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SOUTHERN CULTURE

The blind tasting that changed American wine culture

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In the football-obsessed South, the name Stephen Spurrier conjures up a Heisman trophy winner and collegiate football coach. In the wine world, the name Steven Spurrier conjures up a wine expert, author, vigneron, learned scholar and — most importantly to Americans — the man who put American wine on the map.

Those who visited liquor stores before 1976 likely found French wines if wines were stocked at all. They were not the first growths of Bordeaux, but vin ordinaire: lower priced wines from various regions in France.