Paula’s Wines of the Week – 14 March 2022

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 14 March 2022

Top wines for Mother’s Day

Choosing a gift for Mother’s Day is never that easy for sons and daughters, of whatever age. I’m sure you’ll not complain when you receive the usual bunch of flowers or box of chocs, but it would be nice to get something rather more personalised wouldn’t it? So why not help your children along by dropping subtle, or not, hints that a bottle or two of your favourite wine would be much appreciated.

Their urge to buy champagne will be strong – don’t try and divert this but direct it either towards something really, really expensive (after all you’re worth it aren’t you?), or a bottle of wine you know only you will enjoy.

They don’t have to be wines at fancy prices but it does help if there’s a fancy label. These not only look good but are often on bottles of wine that are prepared to spend a bit more on presentation – the idea being there must be something magnificent inside.

French wines from specific chateau (vineyards with a castle) or domains (smaller sub-regions) always make great gifts as their undecipherable labels convey poshness. But they can be a bit of a risk for a purchaser as the bottle often gives no hint of the flavours found inside. So the best way to find out what the wine actually tastes like is to ask.

Obviously it helps if there’s someone around and an off-licence or up-market wine shop is a better bet for this than a supermarket – plus they tend to hire staff with in-depth wine knowledge rather than the do-everything shelf stacker. So try Majestic (usually on the edge of town) or online specialists like Virgin Wines with their free Wine Advisor service. Smaller independent wine shops like Wickhams also have staff that will be able to direct you to mother-friendly wines.

There’s always the tried and tasted wines suggested below if you need more inspiration.

Wines recommended by

Brigitte Delmotte Blanc de Noirs Champagne Brut
£17.99 Laithwaites
A Blanc de Noirs Champagne is made only with the black grape variety Pinot Noir, which should make it taste fruitier than when made of the more usual blend of white and black grapes. This version tastes lightly of apple with some richer croissant flavour, although there is a touch of pencil eraser too. Lightly fizzy.

Kylie Minogue Prosecco Rosé
£9 Morrisons and Tesco
Another addition to the singer-actress branded wine range. The bottle itself is a mastery of design with heart indents repeated all over. The wine inside is best described as subtle – the good level of fizz hides the light lemon sherbet and apple flavours.

Vesztergombi Kesikkegy Shiraz Rosé 2019
£14.90 Best of Hungary
Why this Hungarian rosé made with the Shiraz grape variety has an exquisitely designed glass bottle with the base indent (known as the punt) in the form of a spider’s web is unknown. Flavours of light cherry, apple and almond.

Chateau L’Oiselinere de la Ramee Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lie 2018
£8.50 The Wine Society
The light French white wine Muscadet is coming back into favour after being dismissed for being too light in flavour when fruitiness was “in”. This example from The Wine Society knocks all that to one side with its lightly buttery hazelnut flavours with added apple pie – there’s some matching pear and Cheshire cheese tartness too. A nice wine at a nice price.

Marques de Valencia Gran Reserva 2013
£24.99 (2-bottle magnum size) Virgin Wines
A great tasting Rioja-style red made with the same expected grape variety of Tempranillo. The flavour is initially Port-like with liquorice and raisin, and then becomes fruity with plum and blackberry with some redcurrant sharpness. There’s even toffee and dark chocolate and then later on some vegetabliness. Complex stuff.

UB40 Featuring Ali and Astro Red Red Wine 2019
£28.40 Eminent Wines
Reggae band UB40’s 1983 number one Neil Diamond cover version hit of Red Red Wine has inspired this branded bottling of a Bordeaux red made with Merlot and Petit Verdot. The rich and slightly sweet aromas of cherry and milk chocolate with a touch of meatiness is not matched in the flavour which is more about sharp redcurrant with a touch of the tannins.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5* outstanding – the top rating given by
4* very good wine
3* good wine but over priced
2* a disappointing wine
1* little to offer
0* avoid – pour down the drain

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© Paula Goddard 2022