Book Review: Wine Wars II by Mike Veseth

Wine Wars II book coverMike Veseth, is the editor of The Wine Economist online and is also a prolific publisher of books combining the topics of wine and economics.  From his website, I note he has published: Wine Wars (2011), Extreme Wine (2013), Money, Taste & Wine: It’s Complicated! (2015), and Around the World in Eighty Wines (2018), plus several other books economics-related.  Wine Wars II is the second edition of Wine Wars and further expands his discussion on the different forces that affect the production, style, and pricing of wine globally.

While wine lovers enjoy wine, many do not know or understand the internal and external forces in the past and present that affect their glass of wine.  Mike brings forth his ideas of those forces he sees as most relevant in shaping the wines we are currently tasting, and maybe the future of wine.  

He takes us through these topics in chapters he coins as Flights, as in flights of wine. If you cringe at the thought of reading an economics book, don’t fret. This book is very easy to read and Mike makes economics terms easy to understand and gives examples of how they affect the wine that you enjoy. He provides examples of wineries from around the world. Not just the major wine-producing countries/regions, like France, Italy, and California. He also covers small regions, like British Columbia in Canada, Chile, South Africa, and Georgia.

Mike starts us off by learning some history of wine production, regions, and globalization of wine in Flight 1.  In Flight 2 he covers the differing views of wine between viewing wine as an affordable part of daily life while others viewing increased wine enthusiasts wanting wines of high quality with exceptional expression.  There is a discussion of price points and where you can find these value-priced and premium wines on your store shelf. Brands according to Mr. Veseth also play a part in this arena.  Flight 3 covers the concept of wine with terroir or somewhere-ness vs wines that have nowhere-ness.  How have these different types of wine evolved and who are some of the characters behind each category.  He finishes off this section by looking at the future, and regions of the world that will be a growing part of that future.  Flight 4 discusses wine’s triple crisis consisting of wine’s identity, the environment, and globalization.  How much would you be willing to pay for a climate-friendly wine (e.g. using lighter-weight bottles or other methods for wineries to reduce their carbon footprint)?  How does organic, biodynamic, or sustainable agriculture fit in?  He notes that wine growing, winemaking and wine selling are all capital intensive.  What are some of the ways that these have been undertaken to make them viable?  Supply and demand issues over time for wine are also discussed. Lastly, how do labeling, competition with other beverages, and interest by age group affect wine’s image and sales?

There is much more information in this book, but I’ve given you a good overview of the major themes and issues.  The book was released for sale on July 1, 2022 in e-book and paperback form.  I see the book listed both on and on  

A totally enjoyable read, whether you sip it along with a sparkling, red, white, rosé, or fortified wine.

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.