Book Review: The Wine Bible (3rd Edition)

Book Review: The Wine Bible (3rd Edition)

There’s a high probability that Karen MacNeil has forgotten more about wine than most of us will ever know. Over 700 pages in length, this 3rd edition has made many significant upgrades over the first two printings: color coding, 400 new photos, sharper infographics, new sections on Great Britain, Israel, and Croatia, as well as expanded chapters on stalwarts France, Italy, South America, Australia, and the United States, plus a very expanded glossary on grapes, amongst other new features. It is as dense as any religious scripture, but without the heavy-handed tone with which these reference guides often deliver.

MacNeil offers extensive profiles on vital winemaking regions, the people making the magic happen, and her picks for some of the best vintages and bottles on the market. Along the way, there are cultural touchstones for each nation that aren’t wine, potential pairings, and incredibly useful charts to help with your pronunciation of critical terms. It’s impossible not to be smarter or learn something new while reading this book, even if it’s just to look a section up quickly while in conversation or planning your next trip to the market.

This book is biblical in every secular sense of the word possible and is worthy of placement in the library of anyone who worships at the altar of the grape. Thomas Keller, chef and proprietor of Michelin-star restaurant The French Laundry, once remarked that The Wine Bible is “astounding,” and we’ll let Chef Keller have the last word.

736 pages.


The Wine Bible (3rd Edition)




Rob Theakston is a contributing editor to Drinkhacker.

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