MAN Family Wines Chenin Blanc Toasts my Mother

My mother was a true Southern lady.  She was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky by her immigrant parents who retained their thick German accents.  But she could say “ya’all” in the best southern drawl.

Once married, her job was homemaker and mother and she filled her days carrying out those duties in a way that only women of her generation did.

She kept a spotless home.  Our one tiny bathroom was cleaned every day.  Laundry was hung out on the line and my dad’s work shirts were perfectly ironed.

She baked cookies and cakes from scratch for dessert every night.

And she looked damn good while doing all these things.

She was sweet and gentle, terrified of being on her own, loved music, had a quirky little smile and a twinkle in her eye when she was happy.

She loved her grandchildren intensely and never got over the death of her husband to whom she was married just shy of 50 years.


I watched the Kentucky Derby Saturday with my mother in mind because; she lived in Louisville, the home of Churchill Downs, and was always thrilled to watch it.


Sunday marked seven years since her death and I sat out on my porch to have a glass of wine with Mom, something I do every year on the anniversary of both my parents passing.


It’s something I like to imagine they are able to look forward to as much as I do.


I selected a wine that I thought would reflect my mother’s sweet and gentle, yet a little sassy, character.  I also looked for a screw-cap closure because, once my dad was gone, Mom would only buy wines with screw caps.  She just couldn’t manage removing the cork on her own.  The MAN Chenin Blanc seemed to be a great choice.


The MAN Family Wines was created by three clever men who named their business after their wives; M for Marie, A for Anette, and N for Nicky.  


From the Paarl region of South Africa, just north of the well-known Stellenbosch appellation, this Chenin Blanc utilizes some vineyards older than 25 years.  Winemakers use only free-run juice, with no pressing of the skins, to retain the clean fruit flavor of the grapes.  A long, cool fermentation and 100% stainless steel tanks, also preserves the freshness of fruit.


Floral aromas lift from the glass along with apricot and tropical fruits.  The flavors are, indeed, full of fresh fruits—sweet peach and apricot balanced with ripe citrus and juicy acidity.  This wine is gentle and pleasant with a bright kick of sassy acidity, much like my mother’s character.


So, cheers to you my dear mother.

I can just imagine my father and her, shaking their heads, chuckling, saying, “You have no idea how good the wines are that we are drinking!”


About the author: Sue Navratil

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