Mother’s Day: Give the gift of rest, appreciation – and wine, of course!

Sara d'Amato

Sara d’Amato

Recently I became a mother for the third time with the birth of little Jasper a mere eight weeks ago. Despite the haze of newborn-dom I am back to tasting wine. The most valuable asset a mother has is the ability to multitask. In fact, while I write this I am also playing Lego and making blueberry pancakes. With renewed sympathy and appreciation for mothers everywhere, and especially my own, I would like to offer a few suggestions to all of you wracking your brains to come up with the perfect mother’s day solution. And although I realize that writing this piece may be somewhat (hopefully) self-serving (hint hint), I can assure you from ample personal experience that these suggestions will not go unappreciated.

The theme of these wine recommendations is relaxation, something that might come naturally to most people, but that many mothers learn to live without, at least as long as they have children under their roofs. What we mothers want from Mother’s Day is simple: rest and appreciation. No need for expensive gifts or elaborate surprises. And if your mom is anything like me, a nice round glass of aptly-chosen wine is the very symbol of relaxation. Whether you are planning a home-cooked brunch or allowing mom some free time at home alone, a bottle of wine will never be unwelcome.

Brunch Worthy:

Treating mom to a home cooked meal is a tried and true practice on Mother’s Day. But to go the extra mile and pair brunch with a memorable bottle of wine will win yourself a multitude of points. To whet your palate, here are a few praiseworthy suggestions:

Henry Of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Blanc De Blanc 2007
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, ON $44.95

Not only will this newly redesigned, gorgeous bottle dress up your table, it will add class to your affair. A mistake would be attempting to make this into a mimosa, however, so stay away from the OJ and let the wine alone impress. Pair with blini, crème fraiche and caviar for a decadent match.

Henry Of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Blanc De Blanc

Tilia Torrontes 2010
Salta, Argentina, ON $12.95

Fun, fresh, floral and unique, this affordable selection is also sure to receive thumbs up from moms everywhere. Skip the bouquet and reach for the Torrontes for a fresh alternative to her usual faves. Try with Thai inspired cold spring rolls.

Tilia Torrontes 2010

Ca’Dei Mandorli Dei Giari Moscato D’asti 2011
Piedmont, Italy, ON $15.95

Here’s a wine that will have mom asking for a second glass and with half the alcohol as in a standard glass of wine, there is no reason not to indulge (an apt selection for nursing mothers). Pair with a lemon panna cotta or mixed greens with strawberries and almonds.

Ca' Dei Mandorli Dei Giari Moscato d'Asti 2011

Château St. Roch Syrah/Grenache Rosé 2011
Languedoc Roussillon, France Vintages, ON $14.95

Both the ladies and the men of the house will appreciate this swoon-worthy rosé from southern France. Dry with notes of lavender and pink grapefruit, this will prove a delightful pairing for smoked salmon eggs benedict.

Château St. Roch Syrah Grenache Rosé 2011

Contemplative Whites

Taking the kids out for ice cream and allowing mom some peaceful time alone to rest and relax is just the thing to recharge the overworked lady of the house. Leaving her a bottle of wine and a charming note will have her smiling in no time. Here are a few restorative suggestions:

Norman Hardie Chardonnay 2009
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, ON $35.00

An intuitive, generous and thoughtful family man himself, Norman Hardie also produces world-class chardonnays rich with terroir-inspired complexity, subtlety and elegance. A great wine to help mom contemplate and appreciate her generous and thoughtful family.

Norman Hardie Chardonnay 2009

Santo Santorini Assyrtiko 2011
Santorini, Greece, ON $16.95

Whisk mom away to one of the most beautiful spots in the world for some restorative daydreaming. The island of Santorini is perhaps the planet’s most picturesque locale with a dramatic coastline dotted by whitewashed dwellings that contrast the deep blue sea. As a result of its volcanic formation, the beaches feature jet-black sand and contribute to the complex terroir of these racy and verve-filled wines such as this scintillating assyrtiko.

Santorini Assyrtiko 2011

Gray Monk Pinot Gris 2011
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, ON $19.95, BC $16.99

An undeniably inviting wine that will both challenge and seduce, this delectable pinot is made in the heavier, more complex ‘gris’ style as opposed to the often lighter, brighter, more simple ‘grigio’ style. The west coast produces some of the most exquisite examples of this varietal and this bottle is a case in point. Utterly enjoyable on its own but also makes a great pairing for soft and semi-soft cheeses.

Gray Monk Pinot Gris 2011

Melt-Away Reds:

Pampering goes hand and hand with Mother’s Day so spoil her with an indulgent, enveloping, plush, velvety wine that will prove more satisfying than the spa. Sure to keep her off her feet for the afternoon while you finish the clean up (hint, hint).

Château Pech Redon L’épervier 2010
Côteaux Du Languedoc, France, ON $19.95

A strikingly soulful and compelling find at less than the price of a manicure (and much more rewarding). This spicy, wildly flavoured southern blend of syrah and grenache will prove both stimulating and indulgent.

Château Pech Redon L'épervier 2010

Langa Centenaria Garnacha 2008
Calatayud, Spain, ON $13.95

A massage and a bottle of grenache would do the trick for me on Mother’s Day and here’s a great value that is sure to knock her socks off. A decadent, almost guilty pleasure, this grenache is a perfect pairing for a little dark, spiced chocolate.

Langa Centenaria Garnacha 2008

Monte Del Frá Lena Di Mezzo Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2007
Veneto, Italy, ON $48.95, BC $79.99

This wine is certainly a splurge, but this is mom we’re talking about. Amarone is often thought of as a ‘masculine’ wine but in reality, women appreciate the lush, velvety texture and opulent fruit just as much as men and with reportedly more sensitive noses, we can certainly derive greater enjoyment from such a generously flavoured wine.

Monte Del Frá Lena Di Mezzo Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2007

Here’s to all mothers out there who could really use a break! Wishing you a peaceful and indulgent day.

Sara d’Amato