For a wine writer, Mother’s Day is easy: rosé. For Father’s Day this Sunday, not so easy.
It is hard to recommend a wine that goes with power tools—wine does not go with power tools. Hard to recommend a wine to go with fishing gear—with fish, yes, with gear, no. Compounding the quandary—men prefer beer over wine more than two-to-one.
Fortunately, I have developed rules during the more than 10 years of writing this wine column.
• Do not buy dad wine-related gimmicks destined for the “God only knows what it’s for” drawer. Corkscrews are safe bets. No gas injection gimmicks. Rabbits and other continuous-turn creations are functional but cost more and break sooner. The double-hinged “waiter’s corkscrew” is the best tool and costs less than $10.
• Do not buy dad a wine tasting kit that includes scorecards and bags for blind tastings. The only respectable use for such things is to re-gift to people you don’t like very much.
• Consider dad’s favorite meal. If rich, red steak—red wine. If fish—white wine, unless it is salmon, then pinot noir. If poultry—chardonnay. I am keeping this simple. Don’t buy the meal or the wine on his credit card.
• If dad’s day includes picnic, pool, patio, deck, or lake—chill lighter whites and rosés for the daytime imbibing, then refer to the recommendation above for the real meal.
Dad may forget the gift, wine, food. He will not forget your love. Neither will you. If your dad is still around, thank him for being dad. If not, lift a glass to memories.
• Marchesi de Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti DOCG 2016: Sangiovese leads red-fruit charge; merlot shows up for the party, too. $14-16 Link to my review
• Viña San Pedro 1865 Selected Vineyards Carménère, Valle del Maule 2015: Excellent entry-level carménère. Tasty fruit, silky-sweet tannins, balancing acidity. $14-18 Link to my review
• Raeburn Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2017: Expressive fruits. Creamy, pleasing in the mouth. Excellent depth, complexity. $17-20 Link to my review
• Pazos de Lusco Albariño, Rias Baixas 2016: Fresh and complex; soft and refined; delicious easy drinker. $21-25 Link to my review
• Ponzi Vineyards Tavola Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016: Superb, fun, serious, completely approachable, undeniably delicious. $24-25 Link to my review
• Domaine Olivier Hillaire Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012: Rich, ripe fruits; delicious, serious. $48-56 Link to my review
Last round: Always have a good bottle of wine on hand for special occasions. You know, like Father’s Day. And Tuesdays.