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Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine Paperback – Bargain Price, November 21, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Taber begins the story with fascinating mini-biographies of the winemakers and winery owners (such as Mike Grgich, Warren Winiarski, and Jim Barrett), discusses the trials and tribulations of making their first wines, outlines each of the competition wines (California and French) in interesting detail and context, then, after describing the competition itself, follows the discussion with the chronology of the press and public reaction from the U.S. and abroad (mostly French-they were pissed).
Positing the shattering of French wine hegemony by this `momentous' wine event, he then points the reader to the subsequent enabling of the `Globalisation of Wine', and in the remainder of the book, takes a number of diversions that relate to this hotly discussed topic, including a chapter on six recent International Wine Stars, and others that give a (relatively) non-judgemental perspective on contemporary wine trends, wine economics, wine styles, and more wine personalities.
Very enjoyable and well written, it's a must read for the wine enthusiast, and for anyone interested in a succinct summary of many (non-technical) contemporary wine issues.
Like all compelling stories this is a very personal one, the events all turning on individual experiences and individual decisions. Hence there is a beautiful 'reality' about it, a reality that continues today. When you visit some of these individuals' wineries you are still likely to see them there, behind their desks or in their cellars, doing their thing. They changed the world of wine and this is a crucial part of their story.
Yet, into this environment entered several young men with improbable Slavic names: Dimitri Tchelistcheff, Warren Winiarski, and Miljenko Grgich, and with even less probable winemaking expertise. While Silicon Valley, without any established competition was creating products with ease by thinking "out of the box", the vintners of Napa Valley, by thinking "out of the barrel" produced some fabulous wines. The secret eventually reached a wine merchant in Paris who organized a blind wine tasting of 12 best California wines and 8 best French wines. The only reporter attending was from TIME magazine, George Taber. At a risk of giving away the punch line, after the smoke has cleared in Paris ... the best red was made by Winiarski and the best white by Grgich.
Everyone who visits Napa Valley, once or often, should read this book. It reads like a novel, yet it effortlessly teaches you enough to start your own vineyard and make your own wine.
Then Taber spends the last 20% of his book looking at a few wineries in a few wine regions around the world, and an update on the French and Napa regions since the competition in 1976. This all seems like incongruous useless filler to get the book from 240 pages to 300.
Five stars for the first 80%, none for the last 20%.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great story about Napa wines and the history of wine outside of France. It was a little slow here and there, but I enjoyed it still. Would recommend!Published 10 days ago by Nate
Excellent first-person account of the most important wine tasting in which the U.S. Has ever been a participant. Required reading for any oenophile.Published 20 days ago by C. Lorenzoni
The book presents a good description of the wine making process and its technical evolution. It doesn't go too far into the chemistry or test methods -- for that, get a textbook. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Seniorita
I read this before going to Napa Valley for wine tasting. I very much enjoyed the author's style and story.Published 29 days ago by Pamela
What a great read! Even if you don't drink wine, you should read it.
Since this year is the 40th anniversary of the 'Judgement', it is even more an appropriate... Read more
Great book if you are truly interested in wine and the early wine pioneers in the Napa Valley. The movie Bottle Shock is about this story of the Paris Tasting but it takes... Read morePublished 1 month ago by susan robbins
Excellent book which I am reading for a winery book club, at the 40 year anniversary of the judgement. Well written with great historical background. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Roger P Bermingham