NEW BRAUNFELS — It has been called the event that democratized wine around the world. It inspired a best-selling book and a Hollywood movie. It turned little-known winemakers and wineries into superstars.
And now, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards is recreating that moment, as part of its Winery U wine education program.
On Saturday, May 10, the winery will sponsor “Bottle Shock: “(Re) Judgment of Paris,” in commemoration of the Judgment of Paris wine competition that changed the world in May 1976.
Anyone who registers for the May Winery U session will be included on the distinguished panel of judges, which also will feature a number of guest judges from the wine world. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. at the winery, which is located at 1741 Herbelin Road, just outside New Braunfels.
The original competition matched California and French Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines, judged by a panel of French experts. The tasting was “blind,” so the judges did not know which wines they were evaluating.
When the votes were tabulated, California wines won both categories.
The lone journalist at the competition was Time magazine Paris correspondent George Taber, whose report in the June 1976 edition of the magazine helped launch a wine revolution that continues today.
“The Paris Tasting destroyed the myth of French supremacy and marked the democratization of the wine world,” noted wine critic Robert Parker wrote in 2001. “It was a watershed in the history of wine.”
Robert Mondavi, the man credited with leading the growth of California wines in the 1960s and ‘70s, said the competition put California “squarely on the world map of great wine-producing regions.”
Taber’s popular book, “Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine,” details the story, and the tasting was the basis for the 2008 movie “Bottle Shock.”
The (Re)Judgment of Paris will feature a turn-back-the-clock atmosphere and incorporate as many of the details of the original event as possible, including pouring some of the wines from the original producers.
Per person cost is $30. Join the fun and register online here.
From David King, CWE, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards