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Professor Jennifer Smith Maguire Inaugural Lecture

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Sheffield Hallam University - Dorothy Fleming Lecture Theatre

Charles Street Building

Charles Street

Sheffield

S1 2NH

United Kingdom

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Place, taste and why they matter: Researching wines off the beaten track

Wines are deeply bound up with notions of taste and place. A wine’s qualities—its acidity, tannins, flavours and aromas—have long been linked to terroir: the idea that wines taste of their place of origin, from the vineyard’s soil to the local winemaking heritage. At the same time, what ‘tastes good’ is often entangled with notions of what is ‘good taste.’ For example, place-based value claims impact on perceptions of taste: some terroirs, and thus some wines are regarded as more legitimate and prestigious than others.

My talk will explore the cultural production of artisanal wines, for which these links between place and taste are especially central. Over the past decade in research projects that stretch from the Cape Winelands to Mornington Peninsula, and from Shanghai to Champagne, I have interviewed winemakers, sommeliers, educators and retailers who are working off the beaten track of large-scale wine production. Focusing on small-scale, artisanal methods (including organic, natural and biodynamic approaches), and sharing a passionate desire to communicate their wines’ stories, these winemakers and intermediaries are intensely focused on providing a ‘taste of place.’ I will discuss how artisanal producers and intermediaries have disrupted established notions of good taste and conventional practices of production, and suggest what insights the case of artisanal wine might offer to the potential for more democratic, inclusive and sustainable market relations.

Jennifer Smith Maguire is Professor of Cultural Production and Consumption in Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University. Jennifer recently joined SHU after 15 years at the University of Leicester. She earned her PhD in Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center (2002), and is interdisciplinary in both her research and teaching, drawing from cultural and economic sociology, media and cultural studies, and critical marketing and management studies. Jennifer’s research focuses on the construction of markets, tastes and value, primarily in relation to food and wine. Over the past decade, she has published widely on wine markets, winemakers and wine intermediaries. An international scholar (whose home terroir is Ontario, Canada), she has collaborated with colleagues in the US, Canada, Australia, France and China, and is chair of the American Sociological Association’s ‘Sociology of Consumers and Consumption’ section.

Please arrive from 6.00pm. Refreshments will be available outside the lecture theatre.
The lecture will begin at 6:30pm prompt followed by wine and canapés.

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Sheffield Hallam University - Dorothy Fleming Lecture Theatre

Charles Street Building

Charles Street

Sheffield

S1 2NH

United Kingdom

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