I recently read there’s a significant bump in wine consumption for Mother’s Day. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a glass, or even their own bottle, than mothers.
When I think about the time and energy my wife lavished on our children and I see how hard my daughter works at mothering her two girls, I know it’s the toughest job anywhere — 24/7 with no vacation or pension plan and a lifetime tenure, it’s not a job for the faint of heart. Like most kids, I took my mother’s efforts for granted, but now I look back and appreciate how hard she worked.
So let’s join the trend and get those mothers some wine.
I immediately think of wines made by women winemakers for a Mother’s Day celebration. There are lots of women calling the shots at wineries and more joining the ranks all the time.
You’ve probably seen the La Crema label, but may not know that Jen Walsh is the sure hand behind these highly-regarded and widely-distributed wines. Look for her Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($25) or Pinot Noir ($18) as a good starting place.
Stephanie Jacobs worked her way up through the ranks at Cakebread Cellars to become only the fourth winemaker in the 46-year history of the iconic Napa winery. For an extra special Mother’s Day meal, track down a bottle of any of their highly-regarded Chardonnays ($50 to $70) or Pinot Noirs.
Nothing says special occasion like sparkling wine. Pauline Lhote makes the sparkling wines at Domaine Chandon, the Napa Valley outpost of Moet Chandon. She brings her French winemaking background to California, with a special affinity for bubbly rose ($18).
Speaking of rose wines, they’re perfect for honoring mom. Interest in pink wines has blossomed in recent years, ramping up right around Mother’s Day.
Rose, with its beautiful hues and wide range of flavors, has captured the imagination of warm-weather wine drinkers. Gone are the days of sweet, simple white zinfandel. Rose comes from around the world in seductive shades of pink, ranging from bone dry to attractively fruity, all with real wine flavor.
Our current favorite is Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Cistercien Rose ($18), a wine from Austria with balanced fruit and acidity in the Germanic tradition that would enhance any Mother’s Day festivities. It’s featured at Ancona’s wines in Wilton.
The label looks complicated, so let me take a minute to unpack it for you:
Schloss Gobelsburg, a castle in the Kamptal wine region of Austria about 50 miles northwest of Vienna, was renovated to its current baroque style in 1725. Goblesburg is the name of the Schloss — the German term for what would be called a chateau in France — and the surrounding vineyards, the headquarters of a large wine-making operation.
Schlosskellerei translates to castle cellars, where the wines are made and stored under temperature-controlled conditions.Read Full Article
Cistercien is the brand name of their popular rose. It’s also the name of the order of monks who originally occupied the site and made wine there in 1740.
Rose is a wine made from red grapes where the skins are only in contact with the fermenting juice for a short time. A little bit of color and flavor is transferred to the juice but not enough to make red wine. The Cistercien rose is made from Zweigelt, St. Laurent, and Pinot Noir grapes grown in the cooler sites of Gobelsburg and Langenlois.
Although you don’t have to know any of that to enjoy this delightful, food-friendly and refreshing wine, it’s fun to understand all those long German words on the label.
There are roses from America, but there are more from Europe. It’s a long-standing tradition there, particularly in the warm-weather regions around the Mediterranean in France, Italy, and Spain.
Whispering Angel from Provence ($23) is a popular choice.
Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose ($22) comes in a very spiffy bottle. It’s a joint venture between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with the legendary wine-making Perrin family. The wine comes with its own aura of celebrity glitz and glamour that might add some pizzazz to Mother’s Day brunch. I had to go to three stores before I finally found them at A-1 Cellars in New Canaan.
If your mother is as deserving of celebration as the ones in my family, then a glass, or even a bottle, of wine doesn’t begin to cover it. But it’s a start.
Frank Whitman can be reached at NotBreadAloneFW@gmail.com.