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 Buck Chuck, 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 they also 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.
©2011 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I have survived my most painful audiobook experience yet.
"Wine Wars" is a fascinating book for those deep into wine, wine economics, and issues pertaining to globalization versus local character. While some of the subject matter can be a bit dry, Verseth infuses his narrative with interesting characters, amusing stories, and a fair amount of wit. I learned a TON from this book; it has deepened my understanding of the global, "glocal," and local wine and food trade immensely.
So why should you buy the physical or e-book instead of the audiobook? Simple -- the narration is simply AWFUL.
The narration is flat, lifeless, miserable, and soporific, taking a sometimes dry subject and completely ruining it. Wade lacks expression and his reading marches along like a droning professor -- featureless and bland. The bits of humor in the text pass by in the same awful metronomic cadence as the other content, blending into a soporific drumbeat of expressionless speech.
Adding insult to injury, Wade's pronunciation of foreign-language words is just pathetic and ruins the flow of the narration like nails on a chalkboard to anyone who has taken half a semester of French or Italian. Thankfully I never took German, so his presumed butcherings of those words passed by unnoticed. Heck, Wade even insists on pronouncing household name Robert Mondavi as "mon-DAH-vay" when even a 30-second visit to Mondavi's (ends with "vee") website would set him straight. Why on earth would the producer of a wine book stand for a narrator who can't pronounce the name of the most famous California winemaker ever and who clearly did no homework on any of the foreign language words in the text (and there are a lot of them, of course)?!?
In sum, this is a fascinating book for the right audience, but the narration absolutely turns the listening session into a nightmare. This is one book that it would be FAR better to read in print (or e-ink)!!!
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