Mother's Day coincides, in much of the country, with the first really nice weather of spring (in the Northeast, it's commonly considered the first day that it's safe to put fragile plants outside without fear of frost). It's usually a sunny holiday, then, and even if it isn't, it's should be an upbeat one, celebrating the most important woman in our lives.
All those festivities and more call for a glass or two of something nice, and wine seems to fit the bill best. "Hey, Mom, want a brewski?" I don't think so. And as delightful as a breezy springtime cocktail can be, isn't it a little early in the day? But wine gets the point across: This isn't just another Sunday, so let's relax and have a little fun. Here's to you, Mom!
Here are seven wines perfect, each in its own way, for Mother's Day (prices are approximate, and will vary from place to place):
Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé non-vintage ($80).
If there's any wine more festive for a festive occasion — Mom-related or otherwise — than champagne, it's rosé champagne, and this venerable producer makes a classic example. Deeper pink in hue than many of its counterparts, it's generously aromatic and full of summer-berry fruit, accented by a touch of citrusy spice.
Super Substance Sunset Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($22).
You say you want to bring Mom flowers? The bouquet of this gorgeous, well-rounded, apricot-nectarish sauvignon blanc (from the quirky Washington State winemaker Charles Smith) fairly leaps from the glass with more floral notes than a bundle of daylilies.
Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($24).
This top New Zealand producer's everyday sauvignon blanc is always a good bet in the $10 to $12 range. Mom deserves an upgrade, though, to something like this spicy, crisp, mouth-filling beauty, still Marlborough-grassy, to be sure, but nowhere near as aggressive as its lesser sibling, and just very nice to drink.
Truchard Vineyards Estate Roussanne 2013 ($25).
She's the woman of your life, your mom, but she's no weak sister, so treat her to something with a little stature. This one fills the bill: All that typical roussanne fragrance of honeysuckle, acacia blossoms, and beeswax shows up nicely here, followed by low-key opulence on the palate, with a nice current of acidity running through plenty of dense fruit.
Ponzi Pinot Noir Rosé 2014 ($20).
Pinot noir makes lovely rosés (in the Sancerre region of France's Loire Valley, for instance), and this veteran Oregon winery produces one that's overflowing with charm. Think strawberries, lightly fragrant roses, a spring breeze bearing the scent of blossoms. Think something perfect for that Mother's Day brunch.
Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha 2013 ($15).
Granacha (i.e., grenache) is known for producing pretty wines, on the light side, with lots of berry fruit. The impeccable, bargain-price Borsao, from Spain's Aragon region, didn't get the message about the "light" part. Jam-packed with fruit, yes, but also earthy, concentrated, almost chocolatey, with a spicy finish. This one will put the pink in Mom's cheeks for sure.
Warre's Otima 10-Year-Old Tawny Port ($25/500 ml).
There's nothing wrong with sipping something sweet, but that doesn't mean that Mom has to drink dribbles of cream Sherry from thimble-size glasses. Tawny port — slowly barrel-aged so that it oxidizes a little and concentrates its flavors — is a medium-sweet wine that any modern matriarch would be happy to savor. This sterling example comes in a handsome bottle, showing off its seductive reddish-amber color; it has a delicious almonds-and-dried-fruit flavor; and it's just sweet enough to see like a special-day indulgence.