The very first rule — perhaps the only rule — when it comes to buying someone wine as a gift: Don’t buy them what you think they should drink; buy them what they like to drink. The gift is for them, isn’t it?
This is especially important come Mother’s Day, when wine can show up several times: as a gift or at brunch, for example. So why would you want Mom to taste something that will make her mouth pucker? This certainly isn’t the occasion to get even with her of all those times she made you finish your broccoli, is it?
These Mother’s Day wine suggestions should get you started:
Cote Mas Brut
About $16, available at Sigel’s
Lots of sparkling wine is made in France that doesn’t come from the Champagne region; it’s called cremant, and this is a terrific example. It’s not as subtle or sophisticated as Champagne, but it also costs one-third less and offers fine value. It’s not subtle, but almost robust and extremely bubbly, with lots of bright green apple fruit and some minerality.
Graham Beck Brut Rosé
About $16, available at Central Market, Goody Goody, Sigel’s
South Africa, once upon a time, was going to be the next big wine region. And then it wasn’t. That means there is lots of value in South African wine, which Graham Beck has been doing with sparkling for years. This bubbly is rich and full, almost creamy, and it has the classic sparkling wine characteristics of bright berry fruit and an almost yeast finish.
Santa Julia Reserva Mountain Blend
About $12, available at Central Market
Lots of red wine from Argentina made with malbec is almost sweet and gooey, which is fine for anyone who likes that style of wine. The Santa Julia, on the other hand, takes malbec in the opposite direction: it’s layered and almost sophisticated, with rich and ripe blueberry fruit, maybe a little licorice, and a pleasing pucker-iness. It’s a steal a this price and just the thing for a Mother’s Day barbecue.
Marques de Caceres Verdejo
About $8, available at Spec’s, Goody Goody
Spanish white wines, made with grapes like verdejo and viura, get very little respect. Which is silly, since they’re just the thing for Dallas’ hot weather and they’re widely available, even in supermarket wine sections. The Caceres has tart lemon fruit, but it’s not quite that simple when you take a second sip. Roasted peppers, garlic and olive oil, anyone?
El Coto Rosado
About $10, available at Spec’s
Long before rosé became an Instagram staple, we drank Spanish rosés. They were cheap, easy to find and fruity and delicious. Nothing much has changed, and the El Coto remains a favorite. This is a dry wine, with strawberry and watermelon fruit, perhaps, and a wonderful floral and almost orangey aroma. Chill this, pour a glass with Mom, and enjoy the day. Cheers!