The wine world recently lost a treasured member — Jim Barrett, owner of Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley. He was 86. His son, Bo Barrett, said in a statement, "My dad died of a life well-lived."
Don’t worry if you don’t recognize the name. Many wine drinkers don’t, and from what we know of the man, Barrett liked it that way. His focus was on the beverage itself, and because of that, Americans have the wine culture we have today.
Barrett rose to industry fame in 1976 thanks to an article in Time. Thousands of miles away in a wine shop in Paris, his 1973 Chardonnay had won a blind taste test against a series of high-end, expensive white Burgundies. At that time, California was not called “Wine Country” — it was what Old World vintners considered a joke. A joke they choked on when a humble bottle from America blew their efforts out of the water.
Eventually referred to as the “Judgment of Paris” — and the centerpiece of the movie Bottle Shock — the tasting of Barrett’s wine is considered the event that put California wine on the map and helped spur decades of growth, production, and respect for the region.
So while you may not know Barrett’s name, the hardworking vintners who produce your favorite California reds and whites certainly do. Join them and us in raising a glass to his ambition and memory. Anything from Napa will do.
Have you ever dreamt of trying a cocktail only seen before in a cartoon, like the 'Flaming Homer' from The Simpsons? While that may seem like an oddly...read more ›
In this installment of Behind the Bar, we were lucky enough to interview Madame St. Germain herself, Camille Vidal. ...read more ›
If you're the kind of alcoholic who needs to have booze on your person at all times, Groupon has just the product for you: prosecco-flavored nail poli...read more ›
A recent IndieGoGo campaign has resulted in a coffee table with everything you could want: the Sobro Refrigera...read more ›
Soon, you'll be able to enjoy cold brew coffee with the alcohol percentage of a strong beer with Bad Larry's Cold Hard Coffee. ...read more ›
In what is undoubtedly the company's latest publicity stunt, Budweiser announced Saturday, March 11 at SXSW in Austin, Texas that they are looking int...read more ›
The publicly owned Scottish brewery announced their plans to crowdfund a craft beer hotel, called the "Dog House" via Indiegogo less than week ago. ...read more ›
Appleton Estate, the Jamaican rum label, is celebrating 20 years with its master distiller Joy Spence this year....read more ›
Guinness is getting into the Irish whiskey gave with Roe & Co, a blended Irish whiskey....read more ›
As if watching Magic Mike over and over again wasn't already good enough, Channing Tatum is gracing the world yet again, this time with his own line o...read more ›
Miller-Coors announced that Zima - which was originally discontinued in 2008 - will be buddying up (probably briefly) with its lineup of Henry's Hard ...read more ›
The holy grail of whiskies, Pappy van Winkle, is producing a new and extremely limited edition 25-year old version of its famously hard-to-get bourbon...read more ›