Questions to Karen MacNeil, the author of “The Wine Bible”

Aveine had the honor to interview Karen MacNeil, journalist, wine expert and author of the best seller “The Wine Bible”.

Hi Karen, can you tell us a few words about yourself? What led you to wine?

I have written about wine for nearly 40 years now. I often wonder what led me to wine, but the truth is I think some things choose you; you don’t choose them. I have never wanted to do anything else.

Can you tell us about your books, The Wine Bible for example? How did you come up with the idea?

When I wrote the first edition of The Wine Bible, most of the great books on wine were written by English authors, not American authors. Those books often presumed a great familiarity with wine to begin with. My book was one of the first “big” books written by an American—and written by an American who was a woman. It was also written in a way that was conversational and extremely easy to read. It was important to me that the book also focus on culture, history, art, and gastronomy as they intersect with wine. In the U.S., most wine books sell on average about 8,000 copies. The Wine Bible has now sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

The Wine Bible

Did you encounter some challenges in your (very rich) “wine” career, as a woman?

Yes. But I simply didn’t waste time thinking about anything that might be a barrier to success. My goal has always been to work harder and longer than anyone else around me. If you do that long enough, you eventually get good at what you do.

What do you think of the growing number of women in wine?

Terrific! I know lots of super talented young women in the wine industry and the industry is much better off for it.

What kind of wine gifts would you recommend for a woman who loves wine?

My favorite simple tool is a bouchon (Champagne stopper). I drink a glass of Champagne every single night and have done so for 20 years. I consider it indispensable to motherhood.

What wine would you recommend to comfort ourselves during the sanitary crisis?

It’s time to drink GREAT wine, as good as you can afford. Great wine is a source of incredible pleasure and solace.

Do you have a movie advice to go through this strange period?

I loved the new movie Uncorked, about a young black man who wants to become a sommelier.


And to the French readers who ask: will there ever be a French version of The Wine Bible?

I hope so!!!!! It depends on French publishers. We’d be thrilled if one of them was interested in translating The Wine Bible. The Chinese version just came out a few months ago.

What do you think about the importance of aerating your wines?

Aeration is important to wine to “open it up”—it’s actually quite astounding what a little bit of oxygen can do to make a wine taste richer and more expressive.

Thank you, Karen MacNeil, for taking the time to answer our questions!

Karen MacNeil created WineSpeed, an intelligent and fun digital media platform. It is comprised of a fast and fascinating weekly newsletter delivered to subscriber’s email boxes each Friday, plus the informative and educational website WineSpeed is bolstered by videos and a robust social media campaign across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 


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