Great Wines for Mother’s Day Celebrations

Now that we are well into spring and Mother’s Day is fast approaching, you may be wondering how to celebrate this special day. What better way to honour your mother than treating her to a nice meal served with a well-chosen bottle of wine?

When choosing a wine for Mother’s Day, you may want to look for lighter styles. As the weather starts to get warmer in the early days of May, we tend to crave more refreshing lighter-bodied wines. Lighter wines also generally pair better with the types of foods traditionally served for Mother’s Day brunches and lunches.

Below are 4 different styles of wine that would make any mother happy.

Champagne/Sparkling Wine

Champagne is always a great choice, not only because it is the ultimate celebratory wine, but also because throughout history there have been several powerful women who played significant roles in making Champagne the famous wine it is today.

Two women in particular, the Veuve (widow) Clicquot Ponsardin and Louise Pommery, defied all odds, breaking into the male dominated business world to create two of the most celebrated Champagne houses ever. Both women changed the way Champagne was made and marketed, and many of their ideas are still in use to this day. Veuve Clicquot blazed a trail for the mass production of Champagne by inventing a quicker and easier way to disgorge the wine (remove the sediment) that is still used in the production of fine sparkling wine around the world. Madame Pommery was first to make the drier Brut style of Champagne that is now so popular. Later, in the middle of the 20th century, another woman, Lily Bollinger, headed the famous house of Bollinger.

Champagne is a great pairing with numerous dishes including eggs and egg-based dishes such as frittatas, quiches, and omelets, which are commonly served at Mother’s Day brunches. French toast and pancakes also go well with Champagne. Try a pink Champagne for an added festive flair.

Sparkling wine made using the traditional method (the same method used to make Champagne) can be a slightly less expensive, but still tasty, alternative to Champagne.  Traditional method sparkling wines are made all over the world.  In France they may be labeled as ‘Cremant’.  Ontario also makes excellent sparkling wines.

Another great way to serve sparkling wine at brunch is to make it into a sparkling wine cocktail. Mimosas are a fun way to jazz up plain orange juice.

Gewurztraminer

Does your mother love the fresh aromas of blossoms on a springtime day? Why not give her an aromatic Gewurztraminer to match that exquisite perfume?

Gewurztraminer is a green grape that makes beautifully scented white wines reminiscent of fresh rose petals and lychee fruit. Lilac, cinnamon, orange blossom, honeysuckle, bergamot, and citrus peel are other common descriptors for these wines. Great Gewurztraminers can be found from Alsace, France and Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula, among other places.

Dry wines made from Gewurztraminer would be a great pairing for brunch where pancakes topped with tropical fruit are served. If you prefer to treat your mother to a light lunch then Gewurztraminer works wonderfully with just about any kind of seafood. Or, if you want to give her the night off from cooking and treat her to take-out, Gewurztraminer is one of the few wines that pairs well with Chinese, Thai, or Indian food.

Gewurztraminer can also be made into an intoxicating sweet wine. There are many excellent examples of Gewurztraminer Icewines from Ontario. Alsace also makes wonderful sweet Gewurztraminers which are can be labelled as either vendange tardive (which can also be dry so you’ll need to ask at the store), or the much more rare and lusciously sweet sélection de grains nobles. Sweet Gewurztraminers make an excellent partner with fruit tart desserts.

Pink Wines

Rosés are usually light- to medium-bodied pink wines made from red grapes. They get their pink colour by spending minimal contact with the grape skins where all the colour pigments are located. Red wines are a darker colour because they spend a much longer time macerating with the skins.

Any number of red grapes can be made into a pink wine and just about every wine region in the world makes at least some. Pink wines typically have a fresh fruity character and are very pleasant to drink. They can range in style from dry to very sweet.

Rosé or pink wine always adds a nice burst of colour to a spring or summer table and are a great match to a number of dishes. Dry rosés pair well with quiche, paté, ham, salmon and other seafood, prosciutto, and even hamburgers and hotdogs.

Pinot Noir

If your mother prefers red wine then Pinot Noir may be the answer.  Pinot Noir is made throughout the world and can be elegant and sophisticated – just like your mother.  The grape is relatively low in tannin with fresh red, sometimes dark berry flavours that pair well with salmon, ham, proscuitto, and even lamb or hamburgers.  Look for Pinot Noir from Burgundy (France), Central Otago (New Zealand), Oregon (USA), Chile, or Ontario for some good examples.

This article was slightly altered from an article I wrote last year and published on Suite101.com.

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