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The Wine Bible [Paperback]

Karen MacNeil
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 25.50
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2000
THE MOST COMPLETE WINE BOOK EVER. A must for anyone who loves wine, whether they are a pro or an amateur. Thorough, authoritative, and entertaining. (Robert Mondavi, founder and chairman emeritus of the Robert Mondavi Family of Wines)

"The most informative and entertaining book I've ever seen on the subject." (Danny Meyer, co-author of The Union Square Cafe Cookbook)

The essentials: The romance and intrigue of Burgundy of sauvignon blanc and the surprising elegance of Spain's top Riojas. Italy, one of wine's most enchanting and ancient homelands. What makes a great wine great? The reason behind Champagne's bubbles. The precise and food-friendly wines of Germany. California, wine's Camelot. The lip-smackingly good wines of Australia. The complexities of Port revealed. How a vineyard profoundly affects a wine's character.

Plus, matching wine with food - and mood. The secrets of professional wine tasters and how to expand your wine-tasting vocabulary. And everything else you need to know to buy, store, serve, and enjoy the world's most captivating beverage.

The shimmering elegance of Veuve Clicquot, affordable luxury in a glass, page 185.

Ravishing, elegant, and rich, Petrus in Ingrid Bergman in red satin, page 156.

Some wines are like people... they get better as they get older, pg. 64.

Sherry, the world's most misunderstood and underappreciated wine, page 437.

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The Wine Bible + The Oxford Companion to Wine + The World Atlas of Wine
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Product Description

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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


"A dazzling, comprehensive, modern guide to wine, free of elitism and pedantry. This thoroughly successful work sets a new standard and makes wine more accessible and user-friendly than it has ever been before."
—Anthony Dias Blue, wine and spirits editor, Bon Appétit

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ripe Pick! July 21 2003
The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil is the perfect introduction to wine for new wine drinkers or a springboard for those wanting to explore deeper into the fascinating world of wines! Ms. MacNeil takes you through the introductory levels of wine making, wine regions and wine procedures (ie temperature, pouring, glasses, storage, etc) in a friendly teacher tone, not a snobby looking down your glass tone so often found in wine books. Her writing style is light, relaxing and friendly throughout the whole book. Each chapter is sprinkled with excellent little tidbits on everything from information on the former owner of a vineyard to what may cause your wine to take on a offensive smell! After the introductory sections, Karen takes you into each of the world's major wine producing regions giving you the skinny on their history, their terrior, their wines and some of the better producers (in the recommendation section). I am stationed in Germany and have tried four of her German wine picks, all of them were perfect! Expand your knowledge of the worlds favorite drink, raise a glass and say "Cheers!" (or Slainte`) to Karen MacNeil's Wine Bible!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your second wine book June 28 2003
The spine on my worn copy of the Wine Bible is cracked and its pages are dog-eared, even though I think the book has several notable shortcomings. As I write this, I find myself in the unusual position of criticizing the thick volume even though I turn to it for information on a regular basis.
My biggest complaint is that I feel the book doesn't really know what it wants to be. On the one hand, it is a comprehensive reference book that in many areas goes into more depth than other general wine books. But it falls short as a reference book because it lacks the scope of books like The World Atlas of Wine or The Global Encyclopedia of Wine, which cover more up-and-coming wine producing countries, more specific producers and, especially in the case of The World Atlas of Wine, are enhanced by beautiful photographs and maps. Though the Wine Bible is substantial (it weighs in at a hefty 910 pages) its design is more compact than the other books I mentioned, and so might make a better travel companion for someone visiting multiple wine producing regions in a single trip. But the lack of good maps makes a supplemental book necessary.
Additionally, the book can feel like a disjointed collection of articles that ought to have been better integrated before publication. Often, the same information (referring to multiple or confusing names for grape varieties or regions, or quality standards in specific countries) is referred to parenthetically several times, often in quick succession -- something unnecessary, especially given the book's excellent glossary.
But despite these criticisms, I find myself referring to the book repeatedly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wine Bible June 9 2012
By Susan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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. After a tour of the cellar, I was interested in learning more. The book is amazing. Thank you Amazon.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book In Painful need of an Update July 10 2013
Karen MacNeil's wine bible could very well have once been the most useful and comprehensive wine tome available. She is a very interesting writer and has a great grasp of the topic(despite some small interjections of opinion, but that seems necessary). It's a great book to follow up a introductory course or book and delve in further. And would even provide ample information to keep you going for some time.

That being said the wine industry, and above all new world wines have changed immensely in the last 12 years since this was published. This leads to many somewhat inaccurate portrayals of many now extremely high quality regions that may not have been quite as premium at the time this was being researched( likely late 90's). On top of the painfully lacking or now inaccurate new world information some portions of the old world have even undergone significant change or updates in the same time period. This leads to much contradictory information when compared to more updated texts that could be confusing for a newcomer.

Until this book is updated the wine world really needs to stop recommending this once great book instead of other more up to date resources that could fill the void. This book finds its way on to many reading and or must buy lists from the court of masters study readings to other books and writers best book lists. This boggles me simply because of how outdated it has become.

I do ask however that PLEASE update this book. The writing style, layout and form factor are second to none, while I much prefer books like Andre Domines Wine, Stephenson's Sotheby's Encyclopedia, etc. This book is infinitely more useful because its a useable form factor. It's small, portable, light and the list goes on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Title Is Correct -- The Bible of Wine Dec 16 2002
I think "The Wine Bible" (TWB) should be the third book purchase for wine beginners (after "Wine for Dummies" and "Windows on the World Complete Wine Course"). TWB is full of good information. Of course, the first section is a must-read. Then, the sections are split into separate geographical areas and are very good and very detailed, while still being easy to read (the author's "education" background is readily apparent and helpful to the reader). I especially liked the depth of information that is presented in a friendly manner. For example, I wanted more in-depth information on Valpolicella. Most books given only a paragraph to it, if they give anything at all. Over several sections, this book probably had close to three pages (a lot of text on each page) which is about ten times the information of the competition. And no, this book is not lopsided in favor of information on Italy. That is just one example of why this book gets five stars. There are many other cases of information that other books do not contain or they gloss over. This book has a lot to offer.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing & informative
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 more
Published on Jan. 3 2012 by HM
5.0 out of 5 stars Tastefully written-eminently sippable
It was certainly a surprise when my wife presented me with my copy of Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible. Read more
Published on March 13 2004 by George J. Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly the book I was wanting to find
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 more
Published on Dec 18 2003 by Ignacio Feito Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wine Bible by MacNeil
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
Published on Sept. 18 2003 by Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
4.0 out of 5 stars Overwhelmingly Comprehensive
This is a great book for all things wine related. In fact, when I first saw the book, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the comprehesiveness. Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by Adam S
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only have one wine reference book...
...then this should be that book. Easy to read, well-written, colorful and full of informative sidebars, this book is one of the best entry-level wine texts available. Read more
Published on March 10 2003 by Michael Casey
5.0 out of 5 stars The book to start with
So I'm a beer snob, and learning to be a (cheap) wine snob. This book was given me as a gift by my parents, and it is cool. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2003 by Brian Connors
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Gift
This is serioucly the best gift idea ever. I couldnt thinkof what to get people for the holidays and the whoel bottle of wine thing has been so done. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2002 by Amanda
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