The blind tasting that changed wine forever

the blind tasting that changed wine forever

Sumary of The blind tasting that changed wine forever:

  • Californian wines scored big with the judges and won in both the red and white categories, beating legendary chateaux and domaines from Bordeaux and Burgundy..
  • A trip to California The tasting was the brainchild of British wine merchant Steven Spurrier, who passed away in March 2021 aged 79..
  • In the early 1970s, Spurrier owned a wine shop in Paris and a wine school right next to it, called L’Academie du Vin..
  • Spurrier liked to showcase wines from countries other than France in the shop and at the school — an act of true rebellion in Paris — and thought of a tasting as a way to promote his business..
  • Patricia Gastaud-Gallagher, an American associate of Spurrier, visited California wineries in 1975 and was impressed with the rising quality of their offerings..
  • Bottles on a plane DePuy played a crucial role in setting up the tasting, because Spurrier realized that carrying two dozen bottles of wine with him on a plane would be difficult, and there was a risk of having them held at customs..
  • I smelled it before I saw it — one of the cases had red on the outside and I said, ‘Oh, my.’ But Steven was very kind..
  • The tasting, now six months in the making, was scheduled for May 24, 1976 at the Intercontinental Hotel, not far from Spurrier’s shop and school..
  • The nine judges, all French, included Odette Khan, editor of a prestigious wine magazine, and Aubert de Villaine, the director of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, a Burgundy estate that makes some of the world’s best, and most expensive, wines..
  • “It was only pretty much at the last minute that Steven decided to change the testing from an open one to a blind one..
  • Among the French wines Spurrier picked were Batard-Montrachet, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Chateau Haut-Brion — the elite of fine wine..
  • When Spurrier tallied the scores, it turned out that California had dominated the white wine category, with a 1973 Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena as the winner, and three American wines in the top five….

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