If you like or love California wines, then today’s WineAlign article is one you should definitely take the time to read – preferably while sipping a glass of Cali wine.
In this article, David Lawrason commemorates the 40th anniversary of the “arrival” (read “acceptance”) of New World Wine. It happened in 1976 at an event that’s become known as the Judgement of Paris, where eight California wines faced off against top Bordeaux and Burgundy wines: wines from Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap beat their French counterparts, and the balance intermingled with the French wines for top marks.
Up to that point, it was widely agreed that the New World (i.e. not Europe) couldn’t make really decent wine. But the people creating the wines certainly knew differently – and set out to prove it.
To really appreciate this event, you could watch the movie Bottle Shock (2008), which tells the tale of the Judgement of Paris in a fun and quirky way – it was the 70’s after all. Then watch the video of Bo Barrett in the WineAlign article – you’ll see that they really captured him well in the movie. Or you could head off to the LCBO to find a bottle of wine from Chateau Montelena or Stag’s Leap (they’re not in the $10 range, but they do have some reasonably affordable offerings). Or better yet, you could go visit Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap in the Napa Valley, both of which are still in operation today and producing top wines.