Expert Picks: White and Rosé Mother’s Day Wines Under $25

Buy your mom something she’s guaranteed to enjoy.

By: Jessica Voelker

If you’re doing it right, buying a bottle of wine for someone is a highly personal gesture. You have to know what your giftee likes—Chardonnay, sparkling wine, dry South African varietals, etc.—and offer something that will fit their tastes while also presenting the chance to try something new. For the wine-drinking mother, a well-chosen bottle is a no-brainer gift. Mom feels special, then buzzed; siblings—petals falling from the sad little bouquets clutched in their fists—shrink in the certain knowledge of your new status as favorite kid forever. (Okay maybe not forever, but certainly through Sunday.)

Great news: This moment of M-Day glory can be achieved by even the most novice of wine purchasers, thanks to this mère-minded list of white and rosé options selected by wine experts around town. The best part? They’re all under $25—less than it costs to order a dozen daffodils to Mom’s door.


Jesse Hiney, sommelier at NoPa Kitchen and Bar in Penn Quarter

NV Roederer Estate Brut Rosé Anderson Valley (about $22 retail)

“Every time I get together with my mom, we have to enjoy a few glasses of Champagne,” says Hiney. “Everybody loves Champagne. It’s tasty, and it makes us feel special. I like to go with a domestic sparkler with Mom. We enjoy Roederer Estate Brut Rosé. It’s just over the $20 mark and will please any palate. Best of all, it’s pink to show how much you love your mom.”

Audrey Wilkinson Series Rosé (about $19 retail)

“Sticking with the pink theme, a fun little rosé from Australia made by Audrey Wilkinson made both my mom and me smile a few summers back. It’s under $20 and has a lot of personality. Berries and spice dance on your tongue.”


David White, founder and editor of the Terroirist blog

2012 Markowitsch Carnuntum Rosé of Pinot Noir ($15.99 at Weygandt Wines)

“It’s easy to dismiss pink wine, of course, since most of us associate it with cheap, sweet ‘blush’ wines,” says White. “While this style of wine will always have fans, true rosés are bone-dry, textured, and refreshing, and they can be just as complex and food-friendly as traditional wines. In DC, my favorites come from Weygandt Wines in Cleveland Park and MacArthur Beverages in Palisades. The Markowitsch Carnuntum is absolutely delicious. And it’s also a geeky wine—most ‘serious’ rosé comes from southern France, and this one comes from Austria. Plus it’s made entirely from Pinot Noir, which few people associate with Austrian wine.”

2011 Ken Forester Chenin Blanc Reserve ($12.99 at MacArthur Beverages)

Explains White: “South Africa has long been a source of wine values. And the country’s Chenin Blanc can be stunning—yet it somehow remains under the radar. Although the grape’s ancestral home is France’s Loire Valley, more than half the world’s plantings of Chenin Blanc are in South Africa. Just like vintners in France, South African producers make the wine in a variety of styles, from bone-dry to lusciously sweet.

For my palate, fresh Chenin Blanc is unbeatable as an everyday white wine. When well crafted, Chenin Blanc is bursting with fresh fruit and delicate floral aromas, and backed by crisp acidity. One of my favorites comes from Ken Forrester, who has been at the forefront of quality wine production in South Africa for about 20 years.”


Suzanne McGrath, owner of the Curious Grape in Shirlington (wine picks available at shop)

2011 Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc “Old Vine” Reserve, Stellenbosch, South Africa ($16.99)

McGrath says drinkers at the Curious Grape’s wine bar love swilling this South African wine—also available by the bottle—because it “satisfies Chardonnay drinkers with a dollop of creamy oak, but Chenin’s honeyed, citrusy character sets it apart.”

2012 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Blanc, Brugioni Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California ($23.99)

It’s called “Pinot Noir Blanc, but, says McGrath, “it is actually one of the most deeply-colored rosés on our shelves. The deep color signals ripe, lush red fruit flavors from beautifully ripened Pinot Noir.” Unlike most rosés, “the wine is partially fermented in French oak to add body and weight, while the cool Sonoma Coast climate gives the wine bright acidity for a zesty texture.”


Philip Guthrie, owner of Bethesda Chevy Chase Beer & Wine (wine picks available at shop)

2012 Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc, South Africa ($19.95)

Guthrie on his pick: “While technically dry, the Secateurs presses enough sugar out the Chenin Blanc grapes to please those craving sweetness on Mother’s Day. It exhibits aromas of grapefruit and lemon without a hint of tartness; a beautifully balanced and simple wine, and maybe the finest South African white under $20.”

2012 Badenhorst Secateurs, Rosé Blend South Africa ($19.95)

Per Guthrie, this “blend of southern Rhône grapes—Cinsault, Shiraz, and Grenache—is seductive, dry, and crisp, offering light strawberry and cherry notes with a lingering citrusy finish. An elegant, easy-drinking rosé—even for non-rosé drinkers.”