Auteur: Casey Ryan, C’95
If you pay very close attention to my biweekly blogging, you would have anticipated a Top Penn List for this week. However, I like to switch things up. I wanted to share with you a wonderful story about the Penn Club of France.
Last month, the University took Time to Shine tour to its final stop – London. The event was a huge success and our British and expat-American alumni were excited. During my time abroad, I took the Eurostar over to Paris to meet with our Penn Club of France.
In the middle of our planning Time to Shine in London, the Penn Club of France was preparing for their next event, a happy hour cocktail organized in partnership with the Columbia University Club of France. The alumni groups were scheduling a meet up to share a good evening and some great wine at Wine by One: Montaigne. The event was slated to start at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 14th. The timing couldn’t have been better, Time to Shine: London was the 13th and I could head over the next morning.
Of personal note, November 14th is my mother’s birthday. Being a proud Penn Parent and an alumna herself, she understood that duty called. Meanwhile, I colluded with my father to make sure that her present from me was at the breakfast table. I also called her once from each country, naming it her “Tale of Two Cities birthday calls.”
Back to Paris, Wine by One is unique wine-bar founded by a Penn alumnus, Stéphane Girard, WG’06! The concept is modern and simple: purchase a rechargeable cash card, grab a glass and begin browsing. There are 100 wines “on tap,” grouped by region and flavor profile. Once you have made your selection, insert your card into the slot, select the size of your glass (a taste, a half-glass or a full glass) and fill it up! The cost is deducted from your card.
It’s a clever way to experiment with wines and to find one to enjoy. You can relax and sample many different wines. You can stick to a wine that you like and drink a glass of it. You can take a bottle home if you discover one that you love by purchasing it there. One of the biggest draws about this place is Girard’s selection of non-French wine. There was a chardonnay from Long Island (I believe it was from Bedell Cellars) which was superb. Don’t worry, I did try a handful of French wine and I reached out to taste others from Slovakia, South Africa and Spain.
After a wonderful evening chatting with many Penn alumni as well as a few of the Columbia alumni, I thanked the president of the Penn Club of France, Laurent Bonnet, C’07, for allowing me the privilege of joining the club’s event. We chatted a bit as he walked to the Metro, then we bid à bientôt. Having only a few scant hours left in Paris, I walked back to my hotel, enchanted by the City of Lights.
Currently there are two locations: Wine by One: Montaigne located 27 rue de Marignan and Wine by One: Place Vendôme located 9 Rue des Capucines.