Telluride Reserve: Unique, Historical Blind Tasting & “Chopped’s” Marc Murphy

Telluride Reserve: Unique, Historical Blind Tasting & “Chopped’s” Marc Murphy

Telluride Reserve, August 15 – August 18, is a new food and wine event hosted in Telluride Mountain Village. Only 500 credentials are available for the four-day wine and food happening. For further information about Telluride Reserve, or to purchase credentials (priced at $1,600 per person) and select your tastings for the four days from among 40 food and wine tasting options, go hereGo here for an event overview.

Below please find information about the unique wine tasting historically known as “The Judgment of Paris,” and about another recently announced high-profile featured guest, Marc Murphy of “Chopped” fame.



The original Judgement of Paris is a story from Greek mythology about a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Mount Olympus – Aphrodite, Hera and Athena – for the prize of a golden apple addressed “To the Fairest.” The story began with the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, which all the gods had been invited to attend except for Eris, goddess of discord.

At the center of the judgment of Paris story, Athena offers Paris success in war, but Paris is a lover not a fighter, so he turns her down. Because of that decision, Athena fights against Paris and the Trojans in the saga of the Trojan War. Of couerse, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, took home the prize.

In the next incarnation of “The Judgement of Paris,” however, the outcome was anything but a foregone conclusion.

Forty-three years ago, on May 24, 1976, a landmark wine tasting known as “The Judgment of Paris” changed the world’s perception of California wines. Telluride Reserve revisits this momentous blind tasting supported by a select group of Master Sommeliers and wine experts, all participating in Telluride Reserve Mountain Village Food & Wine Celebration, August 15 – 18, 2019.

History suggests the reenactment has only been offered publicly four other times since the original tasting, so this tasting is a rare opportunity to participate in a “Judgment of Paris” blind tasting.

The original “Judgment of Paris” began as a publicity stunt.

As the story goes, an Englishman named Steven Spurrier owned a wine shop in Paris and wanted to drum up business. So, prompted by his American associate, Spurrier decided to stage a competition that highlighted the new California wines everyone had been hearing so much about.

The momentous event was staged in Paris. Six California Chardonnays and six California Cabernet Sauvignons were compared by French judges against top wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy.

When the scores were tallied, top honors went not to France’s best vintners, but to a California white and red: the 1973 chardonnay from Chateau Montelena and the 1973 cabernet sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. A bottle of each now resides at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

While there can be little doubt winemaker Robert Mondavi played a major role in making California the wine powerhouse it is today, the Paris tasting was equally influential, launching further global interest and investment in California wines.

At the Telluride Reserve event, Andrew Shaffner, the Telluride Ski Resort’s Wine Director, is joined by Master Sommeliers Evan Goldstein, Eric Hemer, Sean Razee and Damon Ornowski to blind taste through some extraordinary wines. A total of 15 seats are available at this blind tasting and they are going fast.


Chef Marc Murphy of “Chopped”

Chef Marc Murphy of the top-rated Food Network TV show “Chopped” is joining other top chefs and somms for the Telluride Reserve. He is scheduled to lead the two Taste & Terroir of Tuscany four-course lunches on Friday and Saturday, August 16 and August 17.

Born in Milan, Marc’s menu will be inspired by his Italian background and paired with the fresh and innovative wines of Bibi Graetz.

Marc has been cooking for over 30 years and is a well-known New York City restauranteur, as well as a judge on Food Network’s hit show “Chopped.” Each of his Tuscan lunches will be held in a private home in Mountain Village and limited to only 30 guests.

Marc joins other innovative and award-winning chefs who are creating lunches showcasing the terroirs of a particular region. These chefs have earned James Beard Foundation awards, Michelin stars, Iron Chef and Top Chef accolades.

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