Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Book Review: Judgment of Paris

Just finished Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the historic 1976 tasting that revolutionized wine. This book was written by George M. Taber, the former Time magazine reporter who first wrote about the now famous wine tasting.

This was an excellent book. Mr. Taber did a great job of developing the story, giving a lot of insight into the people who were a part of the tasting--including the judges, the winery owners and the winemakers. There was a good description of what was happening with California winemaking in the 20th century. The story allowed keen insight into who was changing the wine world.

The 1976 tasting had a major impact on California wine and George Taber's insight is very helpful in understanding it. He also delves into the long term effects the tasting had on the international wine industry.

After slogging through the Robert Parker book this book was a joy to read. George Taber talks about how he came to be involved in the tasting, he was the only journalist there, and also the reaction to the tasting. His love of the wine world is apparent and he treats his subjects with much respect. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the judgment of Paris, the history of California winemaking, and the future possibilities of the wine economy.

Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the historic 1976 tasting that revolutionized wine by George M. Taber, c. 2005, Scribner


Unknown said...

A wine-lover, I just found your blog by accident through related searches on google. I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion on George Taber's book. A little over a year ago I was on a cross-country flight and there was a short excerpt from his book in the in-flight magazine. I was instantly hooked and immediately bought two copies of the book, one for a friend and one for my wine-loving father. I have since read my father's copy more than a few times and absolutely love how Mr. Taber is able to weave the history of California winemaking and the fateful tasting of 1976 into an interesting, easy-to-read page turner. Thank you for the recommendation, I completely agree.

Amy said...


Thanks for the comments. Mr. Taber did do an excellent job. I'm looking forward to carving out some time to read his latest, "To Cork or Not to Cork." I am sure he will make the corking issue very interesting--not always an easy thing to do!