The Routledge Handbook of Wine and Culture  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Wine and Culture

ISBN 9780367472900
Published May 6, 2022 by Routledge
494 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The link between culture and wine reaches back into the earliest history of humanity. The Routledge Handbook of Wine and Culture brings together a newly comprehensive, interdisciplinary overview of contemporary research and thinking on how wine fits into the cultural frameworks of production, intermediation and consumption.

Bringing together many leading researchers engaged in studying these phenomena, it explores the different ways in which wine is constructed as a social artefact and how its representation and use acquire symbolic meaning. Wine can be analysed in different ways by varying disciplines involved in exploring wine and culture (anthropology, economics and business, geography, history and sociology, and as text). The Handbook uses these as lenses to consider how producers, intermediaries and consumers use and create cultural significance. Specifically, the work addresses the following: how wine relates to place, belief systems and accompanying rituals; how it may be used as a marker of the identity and mechanisms of civilising processes (often in conjunction with food and the arts); how its framing intersects with science and nature; the ideologies and power relations which arise around all these activities; and the relation of this to wine markets and public institutions.

This is essential reading for researchers and students in education for the wine industry and in the humanities and social sciences engaged in understanding patterns of human ingenuity and interaction, such as sociology, anthropology, economics, health, geography, business, tourism, cultural studies, food studies and history.

Table of Contents


Tim Unwin

Part I- Context: Disciplinary Perspectives On Wine And Culture

Chapter 1- Anthropology, Wine and Culture

Marion Demossier and Clelia Viecelli

Chapter 2- Business, Wine and Culture

Steve Charters

Chapter 3- Economics, Wine and Culture

Denton Marks

Chapter 4- Geography, Wine and Culture

Tim Unwin

Chapter 5- History, Wine and Culture

Graham Harding

Chapter 6- Sociology, Wine and Culture

Jennifer Smith Maguire

Chapter 7- Text, Wine and Culture

Jacqueline Dutton

Part II- Production and Place

Chapter 8- Cultures of Terroir

Tim Unwin

Chapter 9- Sites and Sights of Production: Spaces and Performances of Winemaking

John Overton

Chapter 10- Wine Islands: Colonial Cultures of the Vine

Jacqueline Dutton

Chapter 11- Expressing Sense of Place and Terroir through Wine to Tourism Encounters: Antipodal Reflections from France to New Zealand

Rory Hill and Joanna Fountain

Chapter 12- Wine, Culture and Environment: A Study of the Sierra (Nevada) Foothills American Viticultural Area

Michele Tobias and Colleen Myles

Chapter 13- Making Wine, Making Home

William Skinner

Chapter 14- Climats and the Crafting of Heritage Value in Burgundy Terroir

Marion Demossier

Chapter 15- Wine, Deep in the Heart of Texas

Colleen Myles, Kourtney Collins and Christi Townsend

Part III- Intermediation and Consumption

Chapter 16- Characters of Wine: The Cultural Meanings of Typefaces and Fonts in Wine Labels

Franck Celhay

Chapter 17- Making the Right Impression: Irish Wine Culture c.1700 to Present

Charles Ludington and Graham Harding

Chapter 18- Wine as part of Polish Identity in Early Modern Times. Constructing Wine Culture in Non-Wine Countries

Dorata Dias-Lewandoska

Chapter 19- The Shape of Luxury: Three Centuries of the Champagne Glass in British Material Culture

Graham Harding

Chapter 20- ‘For Us as Experimentalists’: An Australian Case Study of Scientific Values in the 19th Century New World Winegrowing

Julie MacIntyre

Chapter 21- Tasting as Expertise: Scientific Agronomists and Sommeliers in France in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Sénia Fedoul

Chapter 22- Wine Writing as Lifestyle Writing: Communicating Taste and Constructing Lifestyle in the Saturday Times Wine Column 

Ana Tominc and Nikki Welch

Chapter 23- Some Practical Economics of Selling Wine as a Cultural Good

Ben Christiansen and Denton Marks

Chapter 24- Champagne: A Global Symbol of Contemporary Consumer Culture

Joonas Rokka

Part IV: Belief and Representation

Chapter 25- Wine and Religion Part I: Antiquity to 1700

Mack P. Holt

Chapter 26- Wine and Religion Part II: 1700 to the Present

Rod Phillips

Chapter 27- Wine as Metaphor

Azelina Jaboulet-Vercherre

Chapter 28- New World Wine and the Evolution of Universal, Vernacular, Metro-Rural, and Indigenous Idylls 

Peter Howland

Chapter 29- Narratives of Science and Culture in Winemaking

Ian Malcolm Taplin

Chapter 30- Applying Fashion Theory to Wine: A Production of Culture Example

Richard Mitchell

Chapter 31- Spending, Taste and Knowledge: Logics of Connoisseurship and Good Taste in the Age of Cultural Democratisation

Sarah Cappeliez

Part V: Power and Contestation

Chapter 32- Competing and Complementary Utopias: Toward an Understanding of Entangled Wine Ideals

Jacqueline Dutton and Peter Howland

Chapter 33- Threats of Pleasure and Chaos: Wine and Gendered Social Order

Anna-Mari Almila and David Inglis

Chapter 34- Women in Wine…Occasionally: Gender Roles in the Wine Industry

Florine Livat and Clara Jaffré

Chapter 35- Sustainable Wine: The Discursive Production of Sustainability in the Wine Field

Gianmarco Navarini and Lorenzo Domaneschi

Chapter 36- The Triumph of the Holy Trinity: Terroir, Typicity, and Quality Anchoring the AOC Model in the Second Half of the 20th Century

Olivier Jacquet

Chapter 37- What can Winemakers’ Business Models Tell Us About the Cultural Traits of Wine Regions? A Comparative Analysis

Jean-Guillaume Ditter, Paul Muller and Corinne Tanguy

Chapter 38- Repudiation Not Withstanding: Critics and the Case for Hybrid Grape Wines

Connor Fitzmaurice

Chapter 39- If It’s Famous, It Must Be Good: The Social Construction of Brand Value in the US Wine Market 

Gregory Carpenter & Ashlee Humphreys

Part VI: Change and the Future

Chapter 40- The Internationalization of Winegrape Varieties and its Implication for Terroir-Based Cultural Assets

Kym Anderson and Signe Nelgen

Chapter 41- Cultural Heritage and Migration in the Wine World

Chantal Crenn

Chapter 42- The China Wine Market: How Wine is Gaining Cultural Value in Chinese Culture

Justin Cohen, Larry Lockshin, Armando Corsi, Johan Bruwer, Carl Driesener, & Richard Lee

Chapter 43- Beyond White: On Wine and Ethnicity

David Inglis and Hang Kei Ho

Chapter 44- Climate or Technical Change in Wine? Confronting Climatologists’ and Wine-Growers’ Analyses

Geneviève Teil

Chapter 45- Winegrowing, Climate Change, and a Case for Biodynamic Viticulture

Robert Swinburn


Graham Harding, Steve Charters and Jennifer Smith Maguire

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Steve Charters is Professor of Wine Marketing and a researcher at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, and is responsible for developing teaching and research programmes focusing on all aspects of the business, culture and history of wine. He is also adjunct professor in the Adelaide Business School at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Marion Demossier is Professor of Social Anthropology in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton. She has recently completed a monograph on the anthropology of wine and terroir: Burgundy, a Global Anthropology of Place and Taste.

Jacqueline Dutton is Professor of French Studies at the University of Melbourne. She co-edited Wine, Terroir and Utopia: Making New Worlds (with Peter J. Howland) and her research focuses on the cultural history of  wine in Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne.

Graham Harding is a wine historian attached to the history faculty of the University of Oxford. His Champagne in Britain, 1800–1914: How the English Transformed a French Luxury was published in 2021.

Jennifer Smith Maguire is Professor of Cultural Production and Consumption at the Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University. Her expertise lies in the socio-cultural study of consumer culture and cultural intermediaries, with a special focus on the construction of markets, tastes and value.

Denton Marks is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and fellow of the American Association of Wine Economists. His research involves a range of aspects of wine as a cultural good, and his Wine and Economics: Transacting the Elixir of Life is used internationally in various oenological programs.

Tim Unwin is Emeritus Professor of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He co-founded the Journal of Wine Research in 1990 and was external examiner and academic advisor to the Institute of Masters of Wine from 2004 to 2011.


'Food and eating as a component of culture has been a prosperous field of study for the last few decades. For myself, I always felt a bit daunted at taking on the often esoteric-seeming culture of wine. But in this book, the international, interdisciplinary and learned team of editors have produced a wonderful introduction to the field that allays all anxieties. It is an impressive collection, and written in a lively fashion.'

Stephen Mennell, author of All Manners of Food, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University College Dublin.


'With a massive all star cast of social scientists and more this new compendium does nothing less than show how that heavenly beverage, wine, touches every part of the culture of much of the world. ‎Extravagantly edited and carefully written, this is a handbook for the ages.'

Orley Ashenfelter, Princeton University, American Association of Wine Economists (President), and Editorial Boards, Journal of Wine Economics and Journal of Cultural Economics​.


'An enchanting and authoritative sampling, or tasting, or wine aspect of wine lore and information. Not just about production and consumption, the Handbook evokes creative thinking about wine in society, economy and personal life.'

Professor Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Dept. of History, Yale University.


'Wine culture can be intimidating. Happily, we now have a Handbook that puts out the welcome mat for newcomers, but also provides nuanced analysis for seasoned wine scholars. This broad-reaching compendium walks readers through the transnational expanse of wine culture that touches business, economics, geography, history. The multidisciplinary team helps us to appreciate wine as a material good but also a cultural product embedded in ideologies and power relations. It is an indispensable touchstone for future research on wine.' 

Josée Johnston, co-author of Foodies, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto.


"More than a handbook, this volume is an invitation to explore wine as a cultural object and phenomenon. From anthropology to economics, scholars from a variety of disciplines explore the culture of wine from novel perspectives. The reader can delve into the colonial past and legacy of wine, engage with current environmental issues or think about what the future might hold for the production of wine.

Showing that wine is good to think, this volume will appeal to wine lovers and scholars alike. The quality of the writing and the breadth of the topics make this handbook an excellent resource for anyone interested in delving into the cultural importance of wine.

The Routledge Handbook of Wine and Culture is an excellent addition to the growing scholarship on wine and culture. What is particularly remarkable about this volume is the breadth of the topics covered and the complementary nature of the interdisciplinary research. This work is a wonderful addition to academic and home libraries."

Rachel Black, Associate Editor of Food and Foodways, Associate Professor, Anthropology Dept., Connecticut College.