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Publisher's Summary

From the Bible to Benjamin Franklin, from the cuneiform tablets of the ancient Sumerians to the dinner tables of modern bistros, wines have always been a part of civilization, culture, and history. Every country in the world has a special relationship with wine and takes a unique approach to the making, serving, and enjoying of it. Wine is an expression of the hopes, dreams, and cultures of the people who make it, so what better way to learn about the countries of the world than by learning about their wines?

Grab a glass, and travel around the world with Professor Paul Wagner, a viticulture and winery technology instructor at Napa Valley College. 

Starting in the Caucasus Mountains, you’ll get a taste of ancient history and a lesson on the first wines ever, as well as the gods who were believed to bring them to us. From there, you’ll make stops in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria and Hungary, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and all the way to modern times in America with a look at California wines and the wines from Latin America. 

With each location, you open the door to a better understanding of countries around the world, while gaining a deeper appreciation of the wines they serve.

©2020 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.
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About the Creator and Performer

Paul Wagner is a Viticulture & Winery Technology Instructor at Napa Valley College. He is also a guest lecturer at many universities, including the University of Rovira i Virgili, the University of Bordeaux, and the University of Porto. He has judged more than 100 international wine competitions and has spoken at more than 80 conferences throughout the world on wine, wine tourism, wine education, public affairs, and wine marketing.
Mr. Wagner is the coauthor of Wine Marketing & Sales: Success Strategies for a Saturated Market, which won the Gourmand Award for the best wine book for professionals in 2007 and is now in its third edition. He is also the author of Artisan Public Relations: A Hands-On Guide to Getting Your Food & Beverage Creations the Attention They Deserve and coauthor of Wine Sales and Distribution: The Secrets to Building a Consultative Selling Approach. He was a columnist for Vineyard & Winery Management magazine for 10 years, and he previously served on the board of directors for the Society of Wine Educators.
Mr. Wagner is also a founding member of the Academy of Wine Communications; consultant for the International Wine & Food Society, London Branch; member of the nominations committee for the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame; and member of the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference advisory board. He was inducted into the Spadarini della Castellania di Soave in 2005, and in 2009, he was honored with a Life Dedicated to Wine award at the Feria Nacional del Vino (FENAVIN) in Spain. In 2018, he received the American Wine Society’s annual Award of Merit, joining such luminaries as Robert Mondavi and Gina Gallo, and was named the winner of the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award at Napa Valley College.

What listeners say about History of Wine in 10 Glasses

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A most delicious Sunday afternoon

This is wonderfully concise, colorful, and well- balanced. Like a glass of good wine. As an alternative to physical travel, this book transports with a round the world ticket that explores the top regions of wine production, and how they came to be.

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Good short introduction into history of wine

I genuinely enjoyed listening to this short introduction into history of wine. The book is well structured, full of interesting anecdotes and it's lightness fits well the audiobook format.

However, I was quite worried that despite being a novice in wine and not a historian I found 2 historical inaccuracies myself:
1. Author claims that Madeira wine was used as ballast on ships sailing to the New World because it was so bad that nobody wanted to drink it and only by accident they discovered it's actually quite good after returning back from New World. First of all, that does not sound really convincing to me. If nobody intended to drink the wine, they could have used barrels filled with water - that would be cheaper. Or more simply, they could use rocks. I'd argue they took Madeira barrels as ballast to drink it on the way and refill ballast with something else. Second, I always read that Madeira was a decent wine, but aging in high temperature conditions when sailing around equator only made it better.
2. In chapter about Austrian and Hungarian wines author refers to Attila's and Magyar's raids in Europe saying: "Attila the Hun and his Magyar horsemen". This is not a wine-related mistake but a big one. Attila the Hun raided falling Roman Empire in 5th century. Magyars arrived in Central Europe only in 9th century. They both raided Europe but there is quite a gap of more than 400 years between their presence.

One last note: The book is narrated for US audience. However, for me as European it was not a big problem.

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Quite a few errors.

Listened to thins hoping to learn something new. He makes wine into a fun story but makes quite a few inaccuracies along the way.

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Just Plain Fun!

If you pay attention, you’ll have a list of wines from round the globe to try. You can sense the author’s passion for his work. I wish I could be a student in his classes! Salud!!

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great way to learn more about wines of the world

very enjoyable and interesting. gave me some ideas for wines to try in the future

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  • dp
  • 04-23-22

Overall good but overly narrow for a broad base of general knowledge

As someone needing an introduction to the history of wine this course is helpful and engaging. The course has a gap geographically and historically and I hope that it is amended in the future. Geographically the course touches on grape wine around the world excepting Asia, the Levant, and North Africa. Additionally, while the course details the roles British and Spanish colonialism in spreading wine to other continents the colonial efforts of France around the Mediterranean and into Africa are conspicuously absent from review or even acknowledgement.

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Concise. Informative.

Really good primer on the Int’l history of wine. Smart, yet simple. At time’s surprising.

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Absolutely recommend!

I loved the storytelling and enjoyed listening to what is quite complex history otherwise but retold here with amazing lightness and mastery of storytelling.

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Listen to this!

Not only informative, but so fun to listen to. What a great book and performance by the writer himself. I learned so much without it being dry or arrogant. I will be telling people to listen to this for so long to come.

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A great book!

I never thought that a book about wine could be so interesting. I could not stop listening to this audiobook because it is full of interesting facts, stories, and anecdotes. I think the author really bring the paint home about telling stories of mankind through the stories of wine so I think the title could be changed to history of the world through wine.

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  • Anna Nym
  • 06-16-22

Who knew wine could be this interesting?

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this course and not only learn about the world of wine by means of culture, history and geography, but also about what to look out for next time I want to treat myself.

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  • bookworm85
  • 05-09-22

Great listen

Very engaging and easy to listen to author. Loads of great wine facts and history.

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  • Tanyia Elliott
  • 11-19-21

Absolutely Wonderful

This is one of the very best Audible books I have enjoyed. Incredibly Interesting and wonderfully Narrated by Paul Wagner. I was so disappointed when I finished Chapter 12, that I have decided to listen to it all over again!

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  • Simon Thompson
  • 09-22-21

Great overview

I loved this book - quick simple introduction to the history of wines and vines. From “Why the grape?” to “What? New Zealand!” it never failed to tickle the palate. If you’re looking for some detailed insights into the precise qualities of a particular grape, vineyard or vintage - this is not for you. But if you want a broad knowledge of where, when, why and how wine has been introduced and developed around the globe- this is a perfect start.