JUDGEMENT OF PARIS
On 24 May 1976 in Paris, Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant, organised a wine competition in which French judges carried out two blind tasting comparisons: one of top-quality Chardonnays (from Burgundy and California) and another of red wines (Bordeaux wines from France and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California). A California wine rated best in each category, which caused surprise as France was generally regarded as being the foremost producer of the world's best wines. Spurrier sold only French wine and believed that the California wines would not win. This event, known as the Judgement of Paris, had a revolutionary impact on expanding the production and prestige of wine in the New World and as a result led to the increasing availability of their wines in wine merchants and supermarkets in the UK.
While on a trip to Paris in 2014 David and Elaine tried to find the original shop in Paris owned by Steven Spurrier where the Paris tasting was conceived. Although the street has since been remodelled and the shop no longer exists, we did find its location, near the Place de la Concorde and surrounded by fashionable shops such as Gucci and Christian Dior.
In June 2014 David and Elaine visited the London Wine Fair at Olympia and discovered to our surprise that Steven Spurrier was also at the fair. Of course Elaine had a photo taken with the great man.
In May 2016 a celebration of the Judgement of Paris will take place at the Vineyard restaurant,
Stock Cross. David and Elaine are determined to be there!.