In 1976, a prestigious panel of nine French wine connoisseurs gathered in Paris to compare 10 white and 10 red wines from France and California in a blind test taste. It was meant to be an amusing introduction of New World wines marking America’s bicentennial.
What happened next outraged the French and exalted the American upstarts. To put this 40-year-old taste test into perspective, think of it as the wine industry’s David versus Goliath moment: epic, with an astonishing outcome that popped corks all over the world.
When the votes were tallied, two California wines (one red and one white) had crushed France’s old growth Bordeaux and white Burgundies. All the Paris judges had given top marks to the Napa Valley newcomers!
“The Judgment of Paris”, as it became known, debunked the belief that great wines only came from France and energized the California wine industry—growing it from 350 wineries then to over 4,000 today.
Imagine how entertaining it would be to reenact this legendary competition with some opinionated friends. A quick sojourn through Spec’s wine aisles, voting paraphernalia and voilà—your soirée is swinging!