A year of good wine? Yes, please. Especially when it comes in page-a-day calendar form from the pen of Karen MacNeil (“The Wine Bible”).
These page-a-day calendars have tackled nearly every topic, from cats to shoes. Now Workman Publishing has tackled “A Year of Good Wine” and enlisted the help of MacNeil, the Napa Valley-based wine expert who wrote the original “Wine Bible,” an encyclopedic guide to the culture, history and gastronomy of wine, in 1990. One might think that given those deeply serious credentials — her 2015 revision weighed in at a hefty 1.7 pounds and 996 pages, after all — MacNeil might be a deeply serious writer all the time. But MacNeil has done wine calendars before and she’s got this thing down. The 2018 “A Year of Good Wine” is delightfully irreverent.
The calendar’s 365 pages offer all the wine myths and oenophile facts you might expect, but also quizzes, zodiac pairings and recipes for frosé, say, and strawberry-lillet crush. The Jan. 12 page, for example, asks which Steve Martin movie had him asking for “the freshest (wine) you’ve got … No more of this old stuff!” One page explains the meaning of terroir, while another explores the myth of snooty cork smelling. And you’ll find Coco Chanel on the Feb. 14 page, offering sage advice on the consumption of sparkling wine: “I only drink Champagne on two occasions: when I’m in love and when I’m not.”
At $15, this desktop wine calendar makes a perfect little gift for your favorite wine lover or party host. (Or to keep for yourself.)
— Jackie Burrell, Bay Area News Group