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For the purposes of this exhaustive guide to all things “Mom wine,” here are the two rules of what constitutes a Mom wine:

  1. One 750mL bottle can cost no more than $15. There are no exceptions.
  2. Mom wine varieties include: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon,  Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc. While your mom did kill that bottle of Korbel sparkling wine left over from your cousin’s engagement party before leaving a voicemail about how much she doesn’t trust your new boyfriend, technically sparkling wine does not count. Sorry. Rules are rules.

Still, two Golden Rules notwithstanding, the most important quality of a Mom wine is that its consumption is saved for distinctly Mom occasions. These include 10 p.m. text messages about your younger brother’s report card, or emails about the Yahoo! article she read illustrating the undeniable link between heart disease and skinny jeans.

Here is an excellent Mom wine, a 2010 Pinot Noir from Smoking Loon. This wine, “crafted for those with an appetite for adventure,” is a great fit for Moms who share BuzzFeed quizzes proving her theory that “you really should have majored in biology instead of an art history.”

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.26.01 AMSource: Don Richards/Creative Commons

Another strong Mom wine is the Francis Coppola Diamond Merlot. This smooth red goes well with a late-night weekday phone call from Mom insisting “we never talk anymore,” and its fruity taste nicely pairs with her complaint about how “your brother never calls either, but you’re supposed to be the GOOD child.”

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.25.46 AM Source: Maegan Tintari/Creative Commons

Another classic Mom wine is the Yellow Tail Shiraz, best suited for moms who want to stay in and watch Jeopardy! instead of go to a late-night board meeting. Also good for Moms who recently discovered Pinterest and unknowingly tied their boards to Facebook status updates.

 Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.25.27 AMSource: Mary Witzig/Creative Commons

The best Mom wine for groups, however, is the undisputed bulk-packaging champion Carlo Rossi. Fun fact about this Mom wine: researchers have determined that approximately 2.5 four-liter bottles of Carlo Rossi cabernet is the amount required to satisfy a single eight-Mom book group discussing “The Secret Life of Bees.”

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.25.16 AM Source: CarloRossi.com

And, finally, perhaps the Queen of the Mom Wines — Clos du Bois Chardonnay. Flavored with hints of pineapple and vanilla, this goddess among Mom wines is described by Moms I know as perfect for “tuning out the motherfucking piece of shit dog,” or as a great companion for reality television. Available at liquor stores, corner stores, and supermarkets most everywhere, this mild white is the platonic ideal of Mom wines.

 Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 8.25.02 AMSource: WalMart.com

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Noah Kulwin is this summer's Awl intern.

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