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The wine story of the 20th Century

I couldn't help but pass on this nice little story from the Chronicle about the "tasting heard round the world" -- the legendary 1976 tasting where a panel of French judges selected California wines over French wines in a blind tasting for the first time in history.

Turns out that this tasting was a bit of a non-event, and the only journalist present was a wine-writing rookie from Time magazine (who happened to speak perfect French). Yet this one small tasting of Chardonnay and Cabernet transformed the wine world in a single fell swoop, toppling France from its pedestal as the only place in the world that "experts" said could produce world-class wines.

Check out the full story.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud