Sunday, November 15, 2015

We are rapidly headed into
holiday season, and that means it's time to think about gifts.
Bottles of
wine are great, but if you're not exactly sure what type to give a friend or
family member, a wine book is an excellent idea, as long as it is broad-based
enough to ensure there's something to latch onto for any reader.
Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible, which just came out in a hugely revised
and updated edition, is just such a book.
Essentially it's an encyclopedia,
but it's not a boring one—it's designed to be friendly in the age of
online info, with copious tapas-sized bits of knowledge on every page.
It's just shy of 1,000 pages, but packs in about 5,000 pages of
information.
For geeks like me, there is a deep well of detail and knowledge
on display, which we'd expect from MacNeil, a longtime wine educator who
used to run the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary
Institute of America in Napa.
She's very good at boiling down winemaking techniques and issues of
climate, soil, and other science-y topics.
Her sidebar on what we mean when we
say a wine has "minerality"—something I say a lot—is worth the sticker
price.
Having a section on the rapidly expanding wine-growing areas in Asia is
bold indeed, and eye-opening for those of us who are just getting accustomed
to the idea.
But if you want wine basics, they are here in spades.
What to pair with
white Burgundy? What are some Greek wines you can trust? What is there to do
besides sip if you travel to Hungarian wine country? How do you read a chaotic
Italian wine label? MacNeil answers that and a whole lot more, and I
recommend you grab a copy, open it, and start in on a random page.
There will
be something worth savoring.
Ted Loos is the Travel + Leisure's Wine and Spirits Contributor.
Follow
him on Twitter at @looslips.
Bottles of wine are great, but if you're not exactly sure
what type to give a friend or family member, a wine book is an excellent
idea.
Here's one of our favorites.

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