Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil


Really Nice!
 Share

Recommended Posts

The latest issue of The Quartly Wine Review reports that Karen McNeil, author of The Wine Bible, will be hosting a 13-part series on PBS this fall titled Wine, Food and Friends.

Also reported in this same issue:

"French winemakers now have government approval to use the word "Shriaz" as a synonym for "Syrah".

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

As I stated in my previous post, I am an aspiring sommelier. I have been reading the Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil. I was just wondering if any of you had an opinion on this book as far as a study guide for getting into the wine industry. Are there better ones out there or is this a satisfactory guide? Any other wine book recommendations? Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I stated in my previous post, I am an aspiring sommelier. I have been reading the Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil. I was just wondering if any of you had an opinion on this book as far as a study guide for getting into the wine industry. Are there better ones out there or is this a satisfactory guide? Any other wine book recommendations? Thanks.

I suggest the following reading:

Wine Books:

Books with maps:

The World Atlas of Wine, Hugh Johnson, ISBN 0-671-88674-6

The Wine Atlas of Spain, Hubrecht Duijker, ISBN 0-671-74558-1

The Wine Atlas of Italy, Burton Anderson, ISBN 0-85533-793-1

The Wine Atlas of California, Bob Thompson, ISBN 0-671-79663-1

Site specific books:

The New Spain, John Radford, ISBN1-84000-928-4

Rhone Renaissance, Remington Norman, ISBN 0-932664-95-4

The Wines of the Northern Rhone, John Livingstone-Learmouth, ISBN 0-520-24433-8

A wine and Food Guide to the Loire, Jacqueline Friedrich, ISBN 0-8050-4390-X

The Wines of Chablis, Austen Biss and Owen Smith, ISBN 0-9538101-0-0

The Wines of Alsace, Tom Stevenson, ISBN 0-571-14953-7

The Wines of the South of France, Rosemary George,ISBN 1-84000-793-1

Making Sense of Burgundy, Matt Kramer, ISBN 0-688-08667-5

Burgundy, Anthony Hanson, ISBN 1-84000-913-6

Côte D’Or, Clive Coates, ISBN 0-520-21251-7

The Wines of Germany, Stephen Brook, ISBN 1-84000-791-5

The Wines of Austria, Philipp Blom, ISBN 0-571-19533-4

California Wine, James Laube, ISBN 1-881659-25-9

North American Pinot Noir, John Winthrop Haeger, ISBN 0-520-24114-2

Northwest Wine and Wineries, Chuck Hill, ISBN 0-9617699-5-5

Barolo to Valpolicella, Nicholas Belfrage, ISBN 1-84000-901-2

Vino Italiano, Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch, ISBN 0-609-60848-7

General information books:

Vines, Grapes and Wines, Jancis Robinson, ISBN 1-8573-2999-6

Wine with Food, Joanna Simon, ISBN 0-684-83522-3

Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course, Jancis Robinson, ISBN 0-563-37098-X

Grapes into Wine, Philip M. Wagner, ISBN 0-394-73172-7

Understanding Wine Technology, David Bird, ISBN 1-891267-39-6

The Taste of Wine, Emile Peynaud, ISBN 0-932664-64-4

The Oxford Companion to Wine, Jancis Robinson, ISBN 0-19-866159-2

You will also need books on Bordeaux; I have none because it doesn't interest me much. But there are many in print.

Best, Jim

www.CowanCellars.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I stated in my previous post, I am an aspiring sommelier. I have been reading the Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil. I was just wondering if any of you had an opinion on this book as far as a study guide for getting into the wine industry. Are there better ones out there or is this a satisfactory guide? Any other wine book recommendations? Thanks.

I like the Wine Bible very much. In fact, it is one of the best books for what it does.

I would recommend two other books--

The Oxford wine Companion (encyclopedia) is indispensable--in tandem with the Wine Bible this is probably a near perfect wine course. While reading the wine Bible, I would reference the places and terms that come up in the Oxford.

Wine Style by Mary Ewing Mulligan and Ed McCarthy.

This book by two educators (Mary runs the International Wine center) is, IMOP, especially critical for a sommelier.

It takes an approach to wine that is becoming more and more prevalent--flavor profile.

After all, regardless of knowing how wine is made and here wines come from it is understanding how a wine tastes and what foods it matches up with that consumers (and sommeliers) really need to understand.

By the way, Jim, as for that book on Bordeaux?

Robert Parker's "Bordeaux" is recommended as the definitive text by Jancis Robinson!

:wink:

Edited by JohnL (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I had to pick one wine book for learning about wines withoiut worrying about producer names, vintage ratings, and wine recommendations, it would be the Oxford Companion edited by Jancis Robinson . . . as others have already pointed out here. But if I had to pick one book to use as both a quick reference AND a selection guide, it would be The Wine Bible.

I confess that when it first came out I kind of dismissed it, putting it on my shelf along with the rafts of other wine books that come in. But then last spring I had the chance to attend some small seminars where Karen MacNeil presented and I was tremendously impressed with her intelligence, perspiscacity (and I might even say iconoclasm). It caused me to pull her book down off the shelf and give it another look. It may not be as geeky a tome as The Companion, but it is good, solid, and thorough. For a fast overview take on things, including producers and wines, I use it frequently. For my more in-depth, analytical learning, I go to The Companion. After that, I go to many of the books Florida Jim recommended, depending upon the subject at hand.

-Cole

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I stated in my previous post, I am an aspiring sommelier. I have been reading the Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil. I was just wondering if any of you had an opinion on this book as far as a study guide for getting into the wine industry. Are there better ones out there or is this a satisfactory guide? Any other wine book recommendations? Thanks.

it's a little dated.

for italian wine - vino italiano is a MUST, also, the new italy

for burgundy: the cote d'or by coats and the wines of burgundy by sutcliffe

for france: the new france

sotheby's wine encyclopedia is also the best single volume reference, absolutely indespensible, easy to open up and just read...

oxford by j ro is great also, more of an A-Z reference...not fun to read, but if you ever want to look up something obscure like carbonic masceration or trellis systems, that is your go to book.

also--i learned most of my stuff from the CIA wine book, exploring wine by kolpan and the other guy....

good luck! welcome to the biz

Edited by chefboy24 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'm quite possibly moving to Sydney Australia in the near future and wondering if any of you have any books on Australian Wine and Wine Regions to reccomend? I currently own the Wine Bible mentioned above and i've ordered the Oxford Wine Companion for general resources but was wondering if there are any specific Australia books i should look for.

-Brian

Edited by Poots (log)

Yield to Temptation, It may never come your way again.

 --Lazarus Long

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like IlCuoco and others, I find useful the Oxford Companion to Wine and Tom Stevenson's "New Sotheby" Wine Encyclopedia. (Oxford is into 2nd edition. Stevenson gets criticism that his periodic revisions are only slight; I haven't checked, but regardless, it's a unique single-volume reference, including history and geography that don't change much.) Both are solid modern reference books* useful to anyone seriously interested in wine, though they aren't tutorials or introductions.

Here's more on an area (California) where I have a lot of literature. Jim's excellent reading list above, which includes classic wine books, mentioned for California the Thompson atlas (long respected), Haeger on Pinot Noir, and California Wine by Laube of the Wine Spectator, which I'll mention by way of review. I'm just reading it (2nd ed.) so this is an early impression. Its strength looks like an encyclopedic scope of current California wineries and tasting comments. (Laid out somewhat like earlier books by other authors that do the same for European regions.) Introductory and historical chapters are concise; what I've read there is available in many sources. Speaking of which, I've spotted so far only one source reference by Laube himself and no bibliography; and it's interesting what important names and wineries in California wine history don't appear at all. To be fair, introduction and history don't seem to be the book's point, current information is.

A repeated declaration by Laube caught my attention, though. "It's my view that virtually all California wines, regardless of their color, varietal character or history, are best consumed in their youth." I'm in accord, when we're talking about wines made to be consumed young. The logical problem here is that many wines, not necessarily expensive, that made California's reputation in the 1950s and 60s, ranked high in international blind tastings of the 1970s, are still popular, and that Laube himself cites with respect, were made deliberately to age, after millennia of experience in France, Italy, etc. Laube may have set aside all of this traditional and current California practice but the wine world has not. When the popular Squires wine Web site ran a blind poll a year or two ago for the most respected current US winemakers, top choice of the thousands of votes was a longtime California maker whose main Cabernet is undrinkable for 10 years and nectar later, and whose meaty Zinfandels (a varietal he helped popularize) can develop for 30. This seems to me an eccentricity on Laube's part as a critic (which may well suit some readers' tastes), though he is forthright about it.

On the bigger subject of California wine lit (this posting is already long, and I've recommended several books here earlier), there are many major and minor books in the post-Prohibition era and occasionally a heavyweight classic appears. I have examples of those from 1940s, 1950s, 1970s, 1980s. All are available used, often effortlessly (through tie-ins at amazon.com etc.) In the 1980s an unprecedented consortium of experts and organizations put out the landmark University of California Press Book of California Wine* (ISBN 0520050851),** 44 authors. Definitely a heavyweight (kilograms!) and maybe unique in range and depth. Obviously not a reference for today's vintages, but that's not what it was about even when published. When you know this book, you have a better idea than most people do about what really is "new" in California and what is not. Abundantly available (amazon.com currently shows numerous copies starting around USD $6).

Cheers -- Max

*Books I marked with asterisk share a special distinction that is a powerful recommendation: factual faux-pas in US wine journalism that I spotted in the past year (and sometimes wrote in about) would not have happened if the writers had checked these books.

**FYI (Jim), though books themselves retain the traditional dashes when printing an ISBN, these are unnecessary in online searches and often omitted. You can copy and paste a dashless ISBN into any online book search or Web browser.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...