Loading Classes

« All Classes

Judgement of Paris: California versus France

Thursday, November 18 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

judgement of paris

Tickets

The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking “Get Tickets” will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Premium Tickets
Includes Ticket Insurance and our Sommelier Gift Bag
$ 74.05
0 available
Sold Out
Discount Tickets
Cannot be rescheduled, but can attend virtually if needed.
$ 54.98
0 available
Sold Out
Online Tickets
One ticket per online attendee.
$ 19.98

Our Judgement of Paris wine class pits two favorite wine countries in an epic battle of uncorked fury. Our series of VERSUS classes are hugely popular, and this is one of the shining jewels. France was the undisputed heavyweight champ of the wine world until 1976 when California unseated the Gallic winemakers at the Judgement of Paris wine tasting.

In this class, we don’t replicate that tasting. Instead, we bring in a how series of fresh new faces in this battle of the bottles. Who will win? That’s up to you.

What is the Judgement of Paris?

The story starts with George Taber, a reporter for Time Magazine, back in 1976. He was the only American journalist at a wine tasting in Paris that pitted French wines against Californians.  He witnessed a surprise upset that elevated California wines in the eyes of America and the world: the panel of respected French sommeliers named the American wines as superior.

George’s reporting on what came to be known as “The Judgement of Paris” dramatically affected the American wine-buying public. By the early 1980s, Napa had become shorthand for luxury-level wines.

We first met George at a mutual friend’s winery.  He had just published an account of that historical tasting, and the book soon became an international bestseller.

Here’s the review of Taber’s book “Judgement of Paris” from Publishers Weekly:

In 1976, a Paris wine shop arranged a tasting as a gimmick to introduce some California wines; the judges, of course, were all French and militantly chauvinistic. Only one journalist bothered to attend, a Time correspondent, looking for a possible American angle. The story he got turned out to be a sensation. In both red and white blind tastings, an American wine won handily: a 1973 Stag’s Leap cabernet and a 1973 Chateau Montelena chardonnay. When the story was published the following week, it stunned both the complacent French and fledgling American wine industries—and things have never been the same since. Taber, the Time man, has fashioned an entertaining, informative book around this event. Following a brisk history of the French-dominated European wine trade with a more detailed look at the less familiar American effort, he focuses on the two winning wineries, both of which provide him with lively tales of colorful amateurs and immigrants making good, partly through willingness to experiment with new techniques. While the outrage of some of the judges is funny, this is a serious business book, too, sure to be required reading for American vintners and oenophiles

George also did us the honor and wrote a lovely review of our first cookbook, Corked & Forked.

Attending this Wine Class as an Online Student?

This class is offered as an in-person class (Premium and Discount Tickets) or a virtual wine tasting (Online Tickets). We will send you a Zoom link with your ticket. Please keep that email! You can also come back to this page, and your zoom link will show here at the start of class.

Buying Wines for Online Students

We recommend picking up wines via wine.com or wine-searcher.com. The wine list is included on this page. You don’t need to have the exact wines on the list. It’s unlikely you will be able to find all the wines we use: we have a vast wine cellar, and many of the wines we taste in class are unavailable via retail channels. Instead, we recommend focusing on the varietals and regions we are using, not the vintage or producer. Please note that we cannot ship or sell wines. If you need assistance in purchasing wines, we offer a paid sommelier consulting service.

France vs California, November 18th, 2021

First Flight

Daniel & Julien Barraud 2017 “La Roche” Macon-Vergisson

Jordan 209 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

Second Flight

Chateau Grange Cochard 2017 Morgon Vieilles Vignes

Edmunds St. John 2017 “Bone-Jolly” Gamay, El Dorado County

Third Flight

Chateau de Cruzeau 2016 Pessac-Leognan

Clos du Val 2016 Estate Merlot, Napa Valley

Fourth Flight

The Winner! (Voted for in Class)


Tasting Sheets for Judgment of Paris

April 2019

First Flight

1. Henri Bourgeois 2017 La Cote des Monts Damnes, Sancerre

2. Robert Mondavi 2014 Fume Blanc, Oakville

Second Flight

1. Domaine Baron Thenard 2014 Cellier aux Moines, Givry Premier Cru

2. Truchard 2011 Pinot Noir, Carneros

Third Flight

Domaine Lafage 2016 Narassa, Cotes du Catalanes

Ravenswood 2014 Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel, Napa

Fourth Flight

1. Chateau Carbonnieux 2014 Grand Cru Classe de Graves

2. Merryvale 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

109 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103 United States
(215) 965-1514
View School Website
Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00