Monday, 10 June 2013

For My Father: Father's Day Wines

It always saddens me that there is generally so much more hype and marketing surrounding Mother's Day than there is around it's later-in-the-year but no less important partner in crime: Father's Day.

My own Father - or Papa, or Pops, as he is more likely to be called by me - is pretty bloody special. And he loves his wine of course, as well as having an Amazon Wishlist which is always chocka with CDs, which means buying him a present on Fathers Day can often seem like very little effort. Just because I know him well enough, however, it doesn't mean that the gift is any less heartfelt, and it's about time we celebrated our lovely Dads a bit more.

So if you're worrying about buying your wine-fan Dad 'just another bottle of wine' then pull yourself together! Wine - like Dads - come in a variety of styles, so here are a few suggestions.

For Manly Dads

If you used to threaten the mean kids at school by saying your Dad could beat up their Dad, and your Papa is one of the men who spent their weekends grunting and sawing gigantic planks of wood in half, then you could get him an equally meaty wine. One that's built to last like him, with tannins and acidity that can saw through hearty red-meat meals and hunks of hard cheese. A wine he can really wrap his chops around.

Chateauneuf du Pape is a great bet: you can pick up a bottle from around £14 but the really full-throttle ones are going to be around £20-30. If you want a failsafe, benchmark, BAM-right-in-the-kisser version I'd pick Domaine Font de Michelle, which is £25.99 from Waitrose or Clos de L'Oratoire 2006 from The Wine Society for £19.50.

For Kind-But-Quiet Dads

You know the type - the ones that used to slip you a tenner even when your Mum had said you weren't allowed pocket money that week. The ones that you can tell you've properly fucked up without worrying they'll scream at you. The ones that take you to football/ballroom dancing/origami classes and agree to pick you up from your school prom/work Christmas party at 4am without even moaning. The one who doesn't really know how to give you advice but brings you a cup of tea if you look like you're having a hard time.

This one is easy: La Gloire de Mon Pere (or 'the glory of my father') is a gorgeous, smooth, creamy, fruity red from highly respected outfit Chateau Tour Des Gendres in Bergerac, South France. It's got tons of cherry and blackberry, with vanilla and hints of violet, and it's silky-textured and has great length of flavour, but it doesn't shout about it: it's just lovely. A bottle if £16 from Joseph Barnes Wines.

For Funny Dads

I love the Dads that use Morecambe and Wise jokes, and still pretend they've caught your nose. The ones that shout "You won't sell many ice creams at that speed!" as an ambulance flies past (INAPPROPRIATE, DAD). The ones that think cracker jokes are hilarious, and who invent limericks to cheer you up. The ones that love a silly wine label without worrying that the wine inside won't be good enough.

We've featured plenty of silly wine names already - from the Some Young Punks range (I reckon Monsters! Monsters Attack! Riesling is a safe bet), to BlablaBlanc from RAW Fair, and Fuckeliana from D'Arenberg. But I'd also recommend something silly like Arrogant Frog Croak Rotie Syrah-Viognier from Cheers for £7.99 a bottle.

Also, and double trouble for being both funny AND Dad-related, is d'Arenberg's cheeky DADD Sparkling wine. Although it's been accused of looking a lot like a similarly-parental-named Champagne (the ingenuity still makes me laugh) it's a nice story: the double-D makes the word four letters long, which refers to the four generations of Dads that have made their wines a success over the last 100 years. A bottle of DADD in a special gift box is £39.99 from Amazon.

For Armchair Genius Dads

How do Dads just know everything? I've yet to lose the wonder I feel when my Dad knows the answer to the most obscure question on University Challenge, and he gets so many Pointless answers I get a bit wild with rage that I can't beat him, but I'm still proud.

Some Dads are just an encyclopaedia in an armchair, and as such maybe he'd like to make his own mind up with a share in The Wine Society for £40. That's a lifetime membership with no extra fees, ever, and no minimum yearly purchase, but you do get sent a tempting quarterly List that these kinds of Dads would enjoy perusing at leisure to find new bottles to try.

Alternatively, you could buy him a bottle of "Si Mon Pere Savait" ('if my Father knew') from Hawkshead Wines for £14.99. Because there's no 'if' about it - they know everything.

For Eco Dads

Buying a wine with something Dad-ish on the label earns you extra points, obvz. Chateau de Gaure in Cotes de Roussillon make a delicious, rich, and fruity wine called Pour Mon Pere ('for my Dad' in case you're completely useless at French). It's £18.40 a bottle from Evington Wines, and it's also a natural wine with minimal sulphur - particularly good if your Dad's one of those enthusiastic recyclers who may or may not also have an allotment.

What are you buying your Dad for Fathers Day? Tell us in the comments or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Top photo taken from Nina Matthew's photostream under the Creative Commons License

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