When we were kids, our pops worked in sales and marketing for a big wine and alcohol agency – and when we say “worked,” we mean that it seems he mostly played in a lot of golf tournaments, travelled the world and went to fancy dinners.
For us, wine was a pretty regular way of life – which was unusual for suburban Southern Ontario in the 80’s. Our mom and dad would have a glass of wine at dinner, and we would drink our milk out of fancy schmancy wine glasses, while our dad would tell us stories of the wineries he travelled to, the cellars he had seen and the people he would talk shop with (Robert Mondavi was one of them).
So when mulling over what to put together for a Father’s Day wine post, we thought instead of trying to target all dads – which is darn near impossible – we thought we would focus on what our dad enjoys (big reds, mostly, followed by a gin or two, a wee dram of scotch, and he won’t say no to a Sherry).
Of course, our dad is the quintessential man when it comes to grilling. Even in the depths of a February freezing streak, he’s got the barbecue fired up. And in the true MacGyver fashion (one of his personal patron saints), he manages to bring the grill to the back door of the house so he can stand indoors and still reach outside to cook over an open flame.
In honour of The Wine Dad and is love of red wines and penchant for BBQ, we’ve put together this list of great reds to toast your father, complete with recommended grilled pairings.
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California 2014
$30.95 ($5 off until June 19) Vintages 432211
Is there anything more iconic of Dads than a Cali Cab and slab of meat? This wine is ripe and smooth with plush tannins and fresh flavours of black cherry, currant, and subtle woodsy smoke.
Dad’s Day Cookout Pairing: Smokey, saucy baby back ribs
Chateau de Beaucastle Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone, France 2013
$89.95 Vintages 711317
There’s an elegance here, with flavours and aromas of ripe black and blue berries, graphite and mixed spice. Plush and rich, this has lots to offer.
Dad’s Day Cookout Pairing: Spice crusted tuna
Tenuta La Fuga Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy 2010
$42.95 Vintages 212837
A meaty nose with toasted sweet spice, earth and dark fruit aromas. Powerful, rich and full bodied on the palate with underbrush, blackberry, fresh, resinous herbs and mincemeat flavours.
Dad’s Day Cookout Pairing: Rack of Lamb
Balbas Reserva, Ribera deal Duero, Spain 2005
$22.95 Vintages 85183
Check out the age on this beauty – and then do a double take on the price! Rich and supple with fine tannin and flavours of dark fruit and mixed spice. Smokey, toasty and full of warmth. Dad would love this.
Dad’s Day Cookout Pairing: Grilled ribeye
Chateau St. Georges, Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France 2011
$37.95 Vintages 960310
60% Merlot with the balance divided evenly between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, the nose of smoke, ripe black fruits and a touch of sundried tomato leads to a firm, earthy palate with flavours of blackberry, cigar and black licorice. This powerful wine is still quite reserved and needs time to open up – a perfect gift for Dad, The Collector.
Dad’s Day Cookout Pairing: Pulled pork sandwiches.
Concha Y Toronto “Block 27” Peumo Vineyard Carmenere, Cachapoal Valley, Chile 2012
$29.95 Vintages 562892
Carmenere is a bit of a wild card for a Father’s Day pick mainly because the grape still holds a low profile despite being the iconic red grape of Chile. However, if your dad is like ours, this will earn you high fives and maybe even “favourite kid” status. Pouring inky purple, there’s loads of spice on the nose along with cassis and smoke aromas. The palate is Rich with plush tannins and pleasing char flavours mix inning with dark fruits and sweet spice.
Dad’s Day Cookout Pairing: Churrasco Skewers (smokey beef skewers grilled over charcoal or wood)
Cloudline Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Washington, USA
$29.95 Vintages 159970
Juicy and fresh with notes of raspberry jam and black peppercorn spice, the tannins are quite firm and acid is bright.
Dad’s Day Cookout Pairing: Gourmet beef burgers