The book: Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine by George M. Taber
Why’d I pick it up?: It’s a wine book! I love a good wine book. This is story of the historic 1976 Paris Tasting where a bunch of upstart California wineries bested the French on their own soil. I have a trip to the Napa Valley coming up and will be visiting Chateau Montelena, one of the wineries prominently featured in the story, and I thought it would be fun to learn a little more about the winery and the 1976 tasting. Heck, I actually even enjoyed Bottle Shock!
How far did I get?: 86%
Why’d I gave up?: I didn’t want to. At 86%, I was so close! But it was a struggle the whole way through. There is some real drama and a great story at the heart of this book. The 1976 tasting is a such a compelling David and Goliath story. Taber does a fair job of laying out the history of wine in the Napa Valley and how a few ambitious California winemakers revolutionized the wine world. I particularly enjoyed the picture he painted of the Napa Valley culture of cooperation and comradery in the 60s and 70s. But… This book ended up being an endless info dump in desperate need of an editor. When I got to what felt like the 492 dry, uninspired description of some winery’s winemaking process, I just gave up. Life is just too short. Plus I’ve already reached my reading goal for the year.