Celebrate with Wine All May Long

By Sandra Crittenden
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May is a big month for celebrations, but even more so this year. With social distancing restrictions lifted, more people vaccinated, and the state reopened, many people look forward to reconnecting with friends and family and being able to commemorate life’s special moments in person.

While cocktails are a regular companion to some holidays like Kentucky Derby Day or Cinco de Mayo, many other opportunities this month provide a reason to lift a glass of vino and toast to better days ahead.

If planning a little family reunion for mom this Mother’s Day, bubbles are a foolproof way to get the party started. Affordable crémant will be sure to please both palates and wallets, and this month’s top choice is the Albert Bichot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé.

This wine is made in the same way as Champagne using some of the same grape varieties but does not have to be aged as long, and it comes from the Burgundy region rather than Champagne. Bichot is a top producer and this wine gives great quality for the $17 price.

The Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne is a splurge with an $85 price tag, but it is a sure-fire way to become Mom’s favorite. This refined sipper displays bright raspberry notes, elegant minerality, and a fresh finish. It is consistently a top-scoring Champagne and is noted for its pleasant balance of crispness and roundness. Both of these pink sparklers can be found on the island at Spec’s.

Placeholder imageOutdoor gatherings are the perfect place to serve chilled and refreshing Rosé wine, no matter what the occasion. Whether choosing a classic Provence pink like this month’s crowd-pleaser or one of their more fruit forward domestic rose selections, Kroger has a good range of top selling Rosé wines.

Chateau d’Esclans ‘The Palm’ Rosé is a crowd-pleasing pink found at Kroger for as low as $14.99 (sale price). Fresh and aromatic with a palm covered label that exudes island style, this wine is already a contender for top summer sipper.

Other budget friendly picks found on the island this month are a New Zealand white on the shelves at Target and a South American red at Kroger. Prophecy Sauvignon Blanc displays all the classic notes one expects from this variety out of Marlborough. Fresh, bright, and aromatic with grapefruit and lime citrus, a hint of something tropical and a sea breeze minerality make it an elegant companion to the local seafood. This wine is a steal at $9.99.

If beef is on the menu, then try the smooth Trivento Reserve Malbec found at Kroger for $10.99. It pairs great with any meaty morsels, from burgers to barbecue and meatballs to steaks. Both of these wines are top choices for large gatherings like graduation celebrations.

Although the Memorial Day holiday is often seen as just the start of summer, it was created to honor those who died in service. So for this Memorial Day, consider ordering a special red blend from Charles Krug of Sonoma County called Purple Heart.

A portion of the sales from Purple Heart wine benefits the PurpleHeartFoundation.org which seeks to enhance the lives of veterans who are still living with traumatic stress and injuries. This lush, velvety red wine can be ordered from CharlesKrug.com for only $20 a bottle.

May is also the time for wine-lovers to place any special orders for favorite summer wines that are not readily available in town. While the island is fortunate to have a good selection of wine available locally, a few memorable choices may not be so easy to acquire. Take advantage of the last lull before the summer rush to get in touch with preferred domestic wineries for those hard-to-find treasures.

Ordering favorite wines from smaller Texas producers is a good idea now, too. People with suppressed wanderlust will start hitting the Texas wine trail this summer, and the state’s top-quality rosé will be consumed at a rapid-fire speed. Place your orders soon to ensure the best Lone Star sips are available at home all season long.

Accessing great wine has never been easier. Take advantage of restaurant deals, pick-six discounts, and online offers this month to stock up for May celebrations and the lazy days of summer ahead. National Wine Day May 25 We don’t typically need an “official” reason to celebrate over a bottle of wine but today we have one – it’s National Wine Day, celebrated annually on May 25.

The growing number of wineries across the US coupled with the proliferation of social media options has prompted more creative ways to celebrate with wine for people of all (legal drinking) ages and beverage preferences.

Whether you host a wine tasting at your place to try the latest rosés or meet friends for an evening of professionally paired food and wine, the celebration begins as soon as the cork is popped. Cheers!