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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
"....sets a new standard and makes wine more accessible and user-friendly than it has ever been before." -- Anthony Dias Blue, Wine & Spirits Editor, Bon Appetit Magazine
"...the wine book bargain of the year....It's a remarkable price for such an encyclopedic book..." -- Wine Spectator
"...this is one reference that will have a long shelf life." -- Cooking Light
"...wonderful stream of wine stories, wine anecdotes and tips distributed liberally throughout the book." -- The New York Times
"If it's connoisseurship you aspire to, a great place to begin learning more is The Wine Bible..." -- REAL SIMPLE
"Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible may be the most valuable of this year's offerings." -- USA Today
"The Wine Bible is original and lively" -- The Chicago Tribune
"The Wine Bible is the perfect gift for wine enthusiasts of any level." -- Metropolitan Home
"Thorough, authoritative, and entertaining, this is the most complete wine book ever....It's a reference to turn to often. " -- Robert Mondavi
Does not include much on Canadian wines or its wine regions. Very disappointing no real mention of the Niagara wines. How can this be a wine bible when so much was left out??Published 18 months ago by Robert K. Bonnell
Karen MacNeil's wine bible could very well have once been the most useful and comprehensive wine tome available. Read morePublished on July 10 2013 by Jordan Thomas
Saw this book at Bern's Steak House in Tampa. They have the largest private wine stock in the world, 99,000 bottles in their cellar. Read morePublished on June 9 2012 by Susan
This book really got me hooked to learn more about wine. Despite that fact that I am a wine enthusiast usually encyclopedia-type of books are not fun to read. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2012 by HM
It was certainly a surprise when my wife presented me with my copy of Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible. Read morePublished on March 13 2004 by George J. Morrison
I'm not going to go much in depth about the specifics of this book since I feel other reviewers have already done that. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2003 by Ignacio Feito Garcia
This book is an excellent reference for admirers of fine wine.
The author sets forth a series of distinguishing characteristics
which set apart great wine from the... Read more