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, photos, charts, and wine labels - everything, in fact, but the actual bottle of 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, and demystifying the issue of vintages - it covers the essentials. The emotion and intigue of Bergundy. Rhone's untamed reds. The flinty pleasures of sauvignon blanc and suprising 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, kingdom 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.