Cheers! Celebrate mom with wine

Leslie’s piece from Today Show Bites on May 4th, which complimented her Today Show appearance on May 4th.

She’s a cook, a cleaner, a homemaker, an executive, a chauffeur, a caretaker, and more. Above all, she’s your mom. So with Mother’s Day this weekend, it’s time to raise a glass to the amazing moms in your life.

Favorites to share

Everyone has their go-to wines that rank at the top of their sip picks. Two that appeal to many (including Kathie Lee and Hoda) are bubbly and Chardonnay. My recommendations are top-notch but not top dollar.

La Marca Prosecco, Northern Italy $16

Celebrating your mom calls for bubbles. This chic and stylishly packaged wine is new to the market and is making a splash for its quality and affordability. Crisp with a fruity edge, sip it alone or use for morning Bellinis with a dash of peach juice.

2008 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay, Sonoma, California $24

Sonoma is known for its world-class Chardonnay and this wine is sure to please. Sonoma-Cutrer is widely recognized as one of the leaders of Chardonnay in this country. It’s elegant and filled with personality … just like mom.

Wine and Food suggestions

Whether you’re planning on brunch at home or taking mom out, you’ll want to look for wines that pair well with a variety of spring dishes. With these adventurous choices, it’s like a virtual worldwide wine tour in a glass.

2009 Dama De Toro Malvasia, Toro, Spain $11

Named for the “dame” of the rugged region of Toro in Spain, this light white is dry and refreshing and an ideal pairing for food. There are notes of pear and honeysuckle and it marries beautifully with fruit salads, egg frittatas and croissants with peach jam.

2009 Nobilo “Icon” Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand $22

Pinot is a food-friendly grape and the epitome of elegance. This vinous jewel, from a Kiwi Country classic producer, sports pretty perfume aromas and juicy red berry fruit flavors, which will pair well with everything from ham to roast chicken.

Chocolate Shop, Washington State $12

What’s mom’s day without a little decadence? This Merlot is not overly sweet, but has an infusion of dark chocolate. When paired with chocolate it’s pure heaven. Served alongside my discovery below, it’s an extra healthy hit for your heart (red wine, olive oil and dark chocolate, right?)

Try it with Poco Dolce Olive Oil and Sea Salt Chocolate. This dark chocolate from a small San Francisco-based chocolatier is made with sea salt and olive oil. It melts in your mouth with a creaminess I haven’t tasted before. You will fall in love.

Gift wines with a feminine twist

Splurge on mom a bit with these unique wines to make her feel special.

2006 Fall Creek “Meritus” Hill Country, Texas $34

Fall Creek is owned by the First lady of Texas wine Susan Auler and her husband. This lush, complex Cabernet blend is a world-class example at a surprisingly good price. This is available nationally, but is made in all 50 states, so seek out your local wine and treat mom to a special bottle from her hometown.

2008 Marilyn Merlot, Napa Valley, California $29

This is glamour in a glass, and celebrates the 24th vintage of the Marilyn Merlot wine and a screen icon. The supple, sexy red comes adorned with a collectible photo of the lovely lady. If your mom is a movie buff, add a Marilyn film (my favorite is “Some Like it Hot”) and even a boa for her to wear the whole day to feel like a star.

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