Wine-inspired gifts for Father’s Day tempt you to gather gimmicks destined for the “God only knows what it’s for” drawer. Please, resist that seduction.
Corkscrews are classic examples. The double-hinged “waiter’s corkscrew” is best tool and costs less than $10. Please don’t buy Pop a gas injection gimmick. Rabbits and other continuous-turn creations are functional but cost more, break sooner, and do not perform better than a double-hinged waiter’s tool.
Avoid wine kits containing samples of everything kitschy. Many foist upon Father a double-lever, winged corkscrew, which is guaranteed regret. Kits often contain a fancy stopper, a foil-cutting device, a ring to stop drips, a cheap thermometer. Work at it and you might find one useable item; the remainder is daddy-day detritus.
Please, please do not buy a wine tasting kit that includes scorecards and bags for blind tastings. The only respectable use of such things is to re-gift to people you don’t like very much.
Stuff worth buying for dad:
• Decanter. Not some fancy, impossible to clean, certain to break, glass-blower’s fantasy, but a simple, sturdy, standard model. Cost: $30-50.
• Quality stemware. The wine glass influences the wine experience. Makers like Riedel and Spiegelau will giddily sell you a different glass for every type of wine/grape in God’s creation. Not needed. Buy quality—thin glass, elegant shape, quality maker. But buy a large bowl (21 or more ounces) for bold reds; a smaller bowl (12 or more ounces) for whites and lighter reds, and a flute for sparkling wines. It is better to have several of each of the three than one of the many different offerings. Cost: about $25 each. Remember to hand-wash stemware using minimal or no soap.
• If you want to drop a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars, consider a wine cellar/refrigerator. These yuppie puppies go from a 24-bottle unit for less than $300 to behemoths holding 200 bottles or more and costing several grand. Pair purchase with daddy’s bank account and his ego.
• Finally, quality wine always is good. Reach past your price comfort level. Who knows, you could get lucky and the big guy will share his big day bottle booty with you. That’s a happy Father’s Day.
Last round: Dad says if you can’t fix it with wine, duct tape, or WD40, it ain’t worth fixing.