I don’t know how Access Hollywood missed this – it’s certainly the talk of the wine world.
In 1976, a Paris-based British wine retailer named Steven Spurrier staged a publicity stunt, setting up a blind-tasting between up-and-coming California chardonnays and the top chardonnays from France.
To the anguish of French pride, the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from California beat them all.
American wine lovers look back on the date as if it were the Fourth of July. It literally put America on the world wine map, and see how far we’ve come now.
Now, two new happenings:
A new movie, Bottle Shock, is coming out, loosely based on the 1976 tasting. It stars Alan Rickman as Steven Spurrier. Viewers say it’s the next Sideways – the 2004 film in which Miles and Jack put California pinot noir on the map and did major damage to merlot.
Just as the movie comes out, the news arrives that the famous Chateau Montelena has just been sold – to the Bordeaux wine estate Chateau Cos d’Estournel.
I’m not sure whether to be proud or sad about that. I guess the dollar is so weak that the French figure that if you can’t beat them, buy them.
Fans, what do you think?
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