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Wine Author and Teacher Karen MacNeil Will Deliver Keynote Address at Wine Bloggers Conference

Image provided by Karen MacNeil & Company

Image provided by Karen MacNeil & Company

During our early years of Wine Trail Traveler, we were starving for wine knowledge. Stumbling on a television broadcast, Wine, Food and Friends, we watched attentively as Karen MacNeil led the viewers through a gentle wine education that was also entertaining. We kept searching for other broadcasts in the series. Kathy and I have been fans of Karen MacNeil absorbing what we could form her book The Wine Bible. We are looking forward to her keynote address at this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference in Corning, New York.

We contacted Karen for an email interview prior to the August conference in New York.

Wine Trail Traveler: Can you describe how and when your wine journey began?
Karen MacNeil: At age 15, I started having a glass of wine with dinner. I bought the wine myself, but because I was afraid to go completely into the wine shop, I just bought anything they had in the 89-cent bin near the front of the store.

Wine Trail Traveler: You have said that you enjoy sparkling wines every day. What do you like to pair sparkling wine with?
Karen MacNeil: I like to pair it with 6pm.

Wine Trail Traveler: How can wine writers, bloggers and authors help to promote champagne, cava, prosecco and other sparkling wines as an every day wine?
Karen MacNeil: I think we all realize how perfect these wines are as everyday, after-work aperitifs. It’s puzzling why more people don’t drink them, although prosecco is on fire in terms of sales and cava is planning on being right behind it.

Wine Trail Traveler: What options do wine consumers and enthusiasts have who want to learn about wine but not take certification or college coursework?
Karen MacNeil: Well, shameless commerce division: the Wine Bible is pretty good. So is Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Wine Book.

Wine Trail Traveler: What can wine enthusiasts look forward to in your next edition of The Wine Bible?
Karen MacNeil: It’s a whole new book, new maps, new boxes, new regions including Mexico and Asia. But mostly I think I’ve become a better teacher so it’s a really great way to learn about wine.

Wine Trail Traveler: What is your favorite wine region in the world to visit and why?
Karen MacNeil: Alsace (for the combination of food, wine and beauty); the Mosel (for the grandeur of the vineyards and the refinement of riesling); Spain (for the sense of going back in time) and Burgundy (because it’s the “mother ship”).

Wine Trail Traveler: Wine alone can be great, but when you add wine with food and friends it can be magical. Can you recount an experience when wine, food and friends was magical?
Karen MacNeil: These are the sorts of experiences everyone can make happen in their lives. For me it was last night—a special 1991 Paradigm cabernet I had held onto, with a good steak on the grill and the first of summer’s heirloom tomatoes.

Wine Trail Traveler: What advice do you have for people who write about wine including authors and bloggers?
Karen MacNeil: Work as hard at being a good writer as you do at being a wine expert.

Karen MacNeil’s keynote address at this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference will take place on Friday, August 14th at 9:30 am EDT.


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