Grant, Law lined up for Paris Tasting movie

  • Wednesday 7 June 2006

The legendary 1976 Paris Tasting is set to be given the Hollywood treatment with stars such as Jude Law and Hugh Grant in the frame.

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A Los Angeles film company has bought the rights to George Taber’s book Judgment of Paris: California vs. France, which tells the story of ‘the tasting that changed the wine world’.

Decanter’s consultant editor Steven Spurrier has had top-level talks with moguls at Clear Pictures Entertainment in Studio City. Discussions are in the earliest stages but the names of Grant (pictured) and Law have been put forward as possible leads.

They have said that they intend to focus on the interplay between Spurrier and the Californians rather than the French angle, ending with the triumph of the Californian ‘underdogs’ in 1976, when Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 1973 and Ridge Montebello 71 beat First Growths such as Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 70 and Haut Brion 70 in a blind tasting in Paris.

Spurrier, who masterminded the original tasting, said, ‘I have spoken with the production company this week. I insisted that an English actor should play me and they suggested Hugh Grant or Jude Law.'

He added, 'But they'd be no good. They are far too old. I was only 34 when I did the tasting.'

The wine writer’s status as one of the most respected - and liked - figures in the wine world has only been enhanced by the publicity given the Paris tasting re-run last month, in which California, against all expectations, trounced France again.

Veteran critic Jancis Robinson writes on her website, ‘Steven Spurrier is certainly the unsung hero of wine. He has quite exceptional wine knowledge…and has had all manner of brilliant wine ideas which other people, never him, have managed to spin into gold.’

The as-yet-untitled film is currently in its preliminary stages and it has not yet been confirmed when filming will begin.

Variety magazine reports that the producers of the film, Clark Peterson and Elizabeth Fowler, have worked together before on a number of titles. Peterson's main credit is Monster, the story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, starring Charlize Theron.

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