My wine column in the May issue of More Magazine, with more than 500,000 thirsty readers, features three wines to celebrate Mother’s Day as gifts: three spectacular bubblies. A toast to Mom!
The cover features an actress whom I admire for her depth, strength and guts, Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife, Canterbury’s Law, ER).
I also love that she’s often drinking a glass of wine as she reviews her legal briefs in the evening at home. (Guess that doesn’t play so well in the ER.) At the start of the season, it was white wine, but I notice that it’s always red wine as she’s matured in her taste and life experience.
I also get to live vicariously through her as a lawyer since I was originally enrolled in the combined MBA and LLB program at the University of Western Ontario, but in the end decided to cash out in two years with just the MBA, rather than stick it for four years ;)
Here are my Top 20 Wines for Mother’s Day, either made by women or named for them. Often the latter were originally made by women.
Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Brut Sparkling
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A, Canada
Veuve Clicquot Demi Sec Champagne
Champagne, Reims, France
Bollinger Brut Special Cuvée Bollinger Spécial Cuvée Brut Champagne
A.C., Champagne, France
Last night, we were joined by special guest, guest winemaker, Allison Christ of Colio Estate Wines and her Mom, Nancy, to help us get ready for Mother’s Day with gift wines and brunches. Click the arrow on the video above to watch our chat.
P.S. Want to know when we go live next Sunday with our special guest Richard Painter from New Zealand’s Te Awa winery?
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Here’s a sampling of lively discussion from our tasting…
Allison Christ, winemaker at Colio Estate Wines, began fostering her skills in winemaking with an Honours BSc. in Chemistry/Mathematics from the University of Windsor, followed by harvest experience in both small and large winery settings, as well as a President’s position at the Windsor Essex Chapter of the Ontario Wine Society.
Allison brings her passion to all facets of cellar and winery operations with a focus on harvest, fermentation, blending and bottling. She also works in partnership with Kevin our Vineyard Manager to ensure that quality parameters are met throughout the growing season and at the time of harvest.
6 oz. Lily Sparkling Wine
2 oz. Girls’ Night Out Peach
1 tsp. Grenadine
Garnish with a frozen Raspberry
This sparkling wine is made with 100% Riesling grapes, which is uncommon among bubblies, which are often a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.
Lily with sushi – the yeasty notes liven up the mildly sweet and rice vinegar flavours of the sushi rice – and each sip between bites will cleanse the palate with its mouth-watering acidity, but won’t overwhelm the delicate balance of seafood and vegetable flavours.
Lily with charcuterie – the acidity cuts through the salt and fat of the cured meats and richness of the savoury cheeses.
This bubbly is a good counter balance to spicy Middle Eastern fare – the slightly sweet notes of the Riesling tame the heat.
Salt-Baked Pear Salad with Aged Cheddar Recipe Paired with Colio Estate Wines Lily
10–12 cups (2.5–3 L) kosher saltlily-sparkling-250-px
2 tbsp (30 mL) whole pink or black peppercorns
8 whole star anise
4 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
4 firm, ripe Bosc pears, washed and dried
8–10 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 small Belgian endive, trimmed, cored and each cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
2 bunches red watercress, washed and dried, thick stems removed
¾ cup (175 mL) crumbled aged Canadian cheddar
½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
Brown Derby Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Toasted sliced almonds for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a very large bowl, stir together 10 cups (2.5 L) salt, peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Set aside.
In a Dutch oven large enough to hold pears upright in a single layer and deep enough that they don’t sit above the pot’s rim, stand pears on blossom ends. Carefully spoon salt mixture over and around pears so they’re completely covered except for the stems, adding remainder of salt if necessary.
Bake, uncovered, until pears are tender when pierced with a wooden skewer, about 30 minutes.
Let pears cool completely in salt mixture, then carefully remove them from the pot, brushing off any salt that sticks to the skins. Discard salt mixture.
Just before serving, cut each pear lengthwise into 8 wedges, discarding cores and stems. In a large bowl, gently toss pear wedges, radishes, celery, endive, watercress, cheese and cranberries.
Add enough vinaigrette to coat ingredients and toss gently. Divide salad among 8 individual plates. Sprinkle with almonds and serve with British Pickle.
Here are the wines we will taste with Winemaker Allison Christ:
Colio Estate Wines Lily
Harrow, Ontario VQA, Canada
Girls’ Night Out Mimosa
Harrow, Ontario, Canada
Girls’ Night Out Chardonnay 2014
Harrow, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
Colio Estate Wines
Girls’ Night Out Rosé 2015
Harrow, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada