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Treat Mom to a meal with wine for her special day

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In the United States, the second Sunday in May means, of course, just one thing — Mother's Day.

The tradition started in 1908 when Anna Jarvis sought to honor her mother who had died in 1905. Jarvis envisioned personal family celebrations along with public acknowledgements for the sacrifices and care provided by mothers throughout the land.

To publicize her campaign, Jarvis enlisted financial backing from John Wannamaker, owner of a prominent Philadelphia department store. After the initial event attracted thousands to Wannamaker's store, the tradition spread quickly to other cities.

The tireless Jarvis lobbied national politicians to create a formal holiday. Finally, in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation establishing the national day of recognition.

Late in life, a disillusioned Jarvis believed that florists, greeting-card companies and candy manufacturers had over-commercialized Mother's Day. She suggested abolishing the national holiday. But with the genie out of the bottle, Mother's Day has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending.

In honoring Mom this year, consider simply spending time with her by sharing a tasty bottle of wine with a meal. Just remember, you can never go wrong following through on Mother's Day. Plus, you won't have to break the bank enjoying the following delicious selections:

Begin by charming Mom with the 2012 Château Montaud, Côtes de Provence Rosé, France (Luxury 31611; $11.99). Living on an ancient Roman settlement in the heart of Provence in southern France, the Ravel family produces this delightful wine with traditional methods.

After harvesting and crushing the grapes, the juice briefly rests on the skins before gentle pressing. This imparts beguiling pink color to please the eye.

In the glass, delicate strawberry and grapefruit aromas waft up. Refreshing citrus and quince flavors balance perfectly with crisp acidity through the soft and fruity, yet dry finish. Pair it with a Provence classic, Salade Niçoise. It features tomatoes and thin green beans mixed with vinaigrette and topped with canned tuna and anchovies. Highly recommended.

Viognier grapes create the opportunity for highly perfumed and intriguing wines to delight Mom's senses. Try the 2009 Fess Parker Winery, Viognier, Santa Barbara County, Calif. (Luxury 32746; Chairman's Selection, on sale: $13.99).

As a child in the 1960s, I watched Fess Parker on television as he portrayed Davy Crockett, “King of the Wild Frontier.” Like many a rambunctious youth in those days, I beseeched my mom for a coonskin cap just like the one Davey Crockett wore. Thanks, Mom, for coming through!

In retirement, Parker purchased a ranch in the hills near Santa Barbara. He had the foresight to plant vines in 1988 to take advantage of the perfect grape-growing terroir of warm, sunny days and cool nights. Today, the late Parker's son and daughter take full advantage of the fruits of his investment by turning out tasty wines.

This wine's golden color offers honeysuckle and apricot aromas with vanilla-oak notes. Ripe peach, apricot and honey flavors mingle with French oak accents. Crisp acidity balances the full and fruity, yet dry finish. Pair it with chicken grilled with a sweet and spicy Thai basil sauce. Recommended.

After the main courses, treat Mom to a sweet finish with the 2009 Château Roûmieu-Lacoste, Sauternes, France (Luxury 31470; $23.99 for 375 milliliters.). Wine grower Hervé Dubourdieu's tends vines averaging over 45 years old in the Sauternes' Haut Barsac, a subregion famous for its robust, sweet wines.

Sémillon grapes affected by botrytis — the “Noble Rot” — provide the foundation for classic sauternes. The mold shrivels and concentrates the grapes to create intense aromas and sweet flavors. Yet, when properly harvested, the fruit retains adequate acidity for exquisite balance.

To this end, Dubourdieu pays a premium to employ highly experienced pickers with the discernment to select only perfectly ripened and shriveled bunches. The careful sorting pays off with an utterly delicious and irresistible wine.

The golden color unfolds pineapple and honey aromas. Honey, citrus and pineapple flavors greet the palate, while fresh acidity adds just enough zip to balance the wine without cloying sweetness. The lush, fruity finish and sweetness linger endlessly. Highly recommended.

Dave DeSimone writes about wine for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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