Judgment of Paris author: Cheap wine matters

George Taber chronicled the most important wine event in modern times, when California wines beat French wines in a blind tasting. Now he has turned his authorial sights on cheap wine — and he likes it.

"For years friends and passing strangers have been asking me to recommend 'a good bottle of wine for under $10 (sometimes $5),' " says Taber. "I could usually come up with something, but that experience got me to thinking that there must be a lot of people out there with that same question."

The result is his forthcoming book: "A Toast to Bargain Wines: How Innovators, Iconoclasts, and Winemaking Revolutionaries Are Changing the Way the World Drinks". It won't be out until November, but I thought it worth mentioning for a couple of reasons — not the least of which is that you can pre-order it. More, after the jump.

Head-hanging, face-blushing, shameless-plugging, full disclosure first: The Wine Curmudgeon is in the book. Apparently, I'm an innovator — which is pretty nifty for a guy who started out with a typewriter and carbon paper. That aside, that an author as influential as Taber (to say nothing of his big-time New York publisher) sees bargain wine as worthy of a full-scale book effort says a lot about how the wine world has changed. Most wine books aren't about $10 wine. Most wine books don't even know $10 wine exists.

And this one does. In that, it may upset the Winestream Media, and not only because it highlights the two most successful wineries in the last decade, Yellow Tail and Bronco, which makes Two Buck Chuck — hardly critical darlings. The book will detail:

? What Taber calls "a recurring return to less expensive wines by a variety of producers."

? People who challenge conventional wine wisdom, including California producer Tim Hanni's thoughts about tasting and the evolving academic research that says wine judging is mostly guesswork.

? That a new group of wine bloggers are becoming hugely important in preaching the gospel of wine.

Plus there will be lots and lots of cheap wine recommendations. How much better does a book get than that?

4 thoughts on “Judgment of Paris author: Cheap wine matters

  • By James Freeman - Reply

    Looking forward to seeing this come out!
    One thing I really love about you Jeff is that you do give us “Full Disclosure”

  • By Wine Harlots - Reply

    I’ll be looking forward to the ode to inexpensive wine — what the real world drinks.

  • By Jeff Siegel - Reply

    Got an email from George this morning — he is flattered about all the enthusiasm. I’ll have updates on the book as publication gets closer, as well as a review. Maybe I can get a book to give away for the blog’s birthday week in November.

  • By Nick - Reply

    I remember a story from one of the first wine classes I took, where the teacher was attending a blind sparkling tasting, and the organizer had slipped a bottle of Yellow Tail sparkling wine in with some very expensive other sparkling wines. From what the teacher recounted, 11 / 12 individuals were fooled into believing it was a pricey $200 – $300 bottle, but in reality it was merely a $6.95 Yellow Tail!

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