Mother's Day is around the corner (Sunday, May 10, just in case you didn't know). I struggle every year to figure out what my kids and I will do to treat mom to something special. Something more than the usual: Sleep in until 8 a.m. until the two kids go and jump on the bed.
I finally came up with a plan. Here it is. Feel free to modify or copy it as you see fit.
It's Mother's Day. Obviously, mom gets to sleep in. The plan starts with a mid-morning brunch on the patio, consisting of whatever her favorite food is. Ours is going to be a nice big niçoise salad followed by strawberry shortcake. I am going to make the salad and I will try to make the strawberry shortcake (I might just end up buying it).
Here's the catch. My kids really want to get something for mom. They have been saving their allowance (as much as an 8- and 7-year-old can save - a total of $23). First on their list: flowers. Costco works for that - we plan on spending $15 on whatever catches my two sons' eyes. Next on the gift list: wine. We want a special wine, one that mom might not have tried before - that would be light, refreshing and sweet for a hot May brunch. Our find: 2008 Woodbridge Moscato by Robert Mondavi available at Safeway for $8.
If you are like me, Moscato is a varietal that had never really caught my attention. A friend of mine told me about it - so I tried it - and it fit perfectly into our plan. Moscato comes from the Muscat grape - originally from France but now grown in Italy, Australia and the United States. If the grape is true to form, it should be a medium bodied wine that is loaded with fruit and floral scents and flavors.
When I first opened the bottle, I could smell the fruit. Normally it takes me some time to determine what the smell is - but this jumped right out at me. It was as if I was walking through an orchard of orange trees in full bloom. Sometimes you really have to swirl wine in the glass to release the smells - but not with this Moscato - it jumps right out of the glass and is a very clean-smelling wine. Color wise, it is a very light yellow and very clean.
The taste is just as appealing as the smell. It is very sweet and one of the more flavorful wines I have ever tried. You can really pull out the taste of sugary citrus fruits and blooming flowers. A very refreshing change from the usual white suspects: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. As such, it should make for a memorable Mother's Day wine.
I have always wondered why we only match wine to the food we are having. If you really want to experience this wine, I would try and match this not only to the food but also to the weather. Consider this: Big, bold Cabs work well during those wet winter nights whereas this sweet and refreshing Moscato is meant to be consumed on a sunny, hot day preferably on a patio. As for food, a light salad, mild fish or vegetarian meal would match nicely. For dessert, I urge you to stay away from a heavy or chocolate ending as it will clash with the wine - but rather try something light, perhaps with berries.
I must confess that I feel a little guilty about suggesting a wine that cost $8 for Mother's Day; however after my kids insisted that they wanted to pay for the flowers and wine - it turns out to be a perfect solution not to mention a great everyday wine. In typical Woodbridge fashion they have created a very nice, balanced wine at a very reasonable price.
I hope this plan works for all of those husbands, sons and daughters looking to surprise mom. Until next time, Cheers!
P.S. If you see my wife around town, please don't show her this article as we are trying to surprise her. Happy Mothers Day!
Don Colman, the Everyday Wine Guy lives in Danville and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org