Treat the lady of the house to her favourite tipple on Mothering Sunday, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
SSH... mum’s the word! Savvy shoppers who want to make their mum feel like the queen bee on Mother’s Day can always win extra brownie points by saying it with a bottle.
Beyond an affectionate card and bouquet of flowers, wine makes an ideal special occasion gift to bring a sparkle to her eye, inspire good cheer, and it’s a lifesaver if inspiration failed you at the perfume counter.
In the spirit of conviviality, a classy bottle of affordable bubbly will bring a pleasing smile, especially if it’s Finest Blanquette de Limoux 1531, 2008 (£9.99, Tesco).
A veil of ripe fruit flavours gives way to peaches and cream with a crisp, citrus finish.
The tight beads of bubbles and elegant label are a reminder that the Languedoc Roussillon’s fine fizz can charm the pants off the most discerning drinker... the region’s been producing sparkling wine since 1531.
Sherry buffs will appreciate the dry style of fino sherry, but for first time tipplers, The Society’s Fino Sherry (£5.75, 75cl, www.thewinesociety.com) is a good place to start.
If she loves snacking on green olives, salted almonds, smoked salmon, serrano ham, or even salt and vinegar crisps (!), then mother will love the clean, refreshing taste of this savoury sherry.
Serve this Spanish gem ice-cold ‘tan frio’, preferably in a wine glass, to discover how fino complements all of the dishes some wines don’t.
For a tasty postcard from Portugal, try Tons de Duorum White 2011, Portugal (£8.99, www.tanners-wines.co.uk).
A delicious aperitivo, this wine’s delightful mineral freshness and zesty lemon and tropical fruit flavours are a breezy reminder that spring’s just around the corner, and cries out for whitebait and aioli, but fishcakes and a green salad will do nicely.
Another fine offering from the Paul Mas portfolio of wineries in the sunny South of France, Mas de Mas Pinot Blanc 2010, France (£9.99, £8.49 when you buy two bottles, Majestic) is an invitation to rediscover the wines of the Languedoc.
Made from pinot blanc, it’s a nicely bodied and elegant floral white with passion fruit notes, some minerality and a fresh finish - a perfect girly lunchtime wine.
To pamper her tastebuds with a silky smooth pinot noir, The Co-op has a pleasing offering from its premium range.
Try The Co-operative Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir 2009, Chile (£7.99, selected Co-op stores) which spends 10 months in oak.
This violet red spills over the tongue with savoury purple fruit, soft tannins and an oaky finish.
But for something truly scrumptious, splash out on a couple of bottles of Le Champ des Etoiles Pinot Noir 2010, South of France (£9.79, www.laithwaites.co.uk).
Translated, the label means ‘field of stars,’ and this deep, velvety, special occasion wine certainly lives up to its name. A top drop to please the missus.
For yummy mummies who can’t resist the allure of a dry rose, try Chateau Leoube Rose 2010, Cotes de Provence (£13.99, www.corneyandbarrow.com).
The pale coral hue and clean, sophisticated label are an instant attraction, and the wine’s pretty good too.
Concentrated with crushed berry fruits, a wild strawberry nose and good acidity, this rose has enough body and length to partner shellfish starters, seafood or rotisserie chicken.
Because she’s worth it... to add some glamour to happy hour, Chambord’s Kir Imperial gift set (£35, www.waitrosewine.com) will appeal to her feminine side.
Nestled inside a purple gift box is a bottle of Fleuron de France Brut NV Champagne which is rich and toasty with plenty of charm, and a bottle of Chambord black raspberry liqueur to make a Kir Royale.
Along with a Chambord cocktail recipe book, there are plenty of party drinks to keep the fervour flowing.
Alternatively, Waterloo Wines have a winning trio with their Mother’s Day gift pack (£38, www.waterloowine.co.uk), which contains a bottle of Cava Brut Joan Raventos Rosell, Waipara West Pinot Noir 2008, and Waipara West Late Harvest Chardonnay 2009 (half), New Zealand.
With three medal winning, food friendly wines, there’s plenty on offer to make her day extra special.
Whisky noses will be interested to hear Drambuie has a new addition to its portfolio, Drambuie 15 Year Old (£34.99, Waitrose).
A marriage of 15 Year Old Speyside malt whiskies with the original Drambuie elixir, it’s sweet and fruity with the fragrance of meadows, a toffee nose, and a fairly long and smooth finish.
Serve neat over ice.
Baccarat is best... Synonymous with luxurious crystal, Baccarat has launched a range of crystal glasses to heighten a wine’s taste, improve its appeal and enhance the drinking experience.
Chateau Baccarat features a thick leaded base, long stem, a rounded, concave bottom to aerate the wine and a vertical chimney to express the aromas.
The new oenology collection starts from £64 for a white or red wine glass, available as pairs for £125 and as sets of six for £360, and would make an ideal wedding gift.
For more stockist information on Chateau Baccarat, visit www.baccarat.com.