Speaking with BeverageDaily.com at Wine Vision 2014 in London last week, Veseth (pictured below), who is a best-selling author of books including Wine Wars, said the wine world needed to present more of a united front against a sometimes hostile outside world.
“To a certain extent at a conference like this it is winery versus winery, or in the wake of the Tesco-gate scandal it is wine suppliers verses wine retailers,” he said.
“So we think about the war as being inside the room here. Certainly, there are competitors, people trying to divide a pie,” Veseth added.
“But the bigger war is, I think, in the outside world. Because wine is under attack. It’s under attack as alcohol, especially in Europe, but in many places around the world by people who are prohibitionists.
“And I think they incorrectly see wine as just another alcoholic beverage rather than a cultural food, if you will, as a moderation beverage,” Veseth said.
“So we need to present the positive side of wine – wine as health, wine as food, wine as a cultural product.
“To make our case we need to work together on that. Then there’s another set of combatants. In my book that comes out next year, there’s a chapter called ‘Sometimes the best wine is a beer’.
"We need to present the positive side of wine – wine as health, wine as food, wine as a cultural product." (The Wine Economist, Mike Veseth)
Veseth said that at the lowest levels wine has been “dumbed down”.
“It’s not very interesting. So for the same price you can get a craft beer, craft cider or perhaps a very interesting spirit,” he said.
“These present a very different competition. Wine needs to up its game and present products that are more authentic, more interesting and more affordable.”