By Bob Lipinski
“Some are kissing mothers, and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.” (Pearl S. Buck)
When we think of Mother’s Day, images of multicolored flowers, greeting cards with heartfelt words, chocolate dipped strawberries, and perhaps breakfast in bed come to mind. Platters of cheese and fruit, and chilled glasses of wine area perfect match for any occasion.
Oh, by the way, it wasn’t until May 9, 1914, that President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring the first national Mother’s Day.
My idea of a Mother’s Day celebration starts several days before, selecting cheese and wine that pair well along with that special bottle of bubbly and a light-bodied white or rosé wine to share during the day.
There is an old saying, “You eat and drink with your eyes” and that’s precisely where we are headed. Regarding cheese, purchase a wedge of a “sharp” orange-colored Cheddar, a chunk of your favorite blue cheese, a wheel of Brie from France, and a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy. Select apples and pears for the Cheddar; figs and papaya for the Blue; mango and pineapple for the Brie; and cantaloupe and peaches for the Parmigiano. Serve the cheese at room temperature and the fruit slightly chilled for optimum enjoyment.
Now, let’s assemble the delicacies. On a large, flat satin-white platter, plate the cheese so the various colors and shapes stand out but not touch. Around the cheeses, arrange some green and black grapes, walnuts and dried apricots or cherries and perhaps add some mint leaves for contrast and color. Carefully place two chocolate-dipped strawberries in front of each piece of cheese. Ever so gently, drizzle about 1/4 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar over the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Before we invite mom to partake, be sure there are napkins, perhaps some espresso, and a camera. That’s it… and say hello to mom for me!
Regarding wines here are my recommendations, along with a superb liqueur.
Pol Roger Brut Rosé 2009, Champagne, France. Blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Salmon colored with a bouquet bursting of raspberries, pomegranate, and oranges. Full in the mouth with citrus, wild cherry, and spices. The champagne is dry, yet a fruity flavor persists to the end.
J.J. Vincent “Crémant de Bourgogne:” France. Light and elegant, made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Hints of toasted hazelnuts, along with Granny Smith apples, lemon, and ginger.
NV Collet Brut Rosé Champagne. Blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Bright rose-colored with flavors of cranberry, dried fruit, and citrus. Well-balanced with considerable body and a wondrous aftertaste.
NV Henriot Brut Rosé Campagne. Pale ruby color with a strong fruity bouquet and hints of raspberries, chocolate, and citrus. Medium-bodied and quite dry with a flavorful aftertaste.
2018 Laurent Miquel, Rosé, Languedoc, France. Blend of Cinsaut and Syrah grapes. Perfumed bouquet of peaches, citrus, strawberry, and blueberry; quite easy to drink with a wonderful aftertaste.
Lazzaroni Maraschino (cherry) Liqueur, Italy (50 proof). Clear with a strong, perfumed bouquet of spicy cherries, bubblegum, almonds, and orange peel. Luscious, semisweet; filled with candy flavors of cherries, tangerine, and marzipan. Don’t miss getting a bottle!
“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it!” (Mark Twain, 1835–1910, American Humorist and Writer)
Bob Lipinski, the author of 10 books on alcoholic beverages and food, conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.BobLipinski.com OR Bob@BobLipinski.com