Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink [NOOK Book]

Overview

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

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this economic history of vino, writer, teacher and blogger Colman explains how the wines we drink-that is to say, the bottles that wind up on the shelves and on our tables-are shaped by politics: "not only which grapes grow where, what can be written on the label, which wines are exported or imported, which wines are available in local stores, and how much a wine costs, but, perhaps most importantly... affects the quality of the wine in the bottle." Colman focuses on two of the biggest producer nations in the world, France and the United States, comparing the hold each has had on the industry. In France, vines grew abundantly and consumption became a national tradition, but Americans have been trying to grow wine grapes for at least 400 years-and have really been successful only in the past 40. The author also examines the significance of terroir, wine critics and distribution networks, the alcohol laws of different states (some dating back to Prohibition) and other factors complicating the relationship between those who make wine and those who want to drink it. By exploring these and other crucial concerns, Colman provides an enlightening volume on a complex topic.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bloomberg News - John Mariani

“Contain(s) so much history, data and anecdotes in a highly readable 144 pages.”
Journal Of Wine Economics

“It is the kind of book a wine economist would want to read and gift as a gift to friends. ”
Times Higher Ed Sup (Thes)

“Exposes a little-known but influential aspect of the wine business: the politics behind it.”
Gastronomica: Journal Of Food & Culture

“A fascinating and fast-paced ride. . . . His accomplishment is remarkable.”
Good Wine Under $20

‘A delight to read with its clear prose and fluid style.”
Vinography

“I'm not aware of any other single volume that pulls so many strands of research and analysis together in such a readable package.’
Jrnl Of World History - Philip Whalen

“Succinct and up-to-date. . . . Recommended.”
Chicago Tribune

Serious and provocative
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520934733
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/14/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 762,378
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Tyler Colman teaches wine classes at New York University and the University of Chicago. He contributed to the third edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine and his articles have appeared in Food & Wine and Wine & Spirits.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Sidebars
Preface and Acknowledgments

1. What Is Wine Politics?
2. Soil and Society: Wine in France and America before 1935
3. Authenticating Origins: Appellations and Quality
4. Baptists and Bootleggers: The Strange Bedfellows of American Wine
5. Who Controls Your Palate?
6. Greens, Gripes, and Grapes
7. Celebrating Diversity

Notes
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A terrific read on government's influence over wine

    If you have ever wondered why certain wines show up on some store shelves but not others, or why specific wines appear on certain restaurant menus while others do not, then you should read Wine Politics. The book not only explains how politics influence the distribution of wine here in the U.S., but also reveals how these same forces direct each bottle's production and eventual consumption.

    Tyler Colman, a.k.a. Dr. Vino, approaches this topic by following the wine histories of France and the U.S., with a focus on winemaking in each country's respective, and most venerable, region, Bordeaux and Napa. This comparative treatment offers the reader a variety of useful insights and revelations throughout the book. Tyler extends his geographic coverage to include other regions of the world, including mentions of specific politics, policies, and practices in the Pacific Northwest.

    I enjoyed the second half of the book the most, which includes chapters such as, "Who Controls Your Palate?", and, "Greens, Gripes, and Grapes". What Michael Pollan did in such great detail for food in "The Omnivore's Dilemma", Tyler Colman has now provided for wine, albeit at a cursory level, in these two chapters. For it is in chapters five and six that Tyler exposes the downside of the industrialization of wine, while contrasting this approach with the upside of "natural" winemaking practices.

    After reading Tyler's book, I now have a deeper understanding of the public policies that influence the wines I am able to buy and ultimately enjoy at my table. As a result, I am a much more informed consumer, citizen, and most importantly, voter. I highly recommend Wine Politics as required reading for anyone seeking to enlarge their understanding of wine.

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