Judgment of Paris
In 1976, Steven Spurrier, a wine-shop owner in Paris, and his American associate, Patricia Gallagher, organized a blind wine tasting. The event, in honor of the American Bicentennial, pitted renowned reds from Bordeaux and whites from Burgundy against Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays from California—varietals considered the exclusive domain of the French.
Although the tasting had started as a publicity stunt, when two American wines—red and white—placed first, the event took on unexpected significance. The “Judgment of Paris” was a triumph for California winemakers and changed the way people at home and abroad saw the new American wine industry.
Tasting glasses from L’Académie du Vin, which Steven Spurrier established as the first independent wine school in France. Spurrier and his business associate Patricia Gallagher organized the 1976 Paris Tasting.