Covering the ‘Judgment’ Coverage

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Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena – along with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars – beat out their French competition during the Judgment of Paris 40 years ago this month. / Photo by Flckr user Living In Monrovia

With this month marking the 40th anniversary of the Judgment of Paris – the infamous blind tasting that put California (and the U.S.) on the international wine map – there will no doubt be many great stories commemorating this historic event. So instead of rewriting what everyone else is writing, here’s a compilation of pieces you should read. Since the actual anniversary isn’t until May 24, I’ll do my best to update this post as stories are published.

So let’s get started:

  • Bloomberg’s Elin McCoy does a few things in her piece: Why One Seismic Event in the Wine World Still Matters 40 Years Later. She starts out by reporting on a new movie in the making, and then as the headline suggests, answers her question “Why is the world still obsessed with this tasting?” She ends with a do-it-yourself guide to creating your own tasting to celebrate.
  • Leave it to the Judgment’s hometown newspaper to find a fascinating character to write about: Joanne Depuy. As she tells Napa Valley Register’s Tim Carl: “I introduced both of the winning wines to Steven Spurrier, and I even transported the wines over to Paris for the tasting for him.” (Uhoh – that means one of my favorite scenes in the Bottle Shock movie may also be fiction!) Read more about her story in: The woman behind the Judgment of Paris.
  • Wine Enthusiast is marking the anniversary by telling you which wineries to go visit and telling you what’s new, but the more interesting bits are at the bottom under fun facts! Did you know that the winning Stag’s Leap Cabernet included one percent Pinot Noir? Read more in The Judgment of Paris Turns 40.
  • Esther Mobley of the San Francisco Chronicle takes the cynical position that someone sitting in the center of a news subject always does in Why the Judgment of Paris really matters (and why it doesn’t). But she provides an interesting perspective that makes this a good read and some balance to all the other pieces celebrating the anniversary.
  • So many anniversary stories on the actual day (I’m typing this on the 24th!), but I’ll end  this list by highlighting one that’s a little close to home. I encouraged NPR colleague Maria Godoy, who runs the NPR food blog, to introduce listeners and readers to the Judgement of Paris. She did a fabulous job – including an interview with George Taber – in The Blind Taste Test That Decanted The Wine World.

If you spot a good #judgmentofparis piece that’s not included here, tweet me: @itswinebyme. (Last updated  May 24, 2016)

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