Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

The Judgement of Everywhere

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, May 9th, 2006 at 4:39 pm in Uncategorized.

This whole Judgement of Paris rematch on May 24 has got me thinking — why just France and Napa? Why not the Judgement of Australia, and the Judgement of Germany? If the historic 1976 blind tasting did anything, it opened up competition and notoriety of world class winemaking to regions outside of France, so why, each decade, do we keep rehashing the competition?

For those of you who haven’t heard, 30 years ago this month a monumental thing happened in the industry. In a blind tasting, nine French judges voted a Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars cabernet and a Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (both Napa wines) superior to a blessed Bordeaux and a French white Burgundy. Back then, saying a California wine was better than a French one was simply heresy. Things have clearly changed.

Folks at Copia, along with people across the Atlantic, are staging simultaneous reenactments. The event is so huge that some wineries have declined invitations to pour, fearing bad press, or worst, the fate of the French in 1976. I’ll be covering the American side of things and it’ll be interesting to see how our wines have aged (they’ll be tasting the 1973 wines) and also how the younger ones stand up to their French counterparts. I just hope no one faints. Stay tuned.

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