- Paperback: 910 pages
- Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition edition (February 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1563054345
- ISBN-13: 978-1563054341
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 611 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wine Bible Paperback – February 1, 2000
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Though it drinks deep of its subject, Karen MacNeil's Wine Bible deftly avoids two traps many wine books fall into: talking down to wine novices or talking up to more experienced enophiles. The book avoids these traps through MacNeil's obvious, and infectious, love of her subject, which comes out in almost every sentence of the book, and which lets her talk about wine in a way that combines the good teacher, the trusted friend, and the expert sommelier. As director of the wine program at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California, MacNeil is one of the world's true experts on wine. After reading a chapter on the Burgenland, for example, you've learned about the region's sweet wines while feeling like you're actually there, toasting a glass of Cuvee Suss with the author. It is this passion that leads to describing an Italian riservas as "mesmerizing" and a Cabernet Sauvignon as having "texture like cashmere."
The Wine Bible is broken into countries, hitting all of the major wine producers and most of the minor ones. Each section gives detailed descriptions of the country's wines (with chapters on individual regions when necessary), highlighting specific wine producers and individual wines, as well as talking about local foods, customs, and other tidbits that add to the reading experience. MacNeil begins her journey through the world's wine with an invaluable section on "Mastering Wine," which lets a reader get ready before uncorking separate sections. --A.J. Rathbun
—Anthony Dias Blue, wine and spirits editor, Bon Appétit
Top customer reviews
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How good was it? Good enough to take a two pound book with me to the Basque Country of Spain!
I own more than a dozen wine books, most of which gather dust on my bookshelf...not that one, it is a constant companion!
Imagine, a book that took TEN years to write, TEN years ago, and is still valuable. Wait, isn't that a bible?
If you read the Amazon reviews of it, you will find only two complaints: when will she write a new edition, and the weight. Oh, one more: why nothing on Temecula wines?
Finally, ten years and 4,000 pages of manuscript later, we got our wish...and more, because of all the changes, THE most valuable is the Kindle edition! Portable, quick and easy to search, and dozens of other new features.
As a wine advocate and aficionado who is a blogger and is working on a book project on wine, or more accurately the passion of the people who make them, this is a huge help to me.
I have been asked what wines I would take if I was going to a deserted island. I cannot narrow the list down, but as for what wine book I would take, this is it!
Oh, and even Temecula gets mentioned, as well as upcoming regions like Slovenia!
Thank you, Karen!
If you want just one book covering the subject in all gritty details, get this one. But then you probably already know this given all the other five-star reviews praising The Wine Bible :-).
PS: In addition to this book (after all, you probably won't read the 1000 pages in one go) I recommend the following movie documentaries covering wine and wine regions:
- Mondovino (2004) - Critical documentary
- Red Obsession (2013) - Global wine business and China's influence
(These two movies work well back to back)
- Sideways (2004) - Feature film, not a documentary.
- "A Year In...." Trilogy (A Year in Champagne, A Year in Burgundy, A Year in Port is forthcoming in 2016)
- Somm (2012)
- Somm: Into the Bottle (2015)
PS: Somm 2012 is probably the least interesting of the bunch for a wide audience (since it focuses on wine exams and personal stories), but it's still worth watching. Otherwise, skip the 2012 film and just watch the 2015 Somm movie where you will find some interviewees featured again.
If you're not sure, sample her blog.