What to get Mom?
May 9, 2008
Mother’s day gifts can be tough and so most of us default the old faithful gifts. You know what I’m talking about, flowers, boxes of chocolate, perfumes, or bath soaps. This year I challenge you to think out of the box and into the bottle. The old reputation that women prefer sweet simple wines is outdated and couldn’t be further from the truth. The most sophisticated palates I have run across have all been carried by women so don’t be afraid to appeal to your mother’s palate as I imagine she appreciates it as much if not more than anyone.
Wine always feels like a more complete gift when it is given with attention to all of its major categories. Think of it like a box set. You must of course start with a bottle of bubby. Depending on your mothers day budget there are a few ways to go. On the value path there is no better bubbly than the NV Roederer Estate Brut Rosé ($23) of California’s Anderson Valley. This not only takes care of the bubbly wine but it also takes care of the whole pink thing. If Mom has a real thing for bubbly and you want to splurge a bit more than I suggest steering clear of some of the bigger and more well-known Champagnes and surprise her with a grower Champagne such as the Jean Milan NV Brut from the Grand Cru vineyards of Oger ($42).
She would then need a fine white to keep her refreshed during the hopefully impending summer heat. I am preferential to grapes such as Albarino during these times and believe it or not the state of Utah has a handful on the shelves. This refreshing grape hails from the Rias Baixas region of Northwestern Spain and there is no cleaner and more refreshing tasting wine than this one often expressing the characteristics of apple, lemon, grapefruit. Dollar for dollar the best one I know is the Pazo Pondal at $16.
It is then time to move to the reds and this is where the giving really begins. Red wine is only really a gift if it is not meant to be consumed right away but is instead meant to develop over the next few years. While there are far too many to mention, I know that a small piece of the great reds of France’s 2005 vintage would indeed be a mighty gift in itself. If you really wanted to impress you might buy the ’05 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape ($80), one of the most powerful wines I have run across (it was a true pity to open it so young even for tasting).
The gifting is certainly not complete without dessert. It is the dessert wine that really rounds the whole gift out and gives it meaning. There are so many options for this part of the gift but there is no more quintessential wine than those of the classic region of Porto and furthermore they can really be bought at relative values. The Warre’s Kings’s Tawny ($15) is a surprisingly excellent Port of lovely sweetness matched with good acid and fine balance. I do suggest that everyone doesn’t wait until the very last minute as Utah’s draconian liquor laws prevent you from fulfilling this gift on Sunday.
Zev Rovine is a Park City sommelier. His wine education comes from the American Sommelier Association in New York City. If you have any wine queries or comments, he is easily contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .