Tag Archives: Mother’s Day wine

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 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.

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

The 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

Mother’s Day wine 2013

Yes, you can buy Mom wine for Mother’s Day. Why not? Doesn ?t Mom like wine? Don ?t you think she should have some? Keep the wine gift-giving guidelines in mind — “Don’t buy someone wine that you think they should like; buy them what they will like,” as well as these suggestions:

? Regional wine: Mom can drink local, too. St. James Pioneer Red ($11, sample, 12%) is great, cheap regional wine from Missouri. Lots of black fruit, but also earthiness and acidity. Limited availability, but there ?s likely a local wine near you that will do the same thing.

? Cune Rioja Monopole Blanco ($12, purchased, 13%). The Cune Rioja Blanco is a Hall of Fame candidate, and this Spanish white is even more impressive. Terrific food wine, especially if you’re tired of chardonnay, with white fruit, some white pepper and a pleasant, if shortish, finish.

? Tormaresca Chardonnay 2011 ($12, sample, 12.5%). Italian white is amazingly consistent from vintage to vintage, with lemon and apple fruit, a hint of sweetness and a sort of stony finish. Clean and well made, without any of the excess of chardonnay — fake oak, overripe fruit — at this price.

? Trivento Amado Sur 2011 ($14, sample, 14%). Well-done malbec blend from Argentina, with lots of sweet red fruit, a little black pepper and even a bit of citrus in the middle. Balanced, but firmly in the new world style.

More about Mother’s Day wine:
? 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

Wine of the week: Domaine du Tariquet Classic 2011

My mom enjoys a glass of wine now and then, and I ?d like to think that I ?ve helped her with that. She reads the blog, and is better informed when she walks into a liquor store to buy a bottle.

Which is one of the reasons why the Tariquet ($10, purchased, 11.5%) is the wine of the week with Mother ?s Day coming up. Yes, I ?ve praised this wine many times before, and it has been in the $10 Hall of Fame since 2009. But its great strength ? and I don ?t know that I ?ve emphasized this enough ? is that it ?s table wine the way it should be but isn ?t often enough in this country. You don ?t need to be a wine geek to enjoy it. You don ?t need to have piles of money. You don ?t need to read the Wine Magazines or to parse scores.

All you need is $10. Good wine shouldn ?t be more difficult than that, should it?

This vintage of the Tariquet isn ?t as grapey, which is one of the things I always enjoyed about it. Look for more citrus, probably because this year ?s blend has sauvignon blanc in addition to ugni blanc and colombard, the classic grapes of Gascony. But the wine is still balanced, clean and fresh — very well made and not only among the best cheap wines in France, but in the world. Highly recommended. Drink a toast to mom with it on Sunday; I know I will.

Mother’s Day wine 2012

Mother's Day wine

Doesn't Mom deserve wine for Mother's Day?

Buy Mom wine for Mother's Day. She'll appreciate it. Right, Mom? Or, failing that, buy her wine for Mother's Day brunch. Whatever you do, though, keep our wine gift-giving guidelines in mind — "Don't buy someone wine that you think they should like; buy them what they will like."

These suggestions should get you started:

? Bonterra Viognier 2010 ($14, sample): Easily the best California viognier I've had in years (yes, damning with faint praise, but praise nonetheless), with crisp, clean apricot fruit. A little oily, which was interesting, and a decent finish. If it was cheaper, it's probably in the $10 Hall of Fame.

? Local wine: We tasted wines from a dozen or so states at our recent DrinkLocalWine conference, and there is plenty of quality and value out there. If you're in Colorado, try the Guy Drew riesling 2010 ($16, sample), with lemongrass, a lot of acid, and a fair amount of residual sugar that is barely noticeable because of all the acid. Excellent example of terroir and high altitude grapes. Not in Colorado? Ask for a recommendation for your Other 47 state in the comments or send me an ">" target="_blank">email.

? Toad Hollow Risque NV ($16, sample): Sparkling wine that takes sparkling wine to a place it doesn't often go. Sweet? Yes, but not just to be sweet, but as a style. And there are plenty of bubbles to balance the sweetness. It was a favorite of the late Todd Williams, who ran Toad Hollow and always told a good story about this wine.

More about Mother's Day wine:
? Mother's Day wine 2011
? Mother's Day wine 2010
? Wine of the week: Luc Pirlet Pinot Noir 2009
Wine review: Cline Cellars Cool Climate Syrah 2010

Cartoon courtesy Gerald_G via OpenClipArt, using a Creative Commons license