holding a few dozen bottles fed by thick tubes that feed nitrogen to the wine, perfectly preserving it and allowing wine enthusiasts to sample even the rarest vintage by the glass. Each type of wine is served in its own unique Riedel glass to optimize the flavors, and the kitchen offers a menu that offers lighter fare that is as delicious as it is fresh.
Ô Chateau is designed to feel like a very exclusive club, but its staff are extremely welcoming. Their easy conversation and desire to share their passion for wine make you feel more like an invited guest than a paying customer, something that is exceedingly rare in any bar, in any city.
68, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
01 44 73 97 80