A great read/resource: Karen MacNeil, ‘The Wine Bible’

It’s easy to find a good, comprehensive guide to wine and all its elements. But Karen MacNeil’s “The Wine Bible” might stand alone in accessibility and ease of use, allowing anyone wanting to learn more about wine to do it however he or she so desires.

Coursing through this “Bible” cover-to-cover works splendidly, and I recommend that readers peruse the first 30 pages or so early on.

But bouncing around from region to region and topic to topic with this expressive, vibrant tour guide is a swell way to spend a day, week or month.

Just as important, MacNeil is a deft enough writer to avoid talking down or up to readers of sundry knowledge levels. Her passion pervades this book, whether addressing grape growing in Germany or food pairing at home.

And her mantra is that what matters is what you get when you drink a wine, not what she or anyone else says you should get.

Full disclosure: I’ve met, sipped and chatted with Karen at a couple of Wine Writers Symposiums, so we’re acquaintances if not friends; she cannot ever remember my name and has resorted to simply calling me “Big Guy.”

It’s a safe bet that those who spend much time with “The Wine Bible” will come away feeling as though they know her as well.

But most of all, they will know more, probably a buttload more, about this wondrous beverage.