Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781913141073

Publication Date: 1 December, 2020

Pages: 288

Steven Spurrier

A Life in Wine


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‘A fascinating look back over a significant wine career – and the changes across the industry in that time.’
Decanter, Best Wine Books 2020

‘Few people have so profoundly informed, guided and inspired generations through their journeys in wine. Steven Spurrier is one of England’s great modern renaissance figures and a colossus in the world of fine wine.’
Andrew Caillard MW

The moment he was handed a glass of Cockburn 1908 vintage port by his grandfather at 13 years old, Steven Spurrier knew there was no turning back. Family holidays to France and Italy, and a first job working for Christopher’s – London’s oldest wine merchant – only confirmed that no other career would do. So, after learning the ropes by travelling France in his red sports car (fitted with a compact wine fridge in the boot), working the vintage in Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne, Steven’s first extraordinary move was to set up shop and sell wine to the French. As an Englishman in the heart of Paris, this seemed a remarkably bold (if not foolish) project, but the plan worked, and he went on to set up the Académie du Vin and to teach them about it too…

Steven Spurrier is one of the wine trade’s most important figures. Over the years he took the role of wine merchant, buyer, wine educator and lecturer; he wrote 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.

This memoir looks back on Steven’s life charting the incidents, adventures, ideas and discoveries that formed his wine journey. Along the way, he had the privilege not only to taste the finest wines but to judge them and to work with the winemakers who created 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.

Additional information

Weight 1.10 kg
Dimensions 225 × 170 mm

2 reviews for Steven Spurrier

  1. Simon Appleby

    This is a great book. RIP Steven

  2. Hugh Stirling

    A fabulous read, for anyone at all into wine a must read. The book is full of insights, the vineyards and their people from all over the world, and very honest. Very sad, a true gent has left us.

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Steven Spurrier is a legendary figure in the world of wine, known as an educator, innovator, consultant and communicator, he has inspired many newcomers to the trade and earned the respect of celebrated winemakers the world over. Steven is perhaps best known for masterminding the remarkable 1976 blind tasting of top Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines from Bordeaux and California that came to be known as the ‘Judgement of Paris’. A recreation of this event was held in 1986, then again in 2006 when the wines were tasted simultaneously in London and Napa. Steven has written eight books on wine and in 2017 was named Decanter Man of the Year and Honorary President of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.