Impressions of Paris: Wine Edition

16 March - 14 July 2024

Bienvenu à Bendigo! 

Our Impressions of Paris: Wine Edition will entice you to sample and learn the history behind eight very different but very delicious French wines, each served as a thoughtful and educational pairing. 

You can choose to sample all eight across four flights, or try just a few – adding in some French-inspired nibbles as you please. Enjoy as a component of a lunch or dinner or as an afternoon delight while whiling away the time before the next train home.  Available Wed – Sat lunch and dinner.

Exploring the wines

This has been fun to research!

Our rotating roster of eight French wines, poured by the 1/2 glass and segmented into pairs within a flight, each within the categories of: 

  • Aperitif (to begin) 
  • Verre de fruit et classe (A glass of fruit and class)
  • Brune et Blonde (Wines of the Rhone)
  • Quelque chose à finir (Something to finish)

You can add these to your online lunch or dinner booking by choosing one flight that interests you, or if you can’t decide, select the ‘all the wines’ option. 

Half a glass of each wine is presented onto our curated map of information connecting as to why it is significant. 

You can add on an additional snack that matches the wine and the era. 

Of course, additional glasses and top-ups of your favourite wines will be available, and for retail purchase.



Whilst Paris’ drink culture deeply influenced the era’s literature and art, the early 1900s also saw the development and recognition of France’s wine regions and their classification systems; laying the groundwork for the modern wine industry.

Post two World Wars, the economic downturn in Europe combined with increasing competition, saw the French wine industry become depressed for decades.  In 1936, Baron Pierre Le Roy developed the Appellation d’Origine Protégée or AOP system of wine classification, and founded the regulatory board for wine in France.

The system helped consumers understand the hierarchy and quality of wines, further enhancing the global prestige of French wines. 

Current wine selection by flight

Champagne and sparkling wines are unique in that they can be drunk throughout an entire meal including dessert, which was common in Paris 1880 – 1920!

Wine 1: NV Baron Jacques Blanc de Blanc
Region: Burgundy
Wine Description: Organic 100% Chardonnay. Minimum of 9 months on lees.
Tasting Notes: A blend of crisp green apple, ripe pear, and a hint of citrus zest, interwoven with delicate floral notes and a creamy, refined finish.

Historical Significance: Champagne and Cremant are synonymous with the Belle Epoque in Paris. Consumption of Champagne and Sparkling wine expanded greatly and is represented in much of the art, music and literature. The advances of Louis Pasteur’s wine science research contributed to the streamlining of production and Parisian appetites joyously consumed vast quantities despite the Champagne and Burgundy problems of poor vintages, the wine disease phylloxera and widespread worker unrest. 

Food match: All aperitifs work well with Champagne and Cremant. Think olives, charcuterie, croquettes and sashimi. 
Sparkling wine pairs well with all seafood, heavier cream-based dishes, roast chicken, salmon and pork. 

Wine 2: 2022 Fontanet ‘Les Terrasses’ Pays d’Hérault Mont Baudile IGP
Region: Languedoc Roussillon
Wine Description: Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault, made by the skin contact method.
Tasting Notes: Strawberry, raspberry, red cherry framed by a dry refreshing finish.

Historical Significance: Rose wines became popular with Parisians as they began to holiday regularly on the Cote d’Azur and gained a taste for the refreshing wines of the South of France. Many French children were taught to love wine by being given rose as their earliest meal accompaniments.

Food match: Rose is a great aperitif wine and is a classic pairing with charcuterie, and also matches well with Mediterranean foods of all kinds.

Wine 1: 2022 Domaine de la Grenaudiere
Region: Muscadet, Loire Valley
Wine Description: 100% Melon de Bourgogne. Aged on lees in underground glass vats for a minimum of 9 months.
Tasting Notes: Crisp apple and citrus tang. Lemon peel nose with a hint of the sea air.

Historical Significance: Muscadet regained popularity in the early 20th century after winemakers began ageing the wine ‘sur lie’ – leaving the wine with the yeast lees, a la Champagne. The proximity to Paris helped the negociants ply their trade.  

Food match: Muscadet is oyster wine. Also good with oysters, as well as oysters. May also be paired well with all shellfish, soft and blue cheese.

Wine 2: 2022 Reserve Delsol Picpoul de Pinet
Region: Languedoc
Wine Description: 100% Picpoul de Pinet
Tasting Notes: White flowers and blossom on the nose. A palate of lemon and honeydew melon with racing acidity. Perfect aperitif.

Historical Significance: Picpuol de Pinet has often been used as the base for vermouth but was also very popular in Paris as the wine Picardin (blended with Clairette blanc). 

Food match: Picpoul de Pinet is grown in sight of the Mediterranean and works well with all seafoods – bouillabaisse and fish stews especially.

Wine 1: 2021 Mas de Bressades – ‘Cuvee Tradition’
Region: Costieres de Nimes, Southern Rhone Valley
Wine Description: 60%Grenache, 40%Shiraz 
Tasting Notes: Dark red colour and blackberry fruit nose with Mediterranean herbs. Spice and blackcurrant with ripe tannin give great balance and complexity. A great candidate for the cellar.

Historical Significance: Mas de Bressades is a sixth generation winery with similar aspect and pebbly, rocky soil to Chateuneuf du Pape. The expansion of the railway network in the late 19th brought the wines of the Rhone to Parisians usurping the dominance of Bordeaux.

Food match: Grilled meats of all kinds match well with Mas de Bressades rouge especially rosemary and lamb. The perfect BBQ wine. 

Wine 2: 2021 Maison Georges Vigouroux – ‘Pigmentum’ 
Region: Cahors
Wine Description: 100% Malbec. Aged in barrel for a minimum of 18 months.
Tasting Notes: Red flowers with red and black berries on the nose. Big textural palate of black fruits, blackberry, blackcurrant and black cherries with big tannins that carry the palate to a long finish. Will age in the cellar for more than 10 years.

Historical Significance: Cahors has a long wine history. The famed ‘black wine of Cahors’ was used to bolster the colour of Bordeaux wines for centuries, as the Lot River flowing from Cahors into the Gironde River provided easy boat access between the two regions. Parisians long enjoyed the wines and the disaster of vine disease in Cahors in the late 19th century brought the troubles of wine growing to the awareness of Paris, stimulating the government to enlist scientist Louis Pasteur to investigate.  

Food match: Goes well with many foods, from grilled red meats to roast duck, hard cheeses, even pasta with tomato sauces and a lamb curry.

Wine 1: 2021 Domaine Des Bernadines ‘Muscat de Beaumes de Venise’
Region: Rhone
Wine Description: Muscat
Tasting Notes: Quince – Rhubarb – Silky
This is a great sweet wine that finishes quite savoury despite the sweet mid-palate. This style of wine is hard to find and easy to drink.

Historical Significance: The Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, hailing from the Rhône region, carries with it a legacy of excellence and tradition. During the period between 1880 and 1925, France was experiencing a renaissance in the arts, culture, and gastronomy. Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, known for its distinctive sweet yet savory profile, marked by quince and rhubarb with a silky texture, became a symbol of French innovation in winemaking. This era was a time of great experimentation and refinement in viticulture, leading to the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise’s reputation as a unique and sought-after dessert wine. Its ability to finish savory despite a sweet mid-palate reflects the culinary avant-garde spirit of the time, making it a precious find for connoisseurs.

Wine 2: 2019 Chateau La Caussade ‘Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont’
Region: Right Bank Bordeaux
Wine Description: Semillon
Tasting Notes: Rich – Floral – Fruit Sweet
Across the Garonne from Sauternes, a fantastic start or finish to a dining experience. 

Historical Significance: Across the waters from the famed Sauternes region, Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont tells a story of resilience and undiscovered treasures. The early 20th century, especially the years between 1880 and 1925, was a challenging period for Bordeaux’s right bank, as it had to constantly prove itself against the left bank’s renowned reputations. Chateau La Caussade, with its rich, floral, and fruit sweet Semillon, exemplifies the elegance and complexity that the right bank’s terroir can produce. During a time when France was asserting its cultural and culinary dominance on the world stage, wines like Chateau La Caussade’s Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont demonstrated the depth and variety of French winemaking. It offered a fantastic start or finish to any dining experience, embodying the period’s innovation and quest for excellence in every glass.