The importance of wine grapes as an agricultural product and of wine as a commodity quickly becomes evident to those reading through the history of economic thought. Well known examples by Adam Smith and David Ricardo come to mind. Yet on closer examination, wine‟s ubiquitous presence throughout civilized history has served as the basis, catalyst and example in the development of numerous economic concepts. The prominence of wine as a central factor in economic thought pre-dates the modern era and continues to the present day.
This paper introduces the proximity of wine in the development of a broad swatch of economic thought. Rather than proceed chronologically, Adam Smith will serve as an anchor in this search, followed by thoughts on wine economics from his antecedents, contemporaries and those who follow. The focus is on an examination of documented sources that link wine, its viticulture, enology and marketing to economic theories, models, analysis and practice.
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