Karl Storchmann reports from the front: French wines vs. Jersey wines

At the Princeton tasting, led by George Taber, 9 wine judges from France, Belgium and the U.S. tasted French against New Jersey [TC: that’s the New Jersey] wines. The French wines selected were from the same producers as in 1976 including names such as Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Haut Brion, priced up to $650/bottle. New Jersey wines for the competition were submitted to an informal panel of judges, who then selected the wines for the competition. These judges were not eligible to taste wines at the final competition The results were similarly surprising. Although, the winner in each category was a French wine (Clos de Mouches for the whites and Mouton-Rothschild for the reds) NJ wines are at eye level. Three of the top four whites were from New Jersey. The best NJ red was ranked place 3. An amazing result given that the prices for NJ average at only 5% of the top French wines.

A statistical evaluation of the tasting, conducted by Princeton Professor Richard Quandt, further shows that the rank order of the wines was mostly insignificant. That is, if the wine judges repeated the tasting, the results would most likely be different. From a statistically viewpoint, most wines were undistinguishable. Only the best white and the lowest ranked red were significantly different from the others wines.

There was a third similarity to the Paris tasting. In Paris, after the identity of wines was revelared, Odette Kahn, editor of La revue Du Vin De France, demanded her score card back. Apparently, she was not happy with having rated American wines number one and two.

At the Princeton blind tasting, while both French judges preferred NJ red wines over the counterparts from Bordeaux. After disclosing the wines’ identity the French judges were surprised but did not complain. In contrast, several tasters from the U.S. did not want their wine ratings to be published.

All results and the statistical analysis can be found here:


Orley Ashenfelter also refers me to www.liquidasset.com, click on “tastings” and then “the latest” for data.


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