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Mother’s Day Drinks Bring Smiles

Every Mother has their special attributes. Unlike picking their favorite child, they will usually tell you straight up what drinks they prefer. With the current shelter in place, all options are on the table for enjoying beverages including some fun ones.

For the Trend Setter

Yes, rosés are in style. All the magazines have pretty pages of pink-salmon rosés.
Miraval Rosé 2018 from the Côtes de Provence is a near-pink color, not too dark or too pale, with a soft but structured mouth feel. I found the fresh fruit and spring flowers aromas appealing and was ready to food-pair the wine with a summer salad and bowl of peaches and cream. Then my friend and I realized we had better get serious about dinner—we had finished off half the 375-ml half bottle during Happy Hour. The 2019 Miraval drinks well, too.

Rotari Brut Rosé is a bright and easy quaff from Northern Italy. This is not a mass-produced prosecco. This sparkler is made in the Champagne method with the same carefully produced, time consuming process as its French counterpart. The wine is from the Trentodoc, an under-appreciated appellation near the Dolomite Alps. With hints of raspberry and white fruit, this blend of chardonnay and pinot noir is bright and satisfying on the patio or at the table.

For the fun-loving adventurer
Some Moms just want to have fun.
Blue Marble Cocktails arrive in cans which look like small juice cans. I’m normally leery of canned cocktails. But during this COVID-19 era, these small-sized drinks are handy additions to social-distanced events like driveway happy hours. Served chilled with a straw or over ice in a small glass, the seven-ounce cocktails are only 15 percent ABV. The good news is that of the three versions tried—Marble-rita, Bloody Mary, and the crowd favorite, Moscow Mule, are relatively true to type and not too sweet and sour.

Fun Wines live up to their name. These hard-to-miss bottles are found in most states except the West Coast. The slightly carbonated wines are definitely not terroir driven. Made from French and Spanish grapes, these wines are truly pan-European. But many mothers, including my sister who is an exceptional Mom, prefer sweet wines. For purists, the three wines in the collection may make them blush: Coconut Chardonnay, Strawberry Rose Moscato and Sangria. But at 5.5 percent ABV, these wines are easy sippers to start the meal as a tipple in lieu of dessert.

For the Traditionalist: White wines

Cakebread Cellars has always had a secret ingredient—the woman’s touch from co-founder Dolores Cakebread. She planted the fruit and vegetable garden long before farm to table became a buzzword. Then she hired Chef Brian Streeter who creates excellent pairings with the highly regarded Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. But I recently tasted their 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and enjoyed the ripe melon and guava flavors. Made by winemaker Stephanie Jacobs, this is one bright wine to pair with a brunch casserole or grilled chicken.
Murrieta’s Well is a local favorite winery from the lesser known appellation of Livermore Valley. As part of Wente Family Estates, Murrieta’s Well shares an appreciation for sustainable viticulture and heritage—in this case, the link to Gold Rush bandit Joaquin Murrieta who visited the property. Maybe the bit of wild cowboy in the name and unusual blend is why I like 2017 Murrieta’s Well The Whip. The estate mix of chardonnay, semillon, white muscat, viognier, and muscat canelli. and a healthy dash of sauvignon blanc yields a wine with excellent texture and rich flavor—fruit-forward  and bright but not sweet.

For the Traditionalist: Red wines

Shafer Vineyards offers red wines galore. How does one pick a special wine for mothers? My friend who is a special Mom loves them all from Hillside Select to Red Shoulder and One Point Five. This year I propose the 2016 Shafer Vineyards Relentless is the top selection. Beyond the name which applies to every mother raising a child, the wines are powerful and balanced. As for which vintage, 2016 Shafer Vineyards Relentless is ready to drink now with its elegant balance of flavors ranging from meaty to black tea-like.

Stark-Condé wine comes with a surprise for Mom. For a red wine drinker who usually sticks to merlot or cabernet sauvignon, here is a syrah from South Africa that may interest those who aren’t familiar with the varietal. Winemaker Mahalia Kotjane currently at Lievland Vineyards, has created a lovely wine for those who do not usually think the wine can evince both elegance and polish. Kotjane’s 2016 Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Syrah brings mild spice and a smooth finish.
Jordan Winery winemaker Maggie Kruse knows a great vintage when she tastes one. The 2016 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic expression of the winery’s goal to balance the fruit from Alexander Valley with soft, silky tannins. Think black currants, plum and black cherry on the palate. A pleasant wine for all red wine-loving Moms.

One last note on Mother’s Day during the pandemic

There have been many creative and thoughtful Mother’s Day stories in the wine press during the last weeks. The actions of one Sonoma winery caught my eye. Though only available locally, the offer speaks to the heart of the winery owners. Sangiacomo Family Wines collaborated with a local bakery and flower shop to present a package of treats for pick up at the winery. A special Mother’s Day pairing during quarantine times.



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