- Category : Food-and-Beverage-Alcohol-business
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 1
American food and wine writer, author of "The Wine Bible" and host of a public broadcasting series on wine that debuted in the fall of 2004.
Macneil is in charge of the wine-teaching program at the Napa Valley, CA campus of the Culinary Institue of America.
A child of a blue-collar family, she contracted polio at age 15 months and was paralyzed until she was 8 years old. At age 14, she ran away from home and managed to get herself through high school in Reno, Nevada by holding two jobs while she studied: house cleaning in a hotel on weekends and waiting tables in a coffee shop during the week. She says that her taste for wine began at age 16 when she began having cheap wine with her dinner every night as an escape from the grind and hardship of her daily life.
In 1972, at age 18, she drove across the country to New York City to fulfill her goal of becoming a writer. She managed to get a piece published in the "Village Voice" about New York delicatessens. Researching the article led her to "an epiphany" where she realized that she had a love affair with flavors. She then educated herself by researching other articles about food and wine and then by taking trips to vineyards in Europe. Even that was hard! Wine tasting and management were men's work and she said that she was once left waiting for three hours at an airport terminal waiting for Spanish winemakers to pick her up. They had overlooked her because they were looking for a man.
In 1991, she signed a book contract with Workman Publishing and the result, after 10 years, was "The Wine Bible," published in 2001.
She is married to Dennis Fife and together they make wine at their own vineyard in the Napa Valley.