Book Review: Wine Bible 3rd Edition by Karen MacNeil

The Wine Bible 3rd editionKaren MacNeil is the author of two editions of her Wine Bible and now has come out with the third edition where she expands the book to cover new chapters of Great Britain, Croatia, and Israel, adding a revised Great Wines section for each country and region, plus expanded chapters on France, Italy, Australia, USA, and South America, plus much more.  She has won every major wine award given in the English language, including the James Beard award for Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year, the Louis Roederer award for Best Consumer Wine Writing, and the International Wine and Spirits award as the Global Wine Communicator of the Year. She has traveled to the world’s wine regions and talks about these regions with authority. 

Karen starts the book by answering the questions “What makes great wines great?” and “What are we looking for in wines”?  With those questions, she covers aspects of what makes wines great and distinct, both for red, white, still, sparkling, dry, and sweet wines to give us a foundation of what we can look for in wines.  Also before delving into the wine regions of the world, Karen provides us with a convenient list of the top twenty-five wine grape varieties to know and their characteristics as many of them would be grown around the world. 

The meat of the book is the discussion of each wine country, its regions, the grapes grown, types of wine produced (e.g. still, sparkling, etc.), traditional food pairings, and a sampling of recommended wineries and their wines.  Almost half of the book’s contents in this section cover the large producers of wine in the Old World, of France, Italy, and Spain.  Lovers of wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, or Tuscany for example, will appreciate her thoroughness of these regions and their wines.  Monks figure prominently in the Old World.

Karen also covers smaller, or lesser-known, wine regions, which may have become able to grow grapes in part due to global warming.  Great Britain, Canada, Mexico, China, and Japan are a few countries you can expect to hear more about their wines in the future.  Being Canadian, and having traveled through the provinces making wine, I read with keen interest what Karen would say about the country and its wines.  She covered everything thoroughly, from the major grape growing regions of Ontario and BC, the leading grape varieties, wine styles (e.g. ice wine was covered), some top BC and Ontario wineries, and a few bottles of note.  

Her writing style is casual and engaging.  And besides wine, she does interject curious bits of information about a region, such as how Niagara Falls become a honeymoon destination, the deliciousness of Walla Walla onions, and the origin of French croissants (no, not from France!). 

I read the Wine Bible from cover to cover, but you don’t have to.  Each chapter covering a different country, e.g. France, stands on its own.  So skip through the countries that interest you first.  Then if you are curious, or planning to travel to a new wine region, read the chapter on that country.

I applaud Karen for all the hard work that she has done to provide wine lovers with an in-depth detail of knowledge that is hard to find in one place, and to provide that information in a light, engaging format.  Let Karen entertain you as you learn about the wine regions and wines of the now more quickly changing wine world.

Where Can I Buy This Book?

This book will be released on Oct 11, 2022.  You can purchase it on Amazon.ca , Barnes & Noble, and many other bookstores.

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.