I enjoy the escape provided by a good book. Being transported to another time and place. Meeting new people and having new experiences, even if all through the words on a page. How many times have you seen a movie after reading a book and felt disappointed? Books take us deeper, provide more insight, offer more of a personal experience, leaving us touched, different somehow than before reading them. In his latest book, Around the World in Eighty Wines, Mike Veseth takes us a wine soaked journey through eighty glasses of wine to tell the tales of the people beyond the glass.
I met Mike and his wife Sue on my first press trip in 2014. I started Rockin Red Blog in late May and by August I was invited to visit wineries in Valpolicella, Italy. At the time I did not know such trips existed so I was a little freaked out by the invitation. After some research I learned it was legit so I accepted and was off to Italy. Of course the trip was amazing, great wines, region, hospitality, people, and fellow travelers. After being blessed to participate in many press trips I have come to learn that my fellow travelers are part of the joy of the experience. Since that time I have stayed in touch with Mike and Sue. They kindly watch from afar and reach out to offer me congratulations on any good fortune that comes my way. That is just the kind of people they are and I feel blessed to know both of them.
For the few of you who are unaware, Mike Veseth is The Wine Economist. He is a professor emeritus of International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and an authority on globalization and the global wine market. He has received countless awards and recognition for his extensive work in economics and his numerous books. He also travels the globe giving lectures at wine conferences on wine economics and the global wine market. I highly encourage you to follow and read his blog, The Wine Economist, if you don’t already.
As I said, Mike Veseth has written dozens of books, but it is his latest, Around the World in Eighty Wines, that I would like to share with you. I am not reviewing this book as much as I am recommending this book. I want to up front with you, I simple adored this book. I received a draft copy this summer by the publisher when I was asked by Mike if I would consider writing a “blurb” for the jacket of the book. A blurb? Me? I was quite frankly dumbfounded and honored beyond my ability to express. I was also worried. What if by strange chance I did not like the book? Once I received the copy of the book my worries faded after page one.
Mike takes us on a journey around the world of wine in Phileas Fogg style to answer the question: Why Wine? Inspired by Jules Verne’s classic Around the World in Eighty Days, our odyssey begins where Fogg began, in London, then follows his journey, with some detours, sharing wines stories beyond the glass. This book is so much more than a book about wine. It is a story of people. As I wrote on the back jacket of the book the stories Mike shares throughout the journey “embody the enduring human spirit through controversy, love, loss, and hope.” Around the World in Eighty Wines is both a human interest book and a travel book. It is a lighthearted adventure than spans the globe with wine as the thread, weaving a story you won’t want to put down.
This is a book you will want to read and share. And it makes a perfect Christmas gift (hurry) for the readers on your list that like exploration, adventure, human interest, and wine. So join Mike and Sue on their wine filled adventure with a delicious plot twist at the end. The book is available now on Amazon in hardcover $16.96, Kindle $9.60, Audio book $18.61 or 1 credit, or Audio cd $24.99. But don’t just take my word for it, Around the World in Eighty Wines has been featured on many holiday book giving guides and must read guides, it is an Amazon “Hot New Release,” and Wine Spectator included it in their annual book review column. I highly recommend it! Cheers!