Spending time with Mom this Sunday, May 8? Surely there will be dining involved – maybe even dessert – and serving or gifting an elegant bottle of wine can be the icing on the cake. Uncork these fresh picks that marry superbly with spring fare and consider our pairings from local Texas vintners. Here’s a toast to all the marvelous Moms this Mother’s Day!
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER
Co-founded by Elizabeth Wall Hanson, her husband Mark Hanson, and their daughter, Sarah Hanson Citron, Sonoma County’s Bricoleur Vineyards is known for their refreshing sauvignon blanc, flagship pinot noir, and just released Isla Rose Brut Rosé, made in honor of Sarah’s firstborn. The aromatic sparkler dances on the palate – think wild strawberries, cherry marmalade and citrus blossom with an earthy mineral finish. It’s a special wine for a special lady ($50). The family has deep roots in winemaking going back to Elizabeth’s great-grandfather, the oenologist for Sonoma’s historic Italian Swiss Colony in the 1800s. The beautiful new winery presents unique wine and food pairings by a team of award-winning chefs. Check out the website for great ideas and tasting options.
There’s no better way to celebrate Mom than with a fantastic bottle of wine made by a female vintner. Robin Lail’s ancestors founded Inglenook in 1879, a legendary winery in Napa Valley. Now Lail has her own winery with her two grown daughters – her young granddaughter even gets in on the grape harvest! Fans flock to Lail’s Blueprint wines Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc – both stunners and 10% of online sales are donated to organizations in the fight against climate change. (Starting at $50)
ROSÉS FOR MOM
This California rosé cru blushing in a gorgeous bottle with a sculpted flower stopper, isn’t just a pretty face with a certain je ne sais quoi. Pure and aromatic with a touch of strawberry and Bing cherry, the Grenache-forward rosé is crisp and elegant. The keepsake bottle was designed to be used afterwards for displaying olive oils, bath salts or even a bouquet of flowers. We’re sold. (Petite $18/full $29)
If she’s into sustainability and a touch of sweetness, La Fleur Ca rosé will be Mom’s jam. The limited edition wine is soft, crisp and refreshing with bright fruit and a lovely round mouthfeel. It pairs perfectly with salads to salmon and barbecue – and the screw top opens easily. (About $25)
MORE WEST COAST BEAUTIES
Benziger Family Winery
Hot off the heels of Earth Day, this organic and biodynamic wine pioneer is ready to celebrate the moms in our lives with its recently released rosé, sauvignon blanc and Joaquin’s Inferno red blend. Clean, delicious choices you can always count on! (Starting at $16)
Goose Ridge Vineyards
From Columbia Valley, WA, this new must-try collection, known as G3, is turning heads. Estate-grown chardonnay, pinot noir and its red blend are top value hits worth seeking out. ($15)
The Hess Persson Estate’s founder, Donald Hess, instilled the principle to “nurture the land and return what you take.” To continue the legacy of crafting award-winning wines, grapes are sourced from grower families throughout California. Crisp, balanced Hess Select Chardonnay 2019 and Hess Select Pinot Gris 2021 have fresh, fruity aromas perfect for welcoming the season. Embarrassingly affordable ($13); available nationwide.
Dandy Rosé | Wine for the People
Austin winemaker Rae Wilson is crafting all kinds of greatness in a glass that Mom will adore including its La Valentía Chenin Blanc and Dandy rosé. Perfect pairing: “One of my favorite dishes with Dandy rosé ($24) is a traditional tapas dish from Spain: Gambas al ajillo. The dish consists of shrimp, olive oil and lots of garlic with a touch of dried red pepper, which gives the sauce a fantastic bite. The juicy palate of this dry-style rosé perfectly complements the rich dish,” says Wilson.
The 2020 Roussanne bursts with aromas of juicy tangerine and lemongrass, layers of complexity due to its aging – half in French oak and the other half in stainless steel – and a soft, floral finish. Perfect pairing: Winemaker Randy Hester likes Roussanne ($27) with “Famous Giant Beans & Citrus,” a recipe from the La Buvette cookbook based on dishes from a tiny wine shop and café in Paris. “It’s an easy dish for a Mother’s Day appetizer and totally jives with the citrus qualities in the wine,” says Hester.
Here’s another distinctive 2020 Texas Roussanne Reserve ($38) that deserves bragging rights. Nutty and rich with a silky texture, it tastes like a cousin to finely oaked chardonnay but with its own personality. (Just like Mom!) Perfect pairing: Buttery fish like lobster, crab with avocado, shrimp scampi, foie gras and patê.
Fall Creek Vineyards
Winemaker Sergio Cuadra’s well-crafted, refreshing Texas sauvignon blanc and chardonnay varietals are the antidote to warm Texas weather. This year’s Mother’s Day special box includes Fall Creek Roussanne 2021, merlot rosé 2021, and Chez Rouge 2020 ($60). Perfect pairing: Texas cheeses and charcuterie, light seafood pasta, savory vegetable casseroles.
Escudo Rojo Gran Reserva, Chile
Impress Mom with the 2019 vintage, a blend of five red grape varietals imparting a full-bodied unctuousness with silky tannins, almond and coffee nuances from barrel aging, and intense dark fruit notes of blueberry, blackcurrant and cherry. It’s part of the legendary Baron Philippe de Rothschild Chile portfolio. (About $23)
Unanime Mascota Vineyards Sparkling, Mendoza, Argentina
This creamy 2020 sparkling wine is a blend of chardonnay and Malbec grapes made in the traditional Champagne method. It delivers perfumed aromas of buttercream and honey with a smooth and elegant finish. Instant smiles! (About $20)
Cover photo courtesy JNSQ
Robin Barr Sussman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston Modern Luxury Magazine, Houston CityBook, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.