When the Wine World Changed

If you’re big into wine history, check out the following story from the SFGate. It tells of the wine tasting event in France back in 1976, when French judges chose a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay from Napa Valley as superior to the best from their mother country in a blind tasting in Paris.

Out of the many, many wine books that I have read of late, nearly all of them have pointed to this event as a major milestone in wine history. Before this event, wine was equated almost uniquely as a French product. Afterwards? Not so much.

My favorite bit?

“That is definitely California. It has no nose,” one judge said of a 1973 Batard Montrachet from Burgundy.

Raymond Oliver, described by Taber as the doyen of French culinary writers, exclaimed, “Ah, back to France!” as he happily sipped a Chardonnay from Napa Valley’s Freemark Abbey winery.

It’s a nice read, and relates to a new book that’s coming out – “Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine“. I may have to pick me up a copy


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