Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink

Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink

Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink

Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink

Synopsis

After reading this intriguing book, a glass of wine will be more than hints of blackberries or truffles on the palate. Written by the author of the popular, award-winning website DrVino.com, Wine Politics exposes a little-known but extremely influential aspect of the wine business--the politics behind it. Tyler Colman systematically explains how politics affects what we can buy, how much it costs, how it tastes, what appears on labels, and more. He offers an insightful comparative view of wine-making in Napa and Bordeaux, tracing the different paths American and French wines take as they travel from vineyard to dining room table. Colman also explores globalization in the wine business and illuminates the role of behind-the-scenes players such as governments, distributors, and prominent critics who wield enormous clout. Throughout, Wine Politics reveals just how deeply politics matters-- right down to the taste of the wine in your glass tonight.

Excerpt

When I recently told someone at a cocktail party about the subject of this book, he exclaimed, “Politics and wine! My wife and I debate that every night! I want red, and she wants white.” This book is not likely to help resolve intrahousehold disputes over the evening’s wine. Nor is it likely to satisfy those wondering about the wine preferences of presidents Nicolas Sarkozy (he says he’s too busy to drink) or George Bush (a teetotaler since his fortieth birthday). Nor will it help those who seek hoary partisan orations from the well of the legislature disparaging other countries’ wines (as members of the U.S. House of Representatives actually did in 2006). If you are looking for a drinker’s guide to politics, this is not the book.

But if you are curious about the business and politics of just how that wine reached your table tonight, then this is the book for you. the politics of wine often operates out of the limelight. Celebrity winemakers may present themselves as all-powerful when it comes to making wine, but they too are subject to political forces. This book illuminates how distributors, mobsters, environmentalists, regulators, and critics all have a hand in producing, selling, and delivering the glass of wine we will drink tonight.

Previous books have told the story of wine in America. Others have examined wine in France. But no other book has ever looked at the two countries side by side, studying the different paths taken by winemakers in France and America to produce the quality wines we enjoy today. Battles with the soil and society have had different victors in each country . . .

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