24 May: The Wine That Won Over The World

California had virtually no reputation as an international wine-growing region until 24th May, 1976 – when 11 wine experts gathered at a Parisian hotel and decided, in a blind taste-test, that wines from Napa Valley were indeed more quaffable than France’s most famous varieties: a decision that shook up the world of wine, and became known as ‘The Judgement of Paris’.

Upon realising how controversial her scoring would become, Odette Kahn, France’s most famous wine critic, even asked for her notes back.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why nobody predicted the rumpus that this event would cause; uncover how it paved the way for ‘new world’ wines to take centre stage; and reveal how it toppled careers in the French wine establishment… 

Further Reading

• ‘Best French and California Wine—A Test That Changed a World’ (TIME, 2016): https://time.com/4342433/judgment-of-paris-time-magazine-anniversary/

• Modern Living: Judgment of Paris’ (TIME, 1976): http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,947719,00.html

• ‘Judgement of Paris with Sir Peter Michael, Steven Spurrier and Gary Myatt’ (The Vineyard Hotel):