It’s Official! The Wine Wars Have Begun

June 16 is the official release date of my new book Wine Wars: The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck and the Revenge of the Terroirists.

The hardcover book has been available for several weeks (and has frequently been listed on Amazon’s wine best-seller list), and the e-book versions will be on-line starting on the 16th. (Wine Wars was a pre-release wine best-seller in Amazon’s Kindle store!)

So far the response to the book has been very positive, but I know that books, like wine, are a matter of taste. One reviewer, for example,  thinks I was a bit too clever when I organized the chapters into three “flights” rather than just calling them sections. “Flight” is a wine term, of course, but also a general description of a group of related things (flight of geese, flight of stairs), so I don’t think I was too far out of line, but I appreciate the point.

The same reviewer was a bit suspicious of the way I end each flight of chapters with a flight of wines — a suggested wine tasting to encourage readers to make up their minds about my wine arguments by tasting the wines themselves. Maybe that is too clever, but I still think it is a good idea. In vino veritas, as they say.

I actually appreciate all the comments and critiques because they help me think through both what I argued and how I argued it. Without outside reactions an author can develop an uncritical “cellar palate” and I want to avoid that. In fact, one reason that I stated writing The Wine Economist was to be able to work out ideas in public, where I could benefit from the comments and suggestions of a great many people, not just my own wine industry friends. This strategy has served me well by introducing me to many interesting people and viewpoints.

I don’t know if you’ll find Wine Wars to your taste, but I hope you’ll give it a try. The fact that you are here, on The Wine Economist website, suggests that you are interested in the sort of problems that Wine Wars tries to figure out. Cheers!


I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in the Wine Wars project including wine makers, wine industry executives, wine critics and fellow wine writers. Thanks as well to all the family, friends and former students who provided support, encouragement and critical feedback.

Special thanks to Paul Gregutt, Sasha Issenberg and Jeff Lefevere for writing “blurbs” for the book cover and to my editor, Susan McEachern, for guiding the project through to a successful completion.


July 1 update: Apparently Amazon will release the Kindle version on July 16, a month after the official publication date. I think all the other ebook versions are available now.

7 responses

  1. Seems clear that what has happened is the industry is now split in two – around 2,000 products which are globalized and standardized, accounting for 95% of total volume and available in stores, and several hundred thousand other wines of distict terroir and concept which are sold near where they are made in tiny lots through porsonal relationships and fan clubs.

    Is you book available as an audio book?

    • Thanks for this, Clark. I don’t think Wine Wars is out as an audio book, but I understand that the Kindle version can be set up to read aloud to you if that helps.

  2. I got the book (via Amazon) a couple of weeks ago. Entirely enjoyed it. And I might even do a couple of the suggested wine tastings. Rob

  3. Mike,
    Anyone here in T-Town selling your book? Wouldn’t hurt to keep some of the money here in the local economy..!

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