Whether you’re hosting a party, going to one and not sure what bottle to bring, or looking for the perfect gift for any wine lover in your life, The Wine Bible is here to help! Filled with extensive tried and true food pairings, tips on how to choose great glassware at any price point, and fun explorations of topics such as why champagne has bubbles, the options for holiday coverage are endless.

Karen MacNeil traveled the globe for the revision, tasting over 10,000 wines in 5 years and producing what has been thought of as the most compelling, entertaining, and comprehensive book on wine. Transporting you from the cool, forbidding landscape of China’s Sichuan Province to the warm shores of the Sicilian Mediterranean, MacNeil delves into the history, food, wines and wineries of each region. The Wine Bible offers the ultimate education in wine from one of the most renowned experts of our time. It will inspire and educate readers, be they new to wine or longtime enthusiasts.

Karen MacNeil vineyard - credit Lowell Downeyw wine bible

“Myth of Cabernet and Chocolate” Excerpt

It may sound romantic—even inspired—but as marriages go, cabernet and chocolate are a match made in hell (or in the depths of the marketing department). Chocolate is an extremely powerful, profound, and complex flavor. Its deep bitterness accentuates the tannin in cabernet sauvignon, making the wine taste severe and angular. Chocolate’s rich fruitiness  blows  away  cabernet’s  graceful  fruity  nuances, making  the wine  taste  drab  and  hollow. Moreover, chocolate’s profound sweetness makes most dry wines taste sour. In short, the would-be dominatrix chocolate needs a partner more powerful and sweeter than herself. Which may be one of the reasons sweet, luscious, opulent Port is a life necessity. 

wine bible book excerpt

“Port’s Classic Partners” Excerpt

Port has several classic companions, all of which are, like Port itself, profoundly flavorful: blue cheese, chocolate, roasted nuts, and crème brûlée. Vintage Port, for example, is stellar with blue cheese—especially Stilton or Gorgonzola—although mountain cheeses from Portugal (most of which have the word serra in the name) are also extraordinary. Hedonists also pair vintage Ports (as well as LBVs) with anything made from bittersweet chocolate. Indeed, fine chocolate is such a complex flavor that Port is virtually the only wine that stands up to it. As for tawnies, these Ports are explosively scrumptious when paired with almond or walnut cakes or with crème brûlée. But my favorite pairing with tawny is the orange tea cake served every afternoon at the Symington family’s Malvedos Estate.

“Port’s Flavor Paradox” Excerpt
From a flavor standpoint, Port is one of the most paradoxical wines in the world. You would think that a wine made from very ripe grapes that have been grown in a severely hot climate (a wine that is then fortified with more alcohol!) would have thick, somewhat dull, raisiny flavors, and that the wine would be anything but fresh and lively. But great Ports are exactly that—fresh and vivid, often with “cool” blueberry and menthol flavors. Port winemakers attribute Port’s paradoxical freshness to the centuries of adaptation the local grapes have undergone. Even in blistering heat, these varieties have “learned” to hold on to their acidity. In addition, Port’s flavors are often given a tactile lift from a sense of minerality that Port winemakers say is evident in great years and may be in part related to the region’s schist soils.
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Book Synopsis

The Wine Bible brims with MacNeil’s knowledge and passion for her subject, while artful, evocative descriptions bring each wine to life. Great Petrus “is ravishing, elegant, and rich – Ingrid Bergman in red satin.” Rieslings from Germany’s Mosel region are “a laser beam. A sheet of ice. A great crackling bolt of lightning.” Now it is completely revised and updated with new chapters on every wine region in the world, hundreds of new wines and all new maps and photos. To learn more about this book and its incredible author, please visit Karen’s website at http://www.karenmacneil.com.

About Karen MacNeil

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,  including the James Beard award for Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year  and the International Wine and Spirits award as the Global Wine Communicator of the Year.  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,  and the new Wine Bible (to be published Fall 2015). Her articles have been published in more than 50 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times and Worth. The former wine correspondent for the Today Show, Karen was the host of the PBS series Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, for which she won an Emmy.

Karen’s firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized luxury wine experiences  around the world, with Karen as the group’s host and private tutor. The experiences are geared to both individuals and companies. Among Karen’s corporate clients are Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, and Singapore Airlines, as well as numerous biotech and law firms.