One year ago to the day, I extolled the virtues of Chardonnay and why it was the wine of choice to drink with mom on Mother’s Day. I would be skirting the channeling of my inner, anti-ABC if that universal variety was left out this coming weekend so click here for an unoaked beauty in stores right now.
The sudden dramatic shift in the weather has had an immediate and necessary impact, with all points leading to barbecue. In order to please everyone involved, including mom, dad and carnivorous kin, a range of wines will be needed this coming Sunday afternoon. Being the wine consuming and recommending diplomat that I am, here are four white, rosé and red wines to share time in the proverbial sun and to assist with what comes from the kitchen, off the grill or out of the Mother’s Day smoker.
The grapes: Garnacha, Tempranillo and Viura
The history: Rioja winery so famous for its rich, red wine tradition
The lowdown: Perennial quality in Spanish rosé always priced to please
The food match: Barque Smokehouse Smoked Shrimp, Smoked Salmon, Bacon and Eggs Tapas
Muga Rosé 2012 (603795, $12.95) offers up honest to goodness, straightforward value. Pale pink grapefruit, gentle spice and dried roses marked by juicy acidity. “It can’t be too grand,” just as it shouldn’t be. No dinosaur here, no disguise, no bones, just simple, tasty and amenable. Afternoon sipper. 87 @bodegasmuga
The grape: Riesling
The history: Winemaker Andrzej Lipinski is a Niagara pioneer in Appassimento-styled wines, made by adding modified kiln-dried grapes to the ferment
The lowdown: Was worth the price of admission at $15.95 upon release. Now it’s a steal. This is quite full-bodied for Riesling but low in alcohol (11.3 per cent)
The food match: Scallop Ceviche, grapefruit, orange, pickled wild leek, basil, olive oil
Colaneri Estate Riesling ”Stellucha” 2009 (279778, $13.15) is built on 70% (John Howard) Beamsville Bench and 30% (estate) Niagara-on-the-Lake fruit. Exceeds expectations, acting as bridge from day to night. Works the midnight sky in a passion momento while a “shimmering crescent moon recedes into working dawn.” Faint apple, peach pit, high in citrus and a fulgor accent of lit kiln. Time has been and will continue to be a friend to this lily of the midnight sky. 89 @ColaneriWinery
The grapes: Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon
The history: Founded in 1777, this may be the oldest winery in Ribera Del Duero with the most modern approach to winemaking
The lowdown: A $20 bottle of wine in a $40 suit. This is without a doubt the best deal in Spanish wine since the December 7th, 2001 VINTAGES release of the Montecillo Gran Reserva 1991 at $18.95
The food match: Chicken Breast and Top Sirloin Shish Kebabs, cremini mushroom, wild leek pesto marinade
Balbas Reserva 2001 (85183, $20.95) while mature is so alive and grooved by a Beckian beat you would be hard pressed to blindly consider it 12-years old. Deep purple fruit with a hint of caramel, cedar and cigar. Qué onda Duero? I’ll tell you what’s happening. Aged Ribera, structured, in balance and very much alive for $21. Makes me want to “sing a banda macho chorus.” Screaming value. 91 @DrinkRibera
The grape: Sauvignon Blanc
The history: True SB from the southern Loire Valley run by a ninth generation husband and wife team, Jean and Ginette Thomas
The lowdown: Limestone, clay and silica form a flint and sand mixture known as silex, making these Loire vineyards one of the premier growing soils in the world
The food match: Barque Smokehouse Dry-Rub Ribs
Domaine Thomas & Fils Cuvée Grand Chaille Sancerre 2011 (320242, $28.95) begs for significance and presents a ritual immersion by virtue of its base representation of ideal Sauvignon Blanc. Walks the flint and rocks of two Loire vineyards, marries them, then talks the caulk and chalk of those sites. If just a touch reserved at the moment, the Grand Chaille will grow out of its acidic twang five years forward to realize itself as excellent Sauvignon Blanc. 92 @LoireValleyWine
Good to go!