Today I talked to Meg Bernhard about her new book Wine (Bloomsbury, 2023). Agricultural product and cultural commodity, drink of ritual and drink of addiction, purveyor of pleasure, pain, and memory - wine has never been contained in a single glass. Drawing from science, religion, literature, and memoir, Wine meditates on the power structures bound up with making and drinking this ancient, intoxicating beverage.
While wine drunk millennia ago was the humble beverage of the people, today the drink is inextricable with power, sophistication, and often wealth. Bottles sell for half a million dollars. Point systems tell us which wines are considered the best. Wine professionals give us the language to describe what we taste.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.