Cover Image

Larger ImageView Larger


Wine Politics

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

Tyler Colman (Author)


Other Formats Available:
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, 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.
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

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.
“An enlightening volume on a complex topic.”—Publishers Weekly
“Contain(s) so much history, data and anecdotes in a highly readable 144 pages.”—John Mariani Bloomberg News
“It is the kind of book a wine economist would want to read and gift as a gift to friends. ”—Journal Of Wine Economics
“Exposes a little-known but influential aspect of the wine business: the politics behind it.”—Times Higher Ed Sup (Thes)
“A fascinating and fast-paced ride. . . . His accomplishment is remarkable.”—Gastronomica: Journal Of Food & Culture
‘A delight to read with its clear prose and fluid style.”—Good Wine Under $20
“I'm not aware of any other single volume that pulls so many strands of research and analysis together in such a readable package.’—Vinography
“Colman’s succinct and up-to-date examination of the modern French and American industries provides a welcome addition to studies that explore the production-consumption nexus of one commodity in several regions, across several centuries, and from a market perspective. . . . Recommended.”—Philip Whalen, Coastal Carolina University Jrnl Of World History
Serious and provocative—Chicago Tribune
“Easy to recommend.”—Choice
"Kudos to Tyler Colman for this illuminating look at wine's fascinating backstory. This excellent overview of how important politics is to the taste of the wine in your glass is a new kind of wine book, essential for every wine lover's bookshelf."—Elin McCoy, author of The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr. and the Reign of American Taste

"In shrewdly examining how politics influences the production, distribution, and consumption of wine on both sides of the Atlantic, Tyler Colman has written a much-needed and long-overdue book. Wine Politics won't necessarily make you a better taster, but it will unquestionably make you a more enlightened drinker."—Mike Steinberger, wine columnist for Slate magazine
Loading the player ...
Play audio
Interview with the author, Tyler Colman

Join UC Press

Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more