Blog Wine

The pages of history are littered with defining moments.

Events take place that can change the way we think and act towards a particular subject.

Ben Stokes’ recent heroics at Headingley will change a lot of people’s perception that “Test Cricket is boring”.

The horse meat scandal changed our views on the provenance of our purchases and a dramatic rise in sales
of locally sourced meat.

We all remember the Austrian anti freeze scandal of the early 1980s? The effect on sales in the then nascent
Australian wine industry nearly killed it stone dead before it recovered. Who has not drunk Australian Wine now

The same can be said of the wine industry….

Another defining moment took place in May 1976 when an English wine merchant, Stephen Spurrier, moved
to Paris from London to set up a wine school on the Rue du Madalene.

The French were outraged! An Englishman teaching the French about their most sacred of subjects!! Surely not.

Our intrepid Mr Spurrier decided it was time to call his french friends bluff. He invited nine of the top sommeliers
in Paris to challenge them to a blind wine tasting, the subject being the wines of France against the wines
of California.

The day was set on the 26th May 1976.

The wines chosen included Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1970 and Stags Leap from Napa in California. The
Californian white was Chateau Montelena.

After hours of deliberations, sniffing and slurping the results were published.

A resounding victory for California!

Despite there being no internet or mobile phones, the news still spread like wildfire.

The “Judgement of Paris”, as it became known, started a ripple effect in the wine trade that can still be felt today.
Wine makers in New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and beyond all took a completely new perspective on
their own wines.

“We make great wine but only drink it in our own back yards”

“Why don’t we try and export it and show the world what great quality wines we have”

So they did just that….and we the consumers have been the luckier for it!

David Bark-Jones, a west end actor who knows nothing about wine has teamed up with wine merchant
Charlie Womersley, who knows nothing about acting!

Together they perform a very amusing sketch on what might have actually happened at this momentous event
in Paris.  Fast moving and funny, coupled with a blind wine tasting, the evening is enormous fun and a
a little bit educational in equal part.

To learn more about this unique event please contact us at or call Charlie on 07771 510052


Forever Thirsty