Wines for Mother’s Day

Story by Matt Young. Photo by Roland Hauck. Read more in our Wine & Beer Series.

Cary, NC – Mother’s Day is next Sunday, May 13, 2012. Don’t get caught unprepared, guys! Consider planning your celebration around a bottle of fine wine.

Wine for Mother’s Day

Wine makes a fine gift all by itself, but you can also pair it with flowers or a fabulous home-cooked meal.

Not sure where to start? I’ve got some suggestions for you.

My first suggestion is do not buy her a set of screwdrivers for Mother’s Day. Besides, your house (or your Mom’s house) has a whole drawer full of them in the kitchen, you just call them “butter knives”.

Here’s some interesting wines for under $20 (closer to $15) that might make Mom happy.

Syrah – RagApple Lassie, North Carolina Success Story

Several years ago Frank Hobson Jr., a tobacco (and other things) farmer converted his Yadkin (“Yapa”) Valley fields to vineyards. His wife, Lenna, is the winemaker.  They named the winery after a prize-winning cow that Frank raised in his former farming life.

At the base of Pilot Mountain, they make many of the traditional wines and grow many of the traditional grapes. They started with Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and then added vines of other grapes.

“Transitioning from tobacco to grapes is not such a stretch agriculturally as one might think, and now other local farmers will begin planting this spring.  Profit per acre from tobacco and grapes is similar.  Profit per acre from grapes made into wine is significantly higher.  So Frank, Jr., and Lenna’s decision to build a winery is a good fit for them.  Frank, Jr., is the quintessential farmer, Lenna is a marketing professional, and both are very comfortable in their respective roles.” – From the RagApple Lassie website.

I tried their Syrah and was pleasantly surprised. It is bold and spicy with hints of cherries and plum and quite dry. Pair it with equally bold foods like Western North Carolina barbecue and roast beef. It can easily be sipped alone but is for wine drinkers that don’t want “shy wine”.

Rosé – Steele Cabernet Franc Rosé (2011)

Steele Winery is just north of Napa Valley and the wine makers at Steele are quite frankly known for other varieties of wines. But this wine is real nice.

This rosé is made with Cabernet Franc grapes – a black-skinned French grape often used in blended wines for its unique character.

When red wines are made, the skins are left on the grape and in the “must” (the grape juice) during fermentation. When rosés are made the skins are removed to give it a lighter color.

Rosés should be chilled. The Steele Cab Franc Rosé has a nose of cherry and is quite pleasing. The wine has a fresh, crisp, fruity-berry almost sweet (but not quite) flavor.

This is a good wine for sipping on the porch on a warm day. I’d pair it with good Brie or Camembert. Or maybe with a Panini at lunch.

Three Wine Ladies – La Perlina Moscato D’Asti

This Italian winery is proud of the fact that it is run by three moms. So much so that the winery is called “Tre Donne” (Translation: “Three Women”).

Tre Donne winery is located on the top of a hill into the Langhe area (Piedmont-North/West Italy). The Lequio family started to grow vines on this soil in 1850.Today the three sisters (Rosanna-Daniela-Antonella) with the help of husbands (Piernicola, Mauro, Gianni) and four employees continue this oenological tradition.The brand Tre Donne is dedicated to the 3 sisters, the last generation of winemakers. Will their 3 daughters do the same? – The Tre Donne web site

This is a sweet, lightly effervescent wine made from Moscato grapes. It has a low alcohol content (think beer) and is fruity and almost lemon-y. It looks almost like Champagne in the glass, but is not as bubbly.

You will impress with this one. Categorize me as one who does not like dessert wines, this one is great. It’s not overly sweet. And it would go beautifully with light desserts – like strawberry shortcake. Or lemon meringue pie.

Don’t forget – May 13th  is Mother’s Day!

“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made Mothers” – Jewish Proverb


The Wine & Beer Series on CaryCitizen is sponsored by Triangle Wine Company on Davis Drive in Morrisville.