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grandmaChoosing a gift for next Sunday's Mother's Day is never that easy for sons and daughters, of whatever age. I'm sure you'll not complain when you receive the usual bunch of flowers or box of chocs, but it would be nice to get something rather more personalised wouldn't it? So why not help your children along by dropping subtle, or not, hints that a bottle or two of your favourite wine would be much appreciated.

coinsTheir urge to buy champagne will be strong – don't try and divert this but direct it either towards something really, really expensive (after all you're worth it aren't you?), or a bottle of wine you know only you will enjoy.

You could direct your offspring towards wines priced at £5 and under (Asda’s Marques del Norte Rioja at £4.28 not only looks the part but tastes good too) but as it’s your day why not move them along the wine aisle to the £9.99+ section. Here there are not only fancy prices and fancy labels but also, in some instances, fancy and enjoyable flavours.

Pol Roger champagneFrench wines from specific chateau (vineyards with a castle) or domains (smaller sub-regions) always make great gifts as their undecipherable labels convey poshness. But they can be a bit of a risk for a purchaser as the bottle often gives no hint of the flavours found inside. So the best way to find out what the wine actually tastes like is to ask.

Obviously it helps if there’s someone around to ask and an off-licence or up-market wine shop is a better bet for this than a supermarket - plus they tend to hire staff with in-depth wine knowledge rather than the do-everything shelf stacker. So try Majestic (usually on the edge of town) or local specialists like Tanners in Shropshire or Averys in Bristol. Their staff should be able to direct you to mother-friendly wines.

There’s always the tried and tasted wines suggested below if you need more inspiration.

PG Wine Tips

Domaine La Borie Blanche Minervois La Livinière 2007 Terroirs d’Altitute

£7.99 Majestic (if bought as 2+ bottles otherwise £9.99)

This red blend of those hearty grapes Syrah (Shiraz), Mouvèdre and Grenache tastes fabulously fruity. Expect complex flavours of black cherry, blackcurrant, strawberry and black coffee.

Villa Maria Pinot NoirVilla Maria New Zealand Private Bin Pinot Noir 2010

£9.99 Co-op

Tastes of tart black cherry juice with a spicy Szechuan pepper ending.

Errazuriz Chilean Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2009

£10.49 Co-op and £10.99 Majestic

This wine is so good it made it into my Top Ten Whites of 2010: lemon and lime cheesecake flavours with a coriander leaf topping.

Chateau Roquefort Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc 2008

£12.34 WaitroseWineDirect

Long-lasting flavours of butter, celery, melon and parsley.

Chateau Lamothe Bergeron Bordeaux Haut-Médoc 2002

£16.99 Averys of Bristol

There’s no need to open this wine hours before drinking – just open and pour to enjoy the long and complex flavours of blackberry, blackcurrant, chocolate, cherry, violet and a bit of Marmite. Surprisingly it’s not at all heavy in the mouth but actually quite light bodied and smooth.

Related articles to help you choose posh wine for mum: Top Ten Whites of 2011; Top Ten Reds of 2011; Mad March wine offers

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on

wine bottlesBehind the unimaginative supermarket headlines of ‘Mad March Offers’ are some rather good ones involving wine. Asda leads the way with the lowest priced offer wine at £2.48 followed by the Co-op with their own-label Australian wine at £4.25. The big brands are also having a clear out with several supermarkets selling Wolf Blass at a discount, while savings on the posher brands of Villa Maria and Errazuriz can be found at Tesco.

Castillo de Calatrva labelMorrisons Castillo de Calatrava Spanish Tempranillo Crianza is the Bargain of the Year (so far). Paying just £4 for this complex, fruity red is such a stonking deal (within their 3 for £12 offer which starts today) that buying just one bottle is a missed opportunity – my advice is buy as many as your purse will allow.

Sauternes labelAs you squeeze the lemon juice over your pancakes tomorrow will you be contemplating an accompanying glass of wine or a nice cup of tea? Because wine isn’t the natural partner of choice for the traditional Shrove Tuesday meal. Adding lashings of sugar as well will almost stop the taste buds registering anything else – unless it’s even sweeter or more acidic than each of the pancake toppings. So what wine, if any, matches these criteria?