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Wine Wars
Cover of Wine Wars
Wine Wars
The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists
Borrow Borrow

Writing with wit and verve, Mike Veseth (a.k.a. the Wine Economist) tells the compelling story of the war between the market trends that are redrawing the world wine map and the terroirists who resist them. Wine and the wine business are at a critical crossroad today, transformed by three powerful forces. Veseth begins with the first force, globalization, which is shifting the center of the wine world as global wine markets provide enthusiasts with a rich but overwhelming array of choices. Two BuckChuck, the second force, symbolizes the rise of branded products like the famous Charles Shaw wines sold in Trader Joe's stores. Branded corporate wines simplify the worldwide wine market and give buyers the confidence they need to make choices, but theyalso threaten to dumb down wine, sacrificing terroir to achieve marketable McWine reliability. Will globalization and Two Buck Chuck destroy the essence of wine? Perhaps, but not without a fight, Veseth argues. He counts on "the revenge of the terroirists" to save wine's soul. But it won't be easy as wine expands to exotic new markets such as China and the very idea of terroir is attacked by both critics and global climate change. Veseth has "grape expectations" that globalization, Two Buck Chuck, and the revenge of the terroirists will uncork a favorable future for wine in an engaging tour-de-force that will appeal to all lovers of wine, whether it be boxed, bagged, or bottled.

Writing with wit and verve, Mike Veseth (a.k.a. the Wine Economist) tells the compelling story of the war between the market trends that are redrawing the world wine map and the terroirists who resist them. Wine and the wine business are at a critical crossroad today, transformed by three powerful forces. Veseth begins with the first force, globalization, which is shifting the center of the wine world as global wine markets provide enthusiasts with a rich but overwhelming array of choices. Two BuckChuck, the second force, symbolizes the rise of branded products like the famous Charles Shaw wines sold in Trader Joe's stores. Branded corporate wines simplify the worldwide wine market and give buyers the confidence they need to make choices, but theyalso threaten to dumb down wine, sacrificing terroir to achieve marketable McWine reliability. Will globalization and Two Buck Chuck destroy the essence of wine? Perhaps, but not without a fight, Veseth argues. He counts on "the revenge of the terroirists" to save wine's soul. But it won't be easy as wine expands to exotic new markets such as China and the very idea of terroir is attacked by both critics and global climate change. Veseth has "grape expectations" that globalization, Two Buck Chuck, and the revenge of the terroirists will uncork a favorable future for wine in an engaging tour-de-force that will appeal to all lovers of wine, whether it be boxed, bagged, or bottled.

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About the Author-
  • Mike Veseth is professor emeritus of international political economy at the University of Puget Sound. He is editor of the award-winning blog The Wine Economist and author of several books on the business and pleasure of wine, including the best-selling Extreme Wine;Money, Taste, and Wine; and Around the World in Eighty Wines, which received the 2018 Gourmand International award for "Best U.S. Book in Wine and Spirits Tourism." He's currently working on his next book when he isn't traveling around the world with his wife, Sue; speaking to wine industry groups; and looking for great wines and great wine stories.
Table of Contents-
  • Prelude: Grape Expectations? 1. A Tale of Two Glasses 2. Old Bottles, New Wine Flight One: Globalization—Blessing or Curse? 3. The DaVino Code 4. Missionaries, Migrants, and Market Reforms 5. The Masters of Wine 6. Curse of the Blue Nun 7. America's Hangover Globalization Tasting Flight Two: The Miracle of Two Buck Chuck 8. Martians versus Wagnerians 9. They Always Buy the Ten Cent Wine 10. Everyone's a Critic 11. The McWine Conspiracy 12. The Future of Wine in Three Bottles Two Buck Chuck Tasting Flight Three: Revenge of the Terroirists 13. Mondovino and the Revenge of the Terroirists 14. The War on Terroir 15. The China Syndrome 16. The Best of Wines or the Worst of Wines? Grape Expectations Tasting
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 25, 2011
    In a book at turns fascinating and frustrating, political economist and blogger Veseth examines the wine world and analyzes its historical and present-day factors from the small to the large along with their potential impact on wine's future. He structures his overall argument into three major "flights," or selection of wines for tasting, the first being the effects of globalization. Looking at expansionist politics and economics, he examines retailing policies in domestic markets such as England, Germany, and the U.S. Veseth turns to the wine drinking market and its evolution, and the ever-expanding influence of wine criticism on both in the face of the rapid changes in bulk production. The last part of his analysis looks at terroir and the potential effect of climate change. While Veseth's analysis is provocative, he often takes a tone that is all too clever, such as following each "flight," or tasting argument, with additional enological evidence to support his argument.

  • Vinography: A Wine Blog Money makes the wine go round, and Wine Wars helps to make sense of it all. . . . Not to spoil the end of the story, but Veseth remains hopeful in the end about the mix of wine dynamics. Despite the seemingly crushing power of global price-cutting and homogenization, he thinks distinctive, even quirky wines have a bright future—in other words, something for everybody. . . . Along the way, his overview of economic forces that have shaped wine's career take the reader on a number of historical excursions and international visits. The treatment is breezy and easygoing. . . . Nonetheless, Veseth does get to some fundamental economic realities behind the surface of wine, and even readers who pay attention to the ups and down of the wine market will learn something. This kind of information may not change the way your next glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc tastes, but it surely will help you understand how it got there. And that, to go back to wine's many wondrous properties, gets us back to the lure of enlightenment.
  • The Winesights Reader Mike Veseth has applied his economist's perspective, his understanding of global affairs, his clear understanding of the business of wine and his crystal clear writing style to assemble one of the best wine books of 2011. . . . Veseth's analysis is thorough, sound and matter-of-fact. This is a well and tightly woven story, well-told by a creative thinker. . . . A fascinating read, this book has pace, humor and insight.
  • Appellation Beer Veseth takes a sideways look when discussing The Curse of the Blue Nun, The Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists (the sub-title of the book and the three sections in which is it divided). The first two parts help understand what's different about shopping for wine at Trader Joe's and Costco, and that was enough to keep my attention. Veseth is an economist and that's one of the reasons I subscribe to his blog feed. . . . I wish there were more books like this focused on beer.
  • I-Winereview Blog Mike Veseth's latest book gives an economist's perspective on the globalization of wine. The conflict he writes about is that between the globalists and the terroirists; between mass-produced and handcrafted wines; between the large multinational corporation and the small, family winery; between the wines that critics love and those that consumers purchase. . . . Fortunately, he doesn't write like an economist. Anyone familiar with his blog, The Wine Economist, already knows that he writes about wine markets in a way that non-economists can easily understand. Reading the book, I kept thinking about Freakonomics, another popular book [that] uses the principles of economics to explore and explain a variety of social phenomena in a way that anyone can understand. Mike Veseth does the same thing but focused on the wine industry.
  • Wine Business Wine Wars is a fascinating contemporary insight into the predominant market forces of globalization. . . .But Wine Wars is as much a social history of (and insight into) wine consumerism as it is an economic treatise. . . .Put simply, Wine Wars is one of the better, more informative and entertaining wine books I have read for ages. Thankfully, Mike Veseth avoids the miasma of pompous, self-congratulatory drivel that often swirls around wine criticism. So those in the business of wine who have not read it already, should do so now. . . .If Wine Wars was a wine I would rate it at 98/100— great balance and finesse, good body and grip, fine texture and...
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Wine Wars
Wine Wars
The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists
Mike Veseth
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