The Judgment of Paris

The Judgment of Paris is the Greek myth detailing Paris's selection of the most beautiful Greek goddess. His choice of Aphrodite eventually led to the Trojan War. It is also the name of a historic wine tasting that took place in Paris in 1976 and has been restaged many times since. The 1976 event pitted the top French white and red wines against the best of the fledgling California industry. The judges: the most respected French palates of the time. The outcome: an equally epic war between the victorious American and the defeated French.

The only journalist to actually show up was George Taber from Time magazine. Thirty years later, Taber wrote a book about his experiences in an excellent, if a bit wordy, book called The Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine.

A BBC article reveals that two movies will be released, each taking quite different spins on the subject. The Judgment of Paris will follow the book closely while Bottle Shock seems to support the French viewpoint that the tasting was invalid and organized by someone with American sympathies. Meanwhile Decanter reveals that Jude Law and Hugh Grant have been discussed as possible leads in Judgment of Paris.

Whoever stars in it, I'm just excited to see new takes on one of the greatest wine stories ever told—the classic David and Goliath tale. To everyone's surprise, a few start-up wine makers create something so beautiful that it rivals the best of France and, by necessity, the world (at the time it would have been difficult to have imagined better wines than French ones). Thirty-one years later, it is still a hotly debated subject, since it raised so many questions: What's the best wine in world? Who qualifies as a "wine expert" and what gives experts the right to tell us what to drink? Are our long-held perceptions about wine always true?

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