THE WINE BIBLE is like a lively course from an expert teacher, grounded deeply in the fundamentals and enriched with passionate opinions, asides, tips, anecdotes, definitions, glossaries, illustrations, maps, charts, and wine labels-everything, in fact, but the actual wine itself. Beginning with the basics of mastering wine-how to taste with focus and build a wine-tasting memory, understanding the subtle interplay of variety, vineyard, and vintner to demystifying the issue of vintages-it covers the essentials: The emotion and intrigue of Burgundy. Rhne's untamed reds. The flinty pleasures of sauvignon blanc and surprising delicacy of Spain's Riojas. Bordeaux, the largest fine wine vineyard on the globe and epitome of terroir. Fourteen Sonoma wines to know. The importance of finish. Tuscany, kingom of variable microclimates. The precise and food-friendly wines of Germany. The narrow 30-mile stretch of ambition, experimentation, and surpassing quality called Napa. Why the "punt," or indentation in a wine bottle. Australia, where cutting-edge technology meets easy, outgoing, unpretentious character. Plus Austria, New Zealand, South Africa, Portugal, and more. Eight years in the writing, Karen MacNeil's THE WINE BIBLE takes any reader, at any level of interest and sophistication, and offers the one thing guaranteed to increase his or her pleasure in wine-knowledge. It's illustrated throughout with maps, photographs, charts, wine labes, and has hundreds of boxes featuring historical tidbits, fun wine facts, and wine destinations while traveling.