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.”
|Publisher:||Workman Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Edition description:||Second Edition, Revised|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
One of the foremost wine experts in the United States, Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English Language. In a full-page profile on her, TIME Magazine called Karen, “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” Karen is the author of the award-winning book, THE WINE BIBLE, the single best-selling wine book in the United States, with more than one million copies sold. She is the creator and editor of WineSpeed, the top digital newsletter in wine in the United States. Known for her passion and unique style, she conducts seminars and presentations for corporate clients worldwide. The former wine correspondent for the Today Show on NBC, Karen was also the host of the PBS series Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, for which she won an Emmy. And finally, Karen is the creator and Chairman Emeritus of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America, which has been called the “Harvard” of wine education. More information is available at www.karenmacneil.com.
Read an Excerpt
INTRODUCTION WHY WINE MATTERS
During the ten years it took to write the first edition of The Wine Bible and the four years it took to write this second edition, I have often asked myself why wine matters. What is it about wine that I hold so deeply? What is this endless attachment?
I have always known what it is not. It’s not about scoring or competitive analysis, though like any wine pro, I’m game for the next blind tasting. And it’s not about the need to retell what I have learned, though I can lie awake for hours thinking about how to capture a wine in words.
Perhaps it is this: I love wine because it is one of the last true things. In a world digitized to distraction, a world where you can’t get out of your pajamas without your cell phone, wine remains utterly primary. Unrushed. The silent music of nature. For eight thousand years, vines clutching the earth have thrust themselves upward toward the sun and given us juicy berries, and ultimately wine. In every sip taken in the present, we drink in the past—the moment in time when those berries were picked; a moment gone but recaptured—and so vivid that our bond with nature is welded deep.
Wine matters because of this ineluctable connection. Wine and food cradle us in our own communal humanity. Anthropologically, they are the pleasures that carried life forward and sustained us through the sometimes dark days of our own evolution.
Drinking wine then—as small as that action can seem—is both grounding and transformative. It reminds us of other things that matter, too: love, friendship, generosity.
The Wine Bible has taken me a long time to write—in some ways I’ve spent the better part of my last twenty years on it. It has taken this long not because it takes a long time to accumulate the facts, but because it takes a long time to feel a place—culturally, historically, aesthetically.
And so, on my mission to understand the wine regions of the world, I’ve danced the tango (awkwardly) with Argentinian men to try to understand malbec; drunk amarone while eating horsemeat (a tradition) in the Veneto; sipped wine from hairy goatskin bags in northern Greece (much as the ancients would have); and been strapped into a contraption that lowers pickers down into perilously steep German vineyards (an experience that momentarily convinces you your life is over).
I’ve shared wine and cigars with bullfighters in Rioja; ridden through the vineyards of Texas on horseback; eaten octopus and drunk assyrtiko with Greek fishermen in Santorini (considered by some to be the lost Atlantis); and picked tiny oyster shells from among the fossilized sea creatures that make up the moonscape soils of Chablis.
I’ve waltzed among wine barrels with winemakers in Vienna; stomped grapes with Portuguese picking crews until my legs were purple, and worked for weeks with a Mexican harvest crew in California, one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.
These encounters brought wine so vividly into my life that I ultimately moved to Napa Valley on the sheer belief that living near vines would touch my heart in ways imaginable and not.
And so it has.
Table of Contents
THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA