Top picks from The Wine Cellar: Perfect choices for Mother’s Day |
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Dave DeSimone

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, remember some very simple advice: Always do your best never to behave in a way that gives dear old Mom a reason to drink out of worry!

Instead on Mother’s Day itself, if you are fortunate to have an opportunity to enjoy her company, then treat Mom to fun libations with a twist.

If you cannot actually be with her in person, then fondly lift a glass in her honor and, perhaps, memory.

Start by serving a Champagne cocktail using Suze d’Autrefois, France (Luxury 75326; $29.99), an aromatic liqueur which enjoys popularity as an aperitif in French bistros. Gentian, the wild Alpine herb with a beautiful blue flower, gives Suze distinctive, delicate floral aromas along with a pleasant, slightly bitter finish.

To offset the mild bitterness, the Champagne cocktail begins with a sugar cube dropped into a tall, flute glass. Then pour in an ounce or so of Suze before topping it off with several ounces of sparkling wine. Et voilà, there you have it.

In lieu of actual Champagne, use the delicious N.V. Domaine Petitjean, “Aloma” Crémant de Bourgogne, France (Luxury 74992; $19.99), a sparkling wine whose label depicts three young children in profile. Even better, this full-flavored sparkler delivers terrific quality and pleasure at a fraction of the price of most Champagnes. The “Aloma” uses chardonnay and pinot noir grapes grown in northern Burgundy’s Bourgogne-Côtes d’Auxerre appellation, an area with plentiful limestone soils.

The wine’s lovely golden color has gorgeous hints of pink blush laced with irresistible, frothy bubbles. The latter come from secondary fermentation in the bottle. Aging the wine for 24 months on the lees (i.e., spent yeast) gives delicious, subtle creamy notes. The wine finishes crisp and dry with elegant, fresh fruitiness. Highly Recommended.

For a white wine with a fun twist, offer the “ol’ girl” the tasty 2017 Kuentz-Bas, Alsace Blanc, France (Luxury 77800; $13.99). The wine relies on sylvaner, auxerrois, muscat and gewürztraminer, a quirky blend of grapes unique to Alsace.

After hand-harvesting and gently pressing the grapes, the winemaker ferments the fruit slowly to retain freshness while developing a touch of creamy complexity. The wine’s light straw color unfolds delicate apple, melon, pear and honeysuckle aromas. Fresh grapefruit and apple flavors balance with zesty acidity and creaminess through the dry, well-balanced finish. Pair it with grilled brook trout filets and melted butter. Highly Recommended.

In Italy’s mountainous Alto Adige region near the Austrian border in the 1990’s, Elena Walch carved out a successful career as an innovative business leader and winemaker. At the time, few women worked as leaders in the industry. Today her daughters, Julia and Karoline Walch, have joined the winery. They carry on the commitment to producing delicious, terroir-focused wines with environmentally sustainable growing methods.

Treat Mom to one of their tasty wines by trying the 2017 Elena Walch Rosé “20/26,” Rosato Vigneti Delle Dolomiti, Italy (Luxury 74772; $14.99). The wine uses a blend of lagrein, pinot noir and merlot grapes grown in rocky soils bathed with brilliant sunny days and cool nights.

After harvest and crushing, the grape juices rest briefly on the red skins to impart the wine’s deep salmon-red color. In the glass, fruity cherry and light earthy aromas lead to full flavored, juicy red fruit flavors. Ample fresh acidity and subtle, soft tannins balance the dry finish. Pair the wine with either grilled tuna or grilled salmon steaks. Highly Recommended.

To treat Mom to a tasty red wine with a literal twist, simply twist off the screw-cap enclosure to the 2017 La Vieille Ferme Rouge, Vin de France (6618; $9.99). The Perrin family from Provence in southern France produces this traditional, easy drinking wine from a blend of Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah. The grapes grow in the shadows of Mont Ventoux’s majestic, snow-capped peak. The wine ferments in concrete vats to capture pure, juicy red fruitiness and light earthy notes. Just enough fresh acidity and soft tannins balance the wine’s ample ripeness. Pair it with grilled lamb chops. Recommended.

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