Hess Treo

Hess Treo [$17] California

One of the many facts the wine business sloughs off is that women buy most of the wine in the United States — as much as 60 percent, according to some surveys. From reading wine writing, you’d assume that men dominated the market, and that everyone wanted to drink big, heavy red wines.

So what better way to mark Mother’s Day than by acknowledging how important women are to the wine business? Here are three wines to give Mom for a gift or to enjoy at Mother’s Day brunch:

• Estancia Pinot Grigio ($9): Estancia, part of the multinational Constellation Brands, produces some of the most interesting and best-priced grocery store wine. Look for flowery aromas, soft lemon fruit, and an Italian sort of minerality on the back.

• Goats do Roam Rosé ($10): This South African wine has strawberry fruit that becomes more cranberry and is more European in style. Very nicely done and a fine value.

• Hess Treo ($17): This California red blend is balanced and fruity, but the red fruit is just one part of the wine and doesn’t overwhelm it. A good example of what can be done to make wine that appeals to someone other than critics.

JEFF SIEGEL WRITES ABOUT WINE AND neighborhood dining news every Friday

Ask the wine guy

Q: What’s a blind tasting?

A: That’s when you taste the wines without knowing what they are. It’s actually quite common, especially in wine competitions, and is something everyone should do at least once. If you don’t know what the wine is (except for the varietal and color), then you won’t be influenced by the label, the price or where the wine is from.

ASK THE WINE GUY taste@advocatemag.com


With your wine: Red velvet brownies

Remember all the times Mom made you brownies? Why not return the favor with this dessert? And if it doesn’t exactly pair with wine, so what — it’s Mother’s Day.


Grocery List

1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ c granulated sugar
1 ½ c brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 oz red food coloring
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ½ c all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9×13 clear glass baking dish.

2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in food coloring and vanilla, and mix until the color is fully incorporated. Mix flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add in the flour mixture, and don’t over-mix. The batter will be very thick.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, 35 minutes for a thin crust on top and gooey underneath. Set aside to cool, cut into bars and serve.

Makes about two dozen, takes about an hour