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7:00am Saturday 9th March 2013 in Lifestyle
Fancy a drink? Our drinks columnist Sam Wylie-Harris selects some top tipples to toast Mother's Day.
Someone dear to our hearts As far as presents go, the best ones are usually from those who know you well and have gone to the trouble to ascertain your favourite style and taste.
With this in mind, Mother's Day (March 10) is a fine time to treat mum to her best-loved tipple and enhance a pretty bunch of flowers with a wine's fragrant bouquet.
To encourage a smile, add a sweet twist to the traditional Tom Collins cocktail by mixing Sipsmith London Dry Gin (£26.99, 70cl, Waitrose) with Belvoir Elderflower Cordial (£2.89, 50cl, Tesco).
The elderflower complements the smooth, juniper notes in this classic dry gin and the elegant bottle will certainly win brownie points - here's the recipe to keep her in good spirits.
:: Elderflower collins 40ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin, 20ml Belvoir Elderflower Cordial Fill a tall glass halfway with ice. Add the gin and cordial, then top with sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with an orange wheel and a cherry.
Pretty as a picture, Berryleaf Falls Rose, California, USA (£6.99, Sainsbury's) is a berrylicious rose that's perfect for a lunchtime tipple.
At 10.5% abv, even busy mums can put their feet up and take a few minutes to enjoy the wild strawberry and raspberry flavours which have a delicious zippy finish to delight the palate.
Yummy mummies who frequent fashionable watering holes will appreciate a bottle of albarino, the trendy dry white wine from Spain.
Such is its rise to the A-list, this modish label is now neatly poised on big-name supermarket shelves and Vina Taboexa Albarino 2011, Rias Baixas, Spain (£9.99, Waitrose) is a good example of this easy-drinking style which boasts honeyed aromatics, a generous amount of peach and melon flavours, good minerality and a nice herbal edge.
Top winemaker Cathy Marshall has stamped Catherine Marshall Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin 2012, South Africa (£10.30, www.tanners-wines.co.uk) with her trademark restrained elegance and this beautifully crafted sauvignon blanc leans more towards an Old World Sancerre. With rich grapefruit flavours, hints of asparagus and a long flint-tinged finish, it's a perfect choice for sophisticated ladies.
To pamper her taste buds with a smooth merlot with excellent organic credentials, try Gilles Louvet Pech Matelles Organic Merlot IGP Pays d'Oc 2011, France (£8.06, www.harperwells.com) from the sunny Languedoc.
The largest organic producer in France, Gilles Louvet is passionate about sustainability and this juicy red marries soil, water and sunlight with lashings of ripe berry fruits and silky structured tannins.
Some wines speak for themselves and for those precious moments, Monte Quieto, Quieto Malbec 2010 (£13.10, Prohibition Wines, tel 020 8444 4804 or e-mail muswell.hill@prohibition wines.com) is a seductive South American that your mother won't want to share. Rich and velvety smooth, this inky black red is packed with plums, cassis and violet-scented fruit with a light dusting of coffee and a powerful, long finish.
An increasingly popular choice in champagne circles, the freshness and fruit characteristics of rose champagne have helped shape the rose boom and Fortnum & Mason will personalise your bottle to make the lady of the house feel like the queen bee.
A deep salmon colour, Fortnum & Mason Mothering Sunday Champagne (£37.50, www.fortnumandmason.com) is a blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. This vibrant, fresh rose with attractive cherry fruit, soft fragrant nose and good body and structure is the perfect aperitif.
Alternatively, to delight an English rose, why not surprise her with a vintage rose from one of England's most outstanding wineries?
West Sussex-based Nyetimber's second rose release, Nyetimber Rose 2008, England (£45, Waitrose), is a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir and it's dominated by blackcurrant fruit flavours straight from the hedgerow. Well rounded with fresh acidity to give it an extra lift, this prize sparkler has a natural affinity with shellfish and pairs beautifully with prawns and crabmeat.
:: Best buy Spain signals Rioja... Between March 4 and April 7, The Wine Shop at Harrods will be offering a special promotion on Rioja wines, which are also available to buy online. Ole ole! Favourite food-friendly names include Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva 2004, £19.95 (reduced from £23.95), Beronia Gran Reserva 2005, £19.95 (reduced from £24.95), and Monte Real Rioja Tinto Reserva 2006, £13.95 (reduced from £18.95). For more information, visit www.harrods.com :: Liquid news The Grouse heads south... After a bonnie reception in Scotland, the maker of The Famous Grouse has launched its premium alcoholic ginger beer in England. Ginger Grouse (£2.20, 4% abv, 50cl, major supermarkets nationwide) combines the peppery sweet taste of ginger beer with a wee, wee dram of The Famous Grouse whisky, which has a fruity, spicy profile to enhance the overall enjoyment. For more details, visit Ginger Grouse at www.facebook.com/gingergrouse
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