This one’s a request from a good friend, advisor and loyal reader who wishes to remain anonymous: could I recommend a few good gift wines for Mother’s Day?
Well, as with so much in life, it all depends on one’s mother. Is she warm, fuzzy, and ebullient? A fan of chintz, cabbage roses and Joy perfume? Then I’d go for a Moscato d’Asti. These wines are easy to love. They hail from the Piedmont, in northwest Italy, and are lightly fizzy and sweet, with aromas of honeysuckle, apricots, and peaches. They’re also low in alcohol, just north of 5%, making them an ideal drink for a Mother’s Day brunch. They go beautifully with fruit, cookies, or cheese. They’re also terrific values, usually coming in under $20. For more on one particular bottle I like, as well as some comic footage of our dog, check out this video on Moscato d’Asti on Food52, where I’m a contributor.
If your mom is on the earthier, intense side — the kind of woman who runs marathons, rescues abandoned dogs, and can still rock a strapless evening gown — then I’d recommend the 2000 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon. (I paid $40 for this wine at the Brooklyn Wine Exchange a few months ago, which looks to have been a major steal. You can purchase directly from the Corison Web site, or else check some of these retailers for the 2000 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon.)
Winemaker Cathy Corison (bonus Mother’s Day points for choosing a female winemaker) is a bit of a magician, creating a wine that’s somehow elegant and powerful at the same time. Napa Cabernets aren’t known for their subtlety, so her less-is-more approach truly stands out. There are no hard edges here. The oak and tannins are fully integrated into the wine, and there’s a sophisticated combination of plum, spice, earth and cassis in the glass. Like many of my favorite Cabernet-based wines, the Corison reminds me of Grether’s Blackcurrant Pastilles, which my mom always had in her purse when I was a kid. Corison also makes a single-vineyard Cabernet from Kronos Vineyard, which is supposed to be exceptional. The 2005 vintage of the Kronos comes in at $98, which means I’ll need to save up a little before this splurge. (Mom would want me to be responsible, after all.)
Happy Mother’s Day, all!