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Sips Across America articles.
My dear departed mother left a trove of
priceless memories. She remains the best self-taught cook I’ve
known - a kitchen magician who could transform things ordinary into a
feast for angels. All moms are special and all things possible begin
with them. Alabama’s tough and crusty coaching legend, Bear Bryant,
always ended his weekly television show with a command: “Call your
mama!” He meant each day. My stylish mom loved to cook and entertain.
Gardening was a passion, and she glowed with beauty and strength of
character. Her favorite hobbies were family and friends. She loved
flowers and chocolate.
Mother’s Day is nearly synonymous with
springtime, and the wines served should mirror the grace and
vibrancy of new life, fresh flowers, and the harmony of songbirds.
Each sip should suggest fresh fruit, fragrance, and the softness of a
loving hand. Wines for her should never be harsh or experimental,
but instead reminders of things beautiful, a subtle promise that
tomorrow will bring continuity and all things will get better. What
we give her comes back in multiples.
Ed and Sue Auler’s magnificent Fall Creek
Vineyards has a Mother’s Day feast each year at their Texas Hill
Country estate surrounded by verdant
vineyards, blooming bougainvilleas, and gorgeous views of Lake
Buchanan. Their objective is to lavish mother and her family with a memorable
three-course lunch by Austin, Texas’ acclaimed Chef Rob McMahon.
Each course is paired with their wines, some which have been served
in the White House. The gourmet event
is on the lovely mist-cooled winery courtyard, and the menu
is notable for local products including wines:
Arugula, with shaved fennel and Parmesan salad
with Champagne vinaigrette is enjoyed with their
Chenin Blanc. The main course is herb roasted breast of chicken
drizzled with balsamic reduction, accompanied by fruited Orzo pasta
with Roma tomatoes, Mandarin oranges, dried currants, golden raisins,
and scallions tossed in a citrus vinaigrette with Gremolota
zucchini, along with generous pours of Fall Creek’s velvety
Dessert is lemon meringue tart accompanied by
the Auler’s Twin Springs Sweet Red.
Duke, the acclaimed Fredericksburg, Texas chocolatier remembers her
mother by serving her French Silk Pie (see recipe and photo below), a recipe that has been handed
down for generations. Ms. Duke, a legendary Lone Star State
businesswoman, recommends a late harvest Riesling wine, found in
abundance in nearby Hill Country wineries.
Mother’s Day should showcase gentler wines that
go with almost all food, some standing alone as an aperitif like
Riesling, either from Germany, Alsace, or from New York or
Washington state. Riesling from the Texas Hill Country where German
heritage is pronounced, is often spectacular.
For German Riesling, be aware of the label
which is determined according to harvest ripeness. A Splatlese is
made from fully ripened grapes and may be dry or even off dry.
Kabinett is usually dry and light-bodied and is the style usually
served with food.
Chianti is an easy-going red wine. A Classico
will cost a few bucks more, but mom is worth it.. If lamb is on the
menu, regal Bordeaux is always going to work well. There is no need
to be extravagant. Some Bordeaux are less than $20 dollars and they
will be well received. Bordeaux is always a good choice as a
Mother’s Day gift.
The feast for Mother’s Day should include
dessert and a dessert wine can steal the show. From late harvest to
ice wines, the list of selections is vast. They all taste wonderful
and add enormous pleasure as we celebrate mom.
Using low speed of your mixer, slowly add the melted chocolate and
vanilla extract to the butter mixture until the chocolate is well
blended and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg before adding the next egg.
Pour the prepared chocolate mixture into either a baked pie shell or
graham crack crust (your choice). Refrigerate until set.
Served with prepared whipped cream, chocolate curls or shaving,
and/or roasted pecans.
Makes one (1) pie, approximately 8 servings.