Judgment in Paris


I just finished reading a great Christmas present, “Judgment of Paris  California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine” by George M. Taber.
The book details a blind wine tasting that occurred in Paris in 1976 where two California wines won over French Bordeaux and chardonnays. Although this tasting is the pivot point of this book, to me the heart of this book was the history of modern California’s wine history.
Mr. Taber sets the stage by explaining how the French essentially ruled the wine world, and it wasn’t until this watershed tasting that winemakers in California proved that goods wines could be made outside of France.  Once California had broken France’s iron grip, other countries took heart and began producing and exporting wine. Australia and Chile are particularly interesting as they deliberately targeted the export market for their products.
I’ve never been a California chardonnay fan, but after reading this I want to try them again, oh and I  really want to some New Zeland Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc. This is a great intro into the history of California wine industry, along with an examination of the current wine world; but be prepared to start wishing that you had an endless wine cellar to sample all these wines.
The book doesn’t have too much to say about Italian wines….anyone know a good Italian wine history book that they can recommend?

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