• Christine Jeffers

JUDGEMENT OF PARIS




The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, also known as the Judgment of Paris, was a wine competition organized in Paris on 24 May 1976 by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant, in which French judges carried out two blind tasting comparisons: one of top-quality Chardonnays and another of red wines (Bordeaux wines from France and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California). A Californian wine rated best in each category, which caused surprise as France was generally regarded as being the foremost producer of the world's best wines. Spurrier sold only French wine and believed that the California wines would not win.


When the scores were tallied, the top honors went not to France's best vintners but to a California white and red — the 1973 chardonnay from Chateau Montelena and the 1973 cabernet sauvignon from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. (A bottle of each now resides at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.) Some of the French judges tried to revoke their votes as the results gave winemakers everywhere a reason to believe that they too could take on the greatest wines in the world.


Bottleshock is a 2008 American comedy-drama film based on the competition.

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