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Extreme WineExtreme Wine

Searching the World for the Best, the Worst, the Outrageously Cheap, the Insanely Overpriced, and the Undiscovered

Mike Veseth

Narrated by John Badila

Approximately 9.5 hours

Unabridged


Downloadable edition:

buy from Audible


Book published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers


In Extreme Wine, wine economist and best-selling author Mike Veseth circles the globe searching for the best, worst, cheapest, most expensive, and most over-priced wines. Mike seeks out the most outrageous wine people and places and probes the biggest wine booms and busts. Along the way he applauds celebrity wines, tries to find wine at the movies, and discovers wines that are so scarce that they are almost invisible. Why go to such extremes? Because, Mike argues, the world of wine is growing and changing, and if you want to find out what’s really happening you can’t be afraid to step over the edge. Written with verve and appreciation for all things wine, Extreme Wine will surprise and delight readers.

Mike Veseth is editor of The Wine Economist, a popular wine-industry blog, and author of Wine Wars: The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists, which was named a 2011 Wine Book of the Year by JancisRobinson.com

REVIEWS:

“Veseth, who blogs at the Wine Economist, takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the world’s wines in the titular superlatives. Readers may be familiar with French wines, but get ready to explore Canada’s Icewine (made from grapes frozen to 17 degrees Fahrenheit). These highly concentrated wines (popular in Asia) sell for prices ranging from $50 to $500. Veseth discusses how Prohibition (1920–33) impacted the wine industry (most wineries went out of business) as well as loopholes in the Volstead Act that allowed four million gallons of wine to be legally produced in 1925. The most expensive wine should be no surprise to readers: Bordeaux 2009. What’s the worst wine? Veseth writes, “That’s easy: look down!” Wines can be judged by their prices, with the cheaper wines located at the bottom of the wine shelves. Veseth asserts that celebrity wines such as those made by Yao Ming, Martha Stewart, and Paul Newman don’t necessarily harm the “real wine” industry and, in fact, encourage wine drinkers to try new varieties. VERDICT History buffs and adventurous wine drinkers are sure to find interesting tidbits about the industry and encounter new wines to hunt down. Highly recommended. ”

Library Journal

“Wine expert and editor of the popular Wine Economist blog Veseth returns with an entertaining and informative survey of the wine landscape, past and present. Here, “extreme” is used to define many aspects of wine culture, ranging from the extreme temperatures necessary for preparing a proper icewine, to the low pricing of Two Buck Chuck and Thunderbird, to the wildly expensive pastime known as “wine tourism.” Veseth acts as an enthusiastic host who is more than willing to share his insights. For example, he explains how to quickly judge the quality of a wine by tilting the glass to a 45 degree angle (the more intense the color of the wine near the edge of the glass, the better it is) and why one should never order Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio at a restaurant (it is popular and routinely overpriced as a result). He even includes a chapter on celebrity wines—apparently former NBA player Yao Ming’s wine is worth checking out—and a fun wine-related filmography, with countless sources for additional information in every section. This entertaining read will surely resonate among fellow oenophiles and novice wine-oes alike. ”

Publishers Weekly

“No wine-making or wine-selling professional can afford to ignore Veseth’s blog, which illuminates wine’s often murky economics. Here he expounds on wine’s outliers, revealing those wines that have unusual histories, are particularly expensive or cheap, or are made under the most difficult conditions. Taking what could be an esoteric subject and making it compelling for any wine drinker, Veseth probes the best and worst that the world’s vineyards produce. He chronicles booms and busts, relating how Prohibition actually became a boon for vineyards as home winemakers of the era snapped up grapes by the case for cross-country shipment. Explaining the impact of international currency markets, he documents how Australia’s strong dollar has dampened exports. Veseth also details why the cheapest wines aren’t necessarily the worst nor the most expensive the best. Surprisingly, celebrities’ involvement in winemaking has produced some bottlings that transcend the media status of the vineyards’ owners. Not just for geeky wine snobs. ”

Booklist

Extreme Wine explores the often extraordinary stuff that is being produced on the margins of the wine industry. It does so by shining a spotlight on some of the superlatives mentioned in the book’s subtitle by means of vivid, often quirky examples, such as the infamous Billionaire’s Vinegar, or the dog winery at Raymond Vineyards in Napa Valley....Extreme Wine shows just how fascinating and dynamic the wide world of wine really is, with new appellations, wineries and winemaking techniques constantly emerging. So, if you are an explorer, the horizon is continually shifting, limitless. ”

—Gayot’s Blog





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