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Judgment of Paris (Anglais) Relié – 27 septembre 2005


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Revue de presse

"Here's the inside tale of the dramatic tasting session that transformed the wine industry. George Taber was the only reporter there, and he tells the tale with the same authority, depth and clarity of the American wines that won. His tale has fascinating characters, great locales, and a fine bouquet."
-- Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin

"For those of us who were lucky enough to be part of the fun at Steven Spurrier's wine shop in Paris, this book is a trip down memory lane. For everyone else, Taber brings the event to life brilliantly with insightful portraits and a reporter's eye for telling detail."
-- Don and Petie Kladstrup, authors of Wine & War

"Nearly thirty years later, Taber's book outlines an historic event that is relevant, captivating and compelling -- even for non-wine aficionados. The petty wine war that the Paris Tasting set off had one big winner: good wine. And one big loser: good wine...from France."
-- Christian Vannequé, Former chief sommelier at the Tour d'Argent restaurant in Paris and one of the judges at the Paris Tasting

"George Taber was alone among journalists to attend the wine world's Declaration of Independence from French supremacy. He tells the story of the California wine revolution with verve showing how the upstarts managed to surprise the complacent French. This is a rare book about wine to be sipped, not gulped."
-- William Echikson, author of Noble Rot

"The Judgment of Paris is a fascinating recounting of that historic event that was like a lightning rod to the budding wine scene in California. It is a must read for anyone interested in wine."
-- Daniel Johnnes, Wine Director Montrachet and President Daniel Johnnes Wines

"Spirited, intelligent, and a deliciously entertaining good read. Essential for anyone who has ever enjoyed a good bottle of California wine."
-- Anthony Dias Blue, Executive Director of the San Francisco International Wine Competition

"I devoured Judgment of Paris and it is dazzling -- reads like a thriller, with the added benefit that the scholarship is impeccable too!"
-- Orley Ashenfelter, the Joseph Douglas Green 1895 Professor of Economics at Princeton University and Publisher of Liquid Assets: The International Guide to Fine Wines

Présentation de l'éditeur

The only reporter present at the mythic Paris Tasting of 1976—a blind tasting where a panel of esteemed French judges chose upstart California wines over France’s best—for the first time introduces the eccentric American winemakers and records the tremendous aftershocks of this historic event that changed forever the world of wine.

The Paris Tasting of 1976 will forever be remembered as the landmark event that transformed the wine industry. At this legendary contest—a blind tasting—a panel of top French wine experts shocked the industry by choosing unknown California wines over France’s best.

George M. Taber, the only reporter present, recounts this seminal contest and its far-reaching effects, focusing on three gifted unknowns behind the winning wines: a college lecturer, a real estate lawyer, and a Yugoslavian immigrant. With unique access to the main players and a contagious passion for his subject, Taber renders this historic event and its tremendous aftershocks—repositioning the industry and sparking a golden age for viticulture across the globe. With an eclectic cast of characters and magnificent settings, Judgment of Paris is an illuminating tale and a story of the entrepreneurial spirit of the new world conquering the old.


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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
Première phrase
On an autumn day in 1970, two Englishmen were walking around Paris's posh Right Bank near the Rue Royale. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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61 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Non-Judgemental Treatise 24 septembre 2005
Par John B. Woodward III - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Centered on a small, poorly attended (only one journalist present) wine tasting event in 1976-the famous Paris tasting organized by the English bon vivant and Paris wine retailer/writer Steven Spurrier-George Taber tells the whole story first-hand (he was the journalist present!). In the process of giving all the details of the wines, the jurors, and the scores, the book actually covers the universe of contemporary wine issues, from the winemakers, both French and Californian, to the issues of wine economics and globalization.

Taber begins the story with fascinating mini-biographies of the winemakers and winery owners (such as Mike Grgich, Warren Winiarski, and Jim Barrett), discusses the trials and tribulations of making their first wines, outlines each of the competition wines (California and French) in interesting detail and context, then, after describing the competition itself, follows the discussion with the chronology of the press and public reaction from the U.S. and abroad (mostly French-they were pissed).

Positing the shattering of French wine hegemony by this `momentous' wine event, he then points the reader to the subsequent enabling of the `Globalisation of Wine', and in the remainder of the book, takes a number of diversions that relate to this hotly discussed topic, including a chapter on six recent International Wine Stars, and others that give a (relatively) non-judgemental perspective on contemporary wine trends, wine economics, wine styles, and more wine personalities.

Very enjoyable and well written, it's a must read for the wine enthusiast, and for anyone interested in a succinct summary of many (non-technical) contemporary wine issues.
41 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Must Read for Wine Buffs 28 novembre 2005
Par Richard B. Schwartz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is an exceptional book. George Taber was the only journalist at the famous 1976 Paris tasting and the person best positioned to tell its story. The story, however, is a fairly simple and straightforward one. Man arranges tasting of French and California wines; California wines win; the French are aghast. This was a small event with huge repercussions. Hence, Taber spends the bulk of the book detailing the background which led to the event and the results that followed it. In doing so he gives a panoramic, if selective, account of current practices in the French and new world wine industries and--in the strongest sections of the book--tells the personal stories of the individuals whose lives were intertwined with the event. With the latter he is providing, in effect, a history of several of the key players in the Napa wine industry: Andre Tchelistcheff, Mike Grgich, Warren Winiarski (my all-time favorite academic), Robert Mondavi, et al.

Like all compelling stories this is a very personal one, the events all turning on individual experiences and individual decisions. Hence there is a beautiful 'reality' about it, a reality that continues today. When you visit some of these individuals' wineries you are still likely to see them there, behind their desks or in their cellars, doing their thing. They changed the world of wine and this is a crucial part of their story.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good overview of the California wine industry 21 octobre 2005
Par Magnolia'sMusicMaster - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I found this a highly entertaining account of the growth of the California wine industry from the early 60's through the 90's. Taber writes in a breezy fashion without to much technical jargon. There are actually only about two chapters on the big tasteoff. Half the book is a prequel to how the featured winemakers arrived in wine country. Nice close about globalization that was fairly interesting. It just makes me want to buy wine only from independent producers.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Story of "thinking out of the barrel" 23 novembre 2005
Par Borut Prah - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
About the same time when the computer disk drive was being invented in the prune orchard valley south of San Jose, giving birth to an immense new industry that would bring untold wealth to Californians, less than one hundred miles north, among the vineyards of Napa Valley that were abandoned during Prohibition, another high technology was being born. Wine making. Unlike innovation in computer industry, where nothing existed before, wine industry was some 4000 years old and an unlikely place for new ideas.

Yet, into this environment entered several young men with improbable Slavic names: Dimitri Tchelistcheff, Warren Winiarski, and Miljenko Grgich, and with even less probable winemaking expertise. While Silicon Valley, without any established competition was creating products with ease by thinking "out of the box", the vintners of Napa Valley, by thinking "out of the barrel" produced some fabulous wines. The secret eventually reached a wine merchant in Paris who organized a blind wine tasting of 12 best California wines and 8 best French wines. The only reporter attending was from TIME magazine, George Taber. At a risk of giving away the punch line, after the smoke has cleared in Paris ... the best red was made by Winiarski and the best white by Grgich.

Everyone who visits Napa Valley, once or often, should read this book. It reads like a novel, yet it effortlessly teaches you enough to start your own vineyard and make your own wine.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The First 80% of the Book Was Excellent, the Last 20% Was Filler 29 mars 2008
Par fizbinboy - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book is a flat out excellent page turner as it goes through the general histories of the regions and winemakers involved, the competition in Paris, and the aftermath of the `surprising' wins by the California wines. Highly recommended.

Then Taber spends the last 20% of his book looking at a few wineries in a few wine regions around the world, and an update on the French and Napa regions since the competition in 1976. This all seems like incongruous useless filler to get the book from 240 pages to 300.

Five stars for the first 80%, none for the last 20%.
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