Gifts for Mother’s Day: Wine Trumps Flowers (and Tastes Better)


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?

Tune in here for our Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting:

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You’ll find upcoming and past Live Tasting Videos here.

If you’d like to read 92 comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit:

Here’s a sampling of lively discussion from our tasting…

Natalie MacLean · 1:32 Tonight we have a special Mother’s Day edition for the Sunday Sipper Club at 6 pm eastern (Toronto time) with a terrific Ontario winemaker, Allison Christ of Colio Estate Wines and her Mom, Nancy!

Here are the wines we’ll be tasting tonight:See More

Allison Christ · 50:53 Thank you so much for having us! Have a wonderful Mother’s day!
Dave Stephens · 45:09 The Chicago and Wisconsin families love the Colio wines. Once or twice a year, we visit Nancy and Allison and tour the wineries of Essex County. Really good wines.


Lori Kilmartin · 46:32 What do you consider a “special” bottle to drink on Mother’s Day. Do you already have something in mind??


Lori Kilmartin · 37:25 I love sparkling wine. All kinds – Prosecco, Champagne and your Lily. It’s fu to sabre them!


Lori Kilmartin · 32:33 Your Mom is very young looking. Must be the good wine she drinks!!


Debbie Irwin · 9:56 Love love it first thing in the morning with a splash of OJ


Stephen Andrews · 37:36 Has a German feel to it goes over well in Kitchener Waterloo Lilly.


Stephen Andrews · 32:45 Lilly best to drink as is don’t mix it nice before dinner drink would love to try it with lemon shrimp cold appetizer. Lovely


Dave Stephens · 30:13 Will you bring back the coconut girl’s night out?


 Patricia Toal · 5:55 I’m here in Windsor, sipping my Colio Dry White!
Dave Stephens · 21:44 Love the wine, love the people


Lise Charest Gagne · 41:06 What are the lovely ladies drinking?
Paula Schulz · 16:01 Colio Extra Dry white here !


Jane Staples · 14:08 what do you think about Riesling with eggs?
 Jane Staples · 19:28 I’m going to start a “Mimosa Mamas Group”!
 Patty Handysides · 9:13 Sipping Lily. A fave
 Cindi Pappa · 23:00 And Joe loves the Hattrick


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.









The Lilibet

6 oz. Lily Sparkling Wine
2 oz. Girls’ Night Out Peach
Raspberry Rumba
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
British Pickle


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.

Serves 8







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
Champagne A.C., France





Here are the wines we will taste with Winemaker Allison Christ:





Colio Estate Wines Lily
Harrow, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada











Girls’ Night Out Mimosa
Harrow, Ontario, Canada










Girls’ Night Out Chardonnay
Harrow, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada










Colio Estate Wines Blush Rosé
Ontario, Canada










Girls’ Night Out Rosé
Harrow, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada






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 ;)

You’ll find more Mother’s Day gift wines from my column on Epicurious and on CTV.









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