They say that the tradition of Mothering Sunday dates back to the days when young people were sent into service and on this Sunday in Lent were given the day off to go back to their ‘mother church’ where they could meet up with their families. This later became the day when they visited their mothers, picking flowers along the way.

We love Mothering Sunday in our household as it is such a delightful celebration of family and a hopeful herald of spring with flowers and fizz (and breakfast in bed as a bonus).

Wines for Mother's Day

My husband and daughters know they’re onto a winner with pink roses and my own mother is not averse to a cheeky glass of Prosecco (especially when it comes with a slice of Simnel), so here is what I’m hoping to give and receive this Mother’s Day:

Mumm Champagne

I think it’s fun to give a fizz called Mumm on Mother’s Day, in fact, it would be rude, not to! Here’s a classy sparkler from Champagne – and a really tasty lunch aperitif style (which I rather hope someone else will be cooking – hint, hint), so pop a bottle in the fridge overnight and be ready to help mum celebrate on her special day.

Martini Prosecco

One of my mother’s favourites – and I’ve treated her to a few different bottles over the years, I assure you, so she knows what she likes. She loves the fact that it’s smooth and fruity and not ‘sour’ as she would describe some bottles of fizz I’ve mistakenly given her and will work for her throughout the meal (or even on the breakfast tray). Because isn’t Mother’s Day all about treating your mum to something she’s going to love?

Albarino Alba

Here’s a deliciously soft and easy-drinking wine from Spain; if your mum enjoys Pinot Grigio you really can’t go wrong with this appley white. Think a big bouquet of daffodils, all fresh and sunshiny, and you’re there. Great with fish dishes or roast chicken.

Marlborough Sun Sauvignon Blanc

Hands up every woman who is partial to a glass of Sauvignon Blanc! Yep, that’s me… and a whole lot of other mums out there. And this New Zealand favourite is a real crowd pleaser, so you’ll be doing yourself a favour as well as your mum by treating her to a bottle – because you can share the love! But only if you promise to cook something really tasty for her to go with it – asparagus maybe? Or seafood? It’s in our two for £12 deal until 19th March!

So Happy Mothering Sunday to all the mums and all the children, young and old – enjoy the day!

Posted by Philippa on 04 March 2015

Weddings and celebrations – we all want those days to be perfect so we plan and organise and make endless lists and remember to do everything from flowers to favours.

Champagne for special occasions

But something many people forget is that if the food and wine are great then that will make for a memorable day; and if they’re just a bit below par or a wee bit disappointing that, sadly, will be what guests remember.

So I would suggest you don’t skimp on the refreshments – we all love good food, don’t we and it makes us happy – and do offer the best drinks you can afford. It doesn’t have to be complicated – at my wedding we served pink Champagne and a German wine, and that was it! No fuss, everyone was happy and it matched the food marvellously.

If I were planning a wedding this year I’d choose Prosecco for its apples and pears soft fruitiness (and I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love Prosecco) and Champagne for that dry and elegant, glamorous, “here’s to the happy couple or special person” toast.

So to everyone organising a big event in 2015, congratulations, relax and enjoy.

Visit the Asda Wine Shop Wedding and Events page

Posted by Philippa on 23 February 2015
Philippa's Wine Blog

It really doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner (and I’ve been married for quite a few years) Valentine’s Day is still the most romantic day of the year.

So how do you show you care? I’m always very happy with flowers and presents (who wouldn’t be?) but what I’d always choose is a meal cooked at home by the husband with delicious wine to match. And there really is nothing more special than a glass or two of something sparkling.

So this is what might be in my flute glass on the fourteenth:

Wines for your Valentine

Extra Special Prosecco
I adore this Prosecco (but then, I’m a wee bit biased) but it really is deliciously fresh and fruity. Sheer delight in a glass.

Fillipo Sansovino
Absolutely gorgeous Prosecco full of soft fruity flavours. Try adding peach juice to make a classic Bellini – how romantic is that?

Louvel Fontaine
Who says you have to break the bank when it comes to Champagne? This is such great value so what you save on the sparkling you can spend on the sparkler!

Lanson Rose
The most romantic Champagne of all is definitely rose and I have a soft spot for Lanson since the time it was served at our wedding. Pretty and charming this is the perfect fizz for a delicious dinner for two.

And this is another of the Champagnes I love – fresh and light and very lovely, the perfect aperitif Champagne. Husband, please take note!

Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 05 February 2015
Philippa's Wine Blog

Here’s a New Year’s resolution that we just might keep – to be a bit more adventurous in the wines we buy. I know, I know, we know what we like and we like what we know – but how do we know that we won’t like all those lovely wines out there that friends, family and other wine buffs are enjoying right now?

There’s only one way to find out and that’s by following a few simple steps and, in the immortal lyrics of the genius that is ABBA, “take a chance on me!” So follow my handy step by step guide to a new favourite:

If you love Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc…

Wine swaps

Philippa’s suggestion: Extra Special Rueda Verdejo

Just because it tastes minty and flinty and a lot like Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t mean it’s from Marlborough. This is a seriously cool wine from the green region of Rueda in Spain, made from the Verdejo grape, and it’s so hip it hurts – brilliant with fish.

Check out Philippa's other suggestions here.
Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 07 January 2015
Philippa's Wine Blog

Christmas changes with the people you are with. I remember childhood festivities of single presents, multiple meals and parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts all sitting round the sherry decanter watching the Queen’s speech.

Christmas wines

And time moves on. The grandparents have left us and our own children have arrived and Christmas Day is all about the night before, the stockings and the icing sugar footprints, the sleigh bells and the magic. And the exhaustion!

Then the Chorister Years when the daughters sang us through Advent and when the fun – rather than cassocked work – began after Evensong on Christmas Day.

And now. The daughters will cook for the four of us, so Christmas Day will be grown up and relaxed and we will travel again, to family and friends, on Boxing Day.

Read more.
Posted in Philippa's Wine Blog on 22 December 2014