This weekend’s celebration of mothers and inspirational mom types in our lives can take on a variety of shapes. Beyond the realm of greeting cards, flowers and spa treatments, a traditional way to mark the occasion is a memorable meal. But are you thinking brunch or dinner? A picnic or barbecue? Potluck, takeout or delivery?
These 10 recommendations might help take the guesswork out of what wine (or wines) to have on hand for your festivities.
Alamos Malbec 2020 (Argentina), $17
Alamos is a value brand produced by Argentina’s influential Catena family, which produces a range of red and white wines including this full-bodied malbec with an attractive mix of fruity and savoury notes. There’s nice balance and complexity for an easy to appreciate barbecue selection. Drink now to 2025. Available in Ontario at the above price, $17.99 in British Columbia, various prices in Alberta, $17.49 in Saskatchewan, $15.99 in Manitoba, $18.99 in New Brunswick, $20.49 in Nova Scotia, $19.99 in Prince Edward Island, $19.22 in Newfoundland.
Bachelder Les Villages Bench Chardonnay 2021 (Canada), $34.95
An impressive and enjoyable choice, Bachelder Les Villages Bench Chardonnay is knit together from barrels that weren’t chosen for single-vineyards bottlings from Saunders in Beamsville, Ont., and Wismer Wingfield and Wismer Foxcroft in Vineland. Already harmonious and integrated, this satisfying white wine is complex and refreshing. Drink now to 2028. Available direct, bachelderniagara.com.
Bollini Pinot Grigio 2020 (Italy), $19.95
Since its debut in 1981, Bollini has been a stylish expression of pinot grigio from Trentino that is appealingly vibrant and flavourful. The medium-bodied white offers a mix of pear and apple flavours mixed with some spice and grass notes, with a refreshing character that’s an ideal aperitif or partner for seafood and fish dishes. Drink now. Available in Ontario at the above price, various prices in Alberta.
Joseph Mellot Le Troncsec Pouilly Fumé 2021 (France), $36.95
The Joseph Mellot winery dates back five centuries. From its base in Sancerre, it expanded its production to other appellations in the Loire, including Pouilly-Fumé and Pouilly-sur-Loire. The Troncsec bottling is a vibrant sauvignon blanc from a single vineyard in the township of Pouilly-sur-Loire. This is a mouth-watering and balanced white wine that’s a real treat. The texture is elegant, with a persistent finish. Drink now to 2026. Available in Ontario.
Lailey Zweigelt 2021 (Canada), $36
Zweigelt was planted in this Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard in the 1970s by its original owners, David and Donna Lailey, who grew grapes for local wineries and amateur winemakers before starting their own operation. Today the winery is owned by Faik Turkmen, who continues the winery’s dedication to this lighter-style red wine, with its juicy and bright cherry and berry flavours that finish with a peppery edge. The style is best enjoyed slightly chilled to accentuate its refreshing character. Vegan-friendly. Drink now to 2025. Available direct, laileywines.com.
Marietta Cellars Game Trail Clone 6 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (United States), $69.95
This 100 per cent cabernet sauvignon is produced from a single clone of the variety grown in an organically farmed estate vineyard in Yorkville Highlands in the Mendocino region of California. Elevation is the defining feature of the Yorkville Highlands appellation. Vineyards in the area are above 850 feet in elevation; this wine comes from a site that’s 1,400 feet, which contributes to the fragrance, freshness and fine-grained tannins of the cool-climate cabernet (by California standards). Approachable now, this nicely structured red offers complex dark fruit, floral and spice notes. Drink now to 2029. Available in Ontario.
Mahi Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (New Zealand), $27.95
Based in the village of Renwick in Marlborough, Mahi is owned by the Bicknell family and operates with a significant focus on chardonnay and pinot noir in addition to sauvignon blanc. This is the largest volume sauvignon blanc produced by the winery in 2022, which offers juicy and generous citrus and tropical fruit flavours. It benefits from the small addition of 1 per cent of sémillon and components of the blend that were fermented and aged in barrel for more richness and texture to counter the refreshing character. Drink now to 2026. Available in Ontario.
Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Stevens Block Old Main Road Vineyard 2021 (Canada), $27.04
Meyer is a name to know for top-quality Canadian chardonnay and the Stevens Block label is consistently one of my favourites from this boutique winery in the Okanagan. Stevens Block comes from a special section of the winery’s Old Main Road Vineyard on the Naramata Bench. Its bright and refreshing style offers pure apple and citrusy flavours with flinty, earthy and spicy accents. Drink now to 2028. Available direct from mfvwines.com.
Pommery Rosé Brut (France), $79.95
Champagne Pommery, which lays claim to be the first to introduce a Brut Champagne in 1874, is gearing up for its 150th anniversary next year. This appetizing Rosé Brut is produced from a blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, including 7 per cent red wine. The style is easy to appreciate with plenty of ripe berry and toasted notes, perfect for toasting and sipping. Drink now. Available in Ontario at the above price ($74.95 until May 21), various prices in Alberta, $78 in Quebec.
Yalumba Organic Viognier 2021 (Australia), $16.95
Yalumba is the world’s largest producer of viognier, bottling four different dry white wines with the wondrously fruity and fragrant grape variety each vintage in Australia. This organic label is always a standout on a quality versus cost ratio, offering textbook peach and apricot flavours with spice and floral notes and a citrusy finish. A rich and refreshing white, it is a great introduction to the bountiful charm of the viognier grape. Drink now to 2024. Vegan. Available in Ontario at the above price, $18.99 in British Columbia and Alberta.