This is the second year that I officially qualify as a Mother's
Day honoree, so unlike years prior to parenthood I speak with authority
when I say that it may be impossible to truly grasp the depth and extent
of a mom's efforts unless you are a mother yourself.
However, all children old enough to hold a crayon and husbands married
to mommies are charged with the responsibility of celebrating mom in some
form or fashion, be it with a handmade card with colorful scribbles, spa
gift certificate, or breakfast in bed. And from where I stand, right on
to that. I don't care if the holiday is commercialized and shrouded in marketing
campaigns pushing candy and flowers. We mommies deserve a big pat on the
back and should take it wherever and whenever we can get it.
If you have a mommy in your life and want to celebrate her with something
a little sexier than a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates, don't
put off finding something special for her until the last moment. Instead
consider following Wine Country items, which top my Mother's Day wish list—and
feel free to forward this link to my husband if you happen to know him.
Oh! And don't forget: Mother's Day is Sunday, May13.
I call myself a wine monogamist because I get into one varietal
and drink it solely for a year or more before moving onto my next favorite.
My current crush, so to speak, is chardonnay. If you've pooh-poohed California's
offerings in the past because they were too oaky or overpowering, it's
time to revisit the very versatile and sexy grape. There's some great
juice coming out of these parts. Try chardonnays from Shafer Vineyards,
Newton, Talbot, Chateau St. Jean, Rochioli, or Rudd or even more affordable
brands like Meridian. And gussy it up with a couple of nice wine glasses,
hall pass to take the afternoon off, or heartfelt card.
My mom started taking me to this spectacular Napa Valley cookware
and tabletop shop when I was a girl. Today I am still as captivated by
the profusion of pretty and colorful imported and domestic ceramics and
table linens. Alas, they don't have an online shop, but perhaps that's
a good reason to make a special trip to Wine Country. (1429 Main Street,
Saint Helena, 707-963-1010, www.vanderbiltandcompany.com)
I don't know about the mom in your life, but I love great wine
glasses and never seem to have enough, so if I received a six-pack of
stemware from this Austrian crystal company—known as the crème de la crème
of wineglass companies—I wouldn't be disappointed. A quick online search
will show you various options on where to buy them, including excellent
inexpensive glass versions available at Target.
Napa's sexy fine-dining spot is booked for the big day, but any
Sunday will suffice so long as it includes chef Richard Reddington's
homemade donut holes or poached eggs with chicken hash and bacon.
A bonus for busy gift-givers: You can order restaurant gift certificates
via telephone or fax. Visit the website for more details. (6480 Washington
St., Yountville, 707-944-2222, www.reddnapavalley.com)
I know I mention this winery with some regularity, but the fact
is they really know how to do gifts that get girls giddy. Check out their
signature chocolate and wine combo to see what I mean—and order online for
easy mommy-pleasing pleasure. (1271 Manly Avenue, Rutherford, 707-967-3500,
My idea of heaven is a day spent roaming this luxury resort's enormous
spa in a thick white robe where the biggest decision of the day becomes
whether to catch a few rays on one of the outdoor pool's lounge chairs,
dip in the stunning indoor natural springs area, work out at the gym,
or get a massage. Give mom the day off and a generous gift certificate
and she can do them all. (100 Boyes Boulevard, Sonoma, 707-938-9000, www.fairmont.com)
What makes me crave a meal within this historic fieldstone dining
room is not just that proprietors Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani are two
of my favorite people on earth. It's more that Hiro makes crazy good food
that showcases his mastery of Italian, French, and Japanese cuisine and
wife Lissa brings it home with to-die-for desserts. I like going in the
beginning of the week when they're in the house; the second have of the
week they manage their San Francisco restaurant Ame. (1345 Railroad Avenue,
St. Helena, 707-963-8931, www.terrarestaurant.com)
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articles by Erika Lenkert