Passionate About the Memphis area
and the Moms Who Live Here

A So-mom-elier’s Guide to Parenting Wine Pairings

They whine, you wine…

Quick Tips:

  • If you don’t love the glass you’ve been poured, drink a little more, it will get better. If you hate it, send it back, it’s gone rancid.
  • Package store prices (those noted below) are about ½ what you’ll pay in a restaurant.
  • When exhausted, starving, and dehydrated, a little goes a long way. Drink responsibly!

red wine

Good news, wine pairs well with parenting! 

The right bottle of wine can numb the penetrating sting of a fresh mouthed teen, turn a mundane game of make-believe into a magical mystery tour,  and resurrect your soul after 10 months of pregnancy induced abstinence.  It’s magic!

Here is a suggested list of wines to pair with every monumental parenting situation:   

  1. Savoring the Sweet Sound of Sleeping Kids: Night-night routines range from baby soothing struggles to teenage tantrums. Regardless of the situation, liquid refuge is highly recommended. Dimmed lights and hushed sounds from within the rooms of those under the legal drinking age denote Wine O’clock. Pairing Suggestion: Carnivor Cabernet, $10,  a bold Cabernet out of California is easy to drink and even easier on the wallet. Thus the reason why it’s can be consumed often without need for reason or regret.   
  2. The Kid’s Menu Course – Just because you’re too exhausted/famished and/or lost all ability to make an “adult acceptable” meal for yourself, (but who are we kidding, mac n cheese and chicken fingers taste better than just about anything) does not mean you should bail on the idea of washing it down with a mature and flavorful varietal. Pairing Suggestion: Kendall Jackson Vintage Reserve Chardonnay,$12,  A white wine that packs a buttery, oaky punch, sure to satiate when your kid’s leftovers didn’t cut it.  
  3. Ordering to Impress on a Parent’s Budget – It’s not often but occasionally you land a babysitter, take a shower, and wear clothing that buttons in order to look presentable for a meal out with someone worth getting worked up for. This someone can range from a work-related authority figure to an early in the game date night (for those single parents). Whatever the reason, it’s important you appear to know what you’re doing when it comes to ordering from the grownup menu (without going broke). Pairing Suggestion: Oberon Cabernet, $20, With its soft tannins and savory finish, this Cabernet from the Napa region, is sure to please all parties.
  4. Balancing the Intensity of a Trip to the ER – Once the nauseating stress caused by rushing your clumsy and/or ridiculously adventurous offspring to the emergency room has worn off, and you finally realize that A. you’re in a safe space where it’s finally ok to cry and/or B. All is going to be ok, sit back with an exceptionally large glass of wine and chill the sha-zam out. Pairing Suggestion: Educated Guess Cabernet, $25 The name alone is a spot-on way to tip your hat to the smarter than we Docs who spent years learning how to take care of your most prized possession during crucially bloody moments. It’s also a delicious Napa Valley Cab, ripe, sweet, and perfectly paired with the all too familiar scent of a new plaster cast.   
  5. Overpowering the Aromas of the Flu When the house is disinfected to the point of purity, every puke machine is confined to their rooms (spouse included), and you’re the only one in the house plague free, it’s time for a drink break. Pairing Suggestion: Rombauer Chardonnay $40, a Caneros California white wine with a strong, distinctly powerful taste that will re-purpose your senses to focus on its Crème Brulee, buttery goodness. Such a divine flavor profile will be so pleasurable going down, and it might not unbearable coming back up again…
  6. Complimenting 1st Day of Kindergarten Emotions – Sending your kids off to kindergarten is a big deal for all. Everyone inevitably cries. The strong sentiments that evoke both tears of joy and sorrow require wine indulgence. Pairing Suggestion: The Prisoner, $50 a mouthwateringly good red blend, made famous by the God of California wine awesomeness, Orin Swift. Although recently sold, each bottle is just as delicious as it once was, highlighting the tastes of dark chocolate swirled into a hint of vanilla with a pop of dark cherry. Go ahead and fill up twice; you deserve it.
  7. Spicing Up Date Night – You’re finally alone. Stop talking about the kids and start ordering wine! You like a light and dainty red, he’s looking for something bold and brash. Such is life… Pairing Suggestion: Belle Glos Pinot Noir, $50 an extremely vibrant, richly floral bottle of red wine from vineyards of California.  “Unbelievable” he says; this no typical Pinot Noir. Your wink in response says it all. And voila, it’s getting hot in here…
  8. A Toast to the First Night as Empty Nest-ers – Maybe your child(ren) begged to stay with grandma for the night (I wish) or decided sleep away camp was a go this summer. Or possibly, you’re on team “kid just left for college”. Whatever the case may be, alas that fateful night has arrived where you can confidently know you will have zero morning responsibilities. Pairing Suggestion: Newtown Unfiltered Chardonnay (White label),$50, this Napa Valley White Wine is so intense, rich and concentrated, it may very well cause an unplanned yet vocal mmm to slip out. Drink the whole bottle, by yourself, knowing you can sleep it off in the morning.
  9. A Lush Ladies Night – A night out with friends. Did someone say friends? I love friends! No, not a gathering of parents lurking around the outskirts of a kiddy play-date. I’m talking about real, honest to goodness friends, conversing in full sentences (smattered with cuss words) accompanied by a meal that doesn’t come out of a freezer box. Pairing Suggestion: Krug Champagne $150  According to the Krug website: “Now is no ordinary moment in time. Now is unique and not to be missed. Now is your time, so spend it wisely. With friends, with Kurg, world’s best rated glass of champagne…”  Mic Drop!
  10. Premier Postpartum Pairing– Go on and pop a bottle right there in the hospital bed. Celebrate as if you’ve just brought a human into this world. Pairing Suggestion: It doesn’t matter, “Fill up your cup, Mazel Tov!”

Note that I could parent without wine, but I really don’t want to.

wine with friends

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