91: The Wine Bible's Karen MacNeil on Women and Wine

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By Natalie MacLean. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

How did The Wine Bible get its name? How was it unlike any wine book of its time? What was it like as a young woman trying to break into the male-dominated New York wine scene in the 1970s? Why are there significantly fewer women than men with the Master Sommelier designation? How does wine help you to immerse yourself in other cultures?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible, former wine correspondent for the Today Show, the first Food and Wine Editor of USA Today, and creator and Chairman Emeritus of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley.

Highlights

  • Where did the idea to write The Wine Bible come from?
  • How is The Wine Bible different for you, as a reader, from other comprehensive wine books?
  • How does wine help you to immerse yourself in other cultures?
  • Why does hearing the story behind a wine create a more enjoyable experience for you?
  • What was it like to try to break into the male-dominated New York wine scene in the 1970s?
  • How can you confidently charge your worth?
  • Why do you see significantly fewer women than men with the Master Sommelier designation in the US?
  • What types of roles would you see typically filled by women in the wine industry?
  • How does the proportion of female executives in the wine industry compare to corporate America?
  • How has the "Me Too" movement impacted the wine industry?
  • Why was the naming of Karen's book so emotional?
  • What hurdle was Karen able to overcome with 8 years of silence?
  • How does Karen believe some women in the wine world are downplaying themselves?

About Karen MacNeil Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English language. These include the Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year (James Beard Foundation) and the Global Wine Communicator of the Year (International Wine and Spirits Association). In a full-page profile on her, TIME Magazine called Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” In 2018, Karen was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Wine Industry. Karen is also the author of the award-winning book, THE WINE BIBLE, the single best-selling wine book in the United States, praised as “The most informative and entertaining book I’ve ever seen on the subject” (Danny Meyer), “Astounding” (Thomas Keller), and “A masterpiece of wine writing…the single best wine book written in years…” (Kevin Zraly). The former wine correspondent for the Today Show, Karen was the host of the PBS series Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, for which she won an Emmy. Karen is the creator and editor of WineSpeed, the leading digital “e-letter” in the U.S. for fast, authoritative information about wine. Her articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Town & Country, Elle, and Worth. She was the first Food and Wine Editor of USA Today. Karen currently hosts #SipWithKaren, the leading Twitter tasting in the global wine sphere, which each month reaches 20+ million timelines from Indiana to India. Karen’s firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized corporate events and wine tours around the world for companies and individual groups. Among Karen’s corporate clients are Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, and Singapore Airlines, as well as numerous law and biotech firms. Karen is the creator and Chairman Emeritus of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been called “the Harvard of wine education.

To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the https://www.nataliemaclean.com/91.

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