“Happy Mother’s Day” Review: Schramsberg Brut Rose’ 2014

Okay, I’ll admit it: Last year I kinda screwed up Mother’s Day for my wife. To make a long story short, we were in Virginia where I was graduating with my doctorate, and I mistakenly believed that this meant the weekend was mostly about me. With my wife being a relatively new mother at this point, my egocentrism didn’t go over particularly well.

Please don’t misunderstand; I had good intentions. I thought room service and a walk along the beach would be a great Mother’s Day. At it might have been. But I found out too late that our hotel didn’t have room service, and when Sonja saw me frantically writing the card at the last minute, I guess it was too much, or rather, too little, for her to bear.  The walk along the beach turned out to be pretty nice, but Sonja made it clear that I had disappointed her, and I took a mental note to be better prepared on future Hallmark holidays.

I spent much of yesterday in preparation. I mowed the lawn so that it would be beautiful as we sat on the patio overlooking it, eating a special brunch I had intended to prepare. I went shopping for all of the ingredients: fresh cherries, Belgian waffles with an array of toppings, egg cups with feta, and chicken sausages.  I picked the perfect card as well, and I wrote it to her last night in my study — I wasn’t going to repeat last year’s faux pas. With no beach for a thousand miles, I planned a trip to the botanical gardens to enjoy the weather and the beauty of nature with our children. And of course, I chose the perfect bottle of sparkling wine to pair with our brunch.

Schramsberg is, in my mind, the greatest sparkling wine producer in North America, if not beyond. The second oldest winery in the Napa Valley, Sonja and I visited them about a year ago, and have been huge fans ever since. This vintage brut rose’ was one I’d been excited to share with Sonja on such a special day, offering the perfect combination of quality and nostalgia.  A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay sourced from four different counties in California’s illustrious wine country, it is perfectly dry yet bursting with notions of beautiful red and pink fruit. Raspberry, strawberry, and rose hips abound from nose to palate, with hints of toast and toffee sneaking in every once in a while. Vibrant and saturated with excited little bubbles, this is an excellent testament to the quality of wine that I have come to associate with the Schramsberg label. Best of all, it paired beautifully with, well, everything.

Fast forward to this morning, and I was a bit frazzled when I looked out my window and saw rain. I nevertheless prepared brunch, setting the table inside, and placing Sonja’s card at her setting while she rested in bed with little Zooey. When everything was ready, I got Titus all dressed and the four of us shared the meal while the rain came down outside. Once it subsided, we met Sonja’s mother and her husband at the gardens and strolled until it was time for lunch. When at last we departed, Sonja assured me I had done a better job this year. I pride myself on learning from my mistakes.

Before I end, I’d like to say a special thank you to my own mother (who I did remember to call this morning). Mother’s Day never seemed like a big deal to me growing up, perhaps because my family didn’t make much of it. But now, as an adult and, more significantly, a parent, I can see why it’s such an important thing, and I am grateful to mothers everywhere for the important work they do in raising children. I’m especially appreciative of the woman raising mine.

Happy Mother’s Day,



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