Mothering Sunday was traditionally the day when mum was banished from the kitchen and the rest of the house would cook Sunday lunch and, of course, do the washing up afterwards.
So, if you are planning a Sunday lunch to celebrate the mother in your household here are a few thoughts on wine to go with it.
If you are looking for a gift how about a bottle of artisanal, local gin? It might have once been described as ‘mothers' ruin’ but aside from that
unfortunate connection there's no doubt gin is the spirit of the moment.
The Winchester Distillery has been producing a range of fine gins for a number of years from its distillery at Old Alresford and Hampshire Fine Dry Gin (winchesterdistillery.co.uk £34.95, Fareham Wine Cellar £33.99) is a relatively new addition to the range and my current favourite.
It’s made with six botanicals including juniper, lemon, lime and coriander. It’s fresh with juniper to the fore but with sweet notes of citrus in the background. Distiller Paul Bowler suggests serving it with a high-quality tonic and a twist of lime and lemon.
For lunch try Les Pionniers NV Rosé Champagne (Co-op £21.99) as an aperitif. It's one of the best value pink Champagnes I’ve tasted for a while. Bright pink with fine, persistent bubbles in the glass, the nose has red fruits and a touch of orange zest followed by a mouth-filling palate with well-balanced acidity and more red fruits.
La Vieille Ferme Blanc 2016, Vin de France (Co-op £6.49 down from £7.49 until March 27, Waitrose £7.99) is from one of the most famous family wine producers in the Rhone Valley. I started importing this in the 1980s and it's as good as ever.
Made from a blend of southern French grapes, it has fresh notes on the nose with citrus and fruit blossom. In fact it almost smells like the arrival of spring in a glass – here’s hoping! The palate continues the theme with lively, fresh fruit and more of a textured feel than you would expect at this level. This is wonderful value and would happily work with simple roast chicken.
Capaia Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Philadelphia (Majestic £10.99 but £8.99 in a mixed six) is a Bordeaux-style red that works well with roast beef or lamb. From the relatively new South African wine region of Philadelphia, the estate is jointly owned by Count Stephan von Neipperg who also owns the famous St Emilion properties of Canon La Gaffeliere and La Mondotte, so this does have Bordeaux pedigree.
Blackcurrants, vanilla, spice, cedar and a touch of cocoa lead to a relatively full-bodied palate with medium tannins and smokey, dark fruits on the finish. Worth decanting before serving.
n Alistair Gibson is proprietor of Hermitage Cellars, Emsworth. Call (01243) 431002 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org