Welcome to the page for my forthcoming book Around the World in Eight Wines, which Rowman & Littlefield will publish in Fall 2017. Watch this space for more information as the November 1 publication date approaches. In the meantime, here is a “teaser” about the book and the current table of contents.
Inspired by Jules Verne’s classic adventure tale, Mike Veseth takes his readers Around the World in Eighty Wines. The journey starts in London, Phileas Fogg’s home base, and follows Fogg’s itinerary to France and Italy before veering off in search of compelling wine stories in Syria, Georgia, and Lebanon. Every glass of wine tells a story, and so each of the eighty wines must tell an important tale. We head back across Northern Africa to Algeria, once the world’s leading wine exporter, before hopping across the sea to Spain and Portugal. We follow Portuguese trade routes to Madeira and then South Africa with a short detour to taste Kenya’s most famous Pinot Noir. Kenya? Pinot Noir? Really!
The route loops around, visiting Bali, Thailand, and India before heading north to China to visit Shangri-La. Shangi-La? Does that even exist? It does, and there is wine there. Then it is off to Australia, with a detour in Tasmania, which is so cool that it is hot. The stars of the Southern Cross (and the lyrics of a familiar song) guide us to New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina. We ride a wine train in California and rendezvous with Planet Riesling in Seattle before getting into fast cars for a race across North America, collecting more wine as we go. Pause for lunch in Virginia to honor Thomas Jefferson, then it’s time to jet back to London to tally our wines and see what we have learned.
Why these particular places? What are the eighty wines and what do they reveal? And—spoiler alert!—what is the surprise plot twist that guarantees a happy ending for every wine lover? Come with us on a journey of discovery that will inspire, inform, and entertain anyone who loves travel, adventure, or wine.
Mike Veseth has deftly captured the magical worldwide journey of wine. This is a great rollicking educational roller coaster of a ride that the global fraternity of wine enthusiasts will embrace.
— Robert Hill-Smith, vigneron, Yalumba, Australia
Like a master blender, Mike Veseth stimulates the mind’s appetite with a wonderful balance of illusion and substance, as complex as a fine wine.Structured with cultural nuance and imagination, this delightful book is a must-read for serious wine enthusiasts and neophytes alike. Circumnavigating the world in eighty wines should be enjoyed with a glass of your favorite origin in hand.
— George Sandeman, Sogrape Vinhos, Portugal
This captivating book is about more than just wine—it’s about human nature, travel, and enjoyment. As the Rick Steves of the wine world, Mike’s talents as a writer and storyteller transport the reader to a new territory to explore as each of the eighty wines are opened.
— Howard Soon, Master Winemaker, Sandhill Wines
Mike Veseth takes the reader on a Phileas Fogg–inspired odyssey in search of the answer to the question: why wine? The solution is a true global adventure—a mosaic of stories that illuminate wine beyond the glass to embody the enduring human spirit through controversy, love, endurance, loss, and hope. I was packing my bags to join the journey before the end of part one. A must-read for all who love wine and life.
— Michelle Williams, freelance writer and author of the Rockin Red Blog
“This adventurous book show us that wine is about more than what’s in the glass: it is about meeting new people and discovering vibrant cultures and amazing landscapes. Mike’s engaging storytelling reveals the histories behind the wine he tastes, which are often just as complex and delightful as the vino itself.
—Matteo Bisol, Venissa Winery, Italy
Around the World in 80 Wines by Mike Veseth
Table of Contents
Part 1: From London to Beirut
1. London: The Challenge is Made and the Journey Begins
2. France: Which Bottle? Which Wine?
3. Italy: Batali’s Impossibility Theorem
4. Syria, Lebanon and Georgia: The Wine Wars
Part 2: Rounding the Cape
5. Spain: El Clásico
6. Any Porto in a Storm
7. Out of Africa
8. India and Beyond: New Latitudes, New Attitudes
Part 3: High and Low
10. Australia: The Library and the Museum
11. Tasmania: Cool is Hot
12. Southern Cross
Part 4: Sour Grapes?
13. Napa Valley Wine Train
14. A Riesling Rendezvous
15. Cannonball Run
16. Back to London: Victory or Defeat?
The Wine List
About the Author