Wine-Bible-2D-Cover-1293x1940It’s a rather bold book title but the content delivers on the promise. Again. And while the publisher’s name is Workman, this is much, much more than a workman-like opus.
Karen MacNeil participated at the Wine Blogger’s Conference in the Finger Lakes this year and shared her insights, personal story, and passion. Soon after, the second edition was released and I got an early copy for review.

Comprehensive, thorough, up-to-date and packed full of practical and useful content, it’s a delight to read. Unlike other major wine reference tomes, this is decidedly not an encyclopedia. It reads more like a travelogue-cum-textbook with some deliciously expressive prose.
Here’s what she has to say about Feiler-Artinger’s Ruster Ausbruch, one of my favorite stickys from Austria, and a winery and winemaker I had the privilege of dining with one winter’s evening in Rust. “Feiler-Artinger’s Ruster Ausbruch Essenz is a liquid caress, enveloping you and folding you into it. The wine quite simply has awesome beauty…Dried fruits, nuts, and dried citrus peel explode on the palate, and refinement and exquisiteness (at just 6.5 percent alcohol) is crazy good.”  I love it…crazy good.
And this from the chapter on Ribera del Duero: “Old vines, gnarled as if in agony, protrude from the rough ground. If the ground holds vines in place everywhere else in the world, in Ribera del Duero, the opposite seems true. Earth herself clings to the muscular vines.”  Brilliant and so very, very accurate.

Her overview of Greece includes an homage to the foods of that country, without which the wines it produces can’t be truly appreciated. Similarly for the color commentary of Campania she retells the competing stories of Lacryma Christi (trust me…if the stories don’t make you cry, the wines will. Thank you Filipo di Belardino and Piero Mastroberardino.)
While it’s too big to consume in one sitting, I’ve been enjoying, or better said, savoring each chapter and learning a lot along the way. Karen’s notes on petrol and its presence in aged Rieslings helped me understand the flaw/characteristic argument.
Bottom line, everyone should have a copy of The Wine Bible in their library, or better yet, keep it in the kitchen. It’s just the ticket to get a conversation started.  You can order your copy from Amazon here: