Money, Taste & Wine

9781442234635Welcome to Money, Taste, and Wine: It’s Complicated!my new book about the incredibly fascinating world of wine, which received the 2016 Gourmand International awards for best U.S. wine book and “Best in the World” wine writing.

“It’s complicated!” That’s a simple way to describe the sort of relationship that seems to defy simple explanations. Like one of those romance novel love triangles, money, taste and wine are caught up in a complicated relationship that affects every aspect of the wine industry and wine enthusiast experience.


You will find Money, Taste, and Wine and the other wine books by Mike Veseth at  all the usual online and brick-and-mortar locations (click on the Amazon, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, Powell’s or Barnes & Noble button to order your copy today).






What’s the Book About?

9781442234635As wine economist and best-selling author Mike Veseth peels away layer after layer of the money-taste-wine story he discovers the wine buyer’s biggest mistake (which is to confuse money and taste) and learns how to avoid it, sips and swirls dump bucket wines, Treasure Island wines and toasts anything but Champagne. He bulks up with big bag, big box wines and realizes that sometimes the best wine is really a beer.

Along the way he questions wine’s identity crisis, looks down his nose at wine snobs and cheese bores, follows the money, surveys the restaurant war battleground and imagines wines that even money cannot buy before concluding that money, taste and wine might have a complicated relationship but sometimes they have the power to change the world. Money, Taste & Wine will surprise, inform, inspire and delight anyone with an interest in wine – or complicated relationships!

Pre-publication reviews:

Money, Taste, and Wine is a great read; entertaining, informative and heartfelt. Like Wine Wars it is packed with economic and historic insights into the world of wine. At times I found myself laughing out loud and also reaching for my notebook to jot down facts and add (wine and non-wine) books to my reading list.

— Caro Feely, Terroir Feely Wines & French Wine Adventures

Written in Mike Veseth’s ineffable style, Money, Taste, and Wine goes down as easily as the finest pinot, will make you laugh, and fatten your wallet. If you’ve ever suspected that wine’s pricing is rigged, fumed at stratospheric restaurant tariffs, or want to be amazed at how the revolution in global trade has affected your favorite drink, then look no further than this book. A must for any consumer of the fruit of the vine.

William Bernstein, Author of Birth of Plenty, A Splendid Exchange, and Masters of the World

With his usual wit, wisdom, and whimsy, the ebullient Mike Veseth (aka the Wine Economist) unravels the complexities of what he calls the ‘unhealthy love triangle of money, taste, and wine.’ For anyone with taste who is remotely interested in discovering hidden, undervalued vinous treasures and willing to learn a little about themselves along the way, this insightful book is a must read. Having fought the good fight in Wine Wars and tickled the imagination in Extreme Wine, Mike’s insights into the vexed relationship between Money, Taste, and Wine could be subtitled ‘choose your wine and those you share it with carefully.’
Michael Hince, HinceOnWine, Australia

I laughed out loud several times reading Mike Veseth’s new book, Money, Taste, and Wine. He has such a humorous and down to earth style when writing about wine, and this new book that involves romps through the supermarket aisles, restaurants and discount stores to find a good deal on wine is hilarious at times. It also has its serious points, and provides useful information for wine lovers in analyzing their own palates and expectations. A definite read for all wine enthusiasts, wine students and wine newbies.

— Dr. Liz Thach, Master of Wine, Professor of Wine Business & Management, Sonoma State University

Mike has the unique ability to look at wine differently and discover facts beyond the mythology. In this fascinating book, he gives the poor consumer overwhelmed by choice and myth an eye-opening look at wine.
Paul Cluver, Paul Cluver Wines, South Africa

In Money, Taste, and Wine, preeminent wine economist Mike Veseth teaches us how to be a rational, informed wine consumer by better understanding available wine choices, personal tastes and preferences, and common wine buying mistakes. Along the way, he provides fascinating insights into the workings of the wine industry in a fun and interesting way with his engaging and provocative writing style. A must read for anyone who drinks wine or has an interest in the wine market.
James Thornton, Eastern Michigan University, author of American Wine Economics

A remarkable blend of research, history, and examples straight from the heart of a genuine explorer makes this book a must read. Mike skillfully walks his readers through the multifaceted relationship of money, taste, and wine and leads them to a smart, optimistic, and enjoyable conclusion. A perfect fit for those who thirst for more.
Evy Gozali, CEO of Sababay Winery, Bali, Indonesia

Money, Taste & Wine: It’s Complicated!

Table of Contents

Part I: Buyer Beware!

1. The Wine Buyer’s Biggest Mistake

2. Anatomy of a Complicated Relationship

3. Wine Drinker, Know Thyself

Part II: Get a Clue! Searching for Buried Treasures

4. Dump Bucket Wines

5. Treasure Island Wines

6. Bulk Up: Big Bag, Big Box Wines

7. Sometimes the Best Wine is a Beer (or a Cider!)

Part III: A Rosé is a Rosé? Money, Taste & Identity

8. More than Just a Label: Wine’s Identity Crisis?

9. Wine Snobs, Cheese Bores and the Globalization Paradox

10. Anything But Champagne

Part IV: What Money Can (and Can’t) Buy

11. Restaurant Wars

 12. Follow the Money

13. Invisible Cities, Imaginary Wines

 14. Groot Expectations


Selected References

Money, Taste & Wine answers a host of intriguing questions including …

  • Who is the wine buyer’s biggest enemy? What is the wine buyer’s biggest mistake?
  • Why is “know thyself” the best way to overcome the wine buyer’s biggest mistake?
  • Do you sometimes wear your underwear inside-out (to avoid the itchy seams)? What does your answer to this question say about your taste for wine?
  • Why do Parisians like not drinking wine and what does this have to do with the money-taste-wine trilemma?
  • What’s the difference between dumped wines and dump bucket wines (and why should bargain hunters seek out one but not the other)?
  • Who is Fred and why were Fred’s Friends wines such a bargain? (Hint: Fred is not Fred Franzia of Two Buck Chuck fame.)
  • Are “second wines” a good deal?
  • How do Costco, BevMo and Total Wine use different Treasure Island wine strategies to produce happy customers and strong wine sales?
  • How big of a choice do U.S. wine consumers really have (and why is this a complicated question to answer)?
  • Why is the best wine sometimes a beer or a cider and what are the implications for the wine industry?
  • King Midas had the golden touch. What did he drink and how do we know?
  • What comes in a 24,000 liter bag inside a 20-foot shipping container? (Hint: you may be drinking it now!)
  • How are big bag, big box wines changing the global wine business?
  • If you can’t judge a book by its cover, why do so many people judge wines by their labels (and does this mean that cute kitty wine labels should be outlawed)?
  • What do wine snobs and cheese bores have in common? And how does the globalization paradox explain them both?
  • Anything but Champagne? Really?
  • Wine in restaurants is one of those love-hate things. What’s the key to winning the restaurant wars?
  • When is the best time to invest in wine?
  • Some wines are so scarce that money cannot buy them — they are almost imaginary. What do truly imaginary wines taste like?
  • The money-taste-wine relationship is both complicated and powerful. Can it really change the world? How?

About the Author

Mike Veseth is a leading authority on the global wine business. He is editor of The Wine Economist blog and author of a dozen books including Extreme Wine (2013) and Wine Wars, which was named a 2011 Wine Book of the Year by Mike is emeritus professor of International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Mike is currently working on his next book, Around the World in 80 Wines, when he isn’t actually traveling around the world with his wife, Sue, looking for great wines, great wine stories and speaking at wine industry conferences.

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