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The British wine merchant and critic Steven Spurrier has died in his home town of Dorset at the age of 79. Born in 1941, Spurrier wrote as a wine critic for "Decanter" and is the author and co-author of over a dozen books on wine. In 1964, he started his career in the wine trade as a trainee at Christopher and Co, London's oldest wine shop. In 1970, he moved to Paris and opened the wine shop "Les Caves de la Madeleine" in 1971. There he was one of the first to encourage customers to taste the wines before buying them.

He became internationally known in 1976 as the organiser of the legendary "Judgment of Paris" tasting. There, Californian wines won for the first time, ahead of renowned Grand Crus from Burgundy and Bordeaux. The surprising result made California a world-renowned wine-growing region and also ensured rising wine quality internationally. Steven Spurrier was also the founder of the Académie du Vin and of wine education at Christie's auction house. Until his death on 9 March, he worked as a wine critic, for example at the Decanter World Wine Awards, which he founded.

(uka / Photo: Sarah Stierch - Wikipedia)