Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Napa Valley’s Triumph over French Wines

Forty years ago, the results of a wine competition in Paris shook the industry to its core. In an unexpected turn of events, wines from Napa Valley, Calif., placed first above their French counterparts in a blind taste test that came to be known as “Judgment of Paris.” The 1976 tasting catapulted Napa Valley wines onto the worldwide stage—coincidently during the same year Robb Report published its first print issue.

Fittingly, a five-star resort in Napa Valley is honoring the 40th anniversary of the tasting with a special Judgment of Paris dinner. On Friday, March 11, Auberge du Soleil will host an exclusive 50-seat dinner ($195) to commemorate the historic event. Chef Robert Curry will prepare a five-course menu that includes Maine lobster salad with coconut, mango, and curry; sautéed day-boat scallop with roasted cauliflower, currants, and prosciutto; duck with potato gnocchi, grilled radicchio, and pickled kumquats; and filet mignon with wild mushrooms, potato croquettes, and béarnaise. The rich cuisine will be paired with local Chateau Montelena Winery’s finest white and red wines, such as a 2014 Riesling, a 2008 Chardonnay, a 2007 Zinfandel, and a 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Guests who want to explore the vineyards, producing some of the world’s most famous varietals, can book the Judgment of Paris package (from $2,500 per couple). The package includes a two-night stay at Auberge du Soleil, two tickets to the Judgment of Paris dinner, breakfast at the Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil, a bottle of Chateau Montelena Cabernet, and a DVD of Bottle Shock, a film about early California winemaking that also recounts the famous 1976 tasting competition. (aubergedusoleil.com)

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