Unless you’ve been in mom’s inner circle or have been conscientiously social-distancing, you may end up having to do a drive-by or drop-off gift for Mother’s Day.
What do you want to include with the flowers and card? Given the potential for stress and worry during isolation, mom likely would greatly appreciate some wine.
Give mom some well-deserved solace on a sunny afternoon after some gardening with a glass of chardonnay — a bottle she can boast about during her next Zoom happy hour, or a bottle she can enjoy with a picked up curbside from a favorite restaurant you can’t take her to.
Chardonnay is a good choice because the white grape variety became nearly synonymous with white wine in the 1970s and ’80s, when many moms today were just coming up.
A very conventional chardonnay from the Napa region, Beaulieu Vineyards 2018 Carneros Chardonnay, smells of ripe apples and tropical fruits with flavor of grilled pineapple around a smooth, buttery texture. You may find the 2015 in Pennsylvania for $22. ★★★★
For a more contemporary, elegant Chardonnay with a broader range of food-pairing options, try the Cakebread 2018 Chardonnay, which tastes of pear and honeydew with a hint of nuttiness. It retains enough mouth-watering acids for a citrusy finish, making for a great meal pairer. You can find the 2017 for $42. ★★★★ 1/2
You also can pick one of the first big, family-owned wine brands, Mondavi, with
Robert Mondavi 2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay. Flavors of baked apple and tropical fruit flow from this opulent wine that shows nuttiness and burnt marshmallow character. You may not find this one in Pennsylvania. You are more likely to encounter the Carneros version at $42. ★★★★
You probably know what mom likes. For quarantine purposes, keep in mind that a bottle has four servings. Whites refrigerate well for up to four days after opening. Reds are more likely to show they’ve been opened and held. I find reds can hold up to a day on the counter and possibly longer if refrigerated. Allow reds to get up to the right temperature, about 65 F, to enjoy as leftovers.
GRADE: Exceptional ★★★★★, Above average ★★★★, Good ★★★, Below average ★★, Poor ★.