Home > History of Wine > A History of the California Barrel Tastings: Part 5 ‘WINE PRICES HAVE BEEN RIDICULOUS, OBSCENE, IMMORAL’ The Sources

A History of the California Barrel Tastings: Part 5 ‘WINE PRICES HAVE BEEN RIDICULOUS, OBSCENE, IMMORAL’ The Sources


This is the fifth in a series of posts surveying the history behind the MacArthur Beverages California Barrel Tasting and its predecessor Gerald Asher’s California Vintners Barrel Tasting.

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There is a rich set of newspaper articles chronicling the American wine boom, the rise in French wine prices, and the barrel tastings themselves.  In this post I have put together the vast majority of the articles I relied on for my posts in this series.  I strongly recommend that you read a few.

  1. Balzer, Robert Lawrence. “Wine Connoisseur”. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Jun 9, 1974; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. M23
  2. Balzer, Robert Lawrence. “Wine Connoisseur”. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Feb 9, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. 40
  3. Balzer, Robert Lawrence. “Wine Connoisseur”. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); May 4, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. R26
  4. Basset, James. “California Industry’s Rose Future” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Feb 13, 1972; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. G1
  5. Bespaloff, Alexis. “Top of the Barrel, Bottom of the Bottle”. New York Magazine. April 10, 1978.
  6. Blume, Mary. “Three Cheers for the Red, White and Cru” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Jun 13, 1976; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. P42
  7. Brounstein, Albert. “DIAMOND CREEK VINEYARDS: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TERROIR IN THE VINEYARD”. Interview conducted by Carole Hicke. The Wine Spectator California Wine Oral History Series. 1998.
  8. Bylin, James E. “Commodities: Price of Many California Wines May Rise 10% After the Freeze Due to Tight Supply”. Wall Street Journal (1923 – Current file); Sep 27, 1971; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Wall Street Journal pg. 20
  9. Bylin, James E. “Commodities: Brandy Makers Face a Big Grape Squeeze As California …” Wall Street Journal (1923 – Current file); Feb 26, 1973; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Wall Street Journal pg. 22
  10. Cannon, Carl. “Monterey Adds ‘Winery Row’: Grape Boom Ferments in Steinbeck Country” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); May 18, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. E1
  11. Chroman, Nathan. “Crunch Comes to the Wine Boom” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Jan 30, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. K8
  12. Chroman, Nathan. “SUPPLY CATCHES UP WITH DEMAND: THE ‘YEAR OF THE JUG’” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Feb 13, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. J24
  13. Chroman, Nathan. “CALIFORNIA’S FINEST CELLARS: THE WINES OF JOE HEITZ: PREEMINENCE AT A PRICE” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Mar 13, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. J22
  14. Chroman, Nathan. “BOTTOM LINE OF A BOOM: WORLD OF WINE OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Feb 2, 1978; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. H30
  15. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Chateau Owners are Being Too Greedy” March 30, 1972. “The Chicago Tribune.
  16. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Let’s learn about wines: Stock wine cellar with care” The Chicago Tribune.
  17. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Let’s learn about wines: California taste moves East”. March 13, 1975. The Chicago Tribune.
  18. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Let’s learn about wines: Ruily white Burgundy swill delight you, too”. April 5, 1973. The Chicago Tribune.
  19. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Let’s learn about wines: Sky’s the limit on European wine prices”. May 24, 1973. The Chicago Tribune.
  20. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Let’s learn about wines: California wine boom zooms”. July 1, 1974. The Chicago Tribune.
  21. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Let’s learn about wines: France woos U.S. buyers”. December 26, 1974. The Chicago Tribune.
  22. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Let’s learn about wines: Happy days arrive for wine devotees”. March 6, 1975. The Chicago Tribune.
  23. Church, Ruth Ellen. “Let’s learn about wines: Boom benefits wine drinkers”. July 3, 1975. The Chicago Tribune.
  24. Conaway, James. “Roll Back the Barrel” April 21, 1985. The Washington Post Magazine. Pg 57
  25. Conaway, James. “Speculating on California Cabs”. June 29, 1986. The Washington Post Magazine. Pg 23
  26. Conaway, James. “Bright Futures For California Cabernets” July 5, 1987. The Washington Post Magazine. Pg 39
  27. Ensrud, Barbara “Sunny Outlook for California Wine Futures” Wall Street Journal (1923 – Current file); Jun 2, 1987; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Wall Street Journal pg. 28
  28. Gilberti, Ben. “Price Philosophy: Barrel Tastings: How California & Bordeaux Differ” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); May 11, 1988; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. E11
  29. Gilberti, Ben. “Fooling Mother Nature” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Apr 26, 1989; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. E1
  30. Goldberg, Howard G. “Wine Talk: Two wine-tasting galas effectively exclude the public” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 18, 1987; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. C10
  31. Goldwyn, Craig. “Despite the hype, French wines are no bargain”. July 17, 1978. The Chicago Tribune.
  32. Hawkins, Jo. “The Word on Western Wines in Washington” Apr 5, 1981. The Washington Post. pg H1
  33. Heinzel, Ron S. “U.S. Wine Boom May Only Be Tip of the Cork, Survey Shows” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Sep 13, 1973; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. D14
  34. Kasabian, Cynthia. “Increasing Demand and Limited Supply Mean That Wine Drinkers Will Pay More” Wall Street Journal (1923 – Current file); Sep 1, 1978; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Wall Street Journal pg. 18
  35. Lee, Susan. “California Drinking: The New Wines”. Wall Street Journal (1923 – Current file); Apr 1, 1983; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Wall Street Journal pg. 13
  36. Parker Jr., Robert. “Roll Out the Barrel” April 6, 1983. The Washington Post. pg E1
  37. Prial, Frank J. “Anyone Who Can Squeeze a Grape is Competing” New York Times (1923-Current file); Sep 16, 1972; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 16
  38. Prial, Frank J. “Boom Is On in London, Too, But Prices Are Not as High” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 3, 1973; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 20
  39. Prial, Frank J. “At a Tasting for Fun and Profit, but Mostly Profit, They Appraised 60 Bottles” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 2, 1974; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 24
  40. Prial, Frank J. “Prices Are Plummeting in New York” New York Times (1923-Current file); Jun 22, 1974; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 16
  41. Prial, Frank J. “With the Bordeaux Scandal Now Over, What Is the Impact Here Likely to Be?” New York Times (1923-Current file); Dec 21, 1974; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 12
  42. Prial, Frank J. “’WINE PRICES HAVE BEEN RIDICULOUS, OBSCENE, IMMORAL’” New York Times (1923-Current file); Jan 25, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 42
  43. Prial, Frank J. “WINE TALK: A SKILLED VINTNER, A NEW LABEL AND A PLACE FOR SAMPLING” New York Times (1923-Current file); Apr 2, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 52
  44. Prial, Frank J. “WINE TALK: IN BORDEAUX, DRASTIC CHANGES IN MARKETING” New York Times (1923-Current file); Apr 16, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 31
  45. Prial, Frank J. “WINE TALK: CO-OWNER’S HOBBY ENHANCES CELLAR AT THE FOUR SEASONS” New York Times (1923-Current file); Nov 5, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 60
  46. Prial, Frank J. “WINE TALK: AMERICAN VINTAGES RATE WITH THE FRENCH AT TWO TASTINGS” New York Times (1923-Current file); Nov 24, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 53
  47. Prial, Frank J. “WINE TALK: FOREIGNERS RUN UNUSUAL PARIS SCHOOL” New York Times (1923-Current file); Dec 10, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 69
  48. Prial, Frank J. “WINE TALK: At 1 A.M. the Tasting Was Still Going On” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 24, 1976; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 52
  49. Prial, Frank J. “CALIFORNIA LABELS OUTDO FRENCH IN BLIND TEST” New York Times (1923-Current file); Jun 9, 1976; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 27
  50. Prial, Frank J. “Wine Talk” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 30, 1977; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 61
  51. Prial, Frank J. “CALIFORNIA REDS SCORE HIGH IN TASTING, BUT SOME CAVEATS MUST BE WEIGHTED” New York Times (1923-Current file); Jun 16, 1976; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 39
  52. Prial, Frank J. “Wine Lovers Raise Their Glasses to California” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 24, 1978; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. A15
  53. Prial, Frank J. “Wine Talk: From California, 6,300 glasses of young wine” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 28, 1979; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. C14
  54. Prial, Frank J. “A Wine Capital Comes of Age” New York Times (1923-Current file); Nov 4, 1984; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. 426
  55. Prial, Frank J. “California barrel-tasting dinner is leaving New York” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 27, 1985; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. C15
  56. Prial, Frank J. “California barrel samples that have grown gracefully into their ripe middle age” New York Times (1923-Current file); Apr 3, 1985; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. C15
  57. Prial, Frank J. “Wine Talk: Shopping for bargains among cabernets from California” New York Times (1923-Current file); Nov 9, 1988; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times
  58. C14
  59. Pursglove, David. “Soaring French Prices Boost the Trade in Good ‘Little’ Wine”. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); Jun 22, 1972; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. D14
  60. Pursglove, David. “The Washington Wine-Buying Scene”. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); Jun 29, 1972; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. D20
  61. Rice, William. “The Wine Pricing: Wine Picture: How to Choose The Wine Prices” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Feb 13, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. G1
  62. Rice, William. “1972 Bordeaux Offered At Big Price Reductions” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Mar 2, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. 121
  63. Rice, William. “A Growing Tale of Vintage Uncertainty”. The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Apr 24, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. F3
  64. Rice, William. “A Liquid Buyers’ Market” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Feb 26, 1976;ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. D16
  65. Rice, William. “Go East, Young Vin: Go East, Young Vin: Hail The Conquering Californians” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Mar 24, 1976; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. D1
  66. Rice, William. “Those Winning American Wines” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Jun 13, 1976; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. K12
  67. Rice, William. “Is It Eastward Ho For The Elite California Wines”.  The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Aug 10, 1978; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg E1.
  68. Rice, William. “The California Grape Rush” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Jul 29, 1976; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. F1
  69. Rice, William. “California’s New York Showcase” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Mar 27, 1977; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. 159
  70. Rice, William. “Tasting the Wine Before Its Time” March 30, 1980. The Washington Post. pg H1.
  71. Richman, Phyllis C. “The Show Must Go On” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Mar 19, 1986; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. E1
  72. Robards, Terry. “Wine Talk: Twenty-nine California wines, 11 courses, and Burgess Meredith” Mar 25, 1981. The New York Times pg C16.
  73. Robards, Terry. “Tasting California’s New Wine” New York Times (1923-Current file); Mar 31, 1982; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times pg. C9
  74. “Bordeaux wine fraud scandal trial opens”. October 28, 1974. The Chicago Tribune.
  75. “GROWERS DOUBLE ACREAGE OF GRAPES IN WINE BOOM” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Nov 10, 1971; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. E11
  76. “How to stage a wine tasting” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Oct 15, 1972; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. A16
  77. “Sales Decline Puts Squeeze on Wineries” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Sep 8, 1974; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. B6
  78. “Sour Grapes In Bordeaux” The Washington Post (1974-Current file); Mar 27, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. C4
  79. “Wine Boom Peak Seen” The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); Sep 14, 1973; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post pg. D13
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