'The Judgment of Paris:' A Turning Point for Wine

The judges table at the 1976 wine tasting dubbed "The Judgment of Paris." i i

hide captionThe judges' table at the watershed 1976 wine tasting in Paris, organized by Steven Spurrier (far right).

Bella Spurrier
The judges table at the 1976 wine tasting dubbed "The Judgment of Paris."

The judges' table at the watershed 1976 wine tasting in Paris, organized by Steven Spurrier (far right).

Bella Spurrier

Thirty years ago in Paris, a publicity stunt for a wine shop started a revolution for California's Napa Valley.

In 1976, a blind tasting pitted the best wines from France against wines from California. And to everyone's shock, the Californian wines won.

The event was dubbed "The Judgment of Paris" by the lone American journalist who covered the event.

This week, 30th-anniversary reenactments of the tasting were held in London and California — and again, the Californian wines came out on top.

Commentator Alan Baker was at the event in the Napa Valley and explains how the 1976 tasting wasn't just a watershed moment for California winemakers, it also inspired grape growers and winemakers from other, then-unknown wine regions.

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