Steven Spurrier is one of the wine trade’s most important figures. Over the years he has taken the role of wine merchant, buyer, wine educator and lecturer; he has written books, wine courses and over 300 columns for Decanter magazine. He set up the breakthrough ‘Judgement of Paris’ in 1976 – a tasting in which outsider wines from California were pitched blind against Bordeaux’ finest, and won – which still sends reverberations through the wine trade today. Steven’s message from it remains clear: don’t judge until you’ve tasted – quality in wine can be found where you’d least expect it.
Now in his 80th year, this memoir looks back on Steven’s life charting the incidents, adventures, ideas and discoveries that formed his wine journey. Along the way he has been privileged not only to taste the finest wines but to judge them and to work with the winemakers who create them. His famously-egalitarian acceptance of everything from the obscurest Okanagan Chardonnay to the frailest 1806 Lafite, combined with his gentlemanly elegance and dry wit, led not only to his being forgiven by the Bordelais but to his enormous popularity the world over. Here, he tells his story.