Mary Gorman-McAdams's Recent Articles
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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.
May 2, 2019
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).
May 2, 2019
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.
May 2, 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
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
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
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: 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
Wine Words: Cru Bourgeois
Cru Bourgeois is a wine term that you see on the label of some wines from Bordeaux. Do you know what the term actually means? Cru Bourgeois is a quality classification term for red wines produced in the Médoc, which is on the left bank region of Bordeaux. If Cru Bourgeois is on a wine label it means that the wine has been examined and certified as having the high enough quality and taste characteristics to qualify as a Cru Bourgeois.
May 20, 2013
Why You Should (Almost) Always Pair Cheese with White Wine, Not Red
When we think of a wine and cheese party we automatically think of red wine, but in fact white wine is actually a much better partner for many types of cheese. Read on to find out more about perfect cheese and wine pairings. Admittedly, for most people red wine is the go-to partner for cheese. However, the issue with red wine, especially a full-bodied red, is that it can overpower all but the most robust of cheeses.
May 16, 2013
3 Rules for Pairing Wines with Spicy Foods
Do you ever wonder why so many people automatically reach for a beer to go with African, Asian, or Caribbean foods? Answer: Beer is refreshing, and it does not clash with the many feisty, fiery flavors of chilies, herbs, spices and sauces that are the signature of these many and varied cuisines. But don’t put away your wine glasses just yet!
May 15, 2013
Wine With Artichokes & Asparagus? Wine Pairings for 6 Difficult Foods
While I am a big advocate of how most foods and wines are pretty flexible when it comes to wine pairing, there are a number of foods that are known to be challenging in this domain. However, do not give up! Read on to find out what wines work well with salad vinaigrette, hot and spicy foods, dessert, asparagus, artichokes and even Brussels sprouts.
May 14, 2013
2011 Nerocapitano Frappato
If you have not yet discovered Frappato, a Sicilian red grape, which makes the most deliciously refreshing light bodied red wines, now is your chance. This week’s wine — the 2011 Nerocapitano Frappato, IGT Sicilia is the perfect wine for pizza or pasta.Pretty pale crimson in color. Vibrant, bright and refreshing were three words that kept echoing in my mind as I savored this delicious Sicilian Frappato a few weeks ago.
May 8, 2013
2010 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine of the Week: 2010 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet SauvignonRegion & Country: Napa Valley, California, USAPrice: $28 Sometimes I chide myself for not giving enough attention to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.Granted many are excessively expensive, but thankfully not all, and when I recently tasted the 2010 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon I was strongly reminded that Napa can deliver tremendous taste for a relatively modest price.
Mar 13, 2013
Wine Words: Noble Rot
Noble Rot is associated with some of the most famous sweet wines in the world such as Sauternes and Tokaji Aszú. Do you know what Noble Rot is, and how it contributes to the style of these wines?Noble Rot is a benevolent fungus that is scientifically known as Botrytis Cinerea. However, what is really important to know is that all Noble Rot is Botrytis Cinerea but not all Botrytis Cinerea is Noble Rot.
Mar 11, 2013
Wine Words: Parker Points
Parker Points is a wine term that you hear bandied about quite a lot and often discussed critically. The term Parker Points refers to a score awarded to a wine by Robert M. Parker Jr., the most influential wine critic of the past 20-30 years.Robert M. Parker Jr., whose influential newsletter is called The Wine Advocate (often abbreviated to WA on shelf talkers), uses a 100 point scale to rate wines.
Mar 4, 2013
Wine Words: VDN
The wine word VDN stands for “Vin Doux Naturel,” and it’s a specific style of wine produced in certain parts of France. VDN wines are sweet fortified wines made using a process called ‘mutage’, or the addition of grape spirit during fermentation.This stops the fermentation well before the yeasts have converted all the sugars in the must to alcohol. Mutage is another word for fortification.
Jan 28, 2013
Wine Words: Cuvée
Cuvée is a wine word. You see it on wine labels, especially Champagne labels. Do you know what it means? Cuvée is a French word that translates as from the ‘cuve‘ or from the ‘vat’ – i.e. the container that the wine is made in. Essentially it refers to the ‘mix’ of wines or the ‘blend’ of wines from a particular lot that will be bottled.By mix or blend, it could mean a blend of different grape varieties.
Dec 10, 2012
Wine Words: Aging Potential
Aging Potential is a wine word often used when discussing higher end wines that one might hope to cellar to either enjoy at a later stage or to resell for investment purposes. The aging potential of a wine means the length of time that a wine will hold up in the bottle and be enjoyable to drink, and the aging potential of any wine is directly related to its quality.
Nov 26, 2012
Wine Words: Easy Drinking
Easy drinking, a word used to describe certain wines. What makes a wine easy drinking? Is it a compliment or not? Are there challenging or difficult drinking wines?Firstly, in my opinion, the term ‘easy-drinking wine’ is a totally subjective ‘wine geek‘ term and open to much interpretation.The term tends to be used by wine geeks to describe wines that they believe have very broad appeal, especially to novice and marginal wine drinkers.
Nov 19, 2012
Wine Words: Lees Aging
Lees aging is a wine word used to describe a stage in a wine’s maturation phase. Do you know what it means? Lees are the dead yeast cells and other particles remaining in a wine after fermentation. They settle as sediment or creamy mud at the bottom of the fermenting container.The container could be a tank, a wooden barrel or even a bottle, as in the case of Champagne and bottle fermented sparkling wines.
Nov 5, 2012
The 7 Best Styles of Wine to Drink with Pizza
So you have pizza night on the regular and now you need bottle of wine to go with that meat-lover’s number. Over the years I’ve found a number of tried-and-trusted wine styles that have stood the test of time as perfect pizza partners. Here are seven to know! Red or White? Traditionally pizza means a thin, crispy dough base with two key ingredients: tomato sauce and melted cheese. The best wines for pizza take into consideration these ingredients.
Oct 12, 2012
Wine Words: Disgorgement
Disgorgement is a wine word that pertains to Champagne and sparkling wines. Have you ever seen a notice on the back label of some bottles of Champagne saying “disgorged on X date”? Do you know what this means? And why do some bottles carry the notice while other do not? Disgorgement, or dégorgement in French, is a step in making Champagne and other bottle fermented sparkling wines.
Oct 1, 2012
Wine Words: Dosage
Dosage is a wine word specific to the production of Champagne and sparkling wine. It refers to the amount of sugar added to the sparkling wine just before corking, or to the sweetness level of the finished wine.The dosage, or liqueur d’expedition (as it is called in French), is typically a mixture of sugar and wine, though it could just be a sweet wine. The tradition of adding dosage comes from Champagne.
Sep 24, 2012
Wine Words: Tank Method (Charmat Method)
Last week I explained the wine word ‘Traditional Method‘. Tank Method is another wine word, specific to sparkling wine. Tank Method is also know as ‘Cuve Close’ or Charmat Method. Tank Method is a name for a sparkling wine making process. Unlike the ‘Traditional Fermentation’, whereby the second fermentation happens in bottle, in Tank Method it takes place in a large closed pressure tank.
Sep 10, 2012
Why Egg Whites Are Used to Make Wine
Did you know that egg whites play quite an important role in the making of red wine? They work as a fining agent. Interested in finding out more? Read on to find out why and how egg whites are used to help make wine! Most of us expect that when we pour a glass of wine it will be clear and bright. Unfortunately when a wine finishes fermenting it is far from so.
Sep 7, 2012
A Wine to Drink with Eggy Desserts: Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti
Wine of the Week: Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’AstiRegion & Country: Piedmont, ItalyPrice: $12 In keeping with Egg Week at The Kitchn, I can’t think of anything nicer to pair with an ‘eggy’ dessert such as creamy zabaglione than a refreshing glass of Moscato d’Asti.I recently bought a half bottle (375 ml) of this 2010 Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti — perfect size for two to share and it was a match made in heaven. Have you ever tried this pairing?
Sep 5, 2012
Wine Words: Traditional Method
Traditional Method (or méthode traditionelle) is a wine word associated with the production of Champagne and other bottle-fermented sparkling wines. It is an official, technical term denoting a specific method and process. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Classic Method’ (méthode classique), while it used to be called the ‘Champagne Method.’Traditional Method means that the sparkling wine in question was bottle fermented. i.e.
Aug 27, 2012