Make Mother’s Day special with wine
- Credit: Archant
March is here, with thoughts of spring (I’m always an optimist!) and Mother’s Day is only three weeks way so it’s time to think of gifts and vibrant refreshing wines to accompany a special lunch.
It's not quite warm enough for the lighter white wines from around the world but time to crack open some of the more robust full-flavoured alternatives.
If you like Loire Valley wines why not try a Cheverny with its leafy more rounded yet still tangy Sauvignon Blanc notes? This bright and bold blend of 80 per cent Sauvignon Blanc and 20 per cent Chardonnay has something for everyone, with the Sauvignon bringing powerful citrus aromatics and the Chardonnay adding roundness and body. Alternatively, try a Gruner Veltliner from New Zealand with a lovely crisp refreshing ripe fruit flavour. It makes a great alternative to Sauvignon or Pinot Gris.
The South of France is a great source of distinctive white wines that won't break the bank. Look out for some of the latest unoaked Chardonnays - no longer the oaky styles nor the broad slightly earthy wines but fresh tasting wines with pure fruit flavours that have a lovely mouth filling texture such as that made from Calmel and Joseph in the Languedoc Roussillon. Seifried Estate in Nelson in New Zealand make an unoaked Chardonnay that is full of fresh citrussy rounded fruit and a lovely aperitif or accompaniment to light fish and salad dishes.
Some of the really enjoyable wines I've tried recently have been made in Spain from the Albarino or Godello grape. Albarino produces a crisp refreshing wine when made from fruit grown near the coast, or a textured peachy mouthfilling wine from grapes grown inland, and is delicious with fish dishes. Small amounts of Albarino are now also found in New Zealand - try the wine for Left Field in Hawkes Bay - really great alternative to Sauvignon and Viognier.
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There also examples of unoaked wines from the Southern Hemisphere that fit this bill - look out for Viu Manent from Chile and some appley fruity Chenin Blancs from South Africa that are also often blended with other grape varieties and offering great value from circa £8 per bottle. South African Chenin Blanc and Semillon based wines are worth looking out for too!
This year's rosé wines are also now appearing. They are eye-catching in all shades of pink but the best for this time of year are those that are slightly darker hues with a correlating deeper flavour for days when you don't want a white wine, yet a red may be too much.
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Wineries in the Costieres de Nimes region in the Rhone Valley make rounded robust yet fresh rose wines. It's also worth trying Spanish rosados including those from Cune - they're great food wines.
Following the Spanish thread try a delicious vibrantly fruity Mencia from Bierzo or a wine from Montsant as an alternative to Rioja or look for some of the stylish New Zealand Pinot Noirs that have a lovely spicy peppery flavour.
Why not use the above as inspiration to buy a carefully chosen bottle of wine to accompany your Mother's Day lunch or choose one of the many sparkling wines and Champagnes that are available in their own gift boxes - ready to give to your mum!