MARKIN: How to treat mom this weekend

Allison Markin is the food and libations columnist for the Penticton Western News.

As kids, a gift for mom was probably a much simpler decision than it is today.

Flowers, chocolates, or whatever craft you made at school did the trick. With Mother’s Day this weekend, and you being an adult now, it’s time to get creative as we celebrate mothers, grandmothers, step-mothers, new moms, and perhaps a few gentlemen who played the part of mom.

New moms? There are plenty in my world which seems to be in the midst of a baby boom. A day or evening off seems fitting, but I also once sent a new mom a bottle of locally-made gin from Old Older Distillery in Downtown Penticton with a selection of tonics. Future planning for imbibement when she was ready.

In wine country, keep an eye out for wine and beer inspired products from soaps to lotions, to refreshing face mists. The healthy ingredients, generally by-products of production, both smell great and are good for the skin. I’ve seen a few around at farmers’ markets and specialty stores.

Double up and send both mom and dad to a class — cooking, cheese making, wine-pairing — and cover both parental celebratory days at once. Consider a cooking class at Hester Creek Estate Winery in Oliver, and several Okanagan College campuses in the valley offer numerous casual classes in wine, food, even a Scotch course later this month.

Speaking of cheese, why not sign mom up for the Curds & Corks Club at Upper Bench Winery and Creamery on the Naramata Bench? Six bottles of wine and three pieces of cheese sent quarterly.

Wine clubs are a great idea; as mom for the name of her favourite Okanagan winery and give a gift membership. Better yet, if her favourite spot has a patio or bistro open for the season, make a brunch or dinner reservation ASAP.

There are a number of stellar concert series at numerous wineries, some with afternoon performances or evening ones. Wild Goose Vineyards in Okanagan Falls has performers paired with a glass of wine and a BBQ buffet. Tinhorn Creek in Oliver has its Canadian concert series, CedarCreek welcomes Canadian rock icon Kim Mitchell this July (I’ll be there), and many have casual live music on weekends. Take mom to a show this summer.

And if you’re bringing mom flowers and a bottle of wine, that’s cool too. But the wine snob in me advises to open the wine away from the posies, so as not to let the bouquets intermingle.


On now to May 8: Spring Okanagan Wine Festival, events throughout the valley.

May 7: Pinot and Pearls at Hillside Winery and Bistro. $25 per person.

May 7:  Roll Out The Barrels, Naramata Bench (select wineries)

May 7th and May 8th: Mother’s Day Brunch,  Liquidity Bistro

May 8th:  Mother’s Day Brunch, Mica Restaurant at Spirit Ridge Resort

May 6-8: Devour Culinary Film Festival. Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos.

May 8:  Market of Taste Osoyoos, presented by Slow Food Thompson Okanagan. Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos.

Allison Markin is the food and libations columnist for the Penticton Western News. She can be reached at and on Twitter @OkanaganTaste.