Tag Archives: Mother’s Day wine

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Mother’s Day wine 2016

Mother's Day wineWelcome to the Wine Curmudgeon’s 10th annual Mother’s Day wine post, in which the point has always been about finding something to make Mom happy. It’s funny how often that doesn’t happen in wine, isn’t it?

As always, the most important piece of advice to make that possible? Buy Mom a Mother’s Day wine gift that she will like, and not something that you think Mom should like because you know more about wine than she does. In other words, if Mom likes sweet white, then buy her the best sweet white you can find, and don’t worry about whether it’s a proper wine for her to drink.

These Mother’s Day wine suggestions should get you started doing just that – and all are highly recommended:

Domaine Robert Sérol Turbullent NV ($18, sample, 8.5%): This rose sparkling wine, made with the gamay grape from a less well known part of the Loire in France, is one of those wines that most of us are afraid to try because it’s so different. So take my word for it: Terrific Mother’s Day bubbly, with raspberry fruit, tight bubbles, and surprisingly dry given the lack of alcohol.

Domaine Séguinot-Bordet Petit Chablis ($20, purchased, 12.5%): Delicious and almost affordable white Burgundy (chardonnay from the Chablis area in the Burgundy region of France) that is varietally correct – a rich mouth feel, wonderful lemon fruit, hints of white spice, and an almost nutty flavor mixed in with all the rest. A good introduction to Chablis for someone who drinks mostly California chardonnay.

Bieler Père et Fils Sabine Rose 2015 ($10, purchased, 12.5%): Given how many roses – even from the Old World – are amping up the fruit this vintage because some focus group said they should, the Bieler remains what a great Provencal rose should be: Tart raspberry fruit, crisp and refreshing, and always enjoyable. There is even a hint of what the French call garrigue – an almost herbal aroma from the flowers and herbs growing near the vineyards.

Alois Lageder Schiava 2014 ($15, purchased, 12%): A fascinating wine from one of my favorite Itlalian producers made with the odd schiava grape. It produces a light, spicy, fruity (berry?) red wine with few tannins. Somewhere between gamay and pinot noir, but truly its own wine and one that should please both red and white drinkers.

More about Mother’s Day wine:
Mother’s Day wine 2015
Mother’s day wine 2014
Expensive wine 86: Jansz Premium Cuvee NV
Wine of the week: Banfi CollePino 2014

wine of week

Wine of the week: Pio Cesare Arneis 2013

Pio Cesare ArneisDoes Mom like white wine? Do you want to spend more than $10 since it’s wine for Mother’s Day? Then enjoy the Pio Cesare Arneis ($15, purchased, 13%). If all $15 wine tasted like this, the Wine Curmudgeon would drink more $15 wine.

Arneis is a rare Piedmontese white grape usually used for blending in expensive red wine, or to make flabby, simple stuff that we rarely see much in this country. The Pio Cesare Arneis, on the other hand, gives this grape a respect it has rarely had. I first tasted it four years ago, where it was almost an afterthought during a lunch that included most of the great red wines from Pio Cesare, one of Italy’s top producers.

This vintage (which was about one-quarter less expensive than the first Arneis, and no, I don’t know why) was even more enjoyable. Look for white pepper, some subtle white fruit that stays just out of recognition, and that is still amazingly fresh even though it’s a three-year-old white wine in this era of drink it or toss it. It’s also rounder and fuller than most $15 white wines, without the acidic edges that even some chardonnays at that price have.

Highly recommended, especially if you want to try something other than chardonnay and more green apple fruit and fake vanilla. Drink it on its own to toast Mom, or with any sort of Mother’s Day brunch.

winereview

Expensive wine 87: Jansz Premium Cuvee NV

Jansz Premium CuveeTasmania, the island off the southern coast of Australia, is one of the least known wine regions in the world, and Tasmanian sparkling wine suffers because of that. Which is too bad, because, the wine doesn’t suffer from a lack of quality. Case in point: The Jansz Premium Cuvee ($30, sample, 12%).

Tasmania is colder than most of Australia, a climate that allows it to produce grapes that don’t do as well in the rest of the country and to make lighter, fresher wines. In the case of the Jansz Premium Cuvee, that means chardonnay and pinot noir, using Methode Champenoise (or, as some of the Tassies – love that Aussie slang – call it, Methode Tasmanoise) to produce a crisp, yeasty, and delightful bubbly.

Look for a creaminess that you usually don’t get with New World sparklers, plus pear and green apple fruit and a dash of berry from the pinot noir. The oak is restrained, complementing the wine and not dominating it. Highly recommended, and an ideal choice for Mother’s Day whether as gift or for brunch with Eggs Benedict or crepes stuffed with scrambled eggs.

winereview

Mother’s Day wine 2015

Mother's Day wineMother’s Day wine is about options: wine for a gift, wine for brunch, or wine for dinner? Fortunately, the Wine Curmudgeon has all possibilities covered, as well as the most important piece of advice when it comes wine gift giving. you ?re buying someone a gift they will like, and not a gift that you think they should like because you know more about wine than they do. In other words, if Mom likes sweet red, then buy her the best sweet red you can afford, and don’t worry about the wine police.

These wines are a start on covering most of the eventualities:

? Vinum Cellars Sparkling Chenin Blanc NV ($18, sample, 12.5%): Delicious bubbly that shows what a top-notch California producer can do with the charmat method and the Wine Curmudgeon’s beloved chenin blanc. The wine is slighty sweet, with fine bubbles, lime fruit, and even a bit of spice. This is Mother’s Day brunch wine, and if it is a touch pricey, it is for Mom.

? Ch teau Sainte Marie Vieilles Vignes 2011 ($15, sample, 13.5%): Varietally correct right bank Bordeaux, which means earthy, jammy black fruit, smooth tannins, and a merlot sort of finish — not long, but round and full. If you’re planning a barbecue or informal dinner, this French red will make Mom happy.

? Ch teau Sainte Marguerite C tes de Provence 2013 ($18, sample, 12%): Gorgeous onion skin rose from Provence in France that’s worth the price, one of the best roses I’ve tasted in years. Look for fresh red fruit to complement the orange-ish color; what the French call garrigue, an almost herbal aroma; and a very long finish.

? Domaine F lines Jourdan Picpoul 2013 ($10, sample, 13%): White wine from southern France with the picpoul grape’s trademark tart lemon as well as something softer — peach? — in the middle. This is about as well made as $10 picpoul gets, and is a candidate for the 2016 $10 Hall of Fame. Let Mom sip it on the porch while she enjoys her holiday.

wine of week

Wine of the week: Vega Barcelona Cava Brut Seleccion NV

Vega BarcelonaOne of the great joys in doing the blog is when I find a wine my mom likes. She’ll print the post, take it to her local retailer, he will compliment her on her good taste, and she will boast about her son. So, for Mother’s Day, the Vega Barcelona cava. Enjoy, mom,

This has been a wonderful year for cava, the Spanish sparkling wine, and the Vega Barcelona ($15, sample, 11.5%) is no exception. We tasted it when we did Spanish wine at my El Centro class, and even the students who only liked sweet wine liked this one. That’s because it gave the impression of sweetness — honey and ripe pear aromas — while tasting bone dry, with some green apple and citrus flavors. The bubbles were tight and the wine was crisp and fresh, two other hallmarks of quality.

How well done is this wine? One of the wine magazines gave it the ultimate backhanded compliment: “… a decent amount of elegance for a $15 wine.”

Highly recommended, and worth the extra $5 it costs compared to other cavas — even if it wasn’t for Mother’s Day. Pair this with most anything for a Mother’s Day brunch or just to toast Mom.

wine advice

Mother’s Day wine 2014

Mother's Day wine 2014Keep two things in mind when buying Mother ?s Day wine 2014. First, wine as a gift requirea a different apprioach than wine to drink with brunch. A heavy red wine with scrambled eggs, no matter how much Mom likes heavy red wine, may not be the best idea. Second, don’t forget our wine gift-giving guidelines ? ?Don ?t buy someone wine that you think they should like; buy them what they will like.

Hence these suggestions:

? Lamberti Vino Spumante NV ($14, sample, 11.5%): Surprisingly pleasant Italian sparkler at a not bad price with sweetish strawberry fruit, decent enough bubbles for spumante, and light body. The quintessential brunch wine.

? Feudo Arancio Nero d’Avola Stemmari 2012 ($8, purchased, 13.5%): Solid red made with nero d’avola grape that speaks to how far Sicily has come. Five years ago, I would have raved about its sour cherry fruit and hints of dark herbs. Today, it seems simple, though it’s still a fine value and quite enjoyable.

? Jules Taylor Pinot Gris 2012 ($19, purchased, 13.5%): Another quality effort from one of my favorite New Zealand producers. Light and delicate white fruit, far removed from the fruit-forward style of the Pacific Northwest but just as interesting.

? Fowles Wine Stone Dwellers Riesling 2011 ($20, sample, $12.9%): Modern style of Australian riesling, with lots of candied lemon balanced by an almost bubbly acidity to make a medium dry wine. Very nicely done, if you don’t mind spending $20 on riesling. And you probably don’t for Mom.

More about Mother ?s Day wine:
? Mother ?s Day wine 2013
? Mother ?s Day wine 2012
? Expensive wine 62: Chamisal Chalifa Chardonnay 2011
? Wine of the week: Zenato San Benedetto 2012

Image courtesy of Cheeky Chicago, using a Creative Commons license

Expensive wine 50: Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut NV

ContaldiThe Wine Curmudgeon has never been able to figure out Italian sparkling wine, all those Proseccos and Astis, despite Herculean efforts from people like the Italian Wine Guy. And if those wines baffle me, you can imagine what I think of the newish sparkling moscatos, many of which are made with all the finesse of a 7-Eleven Slurpee.

Not all sparkling wine needs to taste like Champagne (long live cava!), but I appreciate the Champagne structure and style ? firm, tight bubbles; a clean, long taste; and the balance between acidity and fruit.

That ?s what makes the Castaldi ($21, sample, 12.5%) different from other Italian sparkling wines. It ?s made with a couple of Champagne grapes (mostly chardonnay) and made using the Champagne method. The Franciacorta region, near the Swiss border, is the only area in the country where this is done.

And, as with well-made sparkling wine from Spain and elsewhere, it uses those techniques to make a terroir-driven wine. The Castaldi tastes like it comes from Italy  — crisp, small bubbles and a bit of clean apple fruit that ?s not a Champagne knockoff that oozes of caramel. Excellently done and much better than I expected.

This is Mother ?s Day wine, whether for brunch on Sunday or to toast Mom for another year well done.

More about Mother's Day wine:
? Mother's Day wine 2013
? Mother's Day wine 2012
? Mother's Day wine 2011
? Wine of the week: Domaine du Tariquet Classic 2011
? Wine of the week: Casteller Brut Rose NV