Robert Lawrence Balzer

Robert Lawrence Balzer

Robert Lawrence Balzer (born 1912) has been called the first serious wine journalist in the United States. At the age of 24, he was put in charge of the wine department of his family’s grocery/gourmet market in Los Angeles, California. Because he knew nothing about wine, he quickly educated himself on the subject.

Balzer soon championed quality California wines and stocked his shelves with the best American wines available. He promoted wine in his customer newsletter and was asked by Will Rodgers Jr. to write a regular wine column in his local newspaper in 1937.

In 1948 he published "California’s Best Wines", the first of his 11 books. His wine writings have included articles published in "travel Holiday" for over twenty years, a weekly column in the "Los Angeles Times Magazine", and "Robert Lawrence Balzer’s Private Guide to Food and Wine"

In 1973, Balzer organized the New York Wine Tasting of 1973 which was a precursor to the matching of French and Californian wine at the Judgment of Paris.

Balzer oversaw food and wine at the 1981 presidential inaugurations of Ronald Reagan in 1981 and 1985 and for George H. W. Bush in 1989.

Mr. Balzer, who has been a wine writer for about 70 years, currently teaches wine classes.

ee also

*California wine
*French wine
*Blind tasting of wine
*List of wine personalities


*Taber, George M. "Judgment of Paris: California vs France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine". NY: Scribner, 2005.
* [ Wine Appreciation Guild]

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