by Mark Coster for Profile Wine Group, A ‘Certified Good Food Fighter’

The Famous Paris Tasting

On May 24, 1976, a wine tasting took place in Paris that changed the world’s view of California wines forever. The tasting was the brainchild of Steven Spurrier, an English wine merchant who owned an innovative wine shop and adjacent wine school in the center of Paris.

Located near the offices of IBM, many of the students at L’Academie du Vin were Americans who worked in France and were anxious to learn more about wine. Spurrier was intrigued by some of the California Cabernets and Chardonnays his students brought by the shop.

Curious to see how these newcomers would fare against French wines made from the same kind of grapes, he arranged a blind wine tasting in celebration of the American Bicentennial activities in Paris. The French tasters chosen for the event had impeccable professional credentials. The French wines were First and other classified-growth red Bordeaux and white Burgundies. They were matched against California Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays. The tasting was blind, with the identities of the wines concealed and the labels revealed only after the jury of nine tasters had voted its order of preference.

The unthinkable happened. The 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon – the first vintage produced with grapes from vines a mere three years old – was judged the best. The Cabernet had bested four top-ranked Bordeaux, including first-growths Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion. The 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from California bested its French counterparts.

The Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Dinner

In honour of this historical achievement the Profile Wine group will be holding a Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Dinner next Wednesday July 7 at the Harbour 60 Steak House in Toronto. Tickets are $275 plus tax and gratuity.

Stag’s Leap Vice President Jeff McBride will guide you through the great history of the estate along with the wines. We’ll be tasting the estate’s white wines as well as the full line up of the single vineyard cabernets alongside Harbour 60’s great steaks.

For more information or to book your ticket call Ruben at 416 520 1669 or email at

When you have a moment please check out our website at

How to order

Phone: 416-598-0033 extension 243 to speak directly with Allan Leal, or you can E-mail him at

All orders are COD. Payment can be made by Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or cheque. Your credit card will not be charged until the product is shipped.

Minimum Orders: There is a one case minimum order (12 bottles unless otherwise noted).

Delivery within within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is available and deliveries outside of this area can be arranged as well.

You must be 19 years of age or older to place or receive a wine order.