An Interview with Karen MacNeil, Author of The Wine Bible: Winespeed Newsletter Update
With Notes on the 2023 Napa Valley and Sonoma County Harvest Press Tour
Our Napa Valley press tour continues this week watching grape trucks laden with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes make their way up Highway 29. It’s harvest time in Napa Valley and its happening a few weeks later than last year due to a cool and wet winter and spring. Yesterday, we watched tons of grapes being processed at the historic Chateau Montelena, whose 1973 Chardonnay won the “1976 Judgement of Paris,” a story portrayed in my favorite wine movie, Bottle Shock. This is truly an iconic winery, which was placed on the US National Register of Historic Places in 2013. See Wine Recommendations below.
About Karen MacNeil - Winespeed Newsletter Update
Today, in addition to the 2023 harvest update, I am happy to re-introduce you (via my 2021 interview) to Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible, the best-selling book on wine in the U.S. Karen and her team craft a digital newsletter on wine called Winespeed. In some wine industry news, Winespeed just last month became a paid subscriber-only newsletter. Karen and I recently discussed the benefits of a paid subscription-only approach, and I am happy to say that she has had a highly successful re-launch. She says, “It was beyond expectations.” You can subscribe to Winespeed here.
Karen is the President of Karen MacNeil and Company, a firm based in Napa Valley, creating one-of-a-kind wine experiences and educational marketing programs for a wide range of corporate clients. Karen has had numerous television appearances including NBC’s Today Show, and as the host of an Emmy-Award-Winning PBS television series, Food Wine and Friends with Karen MacNeil.
In 2018 Karen was named by IntoWine.com Magazine one of the “100 most influential people in the U.S. wine industry.” Karen and I have met many times in the past in Napa Valley, including participating at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. I originally met at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) as I began my wine studies in 2009 with Karen’s CIA program called “Wine Immersion.”
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Karen MacNeil on Wine and Travel
“Traveling to wine regions is not only fun because of the wine, but also because of all of these slight intangibles that you learn about the culture, the mores of a place, the values of a place, and the traditions of a place. For instance, you can go tango dancing in Argentina and be drinking Malbec” among other experiences described in my original 2021 interview. – Karen MacNeil
The Wine Bible
Karen MacNeil has graciously offered a personalized signature for with a purchase of the Wine Bible. Purchase: Purchase: The Wine Bible Here.
Wine Recommendations This Week: Napa Valley and Sonoma County Press Tour Continues
I am happy to say that interviews and tastings this past two weeks have exceeded my expectations. The final two weeks should deliver to you, our subscribers, new industry news, an updated harvest report, and new wine recommendations. Below are just a few of the sampled wines from this past week with individual articles to follow this year.
Robert Parker, 91 Points
2022 Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, $35
Tipping Point, 93 Points
Wine Enthusiast, 93 Points
2022 Ferrari-Carano, Fume Blanc, North Coast, CA, $16
James Suckling, 90 Points
2019 Rombauer Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $75
Wine Enthusiast, 93 Points
Wine Wanderings Editorial Calendar
Understanding Right Bank Bordeaux: Pomerol and St. Emilion
Thanksgiving Wines, Pairing and Recipes
La Cité du Vin International Wine Museum Offering a Sensory Experience
The Fine Champagnes of Billecart-Salmon
Chateau Montelena, and the 1976 Judgement of Paris
Gary Farrell Winery: The Neighborhoods of Russian River Valley
Cliff Lede Vineyards: Remastering the Rock & Roll Winery of Napa Valley
What is a Cooperage?
Grower Champagnes – Why are They the Darlings of Champagne?
The Loire Valley: Touring Chateau Chenonceau
Two Surprising Wineries of the Loire Valley: Montdomaine and Ambacia, Ancient Sites with Modern, Organic Approaches
The Many Facets of Rombauer Vineyards: An Interview with Richie Allen, Winemaker