A bit of quick Google searching has focused my summer research project on question number 2 first. It seems that the wine trade between England and Continental Europe was in place from the early middle ages when Britons began drinking much more wine than their dismal island could produce. The vast majority of this came from Gascony and would help to explain the Bordeaux region's long domination of the fine wine trade and markets. I think it could be argued that what Bordeaux is today is a product of the emergence of wine as a global trade commodity and therefore the first "modern" winemaking (making wine with a specific customer in mind, as opposed to the culture of Meditterenean winemaking: wine that accompanies the food and culture of your village or town). Bristol, strategically located across the Chanel, grew very prosperous in the import/export business and you could read more about it here. But to summerize they were forced to find new products in the 18th Century when London began to dominate trade with Gascony. This is where Sherry and Port and Brandy and all sorts of other beverages that are both Iberian and British in their DNA began to dominate the world market. Of course many other wines were becoming availabe, but as we learned from the lab at Rational Denial, Jefferson could easily get sherry or other fortified wines but had to go through great trouble and expense to get his Y'Quem and Lafite shipped to the States.
So it seems that Britian has played a monumental role in shaping the wine trade and therefor, In my estimation, influencing how wine is made and consumed around the world today. I need to do more research in order to verify some of my gut instincts about the effects of the Medieval Wine trade on our Old World/New World debate and I'm trying to track down a cheap (free?) copy of Dr. Margery James's book Studies in the Medievel Wine Trade. Hopefully I'll find information about wine culture and trade in the Meditteranean regions while I do this and will then get back to question number 1.
The image, by the way, is from this blog, which asserts the divine power of the Monarchy in France and rejects all types of revolution. Very interesting.