America’s First Female Master of Wine Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

A ground-breaking woman in the world of wine received recognition for her lifetime’s work yesterday.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust honored Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW with a lifetime achievement award during the WSET’s 2019 Awards and Graduation Ceremony held in London.

Ewing-Mulligan was the first woman in America to achieve a Master of Wine designation. (Currently 380 individuals worldwide are Masters of Wine, including 48 in the U.S.) She is also responsible for introducing WSET programs to the U.S. in 1994, the organization says, and has spent the last 25 years promoting WSET expansion across the country.

“I am honored beyond words to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from WSET,” says Ewing-Mulligan. “When I introduced WSET’s courses to the U.S. almost 25 years ago, I believed that the programs could change the face of wine and spirits education in my country. My early hopes have truly come to fruition and I am grateful for the opportunity to support WSET’s mission to make academic excellence accessible to wine and spirits professionals not only in New York but also nationwide.”

Playing host at the event was WSET Honorary President Steven Spurrier alongside Chief Executive Ian Harris. More than 500 global wine and spirits professionals and industry influencers attended.


In addition to heading International Wine Center, Ewing-Mulligan is co-author (with her husband, Ed McCarthy) of Wine For Dummies and Wine Style, Using your senses to explore and enjoy wine, both published by John Wiley & Sons. With more than one million copies sold, translations into 38 languages, and an audio tape, Wine For Dummies is the fastest-selling wine book ever in the U.S.

The couple have also authored White Wine For Dummies, Red Wine For Dummies, Wine Buying Companion For Dummies, Italian Wine For Dummies and French Wine For Dummies.

Ewing-Mulligan was wine columnist for The Daily News in New York City for more than ten years, as well as a columnist for trade magazines, Nation’s Restaurant News and Beverage Dynamics. She has also contributed wine articles to several publications in the U.S. and England. She is a past president of the Institute of Masters of Wine (North America) and currently serves as one of its directors. Her accomplishments have been featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine magazine, The New York Times, The Wine Spectator, Newsday, and Gourmet, and she has made dozens of television appearances. She also frequently judges at major national and international tasting competitions, and lectures to private groups.


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