The Wine Bible Info

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Announcing the completely revised and updated edition of
The Wine Bible, the perennial bestselling wine book praised as
“The most informative and entertaining book I’ve ever
seen on the subject”
(Danny Meyer), “A guide that has
all the answers”
(Bobby Flay),
“Astounding” (Thomas Keller), and “A
magnificent masterpiece of wine writing”
(Kevin Zraly).
/>
Like a lively course from an expert teacher, The Wine
Bible
grounds the reader deeply in the fundamentals while layering
on informative asides, tips, amusing anecdotes, definitions, glossaries,
photos (all new for this edition), maps, labels, and recommended
bottles. Karen MacNeil’s information comes directly through
primary research; for this second edition she has tasted more than
10,000 wines and visited dozens of wine regions around the world. New to
the book are wines of China, Japan, Mexico, and Slovenia. And through
it all the reader becomes ever more informed—and, because of the
author’s unique voice, always entertained: “In great years
Pétrus is ravishing, elegant, and rich—Ingrid Bergman in
red satin.” Or, describing a Riesling: “A laser beam. A
sheet of ice. A great crackling bolt of lightning.”

 

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.58

2044 Ratings

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Reviews for The Wine Bible:

5

March 15, 2015

A quintessential book for anyone who wants to further their wine education and enjoy it!
5

June 4, 2017

I work in the wine bar ...it helps me a lot to know about wine basics information and so on. .
5

September 15, 2018

This book is very good but i don't understand why am i charged again for the same book. i thought i have to pay only once if i am charged every month 636 rs. definitely its not worth it.
5

Nov 02, 2015

I bought this book in order to begin learning about wine, and all I could think about is how much I love it.
I believe MacNeil has done a great job, and the glossary is my best friend. It was published in 2000, meaning it is a bit outdated for 2015 with wine growing more and more popular each day, but it is still a great base for getting to know the basics of wine.
Although there is the newer 2015 version out, I think owning this book is a must.
It's a fun, entertaining read and it definitely I bought this book in order to begin learning about wine, and all I could think about is how much I love it.
I believe MacNeil has done a great job, and the glossary is my best friend. It was published in 2000, meaning it is a bit outdated for 2015 with wine growing more and more popular each day, but it is still a great base for getting to know the basics of wine.
Although there is the newer 2015 version out, I think owning this book is a must.
It's a fun, entertaining read and it definitely hits you with knowledge.
I'm not quite sure I will be purchasing the newer version since I don't want over 300 pages of repetition, but a must for anyone that is a wine enthusiast. ...more
5

Oct 20, 2010

This is the best topically informative book I have ever read. When I was first getting into wine I would reach out for this book at my bedside and without fail it would soothe me like a night cap and feed my thirst for wine knowledge. It is thorough, nerdy, literary, all without the snobbery that is often found in things wine related. The word bible gets abused as the noun for encompassing information books but this book deserves the title. I can spout about wine but a lot of my knowledge is not This is the best topically informative book I have ever read. When I was first getting into wine I would reach out for this book at my bedside and without fail it would soothe me like a night cap and feed my thirst for wine knowledge. It is thorough, nerdy, literary, all without the snobbery that is often found in things wine related. The word bible gets abused as the noun for encompassing information books but this book deserves the title. I can spout about wine but a lot of my knowledge is not personal, it's from this book, written so personably that people often think the haughty wine trivia I spout is personal. ...more
5

Jul 26, 2013

When is a wine ready to drink? A wine is ready when you can't bear to wait for it any longer.
3

Feb 24, 2016

Richard Betts
http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/10/0...

What makes a wine great?

- Distinctiveness: varietal character vs blends (which can also be distinctive) => this wine could not be anything; it is something. Simple test: is this wine delicious and different from others? Do you feel like drinking more?
- Balance: all of its major components (fruit, earth, wood, acid, alcohol & tannin) are in equilibrium; harmonies tension of opposites that makes the wine interesting and you want to drink Richard Betts
http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/10/0...

What makes a wine great?

- Distinctiveness: varietal character vs blends (which can also be distinctive) => this wine could not be anything; it is something. Simple test: is this wine delicious and different from others? Do you feel like drinking more?
- Balance: all of its major components (fruit, earth, wood, acid, alcohol & tannin) are in equilibrium; harmonies tension of opposites that makes the wine interesting and you want to drink more; integration; harmonious
- Precision: expressive not muddied or blurry flavours
- Complexity: multi-faceted aromas & flavours which reveals themselves layer by layer over time; not monochromatic in flavour or mono-dimensional in appeal; kaleidoscope - that’s why you are compelled to take sip after sip to discover layers of flavours
- Beyond fruitiness: tar, bitter expresso, roasted meats, blood, worn leather, exotic spices, minerals, rocks, wet bark, dead leaves etc
- Length & finish: persistence on your tongue
- Ability to evoke an emotional response; a connectedness to a certain place and time: expressions of terroir (everything that goes into the wine e.g. the soil, weather, hours of sunlight, amount of rainfall, wind velocity, fog, minerals, rivers, slope of the land, elevation, orientation to the sun etc); evokes memories

Tasting Notes: F.E.W. = Fruit, Earth, Wood
Appearance: transparent (light) vs dense (full bodied); bright red vs dark red/blackish purple

- Age hints: light: bluish tinge (young) vs brick coloured (old); full bodied: bluey-purple (young) vs brick-brown/orange (old)

Legs: more alcohol more legs & slower the legs fall
Nose & Taste
http://www.bettertastingwine.com/Imag...

Major wine regions
Old World
France

- Burgundy: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay; Cote d’Or [Cote de Nuits (North) e.g. Vosne Romanée (DRC: 1. Le Montrachet; 2. Romanee-Conti; 3. LaTache; 4. Richebourg; 5. Romanee-St Vivant; 6. Eschezeaux & 7. Grand Eschezeaux), Gevrey-Chambertin (Pierre Damoy), Morey St Denis, Chamboule-Musigny, Voguent, Nuits-St Georges vs Cote de Beaune (South) e.g. Aloxe-Corton, Batard, Puligny-Montrachet, Pommard], Cote Chalonnaise Chablis and Mâconnais (Pouilly Fuisse) ex-Beaujolais; 33 Grand Crus = 2% of Burgundy production

- Bordeaux: Left Bank (Cabernet Sauvignon) e.g. Medoc (Margaux, St Julien (Talbot), Paulliac (Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Longueville Lalande/Baron, Lynch-Bages, Grand Puy Lacoste), St Estephe), Graves (Haut Brion), Sauternes (d’Yquem), Entre-Deux-Mers (Château de Sours (bought by Jack Ma)) vs Right Bank (Merlot) e.g. Pomerol (Petrus (100% Merlot)), St Emilion (Cheval Blanc (aka White Horse Castle; featured in ‘Sideways’; 57% Cabernet Franc/40% Merlot), Angelus, Pavie)

- Rhone: Northern Rhone (Cote Rotie, Hermitage), Southern Rhone (Chateauneuf du Pape aka castle of the Pope when the Pope resided in the walled city of Avignon during the 14th Century - famous for its blended wine (14 permitted e.g. Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah/Cinsaut) - Chateau La Nerthe, Chateau de Beaucastel, Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe (aka "old telegraph"))
- Champagne:
- Alsace: border of France & Germany; devoted almost exclusively to whites; Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris & Muscat - typically single varietal; "Marcel Deiss is the guy who does field blends really interesting style biodynamic, coating very sexy wines” (Grand Cru Altenberg is a blend of 13 grapes), Weinbach - “the wines are among the most expressive, powerful and elegant in all of Alace” (Ana’s fave), Marc Kreydenweiss (Moenchberg Grand Cru Pinot Gris)
- Loire Valley: Mosse (Chenin Blanc = to the finest whites from California)

Italy

- Super Tuscans: Sassicaia

Spain

- Rioja
- Ribero del Duero: Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva

Germany

Portugal

Lebanon

Austria

Greece

Israel

New World
USA - Judgement of Paris 1976: Californian Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 1973 beat 1970 Mouton-Rothschild
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgmen...

- Napa Valley: Cabernet Sauvignon/Chardonnay/Zinfandel; Screaming Eagle, Stag’s Leap, Inglenook, Robert Mondavi (Opus One), Diamond Creek, Harlan Estate, Joseph Phelps, Dalla Valle, Stony Hills, Shafer, O’Shaughnessy, Ovid, Scarecrow

- Sonoma: aka California’s Provence; Russian River Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon & Zinfandel; see Edmund’s tasting notes (Merry Edwards, Dutton-Goldfields, Miramar, Hanzell, Gary Farrel, Shug, William Selyem, Rochioli, Kosta Browne)

Australia

- Barossa Valley: Rusden Christine’s Vineyard (Grenache punches above its weight), Ben Glatzer (Amon Ra, Anaperenna), Torbreck, Charles Melton (Nine Popes is a homage to Chateauneuf du Pape), Elderton
- Healthcote (Shiraz)
- Margaret River: Leeuwin Estate (Chardonnay)

New Zealand

- Central Otago: World’s southernmost wine region; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay; Felton Road, Sato, Wild Earth, Misha’s Vineyard
- Marlborough: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir; Cloudy Bay, Greywacke, Dog Point
- Martinborough: soil & climate similar to Burgundy; Pinot Noir; Ata Rangi, Dry River, Craggy Range, Martinborough Vineyard
- Hawke’s Bay: Malbec, Syrah; Brookfields Hillside

Argentina

Chile

South Africa

Key grape varietals
Reds
Light & Smooth (least tannic)

- Pinot Noir: S-characteristics: soft, smooth, silky, sexy, subtle
- Grenache: Pinot Noir like S-characteristics grown in warmer climates; Chateauneuf du Pape
- Dolcetto: aka Little Sweet One; recommended by Richard Betts; Piedmont, Italy; simple, fruity quaffing wine (soft red cherry & sometimes acid/slightly sour twist although it is generally a low-acid grape). Most frequently made in stainless steel => no oak flavours
- Zinfandel:

Medium bodied

- Tempranillo:
- Sangiovese:
- Merlot: Angelus,
- Nero D’avola: Sicily
- Malbec: medium-full bodied

Full bodied (most tannic)
Appearance: dark red; port like; younger wines tend to be more blue-purple vs older wines are brick-brown

- Cabernet Sauvignon:
- Shiraz/Syrah: spicy
- Nebbiolo: Piedmont & across Italy; makes the legendary Barolo & Barbaresco; full flavoured; fruity, spicy; power, structure & tannin - ages well up to 10 yrs

Whites

- Chardonnay: the only grape used to make Chablis & White Burgundy; buttery in taste
- Champagne
- Prosecco
- Cava
- Riesling
- Chenin Blanc: Loire Valley
- Gewürztraminer: Alsace & Germany; heady nose; rose, lychee, gingerbread, orange/grapefruit; pairs well with pork
- Pinot Gris ...more
5

Jan 31, 2018

Never thought I would make it through all 1000 pages in this book when I first started reading it, but I found myself reaching for this book whenever I had a free moment. It’s thorough, without the snobbery. MacNeil has a deep and enthusiastic appreciation, not only for the wines, but also for the history, culture and food of each of the countries that she writes about. This adds extra dimensions to the book. At times it reads almost like a travel guide as it does like a reference work on wine. Never thought I would make it through all 1000 pages in this book when I first started reading it, but I found myself reaching for this book whenever I had a free moment. It’s thorough, without the snobbery. MacNeil has a deep and enthusiastic appreciation, not only for the wines, but also for the history, culture and food of each of the countries that she writes about. This adds extra dimensions to the book. At times it reads almost like a travel guide as it does like a reference work on wine. The book is divided into two parts. The first is an introduction to the elements of winemaking, wine tasting, major kinds of grapes, etc. The second part (my favorite) is a country by country, region by region, sub-region by sub-region discussion of grapes, vineyards and wines from around the world. ...more
5

Aug 14, 2018

Karen MacNeil is a very good writer, and this is a very good book. The first few chapters convey general information about wine, while the rest focus on specific regions. MacNeil possesses an intimate knowledge of a vast array of wines, and her ability to express the tasting experience has few rivals. Aside from the aforementioned introductory chapters, this book should mostly serve as a reference, reminding one of the important aspects of a given wine or region in order to apply context to Karen MacNeil is a very good writer, and this is a very good book. The first few chapters convey general information about wine, while the rest focus on specific regions. MacNeil possesses an intimate knowledge of a vast array of wines, and her ability to express the tasting experience has few rivals. Aside from the aforementioned introductory chapters, this book should mostly serve as a reference, reminding one of the important aspects of a given wine or region in order to apply context to whatever one is currently drinking. ...more
5

Apr 17, 2018

The author did an incredibly thorough job of researching this book. She traveled extensively, seemed to have enjoyed herself, while tasting some of the best wines in the world. I have never seen a wine book packed with so much information. Her style is fun, and informative. This is truly a one-stop shop for everything you ever wanted to know about wine but were afraid to ask! A must-have book for the wine connoisseurs library.
5

Apr 25, 2019

A MUST READ for anyone interested in learning about wine. The amount of pages may be enormous, but it's full of maps, producer recommendations, photos, and a glossary alongside the usual history and wine styles across the world.

Karen, thank you so much for writing this book. Your engaging and entertaining writing style helped me pass the Certified Sommelier exam.
5

Feb 03, 2019

Excellent book. Great balance of fact, science and anecdotal text. It is a book that will be referenced many times through the year.

I would recommend this book to someone who is learning about wine, or wishes to achieve a greater understanding of the world on wine.
5

Oct 15, 2018

Terrific writing. She keeps it colorful and funny while also taking the subject seriously. The perfect book for someone new to wine but beyond the basics and seriously interested in learning about wine around the world.
5

Jun 28, 2018

One of the very best books on the subject of wine. It’s a beginners book that will offer you a strong foundation of knowledge on the world of wine! All wine growing regions are included with important producers you should know and grape varietals. A must have for every sommelier or enthusiast.
5

Mar 15, 2018

Very informative I have earned a great deal and continue to learn as I read it. On a recent cruise I got into a lengthy discussion with the wine steward who insisted that Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris were the same thing. While they may use the same grape, the taste is totally different.
4

Nov 02, 2017

Very informative and nice nuggets of food and wine pairing is pretty fun!
5

Jul 12, 2019

I'll definitely never read the whole thing. It is a book of fantastic reference! It's going to be an ongoing thing for as long as I love wine.....
4

Oct 03, 2019

This is very dense but well done. Not an easy read by any means but worth slogging through if you’re in the industry.
4

Dec 21, 2017

Excellent read for those taking the first steps into the world of wine.
5

Jul 31, 2018

Just finished and more to come on what I liked about this incredible effort by Karen MacNeil. I will be returning to this book regularly over the next few years.
5

Mar 29, 2019

very insightful!! perfect for the new wine drinker looking to expand his/her knowledge of the different wine regions and types of wine.......highly recommended!!!!
5

Mar 01, 2017

Can one actually read a nearly 900-page tome on wine cover-to-cover. Yes you can, and Karen Karen MacNeil, along with another book, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Wine by Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher will change your views on wine, help you understand this complex beverage--all while avoiding the wine snobbery that populates wine magazines, reviews, tastings and folks who take the subject a step too far!
4

Mar 24, 2008

It is difficult to imagine a more thorough, informative and user friendly book on wine than MacNeil’s The Wine Bible, though I write this without having done a comprehensive survey of what is available.
The book divides into two parts. The first is an introduction to the elements of winemaking and wine tasting, including the major kinds of grapes, the various processes for making different kinds of wine, the major features of wine to pay attention to when tasting, and discussion of the best way It is difficult to imagine a more thorough, informative and user friendly book on wine than MacNeil’s The Wine Bible, though I write this without having done a comprehensive survey of what is available.
The book divides into two parts. The first is an introduction to the elements of winemaking and wine tasting, including the major kinds of grapes, the various processes for making different kinds of wine, the major features of wine to pay attention to when tasting, and discussion of the best way to serve wine and pair it with food.
The second is a country by country, region by region, sub-region by sub-region discussion of grapes, vineyards and wines from around the world.
The book may not make a sommelier out of you overnight, but a thorough study of its contents could certainly be the first step in that direction. MacNeil’s discussion is well-written and accessible, and she does a remarkable job of providing a maximum of information with a minimum of jargon or distracting details. MacNeil has a deep and enthusiastic appreciation, not only for the wines, but also for the history, culture and food of each of the countries that she writes about. This adds extra dimensions to the book; indeed, at times it reads almost as much like a travel guide (complete with refreshments) as it does like a reference work on wine.
MacNeil does a good job of focusing on the history and abiding traditions of winemaking in various places, and not too much on the particular fads or idiosyncratic successes of the present. Even when these latter are discussed, it is from the perspective of what they might mean for the future development of specific grapes or wine regions, thus rendering the majority of the information in the book likely to remain current for a long time to come.
While the title may strike some as a bit sacrilegious, the book certainly lives up to it in both its comprehensiveness and definitiveness; indeed, if ease of access and interpretation is what is at issue, it may even be a few steps ahead.
I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for either an introduction to the world of wine that will also be useful later on down the road, or a definitive one stop reference for answering the majority of questions about wine that are likely to arise in the life of an average human being.
...more
0

Dec 16, 2007

Hi. I'm suggesting this as a perfect accompaniment to my own book The New Short Course in Wine. I wrote The New Short Course in Wine because I taught a course in wine for people studying hospitality management. They were usually college-age and many of them had no experience with wine at home. It was important that they have a working familiarity with the subject as they entered a world where people at the top tended to be very sophisticated about wine.
So the course was a high-speed finishing Hi. I'm suggesting this as a perfect accompaniment to my own book The New Short Course in Wine. I wrote The New Short Course in Wine because I taught a course in wine for people studying hospitality management. They were usually college-age and many of them had no experience with wine at home. It was important that they have a working familiarity with the subject as they entered a world where people at the top tended to be very sophisticated about wine.
So the course was a high-speed finishing school in wine. The goal was something like sophistication and it had to be done quickly-ten weeks in this case.
There was no book that did the job, so I looked at what I considered to be the core bits of knowledge and experience that went into a person's becoming wine savvy.
This book is the result. I think it might make a great gift for any wine-lover. It would also be the perfect present for the beginner or moderately experienced taster who would like to know more.
If you should get or give a copy of either of these books this holiday season, please let me know what you think.
Thanks,

Lynn. ...more
2

Apr 26, 2008

Is it just me, or is _all_ wine writing annoying and a little offensive? The whole thing is based around the same faulty assumption, which is that there is a single linear measure of a wine's quality, by which every bottle can be ranked from best to worst. What crap! Certainly, it's possible to talk about technical qualities and defects, or their absence, but there's a lot more to whether a wine is good for a particular purpose, and in a particular context, than just those simple judgments. Just Is it just me, or is _all_ wine writing annoying and a little offensive? The whole thing is based around the same faulty assumption, which is that there is a single linear measure of a wine's quality, by which every bottle can be ranked from best to worst. What crap! Certainly, it's possible to talk about technical qualities and defects, or their absence, but there's a lot more to whether a wine is good for a particular purpose, and in a particular context, than just those simple judgments. Just once, I'd like to see some wine writing that gives more thought to context.

Still, I do admit that the book contains a lot of useful facts about wine growing regions and types of wine. It could be especially helpful in demystifying some European wine labels.

In summary: a useful reference, but not a very enjoyable read. ...more

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