Mary Gorman-McAdams

Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.
Wine Words: Barrique
Barrique is a wine word that most of you will probably already be familiar with. The word ‘barrique’ means barrel, but not just any type of barrel. Do you know specifically what a barrique is? The word ‘barrique’ refers to a specific size and shape of oak barrel. In making wine there are many different sizes of barrels used. Barrique barrels are relatively small barrels, but not just any small barrels.
Sep 29, 2022
What Exactly is a Corked Wine and What Does Corked Wine Taste Like?
Most wine drinkers are probably familiar with the term ‘corked wine’, but I hazard a guess that not as many wine drinkers really know what a corked wine tastes like, how a wine becomes corked in the first place, or how to detect a corked wine. To find out more, read on. Wine being corked doesn’t mean that is has tiny particles of cork floating in it, or that it simply tastes like cork.
Aug 18, 2022
Wine and Soup: Easy Pairing Tips
February is Soup Month at The Kitchn, so I thought that I would look at some great soup and wine combinations. Traditionally, soup has been considered a difficult course to pair with wine. The reason for this is texture. Pairing liquid with liquid simply did not seem like an appealing combination. Well, as we all know, there is soup and there is soup.So don’t let incumbent ideas about food pairing stop you from enjoying a glass of wine with your next soup dish.
May 13, 2022
Lots of Cheap Wines: At Less Than $10 Per Bottle! Budget Wines
Welcome to our latest review of bargain wines — wines for less than $10. We have survived 2009, but most of us will still be watching the pennies through 2010. As wine lovers, can we really get quality as well as value for less than $10? Read on to find out!As the pain of the recession continues to be felt throughout the country, wine stores are awash with promotions and deals. Last week I decided to evaluate some of these ‘not to be missed’ deals.
May 11, 2022
A Sip and a Cone: 5 Luscious Wine and Ice Cream Pairings
August is all about staying cool at The Kitchn. With the mercury rising dessert has got to be super-cold. For us this means anything ice-cream, sorbet or gelato – anything icy that keeps us cool. And for those of us who like to sip a little wine with dessert no matter what the temperature, here are some of my favorite wine and ice cream pairings.First, a handy rule of thumb is to remember that for dessert the wine should be sweeter than the dessert.
Jun 4, 2019
A Spanish Value: Delicious Red Wines from Toro
This week I attended a tasting of the wines of Toro, one of Spain’s most exciting wine regions. While I have tasted plenty of Toro wines in my life, I was particularly impressed by their delicious juiciness, balance and sheer good value.The Toro wine region is in North East Spain (Castilla Y Leon) and centers on the town of Toro in the province of Zamora. It is a rugged, remote area, with poor soils, perfect for cultivating vines.
May 24, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio?
Do you ever wonder why some wine bottles say Pinot Gris and others Pinot Grigio? Is there a difference? And should you prefer one to the other? Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are in fact the exact same grape variety. It is a white grape, with a grayish / brownish pink skin (hence the name gris, or gray, in French). The grape originated in France (it’s from the Burgundian Pinot family), and is known as Pinot Gris in France, where it is most cultivated in Alsace.
Apr 25, 2014
Rías Baixas Albariño: A White Wine for all Seasons
Back in March 2008 I wrote my first post for the Kitchn. The topic was the Albariño wines from Rías Baixas, which is located in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. This week, almost six years later, I am revisiting the wines, to check out what is new and what might have changed. Since my first visit to Rías Baixas back in 2006 I have consistently loved its Albariño wines.
Jan 15, 2014
Wine Words: 1855 Classification
Do you know what the 1855 Classification is? Many of you may already be familiar with the concept, and many of you may not. Often called the 1855 Classification of the Médoc, it is a special Bordeaux wine classification, but do you know what it means, exactly? The 1855 Classification is a Bordeaux wine classification. It refers back to the classification of the red wines of the Médoc and the sweet wines of Sauternes in 1855.
Jan 13, 2014
Wine Words: Crémant
Crémant is a wine word that you see on some sparkling wine labels. Do you know its origin? And, what Crémant means? Crémant is a word that describes a certain type of French sparkling wine. Crémant wines are not made all over France but only made in certain officially designated areas. The word Crémant actually originated in the Champagne region.
Dec 16, 2013
Wine Words: Canopy Management
Canopy management is a viticultural wine word. Do you know what it means? And the different processes involved? Canopy management may not be the most exciting wine word out there but, it is a very important one. Canopy management can be defined as a portfolio of vineyard management techniques, which manage a grapevine’s canopy from the time of winter pruning until harvest time. For the less geeky readers ‘canopy’ is a collective word for the all the foliage (i.e.
Dec 9, 2013
Gigondas: Southern Rhône Wines to Enjoy Right Now (Or Much Later)
I have always loved the wines from the Gigondas region in France’s Southern Rhone Valley. They are full-bodied, energetic red wines, packed with vibrant red and black fruit flavors. At a recent dinner in New York City, hosted by the Gigondas Winemakers Union, I was reminded just how well Gigondas wines age, too – ten, twenty, even thirty years. We tasted back as far as 1972 that particular evening. But you don’t have to wait — they’re delicious now as well.
Dec 4, 2013
Wine Word: Fruit
Fruit might seem an odd word to choose as a Wine Word. “Aren’t grapes fruit?” you might ask. Of course they are, but the term ‘fruit’ when it comes to describing a wine means more than a simple acknowledgement of its botanical birthright. When describing a wine the word fruit takes on many dimensions. While wine is made from grapes the fruit words we use to describe wine aromas and flavors covers the whole gamut.
Nov 25, 2013
Wine Words: American Oak vs. French Oak
In a previous Wine Words post I gave a general overview of oak as it pertains to wine. Today I am going to explain in more detail the difference between American oak and French oak. To start off, both American oak and French oak are species of white oak. Red oak is never used for winemaking because it is too porous. While there are many different types of white oak, three are most used for wine cooperage. These are Quercus Alba, Quercus Petraea (also known as sissile oak) and Quercus Robur.
Nov 18, 2013
Wine Words: Oxidative vs. Reductive Winemaking
Oxidative and Reductive are both wine words often used to describe a style or philosophy of winemaking. Do you know what the two terms mean and how they differ? Oxidative and reductive are opposites that depend on the relative presence or absence of oxygen during winemaking. Oxidative winemaking means more aerobic winemaking in the presence of oxygen (usually controlled amounts). In contrast reductive winemaking means winemaking in more of an anaerobic environment without oxygen.
Nov 11, 2013
Enamore: Budget-Friendly Amarone-Style Wine from Argentina
Wine of the Week: Enamore by Bodega Renacer Region & Country: Mendoza, Argentina Price: $27 Continuing my South American travels, this week I am writing about a wonderful visit to Bodega Renacer in Argentina’s Mendoza region. There is so much to write about, but today I am going to focus on Enamore – Renacer’s seductive, opulent Amarone-style wine. There are many fascinating aspects to Bodega Renacer.
Nov 6, 2013
Wine Words: Barrel Fermented
Barrel fermented is a word that you often see on bottles of white wine. Do you know exactly what it means? And why it is often highlighted on a label? In general when a wine label says ‘Barrel Fermented’ it is highlighting an oak influence on the wine. While theoretically any size of barrel can be used, the term usually is an indication that the wine was fermented in small oak barrels called barrique (60 US gallons / 225 liters).
Nov 4, 2013
Cool Climate Wines from Viña Leyda: A Dynamic Pioneering Wine Producer in Chile’s Ultra-Cool Leyda Valley
It is not everyday that I exclaim “oh my goodness” when I visit a wine region for the first time. Well it happened recently when I visited Viña Leyda in Chile’s ultra cool (or should I say cold) Leyda Valley. The Leyda Valley is rapidly, and deservedly so, gaining a reputation as a leading producer of refreshing, cool climate Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah wines.
Oct 30, 2013
11 Delicious & Affordable Trader Joe’s Wines to Drink With Indian Food
When choosing wines to go with a meal like Anjali’s Indian-themed sweet potato buffet you might initially feel a little perplexed. How can you pick a wine to pair perfectly with so many different and mainly spicy flavors? Awhile back I wrote a post about pairing wine with spicy foods and boiled it down to three rules. The ultimate decision depends on whether you want the wine to complement or even accentuate the heat and spicy flavors or whether you prefer a more cooling contrast.
Oct 24, 2013
Root:1: Delicious Varietal Wines from Chile for Just $12
As most readers know, I have been visiting wineries in Chile and Argentina for the past eight days. I can honestly say that it a long time since I came across such an array of wines that offer both very high quality and incredible value. First up is a range of four varietal wines that you may already be familiar with called Root:1. Suggested retail price is $12 but you often find the wines for less. Here’s what I am enjoying about them.
Oct 23, 2013
Chilean Wines 101: An Overview
Chilean wine. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Chilean wines? For me it is the vibrancy, juiciness, brightness and purity of fruit that pops from the glass. And of course, let’s not forget value and the easy to understand varietal labeling that makes Chilean wine so accessible. Here’s my Chilean Wines 101 — a mini course in understanding and enjoying the vibrant wines coming from this part of the world.
Oct 16, 2013
Why I Love the Wines of Alto Adige
Back in 2008 I posted about the wonderful wines of the Alto Adige -– the breathtakingly beautiful region nestled beneath the snow-capped Italian Alps, just south of Austria. In mid-September I was fortunate enough to revisit the area. Once more I was captivated not just by its picture postcard beauty, but by the diversity and deliciousness of its wines –- an authentic expression of Alpine purity and focus.
Oct 2, 2013
Wine Words: DOC or DOCG — Do You Know the Difference?
DOC and DOCG are letters that you see on bottles of Italian wine. Do you know what these letters stand for? And what is the difference between the two? DOCG and DOC are both quality classifications. Under Italian wine law DOCG is the highest designation of quality among Italian wines. DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, DOCG). DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Denomination of Controlled Origin).
Sep 30, 2013
The 60th Anniversary of Masters of Wine (And Why There Are Only 312 Of Them!)
I digress from my usual Wednesday column this week to tell you a little about my week in London last week. You see, 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the Masters of Wine title. I became a Master of Wine (MW) in 2011. In 1953, 21 members of the UK wine trade sat the exams. Six passed and thus became the world’s first group of Masters of Wine. At the time the exam was restricted to persons working in the wine trade, and in Britain.
Sep 25, 2013
Wine Words: Green Harvesting
“Green harvesting” is a viticultural wine phrase. Do you know what it refers to? Green harvesting is the harvesting or dropping of unripe (aka green) green clusters of grapes from the vine. It is a form of crop thinning to help manage yield and to enable the remaining grape clusters to fully ripen according to the winemaker’s aims. Green harvesting is typically done around veraison.
Sep 16, 2013
Why I Love the Wines of France’s Languedoc Region
I am so in love with the wines from the Languedoc. Not only is the Languedoc one of France’s oldest wine regions, dating back over two thousand years, it is also the source of some of the best value French wines you can find, and an exciting hotbed of innovative winemaking.Writing from Montagnac, in the heart of the Languedoc, I have been discovering and savoring a host of exciting Languedoc wines over the past few weeks.
Aug 14, 2013
Wine Words: Recioto
Recioto is a wine word, which you see on some Italian wine labels. Do you know what it means?Recioto is an Italian wine word. It refers to wines that have been made from ‘dried’ grapes, or grapes that are harvested when ultra ripe then left out to dry and ‘raisin’ before fermentation. As such Recioto wines are naturally sweet wines. Recioto wine may also be affected by noble rot.
Aug 12, 2013
Novel Summer Sparkling Wines from the Languedoc in the South of France
One of the many things I love about wine is that you are never done discovering. We are back in Languedoc again this year, on vacation, and I have made all sorts of new delicious bubbly discoveries. On arriving our friends poured us a welcome glass of sparkling Picpoul de Pinet from Côte Mas (Domaines Paul Mas) just outside Montagnac. A first for me! Who would have thought – that the light-bodied, crisp, lemony Picpoul white wine could transform into such a delicious sparkler?
Aug 8, 2013
My Best Tips for Choosing and Drinking Red Wine in the Summer
Despite the heat and humidity some of us still like to drink red wine throughout the summer. Read on for some useful tips on choosing and serving the perfect refreshing summer red wines.One of the most important aspects of any wine is refreshment. This is especially important as the mercury rises, when many red wines can taste overly powerful, rich and heavy. Over the years I have developed a short set of guidelines, which I adhere to over the summer months to best enjoy red wine.
Jul 31, 2013
Wine Words: Frizzante and Spumante
Frizzante and Spumante are two wine words most associated with Italian sparkling wine. Do you know what the difference is between these two words? Both frizzante and spumante describe the level of effervescence (i.e. the strength of the bubbles) in a bottle of sparkling wine. Wines labeled ‘frizzante’ are what we call gently sparkling, while wines labeled ‘spumante’ are more effervescent and fully sparkling. Frizzante wines have between 2.5 and 3.
Jul 30, 2013
Wine Words: Bâtonnage
Bâtonnage is the French word for lees stirring. As explained in my lees aging post, lees are the dead yeast cells and other particles which remain in a wine after fermentation. They settle as sediment or more of a creamy mud at the bottom of the fermentation vessel…Lees AgingAs these dead yeast cell (lees) break down, they release all sorts of compounds such as mannoproteins, amino acids, polysaccharides and fatty acids, which interact with the fermented wine.
Jun 24, 2013
Wine Words: Body
These are terms used to describe the general weight, ‘fullness’ or overall feel of a wine in your mouth. Full-bodied wines are big and powerful. In contrast, light-bodied wines are more delicate and lean. Medium-bodied wines fall somewhere in between. There is no legal definition of where the cut-offs occur and many wines fall into the medium-to-high or light-to-medium body categories.
Jun 17, 2013
Wine Words: Rootstock
Rootstock is a wine word that many readers probably have heard mentioned with regard to viticulture and the growing of wine grapes. Today most vines are planted on rootstocks. This means that they are not planted on their own roots; rather the vine is grafted onto the root of a different vine species.Almost all of the grape varieties used to make wine belong to the Vitis Vinifera species. In contrast most rootstocks are American hybrids derived from non-Vinifera vine species.
Jun 10, 2013
Wine Words: Port
Port is a wine word. Like Sherry it is often misunderstood. While Port is a style of fortified wine, it is not a generic word for the style. Port is the name of the liqueur or fortified wines produced in a specific delimited area of the Douro Valley, Portugal, up river from the city of Oporto. Port is a fortified wine, meaning that a spirit alcohol is added to increase the alcohol level.
Jun 3, 2013
It’s Rosé Season Again! A Primer on Choosing a Great Bottle of Rosé Wine
Regular readers at The Kitchn will know that I am a committed rosé wine fan, and while I drink rosé wine all year round, there is something about the arrival of spring and summer that seems to herald in these pink and salmon toned wines.Every year I say it and here I go again, rosé’s popularity just keeps growing — if the number and diversity of choices is anything to go by.For me, rosé is more than a simple pink wine.
May 31, 2013
Supermarket Wine: My Top Summer Picks from Whole Foods Market
So many of us buy our wine at grocery stores; they are an important spot for wine buying. But it’s been almost 18 months since I reviewed the wine offering at Whole Foods Market. My interest was piqued at a recent wine and cheese tasting at Whole Foods, where I was pretty bowled over by the quality of the wines tasted, especially the quality they del\ivered for the price. Want to see my picks for the summer?
May 30, 2013