Sunday, June 05, 2016

Debunking The Myth & Aura Of French Wines - Its Just Prejudice & Self Inflated Ego

Every ten years or so, we will see the nouveau rich clambering over themselves to get a heady collection of French wines and try to outbid each other for the latest release from the first growths in France. I find it a bit infantile and elicit a lot of head shaking from the over-enthusiasm over French wines.

Its not that they are not great, they can be. Its like fuckers who smoke cigars and just stick to Cubans because popular culture tells them thats the only thing worth smoking - BULLSHIT ... same with French wines - they are very good but you would miss out on so many wonderful nuances of wines from other countries if you held onto your biases.

So, who perpetuates the myth that French wines are superior? The French themselves of course. the whole French language and character of the country cause a romance that stirs the air. Their well known arrogance and pooh-pooh anything not-French kind of exacerbated the snootiness - which I don't understand why the rest of the world stupidly clamours for??!!

Single malt whiskey is a lot more democratic. Sure you get your old Scottish or Irish die-hards who would never venture out of their Speysides for their preferred poison. Single malts, a most egalitarian drink - thats probably because the Scots and Irish folks are not so full of themselves like the croissant. Thats because the Scots and Irish fols are less of an asshole than the French in general. But, most whiskey drinkers would accord great respect to any new great distillery. Besides Ireland and Scotland, knowledgeable drinkers now gladly add the fantastic Japanese, even India, and the new boy Taiwan to the fold.

Because these new fuckers won the international competitions, and the global tasters agreed wholeheartedly. For the French wine mafias, they will come up with 101 defence stances for losing to Californian wines.





The best palates in the world ... could not hold onto their biases. And when they lost, again and again, they are silly kids refusing to eat their greens. Enough la, French fuckers and French lovers...its just wine, not your grand-daddy's ashes!

Again, its not that French wines are not good, they are good but do not go stupidly gaga over them, and the much higher prices they command ... There are many rich people who would still insist on being French favouring BECAUSE thats what sommeliers tell them (well, they are mostly all fucking French trained) ... there is a lot at stake for the wine merchants, the sommeliers, the Frenchies to keep French wine as a snob product, so don't jump in with the bunch of ninkampoos.

The old rich were largely brought up by "European culture" as the gold standard, much like French fine dining. What I am trying to say is that even French fine dining had to come down a few notches with the emergence of brilliant chefs from USA, Australia, Japan, Denmark, Norway, Spain ... can you imagine if the Michelins still stuck to an all French fucking directory??!!

The French oenophiles like us to forget the many blind tasting competitions ... BECAUSE they only know French wines well, so if I am schooled in the Latin language of course I am going to try to preserve Latin as a cool thing cause thats my forte - I will try to defend it no matter how silly the arguments are. 

Failing at that, they will say aah... French wines has history, its like a romance, you fall in love with a woman, you don't compare whether she is the perfect woman or better woman ... Aaah spoken like a loser!!!

At the end of it all... just drink la, don't use your little knowledge to LORD OVER THE REST.

(The contest has to be Californian wines vs French because the product is closely matched in nuances. If its a big Aussie red, the tasters would have no problem identifying them outright).


The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 or the Judgment of Paris was a wine competition organized in Paris on 24 May 1976 by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant, in which French judges carried out two blind tastingcomparisons: one of top-quality Chardonnays and another of red wines (Bordeaux wines from France and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California).[1] A Californian wine rated best in each category, which caused surprise as France was generally regarded as being the foremost producer of the world's best wines. Spurrier sold only French wine and believed that the California wines would not win.[2]

The eleven judges were (in alphabetical order):

Average Original grades: out of 20 points.
1.14.14Stag's Leap Wine Cellars1973 USA
2.14.09Château Mouton-Rothschild1970 France
3.13.64Château Montrose1970 France
4.13.23Château Haut-Brion1970 France
5.12.14Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello1971 USA
6.11.18Château Leoville Las Cases1971 France
7.10.36Heitz Wine Cellars Martha's Vineyard1970 USA
8.10.14Clos Du Val Winery1972 USA
9.9.95Mayacamas Vineyards1971 USA
10.9.45Freemark Abbey Winery1969 USA

White wines[edit]

California Chardonnays vs. Burgundy Chardonnays Average Original grades: out of 20 points.
1.Chateau Montelena1973 USA
2.Meursault Charmes Roulot1973 France
3.Chalone Vineyard1974 USA
4.Spring Mountain Vineyard1973 USA
5.Beaune Clos des Mouches Joseph Drouhin1973 France
6.Freemark Abbey Winery1972 USA
7.Batard-Montrachet Ramonet-Prudhon1973 France
8.Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles Domaine Leflaive1972 France
9.Veedercrest Vineyards1972 USA
10.David Bruce Winery1973 USA

Tasting replications[edit]

Some critics[7] argued that French red wines would age better than the California reds, so this was tested.

San Francisco Wine Tasting of 1978[edit]

The San Francisco Wine Tasting of 1978 was conducted 20 months after the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. Steven Spurrier flew in from Paris to participate in the evaluations, which were held at the Vintners Club.[8][3]
On January 11, 1978, evaluators blind-tasted the same Chardonnays tasted earlier in Paris.
  1.  USA – 1974 Chalone Winery
  2.  USA – 1973 Chateau Montelena
  3.  USA – 1973 Spring Mountain Vineyard
  4.  France – 1972 Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles Domaine Leflaive.
Ranking lower were Meursault Charmes Roulot 1973, Beaune Clos des Mouches Joseph Drouhin 1973, and Batard-Montrachet Ramonet-Prudhon 1973.
On January 12, 1978, evaluators blind-tasted the same Cabernet Sauvignons tasted earlier in Paris.
  1.  USA – 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
  2.  USA – 1970 Heitz Wine Cellars Martha’s vineyard
  3.  USA – 1971 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello
  4.  France – 1970 Château Mouton Rothschild.
Ranking lower were Château Montrose 1970, Château Haut-Brion 1970, and Château Leoville Las Cases 1971.

French Culinary Institute Tasting of 1986[edit]

Two tastings were conducted by the French Culinary Institute (now called the International Culinary Center) on the tenth anniversary of the original Paris Wine Tasting. White wines were not evaluated in the belief that they were past their prime.[citation needed]
Steven Spurrier, who organized the original 1976 wine competition, assisted in the anniversary tasting.[citation needed] Eight judges blind tasted nine of the ten wines evaluated. The evaluation resulted in the following ranking[citation needed]
Rank Wine
  1.  USA – Clos Du Val Winery 1972
  2.  USA – Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello
  3.  France – Château Montrose
  4.  France – Château Leoville Las Cases 1971
  5.  France – Château Mouton Rothschild 1970
  6.  USA – Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 1973
  7.  USA – Heitz Wine Cellars 1970
  8.  USA – Mayacamas Vineyards 1971
  9.  France – Château Haut-Brion

Wine Spectator Tasting of 1986[edit]

Four of the judges were experts from Wine Spectator and two were outsiders. All tasted the wines blind.
Rank Wine
  1.  USA – Heitz Wine Cellars 1970
  2.  USA – Mayacamas Vineyards 1971
  3.  USA – Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello
  4.  USA – Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 1973
  5.  USA – Clos Du Val Winery 1972
  6.  France – Château Montrose 1970
  7.  France – Château Mouton Rothschild 1970
  8.  France – Château Leoville Las Cases 1971
  9.  USA – Freemark Abbey Winery 1969
  10.  France – Château Haut-Brion 1970

30th Anniversary[edit]

A 30th anniversary re-tasting on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean was organized by Steven Spurrier in 2006. As The Times reported "Despite the French tasters, many of whom had taken part in the original tasting, 'expecting the downfall' of the American vineyards, they had to admit that the harmony of the Californian cabernets had beaten them again. Judges on both continents gave top honors to a 1971 Ridge Monte Bello cabernet. Four Californian reds occupied the next placings before the highest-ranked Bordeaux, a 1970 Château Mouton-Rothschild, came in at sixth."[9]
The Tasting that Changed the Wine World: 'The Judgment of Paris' 30th Anniversary was conducted on 24 May 2006.[10]
The 30th anniversary was held simultaneously at the museum Copia in Napa, California and at Berry Bros. & Rudd (Britain’s oldest wine merchant) in London, in association with Steven Spurrier, who created the original Paris event.
The panel of nine wine experts at Copia consisted of Dan Berger, Anthony Dias Blue, Stephen Brook, Wilfred Jaeger, Peter Marks MW, Paul Roberts MS, Andrea Immer Robinson MS, Jean-Michel Valette MW and Christian Vanneque, one of the original judges from the 1976 tasting.
The panel of nine experts at Berry Bros. & Rudd consisted of Michel Bettane, Michael Broadbent MW, Michel Dovaz, Hugh Johnson, Matthew Jukes, Jane MacQuitty, Jasper Morris MW, Jancis Robinson OBE MW and Brian St. Pierre.[10]
The results showed that additional panels of experts again preferred the California wines over their French competitors.[11]
  1.  USA – Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 1971
  2.  USA – Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 1973
  3.  USA – Mayacamas Vineyards 1971 (tie)
  4.  USA – Heitz Wine Cellars 'Martha's Vineyard' 1970 (tie)
  5.  USA – Clos Du Val Winery 1972
  6.  France – Château Mouton-Rothschild 1970
  7.  France – Château Montrose 1970
  8.  France – Château Haut-Brion 1970
  9.  France – Château Leoville Las Cases 1971
  10.  USA – Freemark Abbey Winery 1969
Three of the Bordeaux wines in the competition were from the 1970 vintage, identified by the Conseil Interprofessionel du Vin de Bordeaux as among the four best vintages in the past 45 years or more. The fourth Bordeaux was a 1971, described by the Conseil as "very good". Another official French authority, the Office Interprofessionnel des Vins, rates the 1971 vintage as "excellent".[12]
The French wine producers had many years experience making wine, whereas the California producers typically had only a few years experience; the 1972 vintage was Clos Du Val's very first, yet it performed better than any of its French competitors.

1 comment:

Calvin said...

Well, sometimes biases are difficult to correct. I have somehow accepted that this is just how the world works. I don't mean giving up as I will still try to overcome the biases but I just don't get myself all riled up over it. This does not apply to wine only but the more damaging one is to people. I work in Civil Engineering and you will find that Client prefer to pay a British Engineer 5 times the pay of a local Engineer simply because he is British. And he is simply doing the work where a local Engineer can easily do it and will do it better than him because the local Engineer understands local construction practice better. I can understand if the works are very specialised where locals may not have the experience but this applies to almost any works where Malaysians or Asians have better knowledge. Well, like wine, we still seems to have the mentality that Europeans/Americans are better. Same thing applies to watches, Swiss manufacturers will look down on Seiko but if you look closely at the quality of Seiko, you can see that Seiko has already surpasses a lot of so-called luxury Swiss brand.

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