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We like to think of Peterman’s Eye as an old fashioned interactive community newspaper (if there is such a thing) focused on travel and curiosities. Talk with us about today’s post. Tell us about the places you’ve been. Or take a trip using J. Peterman’s exclusive travel services (coming soon). Read more...



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That’s what Time Magazine called it.

The wine event of the century took place June 7, 1976.

It would be France against California.

(Indirectly, America.)

California, merely a state, accounting for 90 percent of entire American wine production—the vine cuttings from Mexico, descendants of the "common black grape," brought to the New World by Hernán Cortés in 1520.

France, merely the toast of the entire world.

Their wines of Bordeaux, from the most important region of France,   already quite superior in the 13th century, are now, legendary.

Enter Steven Spurrier, transplanted Englishman who owns Cava La Madeleine wine shop, one of the best in Paris, to arrange things and put the Americans in their place.

A blindfold test would shame these upstart Californians and the swill, they call wine.

Anyone who thinks this will be a contest is drinking something stronger.

The wines tasted were transatlantic cousins:

Four white French Burgundies against six California Pinot Chardonnays. Four esteemed Grand Cru Chateau Reds from Bordeaux against six California Cabernet Sauvignons.

The judges were all French.

The eleven French judges swirled, sniffed, and spat, trying to determine the imported pretender from an aristocrat.

When the ballots were cast, California won everything.

The top scoring red was Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars ’72 from the Napa Valley, followed by Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion ’70.

The white winner was Chateau Montelina ’73 from Napa besting the French Meaursalt-Charmes ’73.

It was the day that changed the way the world perceived American wines forever.

Did the impossible in humbling the French.

And sent them scurrying overseas to see how we were doing it.

If you’re in Washington D.C, you can see the bottles of the winning wines in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

After all these years, there's a spate (if two is a spate) of films out on our great victory.

"Bottle Shock," went quickly to DVD, and "Judgment of Paris" is yet to come.

I am holding a glass of California Red Zinfandel at the moment and I don't think anyone would mind a toast in French.

"A votre santé."

After Friday's post, I thought it appropriate.

J. Peterman

 

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Under Construction: Design Stuff & Member Commenting - Changes Soon.
36 Members’ Opinions
February 11, 2013 12:17 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 lotlot said...

And then there is Two Buck Chuck.

(Now $2.49; inflation, you know.)

February 11, 2013 1:12 AM
13091 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 janej78 said...

Off topic, but bebe, here's hoping you weren't in the path of the tornado..but if you were, that you and your spouse are safe and sound.
 
I liked Bottle Shock...found it to be charmingly entertaining. I believe that winery was up for sale a couple of years ago and was sold to some French buyers....hahaha.  JP, I'll drink to that...red Zin in fact is my wine of choice.

February 11, 2013 2:44 AM
4224 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 RoadYacht said...

Wines that are older than, say, last Tuesday, are more mello

February 11, 2013 5:40 AM
Pecos_tommy 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Tommy Typical said...

Mahalo paolos. Merci Moose. ☮

() )=( Unoaked* perhaps Simply Naked Pinot.

* Note: cast aside the French Oak Barrel for the fruit flavor of the vine

Ok fine. Any vintage served by a cracklin' fire w/Miles Davis ♪♪♪

February 11, 2013 9:08 AM
First-com KPJGO said...

Give me any Llano Estacado red and I'm happy. Very happy. My great grandfather had his own personal vineyard with a vintner to watch over production. Somewhere, stored away, I have a picture of his copper still as well as a printer's proof of his wine label with detailed drawings of griffins as decoration. All late 19th century in north Texas.

February 11, 2013 10:29 AM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Stoney said...

When an expensive bottle is ordered for the table, I opt out. Fine wines are wasted on me although I am very fond of some cheap ones.
I recall, years ago, Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers showing of photo of he and a large dinner party at a table with a great many dead soldiers each having cost hundreds of dollars.
Did he imagine that that would enhance his status in the eyes of the record buying public?
How many poppers, rockers, rappers, jocks and professional flashes in the pan look back at the thin end of their careers and regret that kind of conspicuous consumption? Maybe not any.
Sadder still, was the wine writer, merchant and sometimes celebrity sommelier who was caught substituting cheap plonk under expensive labels for the latter stages of bacchanals and was so discredited that he took his honey and plenty of money and moved out of the country.

February 11, 2013 10:54 AM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Rusty said...

Tommy T., I'm with you on the "unoaked".  Heard from someone who is susposedly more up on wines than I am (easy to be) that California is over oaking, and all the wines are beginning to tast the same.  Happened onto a Simply Naked Chardonnay that has great taste and warmth.  Will have to try the Pinot.

February 11, 2013 11:05 AM
1046 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Willie Trask said...

Hey, everybody.
 Ever hear somebody talk about how great Eurpoean wines- ANY Eurpoean wines- taste while you are on vacation in Europe?  And then they aren't nearly as good when you get home- or they give you a hangover... Sometimes they blame it on the sulfites, sometimes on not-being-on-vacation.  I hear that most wines these days are made to be consumed within a year or less. As they say, Instant Gratification Takes Too Long. Willie

February 11, 2013 11:15 AM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Stoney said...


As I live and breathe, Willie, welcome home.
You're not required to report on everything you've been up to but you could throw us a bone.

February 11, 2013 11:46 AM
1046 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Willie Trask said...

Once upon a time, I plagiarized a rhyme, did the bump and grind, thought of youRead a lot of books, spoiled too many cooks, running from the crooks, it was newI used to talk a lot, drank too much, became a sot... Now I don't do so much, hangin on the worldwideweb and such, after watching reruns of Let's Make a DealHow do it be?  to be on my own,  in another zone? Stoney here's your bone:I STILL LIKE THE STONES. Our Genial Host sets up a contrast- between the French and the Californians- away back in the Bicentennial Year.  Do you realize that children born in 1976 are too old to be trusted by John Lennon? That they are quite possibly the parents of teenagers and, if they entered the army when they finished High School, are probably thinking about retirement? And  people who finished high school in '76 ( we was called Bicentennial Seniors) are now middle aged and too old to be considered for federal judgeships...But basking in the privilege of cheaper coffeee at Bojangle's.
 Here's my own contrast, not to derail the topic.  Martin Scorsese's NO DIRECTION HOME is a whole lot better than I"M NOT THERE, but the more I watch NDH, the more I understand Todd Haynes' choice of Cate Blanchett to play "Jude Quinn". We may even be able to draw comparisons between the entrenched French and the upstart New World winemakers, including now, the South Americans who use Carmenere, said to be the original lost Cabernet grape. How is that for a whole mess of dependent clauses, not unlike the jingle jangle writings of that curly headed Minnesota lad? Or, if you want a challenge, that same curly headed boy wonder wagging his finger at folks in Positively Fourth Street?  An upstart who should have known his place?

February 11, 2013 11:51 AM
1046 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Willie Trask said...

PS, Stoney, THANKS. It's nice to be home.

February 11, 2013 12:14 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 Marypjb said...

We believe that the French "table wine" we had while we were there is better than anything the French export to the U.S.

February 11, 2013 12:29 PM
First-com roux said...

During my college days (60's), Tokay wine was popular for a cheap drunk.  In fact, the saying was "Tokay is ok till the next day."  Don't know if it still available.  On the subject of wine, we just got back from a visit to Texas Hill Country.  They have some really nice wineries there.  Brought home more than a few of the ones that we sampled and very much liked.

February 11, 2013 12:45 PM
Img00274-20110613-1309 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 l marjorie said...

Roux!  I've been to Tokay. It's very expensive wine, a dessert wine like the French Sauternes.  It's so expensive because the grapes are all indivudually picked by hand. They wait until they are perfecly over ripe, sort of like raisins.  It may have been cheap in the 60's when the government took over the wineries--the quality of the wine deteriorated too. There has been a lot of investment in that region over the last few years from French, US and other wine regions, rebuilding and replanting. Tokay is amazing wine.  It's a cool town too--Storks and all.

February 11, 2013 12:53 PM
4224 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 RoadYacht said...

Is that where babies come from??

February 11, 2013 12:57 PM
4224 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 RoadYacht said...

MY favorite whine is still "Can I have some more Whipped Cream?"

February 11, 2013 1:38 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

The Wines of Llano Texas are World Class Vintage, equal to, and Superior to any Wine produced in Europe ... Not only have Oenophiles and Wine Snobs from all over the world said so, but because the Soil and the Weather around Llano are ideal ... and the Water is filtered thru Mountains of Limestone ... Consistent High Quality, consistent Flavors, and Refinement bred into the Grapes, such that even the Blends are Vintners' Dreams .......
 
First taste will tell any Wine Lover that he has made an intelligently rewarding choice ...

February 11, 2013 1:46 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 rwh1 said...

Living in Wa.state wine country and sipping on a fair amount of wine over the years that include  Cal. Or. British columbia(very good and well worth the drive, and of course Wa. state wines we enjoyed a trip in France this last sept.(crush time) and included a trip down the Rhone river thru the heart of Bordeaux and enjoyed the whole experience. It seems that house wines in France are somewhat better than the house wines in the states for the most part. However when  getting a little bettet quality of wine there seemed to be very little if any difference. In fact some of our local wines ,gold and platium award winners seem a little superior to the French. Of course i am a little partial.

February 11, 2013 2:40 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

Willie Trask. Well, hello again, Willie Trask.  I just knew it.  You can go home again.  Welcome back, and stoney gets a hug separate from his birthday hug.

February 11, 2013 2:42 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

Boone's Farm.  Now that was wine.

February 11, 2013 3:36 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 rwh1 said...

Mad Dag 20 20 and Bali Hai and my uncle Charlies homemade anything.  

February 11, 2013 3:36 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 rwh1 said...

Mad Dag 20 20 and Bali Hai and my uncle Charlies homemade anything.  

February 11, 2013 3:37 PM
Img00274-20110613-1309 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 l marjorie said...

Ivan, I've heard that the best wines in the world are anywhere near the 45th parallel.  That runs through Europe, France, Italy, Croatia; North America, NY, Michigan, Oregon, etc, and S. America, Chile and Argentina; New Zealand--all great wine regions.  I've never tried TX wine, but like anything else from TX, I'm sure it's BIG!

February 11, 2013 4:16 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

JANE...................all okay chikletta, thanks for asking...........................  WILLIET.......................although you never respond to my occasional lobs to you ( wait, you once did, but it was because you asked where to get something & I offered a suggestion, you were kind of obligated to be nice!), I still enjoy your posts tremendously. Go figure. Glad all is well w/ you.............................

February 11, 2013 4:33 PM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Stoney said...

bebe ~
On the way out the door to mail Valentines goodies from the birthday girl to our grandchildren.
THANK YOU for reporting in.

February 11, 2013 4:40 PM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

Stoney ~ My best to TMBBirthdayGirlITW. (I didn't want ambiguity to offset the centerpiece BG).

February 11, 2013 4:50 PM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

And paolo said “Well he could be kin.”

Yeah but Willie knew
better than that…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7dgFA4lYng

 

It's good to see your footprints tracking through these streets again, Willie Trask.

February 11, 2013 5:12 PM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

They did so, and
the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He
did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the
water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside  and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine
first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but
you have saved the best till now.”

That settles it for me. The best has already been consumed.
It’s much like knowing someone already has the good fortune of being wed to
TMBWITW.  For the rest of us, I guess we
just have to make do.

February 11, 2013 5:29 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

My son flummoxed the local wine club who were having a Guess What White Wine evening. Part of the fun of making home made wines is stumbling across a batch that is near perfection and fiddling around sterilizing bottles and corks to make it look "the business" in its presentation. The white wine my son took to wine club, all dressed up in a nice clear glass bottle, neatly corked with a smart gold foil seal on top, no label, sparked a fierce debate around the table, most club members saying it was German, probably Riesling and some saying it was French from the Loire Valley. The wine was actually Mom's home made Gooseberries from the Welsh garden wine. I think the best one I ever made was Strawberry, which when it had fermented out, tasted disgusting. So I added a bit of sugar, stored it in an airtight gallon container and left in the back of the pantry. Forgot about it. A year later, in search of something to drink, I rediscovered this stuff and tried a pessimistic sip - miracle! a secondary fermentation had occurred and we had a fizzy Strawberry "Champagne" which was dry with excellent flavour and a crystal clear strong pink colour. If I'd had the means to make that stuff on an industrial scale, I'd be rich. As MrP is taking his source material from 1976, it's fair to say that the snobby French have since lost the top dog on wine, I love to explore the wine shop for interesting liquids from around the world. My local has a range of wines from small LOCAL wineries, made from grapes that are the great great great etc grandchildren of vines imported to Britain by the invading Romans. Thanks, Romans, a body can only handle so much mead or nettle beer. And I  can't let this go by without mentioning (again) Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine", bottled summer. Cheers!

February 11, 2013 6:35 PM
1046 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Willie Trask said...

Thanks, Park; Thanks Paolo.  I can't claim that gent, but I like the way he rocks:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jREq-yx3dzA ; I think he hails from north of here.

February 11, 2013 7:15 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

STONEY................no, thank you for your concern. Means quite alot actually! Happy b'day to TMBWITW.................long may she reign! Valentine treats.................mmmmmmmm..............................
 
 
One less person to go all Sally Field on.........................bwaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha!

February 11, 2013 8:04 PM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

Miss bebe ~ Thank you for your kind words on the other page.   Not to belabor a point or risk being flippant, I often wonder if my own giddy ebullience is not a true medical illness.  Well here we are, “God gave us a
garden and He put a snake in it.”

February 11, 2013 9:26 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

Giddy ebullience is a a talent - or a gift.  Either way, paolos, keep it coming.  And is today Mrs. Stoney's birthday?  Happy B-Day to one of the luckiest women in the world!  It's true, she is.  And I know she knows it.... And bebe, here you are, but now you're not.  Hello and goodbye...chopped liver....and to the rest of you good night, it's time to watch Men Who Hunt Alligators and Live in Swamps While Logging and Operating Pawn Shops...  g'night all.

February 11, 2013 10:57 PM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Stoney said...


paolos ~
The Beauty was attended to by an adoring, patient, thoughtful man who never set a foot wrong all day long for only a C note… I should really have held out for more
You're okay. I've seen the x-rays.

bebe ~
So happy to know you are safe. Seriously.

P4 ~
I have to catch up on back episodes of Left Handed, Monorchid, Capuchin-Flautist, Day Traders… it's addictive.

"Dean Spanley," the film for lovers of Tokay, dogs and who else do you know other than JaxZ who is followed Sam Neil?
 

February 12, 2013 1:48 AM
13091 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 janej78 said...

bebe, I'm very glad to hear you're ok. I wasn't sure where in Miss. you live. I'm still hoping Jaxz is ok and not too deep in snow.....but a northeasern snow storm is a little more predictable and an expected and accepted weather condition  than a raging tornado in Mississippi.....I think! Just good to hear that you weren't affected by it.
 
Nice to see your return Willie Trask.

February 12, 2013 9:31 PM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

I MARJORIE:  There are Phenomenae that occur on and in the Earth, just like the soil in Cuba's being the best for Tobacco/Cigar Production ... That Band you mention above certainly is one of those Phenomenon ... and among that Lot I hugely prefer Italian Wines ... But God's being a Jew from Texas, He HAD to have some place to get Good Wines from, without Shipping and Handling being prohibitive, and so He chose Llano , Texas ... I tell you truthfully, Higher Quality is difficult to find ...  Try it, You'll Like it ....... Llano ... TEXAS, that is .................

Honor Roll



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