Le Jaja de Jau Syrah ($12) France
Mother’s Day is upon us, so here are a few thoughts about giving Mom wine and serving wine for a Mother’s Day dinner or brunch.
First and foremost, if you know what Mom likes, give it to her. That means that if she appreciates white zinfandel, let her drink white zinfandel. You aren’t the wine police.
Second, don’t worry too much about pairing wine and food. You aren’t the wine police there, either. If Mom likes red wine with fish or white wine with beef, she’s allowed to drink it.
To that end, here are three wines that offer value and fit those criteria:
• Le Jaja de Jau Syrah ($12): This French red isn’t quite the steal that it was in the old days, but still offers decent wine at a decent price. Best yet, it’s a fruity red wine that pairs with everything from roast chicken to roast lamb.
• Stump Jump White ($12): This is an odd white blend from Australia — riesling, sauvignon blanc and marsanne. It’s not sweet, despite the riesling, but is clean and crisp with a bit of lemon fruit. It’s a shellfish and salad wine.
• Fogdog Chardonnay ($29): This is very well done California chardonnay — oak for people who like that sort of thing, plus green apple fruit and enough acid to balance the fruit and the oak. The wine to treat Mom with.
With Your Wine
Roast chicken thighs with mustard, garlic and rosemary
Like roast chicken, but dislike how long it takes? Then try roasting individual parts. Thighs are the quickest, but you can also use breasts. Just let them cook a little longer. Any of the wines mentioned here would pair well.
Serves 4, takes about 40 minutes
8 chicken thighs
1/3 c Dijon-style mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp rosemary, ground
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450. Combine mustard, garlic, rosemary and 3 Tbsp olive oil in a small bowl.
2. Salt and pepper the thighs. In an oven-safe pan large enough to hold all the chicken, sauté the thighs, starting skin side down, in 1 Tbsp olive oil for about 3 1/2 minutes on each side, until well browned.
3. Put the thighs in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Flip the thighs over so the skin side is down, and brush the mustard mixture on the thighs. Cook for 10 minutes, flip again, and brush the mustard on the skin side of chicken. Cook 10 or 15 minutes more until chicken is done.
Ask the Wine Guy
Why is restaurant wine so much more expensive than wine in stores?
This is one of the most controversial parts of the wine business, and there are many reasons. But, typically, restaurants charge three times what the wine costs the restaurant. And why do they do it? Because they can.