Wine expert Karen McNeill says that: “Life with wine is far richer and tastier than life without it!” And, we couldn’t agree more. Life is better with wine (in moderation, obviously).
And, to help you love what’s in your glass Even more, we asked Karen our burning 10 questions related to vino. as the author of the wine bible (Which, just released its third edition and is considered the best-selling wine book in America, with over 800,000 copies in print), he has largely written a book on wine.
For someone who is new to wine, what do you think is the best way to use/read the wine bible Is?
Karen McNeil: Just open the book anywhere and start reading! There are engaging side boxes and stories on every page. most people read The Wine Bible (WB) in this unconventional way. It’s also fun to buy a bottle of wine, explore the region in West Bengal, and read while you sip.
What are some updates in this version that you are most excited about and why?
Karen: I love the brand new chapter on Great Britain now making delicious sparkling wines that have a lot in common with Champagne. Climate change has harmed many wine regions, but England has benefited from it, making the climate more conducive to great wine. I also like the new chapter called “In the Beginning… Wine in the Ancient World”. gorgeous!
If people are interested in trying something new and different from the usual Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Cabs that are found on most wine lists and grocery store shelves, are there any wine regions or grapes that you would like people to try? make suggestions? any hidden value?
Karen: Spain and Portugal make sensational wines from indigenous varieties such as Tempranillo and Touriga Nacional (both red grapes). The culture of wine in these two countries is ancient, the wines are superb and they are steels! Lots of great wines under $25.
If someone wants to start learning about wine but is overwhelmed and doesn’t know where to start, where should they start?
Karen: Wine is very welcome. It doesn’t really matter where you start. Just pick a country and start drinking wines from there. If you drink wines from any one country for six months, you may find that you get a really good idea of the flavors of those wines. Then go to country number 2. And so on. just begin!
In your experience, what is the most widely misunderstood thing about wine? Any common mistakes newbies make?
Karen: People often swallow alcohol too quickly. If you swallow too quickly, you won’t taste anything and won’t know how delicious the wine really is.
What are some of your favorite wine and food pairings? Any that you have regularly or that might surprise people?
Karen: Champagne and potato chips top my list. as well as rosé and grilled cheese sandwiches.
We’ve noticed that there are a lot of wines on the market that are specifically marketed as being low in calories. Thoughts on them?
Karen: There is often a lot of manipulation involved in low-calorie wines. I’d rather drink half a glass of the real thing than a glass of (usually not very good) low-calorie wine.
Have you noticed any categories of wine or regions really rise in popularity this year? Have you ever seen people lose interest in someone?
Karen: Interest in wine is exploding around the world. Everything is interesting.
Are there any wine trends you’re hoping to see in 2023? Will any of your wishes disappear?
Karen: Wine takes time – years of time. Often it takes 10 years or more to plant a vineyard and age it before making wine and releasing it. Alcohol is the ultimate non-trend. I love it because of that.
We’re sure it’s like asking you to choose a favorite child, but if you could only have three wines in your glass for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Karen: Champagne (from France, of course), Pinot Noir from California and Oregon, German and Austrian Riesling.
Many thanks to Karen for taking the time to answer our questions! And, for the record, we couldn’t agree more with her thoughts on low-calorie wine. Cheers, y’all! ,Jane
Some text/photos excerpted from The Wine Bible, 3rd ed., by Karen McNeill. Workman Publications © 2022