The wine world thrives on variation. If the thousands of bottles on wine shop shelves all taste the same, there is no justification for the vast number of brands and their price differentials. Yet the modern wine world is built on processes that can dampen variation and increase homogeneity. If these processes were to gain power and prominence the culture of wine would be under threat. In my Three Quarks Daily column this month I look at some of the historical forces that have contributed to increased homogeneity.