Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day wine columns grow more difficult each year. Lilting riffs about sweet, fruity libations because “little woman” isn’t into real wine are so baroquely foolish you venture there today only in parody.

Still, it is true women tend to lighter wines, less alcohol, more refined than Rabelaisian reds. Thus, consider these Mommy Day plays.

• Pour lemonade in an ice cub tray and freeze. In pitcher or bowl, combine a couple of cups of chilled mango (or peach or apricot) juice, lemonade cubes, and a pint of thinly sliced strawberries. Add two bottles of sparkling wine (see below).

• If you really fancy fruit juice, mix two cups of cranberry juice, two cups of pineapple juice, two cups of orange juice, two cups of guava nectar, and one cup of apple juice (all chilled) with one 750 ml bottle of sparkling wine. You can modify to taste and easily double or triple amounts.

• Want more kick and flavor medley? Mix five ounces of peeled, chopped fresh ginger with one quart chilled ginger ale, 750 ml of chilled cranberry juice, one cup of triple sec, one cup of brandy, and two bottles of sparkling rosé. Pour over ice; garnish with lemon slices.

If your celebration is more intimate, focus on mom. What is her favorite meal? Pair a quality wine with that meal. Don’t mess with sparkling punches, simply open a bottle of quality sparkling or Champagne, maybe drop a favorite fruit slice in the flute. Finish the evening with chocolate paired with sherry, Madeira, port, or that ubiquitous, versatile sparkling/Champagne.

Make it her day. She puts up with dad and the kids to earn it.

Tasting notes:

Sparkling suggestions for above recipes: Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry ($10), Gruet Blanc de Noirs ($15), Mumm Napa Cuvée M ($18).

• Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. Clean, smooth, creamy sweet; apples, cherries; complements sherbet, fruit, light cheese; if she likes sweet and light, this is winner. Other Barefoot sparklings work, too. $8

• JM Fonseca Twin Vines Vinho Verde 2010. Delightful lemons and flowers nose; light, crisp, tangy, sprinkle of sparkle; refreshing value. $8

• Lamarca Prosecco NV. Lively fruit: apple, honeysuckle, citrus, pinch of peach, grapefruit; trace of sweet with nice acidity; clean, refreshing sparkling. $17

Last round: Wine labels don’t have calorie counts, so I believe that means wine doesn’t have any.