Wine and the Politics of Economic Change
This introductory chapter provides a background of the negotiation and implementation of a reform of the European Union's (EU) wine policy that was formally adopted in 2008. The content of this reform is now generally accepted as radical because it shifted public support away from measures designed to directly affect the supply of wine, then moved it toward concentrating instead on demand. Although consumption of wine has clearly changed since the 1970s, it has never sent unambiguous signals to producers that they simply had to change their products and modes of marketing. Markets are actually deeply complex and thus provide uncertain information, a point that seriously undermines the claim that one universal vision of current demands for wines ever existed, let alone affected producer and merchant behavior automatically.
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